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BIA News

Building Safety Month: Week 2 - Helping Homeowners Weather the Storm

Independent tests continue to show that genuine clay brick outperforms other home exteriors in severe weather conditions, such as protection from wind-blown debris and earthquakes.

  • Videos from a wind-blown debris study at the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University demonstrate that a medium-sized and wind-blown object, such as a 7.5-foot long 2 x 4, would penetrate homes built with vinyl siding or fiber-cement siding at a speed of 25 mph, but would need to exceed 80 mph in order to penetrate the wall of a genuine clay brick veneer home. The tests also showed that a single wythe of brick exceeded the impact resistance for high velocity hurricane zones in the Florida building code.

  • A brick seismic study funded by the National Science Foundation showed that buildings built with genuine clay brick veneer can resist earthquakes above the Maximum Considered Earthquake for Seismic Design Category D without collapse.

Clay brick is long known for its extreme durability and 100-year life span, but combined with proper installation and maintenance, brick remains an essential element of strong, safe homes that can help reduce property damage and increase survival odds.

Building Safety Month: Week 1 - Keeping Fire in Its Place

Building Safety Month is presented by the International Code Council (ICC), a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe, sustainable and resilient construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process.

To help raise awareness of building safety, the International Code Council (ICC) is presenting Building Safety Month during May. Building Safety Month is a public safety awareness campaign to help individuals, families, and businesses understand what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable and energy-efficient homes and buildings.  The ICC is a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe, sustainable and resilient construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build, and compliance process.

As part of the building community, BIA is keenly aware of the need for safer structures and will be presenting a series of posts here that correspond with each of the weekly themes.  This first week's theme is "Keeping Fire in Its Place", and as a durable, fire-resistant material, brick is a perfect exterior cladding choice to help create safer buildings.  In fact, these articles will help you learn more about exactly why that is the case:

Join Us in Booth 508 at the 2014 APA Conference

This week the American Planning Association is hosting their annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  If you're attending the show, be sure to stop by BIA at Booth 508 to learn about how using clay brick can benefit communities across the country.

We'll also have a brick sculptor on hand, where you can try your hand at sculpting your own green brick.  Be sure to enter to win an iPad mini before the drawing on Tuesday, April 29.

We hope to see you there!

APA Invitation 2014

Update Complete on Technical Note 28C: Thin Brick Veneer

This month, a major revision to Technical Note 28C on Thin Brick Veneer and an updated Technical Notes Index were added to the BIA website.

Technical Note 28C: Thin Brick Veneer provides design and construction information on the use of thin brick in adhered veneer systems. Methods of thin brick construction discussed include thick set, thin set, modular panels, and prefabricated panels consisting of architectural precast concrete, tilt-up concrete, and wood or steel stud frame panels.

Major topics presented in Technical Note 28C include properties of thin brick veneer, system descriptions, system selection, system design, materials, installation, and maintenance. Specific recommendations for design are provided for water-resistive barriers, means of drainage, flashing/weep screeds, foundations, deflection, movement joints, continuous insulation, thin brick units, reinforcing lath and mesh, mortar, flashing, and cement backer board. Information on the installation and maintenance of thin brick veneer systems is also provided.

With the completion of the revision of Technical Note 28C, the entire 28 series on masonry veneer has been updated within the last few years.

For access to all of the Technical Notes, visit
For questions, contact Chip Clark at or 703-674-1531.

Technical Note 28C Thin Brick Veneer

Trimble Added as Industry Expert to ProfNet

The Brick Industry Association is please to announce that Brian Trimble has recently been added to ProfNet's line up of experts.  With decades of experience, Brian is one of the industry's leading experts on clay brick.  His engineering knowledge and real-world experience working with architects and builders gives him in-depth and specialized knowledge when it comes to best practices, trends, and overall know-how.

ProfNet is a service of PR Newswire that helps to connect journalists with expert sources.  Any journalist can submit a query detailing the type of expertise they are looking for in any subject matter.  ProfNet has been successful because it gives reporters the ability to connect with high-quality experts quickly and conveniently.

Brian has been listed with ProfNet as a resource to speak about clay brick's role and importance as it relates to Earth Day, coming up on April 22.  His ProfNet biography is listed below:

Brian Trimble, P.E., LEED AP
Regional VP, Engineering Services and Architectural Outreach
Brick Industry Association (BIA), Reston, VA

Trimble is an accredited professional in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and has more than 25 years' experience in the masonry industry, assisting design professionals in the design of brick and masonry structures. He is a frequent lecturer to local, regional, and national construction industry groups, and he has authored many articles and papers on various masonry subjects. He has worked at BIA for more than 19 years, serving in various positions. In addition to his long tenure at BIA, he has worked for a brick manufacturer and the International Masonry Institute. He now leads architectural and builder outreach in the 17-state Midwest/Northeast Region for BIA. Trimble's extensive technical experience includes serving as chairman C12.03 of ASTM International and a past institute director for the Construction Specifications Institute. He is available to discuss building/green building topics, including residential/home building, commercial and industrial building, and green building practices.

