Concrete Unit Masonry
Use this CSI 3 part SimpleSpecs™ master specification to specify concrete unit masonry construction, either load-bearing, non-load-bearing, or veneered applications.
Concrete masonry is composed of Portland cement, aggregate, water and possibly additives that improve the properties of the masonry, including lowering water absorption. Concrete masonry can be used in load-bearing, non-load-bearing, and veneered assemblies. Exposed faces can be standard smooth finish or custom finishes such as split or ground face or glazed.
Load-bearing and non-load-bearing concrete masonry typically include both horizontal and vertical reinforcing. Since it does not typically include a weep drainage network it can be susceptible to moisture infiltration when exposed to the weather.
Masonry veneer may be placed over other masonry backup or over the exterior sheathing. This type of masonry construction allows for the installation of a weep drainage system consisting of a weather barrier placed on the backup or sheathing, an air space, base flashings, and weeps. A cavity mesh should be used to prevent mortar from clogging the weeps. Flexible ties should be used to secure veneer to the backup construction, to allow for differential movement.
Most concrete masonry is susceptible to efflorescence, a condition in which moisture that enters the masonry is drawn to the exterior surface upon evaporation, bringing salts that exist within the masonry to the surface, where they are deposited as a white powder. Efflorescence can be easily removed using a specialty cleaner if caught early. Efflorescence tends to decrease over time as the salts decrease and shows up worse on darker surfaces.
For assistance in selecting and detailing concrete masonry, visit the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) Tek Solutions Center at www.ncma.org.
Related SimpleSpecs™ master specifications:
The SimpleSpecs™ master specs concept
Design professionals are accustomed to seeing lengthy project specifications, so why is SimpleSpecs™ so short?
Specifications have grown evermore wordy over the years for several reasons:
The mistaken belief that specifications must be lengthy and legal-sounding to be enforceable. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Having shorter, easily understood specifications makes us less likely to have problems in the field.
A belief that having lots of words protects us from a Contactor making mistakes. There is no way to include enough statements to protect yourself from a bad contractor, regardless of the length of your specification.
Our desire to be in control of the project by specifying means and methods instead of including simple, enforceable statements.
Easier to Edit
SimpleSpecs™ is written as a series of Microsoft word files that include statements that affect construction costs or overall quality and are far simpler to edit than other master specification systems.
Each SimpleSpecs™ specification section is non-proprietary and includes three manufacturers that meet the specified reference standards, descriptive, or performance-based requirements. They are written to allow any listed manufacturers to provide the specified products.
Hidden Guide Text
Each SimpleSpecs™ specification section includes hidden text to inform and guide users in editing the specifications to suit project conditions.
SimpleSpecs™ sections are edited using pre-defined options that are contained in [brackets] or by selecting optional text separated by "OR" statements. Paragraph and page numbering are included as automatic codes, eliminating the need to renumber when revisions are made manually. Global changes to headers, footer, terms, font colors and phrases are easily updated using a third-party search and replace software, available through ZeroDocs.com.