Sponsored by Mortar Net Solutions

MortarNet a Key Component of New KU Pharmacy Building

Shown is the new KU Pharmacy Building, designed with moisture management built in, including the Mortar Net with Insect Barrier mortar dropping collection device and WeepVent mesh weep vents from Mortar Net Solutions.
Shown is the new KU Pharmacy Building, designed with moisture management built in, including MortarNet with Insect Barrier mortar dropping collection device and WeepVent mesh weep vents from Mortar Net Solutions.

Challenge: When the Kansas University (KU) School of Pharmacy needed a new building, it tapped Treanor Architects of Lawrence, Kan., to design the $45 million, three-story, 110,000-square-foot structure. Treanor is a leader in designing facilities that preserve natural resources and provide a healthier environment, and the building is designed to standards that would compare to a LEED Silver rating.

Influence: KU School of Pharmacy is one of the top pharmacy schools in the country, and the building needed to reflect the school’s leadership position by providing state-of-the-art classrooms and training labs in a warm, friendly environment that encouraged learning.
Criteria: KU wanted an environmentally friendly, low-maintenance, light-filled building that would reflect the school’s emphasis on good health, would last for many years, and would provide a beautiful addition to the growing West Campus complex.

Solution: Treanor chose a combination of masonry cavity walls and metal panel pressure-equalized rainscreen systems, backed with three-inch, closed-cell spray polyurethane foam insulation to meet KU’s strict design criteria. One of the characteristics of both types of walls is that they can potentially admit water through the face of the envelope, which is not an issue if the walls are designed correctly. The KU building includes a high-quality air and moisture barrier inherent to the insulation system, plus drainage systems designed to get the water out as quickly as possible and allow complete drying. Brick walls, in particular, require careful design. Tiny cracks can develop in the mortar that suck moisture into the cavity through capillary action, and brick is a “reservoir” material capable of holding water. Therefore, Treanor was specific in the detailing of the masonry cavity wall system to assure the walls drained and dried according to design.

They specified the MortarNet with Insect Barrier mortar dropping collection device from Mortar Net Solutions to assure the weep holes at the bottom of the wall stayed open. The product suspends mortar droppings inside the cavity wall at two levels, and its trapezoidal shape and 90 percent open mesh construction mean water always has multiple pathways to the weep holes. Its patented Insect Barrier provides protection against insect infiltration. Mark Muller, Treanor project manager, says Mortar Net is a unique product. Using it assures you won’t get mortar bridging, so water puddling inside the cavity is prevented, along with the staining, efflorescence and possible structural damage that can go with it. He says MortarNet gives Treanor the confidence that they’re getting the water out of the cavity, where it’s designed to go out.

Treanor also designed the masonry cavity walls with weep vents at the top and bottom of every brick wall between supports, where there are shelf angles. Mr. Muller says they chose this design to provide convective air movement inside the cavity, promoting rapid and thorough drying. To complete the walls, Treanor chose WeepVent from Mortar Net Solutions, a 90 percent open mesh vent product. Mr. Muller says they prefer WeepVent over cell-type products, because the mesh fills the head joints completely, can be removed easily for cleaning, is the least visible of the vent products, and comes in a wide variety of colors that allowed Treanor to match the mortar color.

Mr. Muller concludes, “We design realistically in that we know brick and rain screen walls can admit water, so we detail accordingly to get the water out and to take maximum advantage of drying cycles.”

Related Posts

  • 60
    October 2014 Brick Cladding: Helping to Keep the Moisture Out Every year, the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season brings with it longer days, festivals and time at the pool, but also humidity interchanged with dryness. In many parts of the country, periods…
    Tags: wall, moisture, walls, brick, management
  • 59
    July 2014 Air Barriers and Insulation Fluid Applied Air and Water Barriers: The Science Behind the Product By Arthur Mintie Figure 1. Shown is a typical commercial project utilizing a fluid applied air and water barrier in conjunction with a natural stone veneer finish. Photo courtesy of LATICRETE International Inc.…
    Tags: air, water, building, barrier, product, management, moisture
  • 57
    May 2016 Proper residential masonry wall construction is required for meeting the 2015 International Building Code By Jim Bryja, P.E., S.E Causes of Leaky Masonry Walls While bricks do absorb water, it is virtually impossible for wind-driven rain to be forced completely through a brick body. During the brick manufacturing…
    Tags: brick, water, wall, mortar, masonry, walls, holes, building
  • 57
    January 2015 Air Barriers and Insulation Long-Term Energy Savings Through Cavity Wall Systems By Chris Tobias A completed Firestone Building Products Enverge CI Foil Exterior Wall Insulation project at the University of Colorado, Denver, has the highest R-Value per inch compared to other wall insulation products. Mason contractors are all…
    Tags: wall, building, cavity, barrier, air, management, moisture
  • 49
    MORTARS, MIXTURES AND STAINING By Don Foster When repairing or adding to a masonry structure, we usually want the new area, wall, extension or wing to look just like the pre-existing masonry. Matching colors and textures is one way to make any set of structures appear to “belong together.” A…
    Tags: brick, wall, mortar, masonry


S26 HEPA Dust Extractor From Pullman Ermator

Ermator HEPA Dust Extractors are equipped with tested and certified HEPA filters that trap the smallest, most dangerous-to-breath dust particles and prevents them from being released in the air. A HEPA Dust Extractor not only exhausts perfectly clean air, it is far more efficient for the fast recovery of bulk dry dust, debris and other building materials found on every Construction, Abatement and Restoration job site.

Drilling and Chiseling Hammer Demonstration | CS Unitec

CS Unitec Drilling and Chiseling Hammer type 2 2414 0010 demonstration. For more information on the tools, drills and other products seen in this video, please visit:

PumpMaster | Masonry Grout Pump for Core Filling | Block Fill | Masonry Wall Grouting

The AIRPLACO PumpMaster PG-30 is shown on a jobsite in Nashville, TN with Masonry Contractor WASCO, Inc. ...