200th Masonry Planning Policy Adopted in Texas

BIA-SW Region and TMC Logos

The Southwest Region, working with the Texas Masonry Council, continues to see success in the masonry planning arena.

The adoption of masonry planning as a strategy for sustainable growth continues to gain favor among Texas cities, with 200 cities statewide now embracing the concept by adopting minimum requirements for masonry in new construction, according to the Texas Masonry Council.

The number of cities is about double the total of from five years ago, said Rudy Garza, TMC executive vice president. Although the number of cities is only about 16 percent of the 1,215 incorporated cities in Texas, the 200 that have embraced masonry planning are strategically located in the fastest growing regions of the state, Garza noted.

“This is where the growth is occurring,” he said. “These 200 forward-thinking cities in the major metropolitan areas of Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, recognize that they have the power to determine whether the dramatic growth they are experiencing or potentially facing, will result in a safer environment and better quality of life for their residents.”

On Jan. 13, 2014, the city of Troy, in Central Texas just north of Temple, became the 200th city in Texas to adopt masonry requirements and masonry planning as a strategy for sustainable growth. Troy anticipates a surge in growth with the widening of IH-35 between Temple and Waco.

In its resolution justifying adoption of the masonry requirements, the Troy City Council, like the other masonry-friendly cities, cited multiple reasons:

  • Masonry helps protect property values, provides for durable long-lasting structures, and helps ensure aesthetically pleasing structures and a stable tax-base;
  • Masonry is the preferred residential and non-residential building material for improved fire safety, lower insurance rates, increased property value appreciation, increased energy efficiency, and lower home maintenance costs;
  • Building standards for non-residential construction will help attract high-quality commercial development and preserve property values.

An interactive map at shows where masonry planning has been adopted in Texas.

2014 Brick in Architecture Awards Call-For-Entries

As a BIA member, you can appreciate the nationwide effort to promote the use and innovation of clay brick among architects. Accordingly, the Brick Industry Association is continuing its 25-year tradition of honoring architects for excellence in brick masonry and is pleased to announce a call-for-entries for the 2014 Brick in Architecture Awards.

View Full Press Release 

As the largest and most prestigious juried awards program of its kind, the Brick in Architecture Awards showcase the best work in clay face and paving brick from architects across the country. We cordially invite you to submit your best projects to the competition in the following categories:


Commercial (Under $10 Million)
Commercial (Over $10 Million)
Education - K-12
Education - Colleges & Universities (Higher Education) *
Health Care Facilities
Municipal / Government
Houses of Worship
Residential – Single Family
Residential – Multi-Family
Renovation (Additions) ** / Restoration (Restoring)
Paving & Landscape Projects


*   Includes residence halls & academic/administrative buildings
** Additions must use at least 50 percent new clay brick products on the building. Restoration must include at least 50% clay brick products, which can either be new or salvaged.


Winners from this year’s competition will be featured in Brick News Online, Brick in Architecture, and through a special insert in the December 2014 issue of Architect magazine! And all entries will be featured in BIA’s online Brick Gallery.

The 2014 awards competition will be conducted entirely online. For complete information on eligibility, submission requirements, and judging, visit


To start your entry, visit
Deadline for submission of all entries is April 30, 2014.

Member Entry Fee - $100


The Brick in Architecture Awards program is a key tactic that works in support of the association’s strategic goals. To broaden the reach and success of this effort, we encourage you to pass this Call-For-Entries along to your architectural contacts so that they too can enter for the chance to receive national recognition for projects using your clay brick.

Brick makes a lasting statement — and winning this award could solidify your name with your architectural customers. Log on today and submit your entry to the 2014 Brick in Architecture Awards!

If you have any questions, contact Tricia Mauer at or 703-674-1539.

Leroy Danforth Becomes Professional Engineer (P.E.)

BIA and MNR have the proud distinction of honoring Leroy Danforth on becoming a registered Professional Engineer!  As announced during the Combined Distributor and Manufacturer Councils Meeting held in conjunction with the Brick Forum, Leroy successfully passed the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam and has been recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Professional Engineer.

