Seventh North American Conference Leads Agenda for 1996
About 220 educators, researchers, architects, engineers, building officials, contractors, masonry producers, and building owners attended TMS's Seventh North American Masonry Conference, held June 2 through 5 at the University of Notre Dame. The participants came from all over North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, China, and Australia. Notre Dame's School of Architecture and Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences organized the conference on behalf of TMS. The conference was cosponsored by the Council for Masonry Research (CMR), the International Masonry Institute (IMI), the Brick Institute of America (BIA), W. R. Grace Construction Products, Lafarge, the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA), the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada (CMACN), the Indiana Concrete Masonry Association (ICMA), the Masonry Advisory Council (MAC), the Masonry Institute of America (MIA), the Portland Cement Association (PCA), and many other masonry organizations.
The conference included 112 presentations on structural design, environmental considerations, bond strength, testing, restoration, masonry repair by grout injection, numerical analysis, fire resistance, shear walls, and other topics. In addition, six hands-on workshops covered prefabricated masonry, new code specifications for glass block, designing and building masonry veneers under the new code, design details - problems and solutions, and innovative products and concepts to bring the masonry industry into the 21st century.
The final day's program featured a plenary session and round-table discussion on "Taking Masonry into the 21st Century," the unifying theme of the conference. Jerry Stockbridge, president of Wiss Janney Elstner, discussed outside influences on the industry, such as the growing interest in "green architecture," which means greater demand for natural earth materials such as masonry.
The speakers agreed that, in the next century, there will be more reinforced masonry buildings east of the Rocky Mountains; rapidly increasing worldwide communication via the Internet and succeeding technologies; and greater demand for user-friendly construction. Joan Calambokidis, president of the International Masonry Institute, emphasized that training our non-collegebound workforce must become a priority. "The U. S. has been dead last in workplace training. Only 25% of the workplace is college educated," she said.
Plans for future conferences are also in the works. In 1997 (October 14-16), the Eleventh International Brick and Block Masonry Conference will be held in Shanghai, China. Information can be obtained from Professor Qian Yiliand, Shanghai Institute of Building Materials, 100 Wudong Road, Shanghai, 200433, P. R. CHINA.
The Eighth Canadian Masonry Symposium will be held during the first week of June 1998 in Jasper, Alberta. And in 1999, the conference returns to the U. S. with the Eighth North American Masonry Conference. The NAMC Steering Committee has reviewed and accepted a proposal from Professor Richard Klingner of the University of Texas at Austin to hold the 8NMAC in Austin in June 1999. Details will be described in this Report as they become available.
About the Author
Ms. Schierhorn is the editor of Aberdeen's Magazine of Masonry Construction.