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In a recent survey, 58 percent of respondents said they would not recommend normal-weight block over lightweight block
In a recent survey, 58 percent of respondents said they would not recommend normal-weight block over lightweight block
February 15, 2015 8:00 AM CST

Modern thinking

From the editor


You think you know someone…

When Big River Industries and the MCAA conducted a survey in September 2014 for mason contractors, no one really knew what their attitudes would be toward lightweight block. We were a little surprised by the overall acceptance of the use of lightweight block to save on labor and physical demands.

Big River collaborated with the MCAA to execute and distribute the multi-question survey to MCAA member mason contractors based in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, South, Southwest, West and Northwest.

Among the findings, 50 percent of participants said they perceive that there are cost savings with lightweight block, and 58 percent said they would not recommend normal-weight block over lightweight block.

Eighty-five percent of respondents named safety as an advantage of lightweight block, while 81 percent of respondents said reduced labor cost is an advantage. Sixty-five percent said lightweight block is worth a premium price, compared to normal-weight block.

You can see the full survey graphics and results at

Below, I am including a letter from a reader who also is open to what may be new and feasible in the masonry industry. Thanks for your comments; please keep them coming.

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for introducing us to the possibility of robots performing the task of brick laying (Masonry, January 2015). I have been teaching masonry in an introductory class to juniors and seniors for five years. I have found that most of my students find the process tedious and hard to do. I try to instill within them that the skill in masonry is a very rewarding feeling. It is instant gratification of a job well done that will be recognized for many years.

With that being said, I am like you – technology is a good thing, if you can show me the benefits over traditional ways of doing something. I feel that, in order to be competitive in the construction market, contractors will have to embrace new ways of construction. I can see a system that will be able to lay brick without a trowel – a system similar to how 3D printing is done.

Always enjoy reading Masonry Magazine,
Scot P. Thompson, J. Harley Bonds Career Center
Greer, SC 29650 | 864-355-8375

About the Author

Jennifer Morrell was the editor of Masonry magazine. She has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry as a writer and editor, covering such topics as real estate and construction, insurance, health care, relationships and sports. A graduate of The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazines and is an award-winning newspaper columnist.


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