Cast Stone Institute education opportunities
Seminars to train mason contractors and architects on best practices
By Jan Boyer
The Cast Stone Institute recognizes that, because cast stone is not included, many times, in the training of specifiers or masons, confusion about the product’s properties as well as the appropriate construction practices exists. True to its mission to improve the quality of cast stone and disseminate information regarding its use, the Institute provides information about technical aspects of the product, and has produced seminars to train on the properties and best practices for placing cast stone to ensure long, durable life on the building. Institute technical specification, bulletins, details and related materials are included individually and in the Cast Stone Institute Technical Manual available for free download at www.caststone.org.
The following seminars are available through the Institute to train mason contractors and architects on best practices:
Architectural Design with Cast StoneIn this general information seminar, attendees will learn how Cast Stone is made, how it differs from related precast and natural stone materials, and the testing requirements for cast stone as per ASTM that include a freeze-thaw requirement. The applications, design recommendations and appropriate specification of Cast Stone for architectural applications will be discussed. Dos and don'ts for appropriate design and placement of the stone are reviewed. The sustainable attributes of Cast Stone related to LEED and green building also will be discussed.
Cast Stone ConnectionsIn this detailed seminar, the common terminology, design and installation techniques for interior and exterior architectural applications and anchoring for veneer applications of Cast Stone will be taught. Attendees will understand the common exterior veneer installation methods, guidelines for stacked or relief supported cast stone veneer, rebated anchors, mechanical cladding systems, appropriate wall ties, back anchors, kerfs, shims, mortar joints, sealant joints and caulking options. Additionally, industry codes and regulations as they relate to proper cast stone details and setting will be reviewed.
Jobsite Handling and InstallationThis seminar is geared specifically toward mason contractors and field supervisors to address field practices for the proper handling of architectural cast stone. It addresses shop drawings, sample approvals, shipment and on-site storage, tolerances, cold-weather setting practices, flashing, weep holes, sealant joints, protection after setting and touch up.
These seminars are available for presentation to local, regional or national mason groups. Contact the Cast Stone Institute office to arrange for a CSI Certified Producer Member to make the presentation.
All Certified CSI Producer Members must pass a rigorous certification that checks for outstanding quality control, safety procedures, consistency of product, meticulous record keeping and other processes involved in the production of high-quality cast stone elements. In addition, members must provide testing of product every 500 cubic feet for compression and absorption, as well as independent laboratory test results every six months to confirm the product meets the Institute standard specification and ASTM C1364. Producer Members also must have a current compliant Freeze Thaw test. This required testing assures the Producer Member, the specifier and the owner that the cast stone is being produced to specifications. Without this testing, quality cast stone production cannot be assured.
Producer Members also must undergo the recertification process every two years by unannounced plant inspections performed by an independent engineering firm, in order to assure compliance to requirements. The Institute certification differs from others, in that they certify that not only the processes are in place to make quality product, but also that the product itself is meeting specifications. They each provide a 10-year Limited Product Warranty for the cast stone they supply on projects.
About the Author
Jan Boyer is Executive Director of the Cast Stone Institute. For more information, visit www.caststone.org or call 717-274-3744.