Masonry Day at University of Texas engages 80 students


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October 25, 2018


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Masonry Day at University of Texas engages 80 students
Texas Masonry Council

2018.10.25 - TX masonry Council Image

Eighty architectural students at the University of Texas participated in the annual Masonry Day design-build competition on October 5th, sponsored by the Texas Masonry Council. Eight teams of students worked consistently for weeks designing their structures, including submitted drawings (to scale and rendered). Teams were encouraged to be as creative as possible in their designs, keeping in mind that the design has to be constructed and stand up. For the competition, the students constructed their designs to bring them to life. Congratulations to all of the students! See pictures of the event here.

2018.10.25- Columbia Ad




REScheck software updated for the 2018 IECC
US Department of Energy

2018.10.25- RES Check Image 

Support for the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is now available in REScheck. The 2018 IECC is published by the International Code Council (ICC) and represents the latest edition of the national model residential energy code for residential buildings. REScheck is a free software program available from the Department of Energy to enable trade-off energy compliance for low-rise residential structures. In addition to adding support for the new code, the updated version incorporates a variety of new features, including improved input validation, more informative error messaging, and additional user interface enhancements. Give it a try today!

FHWA releases a new GRS-IBS video

2018.10.25 - FHWA Image

A new YouTube video from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) showcases the history and construction techniques of the geosynthetic reinforced soil–integrated bridge system (GRS–IBS). For those that are not familiar, the GRS-IBS is a soil reinforced system with a CMU or SRW facing and geogrid or geotextile reinforcement. GRS-IBS projects are a great opportunity for use of SRW and CMU in these applications. Click here for more information.

Stop TIA Coalition sends letter opposing tall wood code changes
Stop TIA Coalition

The members of the Stop Timber Innovation Act Coalition have sent a letter to the International Code Council and its members strongly opposing building code changes to allow for wood structures up to 18 stories. The letter highlights recent problems with cross-laminated timber on projects and the lack of research to substantiate proposed code changes. NCMA is a member of the Stop TIA coalition. Read the letter here.

HNA Awards recognize the top hardscape products

2018.10.25 - HNA Winner Project

Another batch of outstanding projects were recognized this year at the 2018 Hardscape North America Awards. The 2018 HNA Awards recognized residential and commercial walkways, patios, pool decks, outdoor kitchens, driveways, commercial plazas, streets, and other applications built using concrete pavers, segmental retaining walls, clay brick, porcelain, natural stone, outdoor living features, and combinations of hardscape products. The best projects were recognized between 155 submissions during the HNA show in Louisville, KY last week. The awards are organized by ICPI and endored by NCMA and BIA. For more information about the winners and to see pictures of the projects click here.

2018.10.25_ Alabama



Dodge: Value of September construction starts falls 5%
Construction Dive

2018.18. -Value of Sept Construction Start Fall

The value of September construction starts fell 5% month-over-month to $709.6 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, piling onto July and August's respective 9% declines. Year to date, the value of total starts was down 1% compared to the period ending September 2017. The September decline was driven by a 13% drop in non-building construction and a 6% decrease in the nonresidential sector.Read more.

2018.10.25. ad image for Stone Veneer

Stone Veneer Trims in BROWN

Plastic Components manufactures WHITE, GRAY, TAN and DARK BROWN foundation sill screeds, casing beads, drip edges in 10 ft lengths for stone veneer applications.

No more painting with these trims! They conform to ASTM standards D1784, C1063 and D4216. And the molded in colorant eliminates chipping, loss of color.


1985: John Heslip becomes NCMA President

During the ‘80s, a fourth new executive is chosen to lead the group. By 1985, John A. Heslip establishes a revived sales effort to target the needs of national accounts, design offices that work for corporate clients throughout the U.S. He’s also on hand as another new concrete product enters the market: segmental retaining wall block. Read more about NCMA’s history at



VP Engineering Jason Thompson is in Richmond, VA, October 18-27 for the ICC Final Action Hearings.

Solutions Center


What is a cleanout? When is it used?

Solutions Center Logo

A cleanout is an opening created in the face shell of the bottom course of a masonry assembly which will undergo a grout pour. The opening must be large enough to allow debris (such as mortar droppings greater than ½ in. in diameter) to be removed from the bottom of the aligned cell spaces. Additionally, cleanouts shall be located at all cells containing steel reinforcement or every 32 in. (813 mm) on center (horizontally) for solidly grouted walls. Per TMS 602, cleanouts are required when high lift grouting in a wall assembly is to be used. For more information on grouting, see TEK 3-2A Grouting Concrete Masonry Walls.

2018.07.26_ ICON Xchange 2019 Ad



Young Professional Group Workshop in Texas

 YPG Image

Twenty three Young Professionals gathered at ACME Brick Corporate Office in Fort Worth Texas for the second YPG Workshop. Speaker Ken McFarland spoke on generations in the work place, speaker Abra Nusser spoke on social media, and Pat Sauter gave an update on Check Off and his experience as the youngest Chairman of NCMA. There was networking and an round table discussion on getting more YPGs involved. Thank you again ACME for being such a great host and keep an eye out for our next event this Summer hosted by Pathfinder.

ICON-Xchange Virtual Plant Tour 

 icon xCHANGE

A highlight of ICON-Xchange, the Virtual Plant Tour will take place on Friday, February 15 from 4 - 6pm, in Orlando, Florida. The tour will include concrete masonry and paver production facilities worldwide. Refreshments will be served before and during the tour and there will also be prize drawings for producers in attendance. Must be present to win. Visit to read about all the ICON-Xchange highlights.

The featured plants will include:
- Basalite Concrete Products LLC in Dixon, CA, presented by Columbia Machine, Inc
- Cambridge Pavers in South Amboy, NJ, presented by Pathfinder Systems
- Santerra Stonecraft in Ontario, Canada, by Besser Company
- Laird Brothers in Scotland presented by Rekers(NA), Inc.

Family friendly Disney property is host to ICON-Xchange in February 2019

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Join us February 12-16 in Orlando for the ICON-Xchange 2019, the premier show for the manufactured concrete masonry and hardscape industry. The industry will join together for work and pleasure at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs™ Area, located in the Walt Disney World® Resort and within walking distance to Disney Springs™. Bring the whole family to this truly amazing place that has an eclectic mix of unique boutiques, one-of-a-kind eateries and jaw-dropping entertainment that will have you wondering where the day went. There are four fascinating neighborhoods filled with so much to discover, they’ll pull you from one to the next. Families can explore all that Central Florida has to offer, click here for more. Learn all about ICON-Xchange at

2018 Basic Block and Hardscape Products Sales Course only a month away

 Block Sales Image

Register today for NCMA’s highly rated Basic Block and Hardscape Products Sales Course. The class is scheduled for November 29-30, 2018 at the NCMA Headquarters in Herndon, VA. The course offers an excellent foundation for sales professionals who have been in the concrete masonry and hardscapes industry for less than three years. The curriculum focuses on technical information and marketing strategies vital to advancing students’ knowledge of the concrete masonry and hardscape markets. 

Click here for course flyer and syllabus. Tuition is $575 for NCMA members/$975 for non-member participants. Discounts available for three or more registrants from the same company (Discount for NCMA members only). For more information please contact Clare Ramminger, Director, Programs and Member Services. Email: Phone: (703) 713-1900. Click here to register.


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