Light Expanded Clay Aggregate (LECA) masonry block, which was used in the construction of the Landskrona Townhouse, is a low embodied energy material, is relatively inexpensive, is lightwieght, has a high insulation R-value, and is made by heating the materials to 1200 degrees Celsius in a rotary kiln. The origins of LECA and other aggregates such as Gravelite, Perlite, and Rocklite can be traced back to the invention of Haydite (invented for the construction of the USS Selma) in 1917 in Kansas City, Missouri. In Europe, LECA block was first used in Denmark, Germany, Holland, and the U.K.
04 20 00 Unit Masonry
I’ve been asked the question over and over: Should I use glass blocks or acrylic blocks for my window project? While I will admit to having a bias (I’ve been in the glass block business for over 25 years), my companies sell both glass and acrylic products and I try to recommend what’s best for the customer. Here are my pointers on how to choose between these two different materials.
If you want to create a glass block wall that steps down, then the double-ended glass block is for you. Although double-ended glass block looks great, you must design with it in the right way for a successful project. Keep these points in mind for your step-down wall.
Why should you design a kitchen that looks like everyone else's when you can jazz it up with a contemporary flair? When most people think about using glass blocks, they may most often picture them in a bathroom or basement setting, but glass blocks in your kitchen provide a focal point to make the room really pop. Here are three ideas to consider for using glass blocks in your kitchen.
Decorative art glass tiles are simply hand-crafted tiles made by fusing layers of colored and clear glass together in a kiln. These tiles come in various sizes, in a spectrum of transparent and opaque colors, and can be fused to glass blocks. Five popular places to use this decorative glass element in your home include the bathroom, kitchen, entryway, den, and accent walls.
Brick Masonry is one of the oldest known man-made building materials, dating back to around 8000 B.C. Modern clay face brick comes in numerous standard sizes, most in nominal 4" widths, with nominal lengths of 8" or 12", and heights ranging from 2" to 5-1/3". Actual dimensions are normally 3/8" less than the nominal size, which allows for the typical mortar joint thickness. The most common size, "modular brick," measures 3-5/8" wide by 2-1/4" high by 7-5/8" long. This modular dimension works so that three bricks match the height and two bricks match the length of a standard nominal 8" by 16" concrete block or concrete masonry unit (CMU).
“What do you have that can add some interest, some pop, some style to this glass block project?” a customer recently asked. With the introduction of colored glass your windows, showers, or wall projects can really stand out without sacrificing the functional benefits of the block. Below you’ll learn about 5 unique projects that combined colors and block patterns to create one of a kind results.
Prefaced (glazed) concrete unit masonry uses blocks manufactured by bonding a permanent colored facing (typically composed of polyester resins, silica sand and various other chemicals) to a concrete masonry unit, providing a smooth impervious surface. The glazed facings must comply with ASTM C 744, Standard Specification for Prefaced Concrete and Calcium Silicate Masonry Units, which contains minimum requirements for facing quality and dimensional tolerances. In addition, the unit to which the facing is applied must comply with ASTM C 90 when used in loadbearing applications. The glazed surface is waterproof, resistant to staining and graffiti, and highly impact resistant, as well as being resistant to many chemicals and bacteria. Special admixtures and mortars are available for use with glazed units that provide better stain, bacteria, and water penetration resistance. Glazed units are available in a variety of vibrant colors: pastels, earth tones, and even faux granite and marble patterns. They are often used for brightly-colored accent bands, or in gymnasiums, rest rooms, and indoor swimming pools where the stain and moisture resistant finish reduces maintenance. Kitchens and laboratories also benefit from the chemical and bacteria-resistant surface.
Molded-face concrete unit masonry is a scored concrete masonry unit which is manufactured with one or more vertical scores on the face to simulate additional mortar joints in the wall. Scored units reduce the perceived scale of the masonry while still allowing construction using full sized units.
