Masonry: Material for 21st Century New York
For new construction, masonry surpassed other materials in benefits to owners and developers. Its attributes include:
- Energy Performance
- Low-emitting material characteristics
- Flexibility and modularity for custom buildings with less waste
- Weather, fire and blast resistance
- Acoustical superiority
- Natural beauty
- Local in origin
- Cost competitive
Strength: Engineered and reinforced masonry can be used effectively for load-bearing walls and shear walls. Depending on the building’s configuration and function, structural masonry can be used alone or integrated with steel or reinforced concrete frame.
Durability: Masonry utilizes highly durable building material that can handle extreme weather conditions and the rigors of everyday life. It is not affected by termites and it will not decay, dent, twist or warp. With proper masonry work, brick will require little maintenance other than an occasional cleaning. Brick is also fire resistant and can improve the chances of a structure’s survival if faced with a fire.
Sustainability and Green Building: In addition to its recyclable and renewable attributes, masonry’s most sustainable properties speak to energy performance and indoor air quality. Using masonry in the construction of buildings can help architects and owners meet U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) requirements for LEED certification, having an impact on 52 different points across four LEED categories.
Insulation: Masonry’s most obvious contribution to the greening of a building lies in its high thermal mass properties. Materials like brick and concrete absorb more heat and hold it longer when compared to materials with low thermal mass such as glass. Thus, brick keeps internal temperatures warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, facilitating energy savings.
Flexibility Meets Craftsmanship: Masonry is can be used to develop a classic or contemporary look. The variety of material options available – size, shape, color, clay or shale – provide countless options that can be equally functional and decorative, and suit a wide array of building needs.