International Brick/Block Masonry Conferences
This series of masonry conferences begun by the brick industry continues. The International Brick/Block Masonry Conferences began with the work of Clayton T. Grimm when he was the Executive Director of the Clay Products Association of the Southwest. The first conference was held at the University of Texas in Austin in 1967. Subsequent conferences were held in several European countries, Australia, Canada and China. The 6th conference was held in the United States under the auspices of the Brick Institute of America. The most recent conference, the 12th IBBMaC, was held from June 25 to 28, 2000 in Madrid, Spain.
Spain is a great venue for a masonry conference. Masonry, specifically brick masonry, is an integral part of the country?s architectural heritage. Face brick and clay tile with plaster are primary construction materials. The architectural styles are influenced by the rest of the European continent and by northern Africa. Arches are often an important component of the design.
The 12th IBBMaC was organized in the same manner as the previous conferences. The conference organizer was Josep Maria Adell, a practicing architect and professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. The Spanish Ministry of Public Works was the primary sponsor. Design organizations endorsed it and masonry companies provided financial support.
Papers were solicited from masonry experts from around the world. Abstracts were approved and papers submitted for publication and presentation. The acceptance of electronically transmitted papers resulted in a glitch that precluded inclusion of those papers in the Proceedings distributed at the Conference. The papers were presented in a series of sessions held on Monday, June 26, through Wednesday, June 28. Four simultaneous sessions were held following keynote presentations. Poster presentations of additional papers were available for examination. Exhibits of masonry materials were also on display.
A welcoming reception, lunches, an open-air party including a demonstration of Spanish horsemanship and bull fighting, and tours for accompanying persons completed the agenda.
Papers presented indicate the interest of masonry experts and the recent research work conducted. This conference included 230 papers.
Structural properties of masonry, including reinforced masonry
Preservation, renovation and rehabilitation of buildings
Physical properties of masonry
Seismic performance of masonry
Arches, vaults and domes
Papers on unusual topics that may be of interest to masonry industry personnel include:
Beam-Column Response of Masonry Walls by Liu and Dawe
Bond Strength Variability and Structural Reliability in Flexure by Stewart and Lawrence
Contribution of Brickwork Cladding to the Structural Performance of Timber Frame Buildings by Booth and Edgell
In?Plane Response of Post-Tensioned Concrete Masonry by Laursen and Ingham
Monitoring the Performance of Masonry Building by Maurenbrecher, Said, Ibrahim, and Cornick
Resistance of Exterior Walls to High Velocity Projectiles by Kashuba, Kuzik, and Hatzinikolas
Simple Design Procedures for Masonry Arches by Huizer and Shrive
From a materials perspective, the major interest in papers presented was in clay masonry products. These were specifically mentioned in the title of at least thirtyseven papers, with concrete masonry and mortar the next most interesting.
The international aspect of this conference was indeed verified. Authors came from all continents but Africa, representing twenty-eight countries. There was a larger representation from countries in South America than in previous conferences.
This conference reflects the occupation of the organizer. It had more papers of an architectural nature than earlier International Brick/Block Masonry Conferences. Indeed, both keynote presentations were by renowned architects. The talk by Carlos Mijares Bracho of Mexico resulted in a standing ovation for the exemplary projects of brick masonry of his design. Further in the architectural arena, this conference features the first international masonry architectural awards. Awards were presented to projects in the areas of housing, public buildings and monuments, and earthquake resistant housing for developing countries. None of the recipients were from the United States or Canada.
A unique addition to the conference was the construction of the Millennium Arch. This reinforced brick portal was designed as an entry to the conference facility. The Millennium Arch is an opening through a tilted cylinder that is recessed into the ground. The bricks are laid at an angle to the ground. Construction began on the first day of the 12th IBBMaC. Attendees had the opportunity to dedicate a brick to be placed in the structure.
The organizing secretariat, Tilesa, has copies of the Proceedings for sale. These are in three volumes. The Proceedings can be ordered from them at:
TILESA OPC, S.L.
The price is $230.
This series of conferences will continue. The next International Brick/Block Masonry conference has been awarded to The Netherlands. Dirk Martens and Ad Vermeltfoort of Eindhoven Technical University in Eindhoven will serve as the co-chairmen. The meeting will be held in Amsterdam in 2004. The material presented to win the opportunity to continue this conference series includes a strong faculty and research interest in masonry. The Netherlands has a wealth of masonry buildings that will provide an integral history lesson in engineering and architecture. The co-chairmen can be contacted by telephone at:
Martens 040 247 3243
Vermeltfoort 040 247 3957
Plan now to present a paper or attend the 13th IBBMaC.
About the Author
J. Gregg Borchelt, P.E. is the President and Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Engineering and Research for the Brick Industry Association (BIA). He was in charge of technical information for BIA; Gregg also chairs ASTM Subcommittee C 15.02 on Brick and Clay Tile.