What’s going on with masonry in Iran or Australia or Italy? If you had attended the North American Masonry Conference last week in Denver you would know. Over 150 presentations were given by masonry experts from around the world. I learned that 89% of school classrooms in Iran are unreinforced masonry, but through a variety of retrofit techniques, most today have been reinforced to stand up to earthquake forces. In Australia, the very dynamic Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO of Think Brick, initiated an awards program for masonry buildings that went from 25 entries in 2008 to 281 entries in 2014. That has resulted in face brick’s market share increasing by an astounding 60%.

Still the majority of presentations were from engineers, contractors, and educators from North America and covered new construction, repair, and BIM for masonry. The NAMC is held every four years, sponsored by The Masonry Society. This year’s event was co-chaired by Michael Schuller, Atkinson-Noland Associates; Frederick Rutz, University of Colorado Denver; and Bret Terry, Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute. We learned about masonry then went to a very chilly Coors Field to watch the Colorado Rockies play (and lose, as usual this year).

For more information or to obtain a copy of the proceedings with all of the presentations, contact The Masonry Society at info@masonrysociety.org, 303-939-9700, www.masonrysociety.org.