Author: Bronzella Cleveland

American Treasure: St. John the Divine

When we think of old cathedrals we often imagine those of Europe or throughout Latin America. Touring these places we repeatedly hear that they took centuries to come to fruition. For us Americans seemingly loathe to let a building remain for more than 50 years, such aging is near unfathomable. Yet we have one of those finely aged cathedrals too: the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. This American Treasure located in Manhattan is more than 130 years old and brings visitors from all over the world. It is said to be the largest cathedral in the world....

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The Art Of Seeing: North Carolina’s Masonry Education Day

One of the largest challenges facing the masonry industry is generating interest in the younger generations. Providing written marketing materials and social media posts are one way to stimulate the future generation of the trade, but in-person, hands-on events take the experience to the next level. In order for these events to be successful, the buy-in has to come from all facets of the masonry industry, educational systems, and the communities that are served by them. North Carolina’s Masonry Education Day, which took place during the state’s Apprenticeship week, was one such experience. The reason this particular event was...

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MCAA Gateway: February 2018

Grant Named MCAA Region E Vice President Brian Grant Elected to MCAA Board Brian Grant, President of Grant Contracting Company in Fenton, Mo., was elected to the position of MCAA Region E Vice President at the MCAA Annual Meeting on January 25, 2018 during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas. Brian is currently in his thirty-fifth year in the masonry industry. He is a Professional Engineer, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Brian is past president of the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis, and the American Subcontractors Association-Midwest Council. Brian is also past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Masonry Institute of St. Louis. He currently serves as Management Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Bricklayer’s Union Local 1 of Missouri Pension and Welfare Funds. Brian currently sits on the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis’ Arbitration Board and is on the Board of Trustees for the Masonry Institute of St. Louis. In addition to the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis and the American Subcontractors Association Midwest Council, Brian is currently a member of the Mason Contractors Association of America, The Masonry Society and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Grant Contracting Company, a certified masonry construction firm with an over seventy year history, specializes...

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Business Building: Provide Excellent Customer Service And Watch Your Company Grow!

Is Providing Excellent Customer Service Important In Today’s Competitive Marketplace? Winning more work seems to be everyone’s top priority today. Most construction business owners and managers use every waking moment trying to figure out how to lower their bids, reduce their costs, cut their overhead, and trim their margins to get more work. Is this the only solution? Several years ago, I got a call from Jim Didas, the CEO and co-owner of Range and Civil Construction, LLC (RACC) with their main construction office located near the rural town of Junction City, Kansas. He wanted to meet with me and his two business partners for a few days to update their business plan. RACC is a heavy civil construction company specializing in military projects. As I got to know them better during our phone calls in preparation for the coaching and strategic planning retreat, I began to question their business strategy. Their company mission statement is: “No Problems – Just Solutions!” The mission of Range and Civil Construction, LLC is to provide unparalleled construction services with efficiency and effectiveness. RACC is committed to 100% customer satisfaction through a partnered approach with our dedicated management team, experienced employees, comprehensive safety program, quality control systems, schedule-driven commitment, and cutting-edge methodologies. Their number one company key success factor is to “Please and satisfy our customers to obtain excellent evaluations, build with excellence,...

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The Ins And Outs Of Masonry Flashing

INTRO TO MASONRY FLASHING Mason contractors are usually directed to install flashing with their masonry product. Flashing acts as a barrier, which redirects moisture away from building interiors and back toward the exterior of the wall. Common flashing materials include synthetic membranes (peel and stick) and metals, such as copper and stainless steel. The material that is used will directly affect the expected lifespan of the flashing, especially where flashings are exposed to sunlight or weathering. Flashing needs to be accompanied by a weep mechanism to allow moisture to exit the wall, often in the form of weep holes or head joint vents at horizontal terminations. The weeps should be placed directly above the flashing and extend all the way to masonry drainage plane. In order for moisture to reach and exit the weeps, both the weeps themselves and the drainage cavity adjacent to the weeps should be kept clear of mortar clogging. Installation of vents at the top of a drainage cavity aids air flow behind the masonry, decreasing drying time and reducing the risk of efflorescence. Drip edges force moisture at flashings away from the face of the wall and reduce the amount of moisture that can bypass or be re-absorbed beneath a flashing. Flashing materials, such as asphalt can soften and melt onto the face of masonry with UV or high heat exposure. These flashing types...

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