Fluted concrete unit masonry has ribbed or fluted edges. Units typically have four, six, or eight ribs vertically aligned to form continuous segments in the finished wall. The fluted units can be smooth, split, or striated. Flutes can be produced to provide either a circular or rectangular profile. Fluted concrete masonry units can be specially fabricated to be water repellent, and are produced in an array of colors.
Fluted concrete masonry units are usually laid so that the flutes or ribs align vertically as they are placed. Masons can utilize different bond patterns, such as stack bond or one-third running bond, to align scores in adjacent courses. The bond pattern used will determine the load bearing capacity of the wall.
Exposed aggregate concrete unit masonry, also described as "burnished" or "honed", uses ground face concrete masonry units that are polished after manufacturing to achieve a smooth finish which reveals the natural aggregate colors. The units have the appearance of polished natural stone. The finished look of the ground surface can be altered by changing aggregate type and proportions. Often, specific aggregates will be used to enhance the appearance of the polished surface, while coatings are sometimes used to deepen the color. Ground face units are often scored to achieve a scale other than the conventional 8 x 16 in.
Sandblasted face units are CMU where sand (or abrasive) blasting is used to expose the aggregate in a concrete masonry unit, resulting in a "weathered" look.
Split-faced concrete unit masonry is an architectural concrete masonry unit that costs a bit more than a standard CMU. It is made from a mixture of Portland cement, water, aggregates, and admixtures such as coloring agents, air-entraining materials, accelerators, retarders, or water repellents. Once shaped, compacted, and cured, the solid or hollow concrete units are then split crosswise or lengthwise. This random splitting allows some of the aggregate to break through in various planes, providing a look similar to natural stone.
This topic includes information related to design and construction with concrete form masonry units. Concrete form masonry units are stackable units that have finished masonry on both sides, held in place by connectors. On an interior side of the finished masonry is an integral air space for water drainage, defined by a layer of rigid insulation. The single units are dry or mortar stacked in place, reinforced and then concrete is pumped into the proper voids. Upon cure, the concrete form masonry unit wall is extremely durable and energy efficient.
Glass block may be used as partitions, security barriers, or windows in interior or exterior applications where a partially-transparent effect is desired. Produced as solid or hollow units, glass block is available in clear or textured patterns, with applied tints and coatings, and with opacifiers and fiber fill.
Architectural concrete unit masonry is used as an architectural finish for interior and exterior walls, partitions, terrace walls, and other enclosures. Decorative CMU with textures, patterns, or other special finishes may be chosen for aesthetic attributes. Some units are available with the same treatment or pattern on both faces, to serve as both exterior and interior finish wall material.
Concrete unit masonry is a form of masonry which uses prefabricated concrete blocks, including hollow or solid architectural concrete masonry units (CMU). To be considered solid, units must be at least 75 percent solid. Hollow concrete units are preferred because of the reduced weight, easier handling, and lower cost.Concrete masonry units are made from hydraulic cement, water, and mineral aggregates with or without the inclusion of other materials. CMU are molded using a relatively dry mix of cement and aggregates; they are compacted and consolidated using low-frequency, high-amplitude vibration, and then cured under controlled temperature and humidity. These units are suitable for both loadbearing and non-loadbearing applications.
This topic includes information related to design and construction with ceramic glazed clay masonry. Appropriate for both load-bearing and non-load-bearing applications, ceramic glazed clay masonry is a durable and resilient building material. Glazing ceramic over masonry allows for a multitude of color and finish options, that are resistant to fade, scratches and graffiti.
Unit masonry, whether employing natural stone or manmade units, provides the designer with a broad variety of choices of materials, sizes, colors, and textures. Units may include solid or hollow clay brick, adobe, concrete block, glass block, structural clay facing tile, terra cotta, stone, or other special units. Masonry assemblies may be load-bearing or non-load-bearing, grouted or non-grouted, reinforced or non-reinforced, single- or multi-wythe. Whatever materials are used, the skill of the mason is key to a successful installation.