Leroy has been with BIA on the national or regional level for almost 15 years. Prior to working for BIA, he worked for the precast concrete manufacturing industry for two years.  From 1999 until 2006, he served as staff in the BIA Engineering and Research Department advising architects and engineers about brick masonry design and construction.  From 2004 until the fall of 2006, he served as the Manager of Technical Publications and was responsible for the maintenance of the print and online versions of Technical Notes.  In August 2006, Leroy relocated from the Washington, DC area to Chicago, Illinois to work for the BIA-Midwest Northeast Region (MNR) where he serviced architects and engineers in the western portion of MNR.

In 2011, Leroy moved back to the Washington, DC area to become the Senior Manager of Architectural Programs and split his time between BIA and MNR activities.  In his current position, his primary responsibility is writing and editing Technical Notes for BIA and conducting seminars and answering technical inquiries for MNR in the Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC markets.

Leroy received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1997. While employed by BIA, he continued his education by studying towards a Master of Science in Construction Engineering from the Catholic University of America which he attained in 2006.  Leroy and his wife, Donielle, reside in Virginia with their two children.

BIA and MNR are fortunate to have staff as dedicated as Leroy.  Be sure to congratulate him the next time you see him.

Volunteer of the Year Awarded to John Miller

Since 2007 the BIA staff has selected an employee of a member company as the Volunteer of the Year. This award is given to someone who has made diligent contributions of talent and time in advancing the strategic initiatives of the brick industry. Previous winners are Joe Rice of Belden Tri-State Building Materials, Mark Kinser of General Shale Brick, Brett Packer of Packer Brick, and Ted Corvey of Pine Hall Brick. In 2011 the winners were employees of the companies that contributed to the cost of the Kyle Lawsuit.  Susanne McAnallen, Donley Brick, was the recipient last year.

A speechless John E. Miller, Engineering/Environment, Health and Safety Manager for Whitacre Greer, accepted the award. In presenting the award, Gregg Borchelt, BIA President and CEO, noted that John was being honored for his exemplary service and dedication to BIA in our efforts to reduce the effects of government relations on brick manufacturing.

John has his Master’s degree in Science in Environmental, Safety and Health Management from the University of Findlay. He joined Whitacre Greer in 2001 and has been active in BIA National since 2009.  John has serves on the Environment, Health & Safety Task Force and the MACT Task Force since 2009. During the past year John has visited the offices of his US Representative, Bill Johnson and welcomed Johnson to the Whitacre Greer plant in Alliance. Since Whitacre Greer is a small business, John sits on the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act Panel. He has been deeply involved in the efforts to send letters to Congress on the MACT Rule and to OSHA on the silica rule.

In support of his recognition, BIA staff had the following comments about John:

  • Helps me understand the issues
  • First to finish any survey or data request
  • Significantly involved in our strategy
  • Always ready to review documents
  • Always there to harass and tease me
  • Makes my job much more fun
His fellow employees used these terms for John:   
  • Connects easily with people
  • Dedicated to the industry and to his job
  • Willing to share expertise
  • Stalwart supporter of staff and the association
  • Someone who always responds when called

The award was presented at the Wednesday Luncheon of the 2014 Forum for Brick Distributors in Greensboro, NC. An audience of more than 450 was there to see John accept his award. He was literally speechless. Later he remarked that he was surprised, but was honored.

Congratulations, John, for your contribution to the Brick Industry Association.

BIA Launches 2014 with New Leadership

BIA has ushered in a year of change, appointing new board officers and staff leadership. Appointments follow the retirement of outgoing BIA President and CEO Gregg Borchelt, celebrated with top industry honors.

“Our Board and Council members continually demonstrate a strong commitment to BIA and the American clay brick industry,” said Ray Leonhard, BIA’s new President and CEO, promoted from Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Administration.

2014-2016 Board Leadership
Hanson Brick Senior Vice President Charlie Ward, also general manager of Hanson Brick Products-Light Products, starts a two-year term as BIA Chairman of the Board. Ward succeeds former Chairman Brett Packer, President of Packer Brick. The new BIA Vice Chairman is Sam Strang, President of Alley-Cassetty Brick, succeeding Bob Belden, President and CEO of The Belden Brick Co. Joe Rice, President of Belden Tri-State Building Materials, was named secretary, replacing Ward.

BIA Manufacturer Council Chair is Davis Henry, President of Henry Brick Co., succeeding Butch McAvoy, President of The McAvoy Brick Co. Suzanne McAnallen, President of Donley Brick Co., is BIA Distributor Council Chair, replacing Rice.

New BIA Staff Leadership
As President and CEO, Leonhard will lead BIA in its strategic direction, effectively using the association’s resources to implement programs and services that maximize member value.

New Chief Operating Officer Stephen Sears, former Vice President of Marketing and Member Services, will lead BIA’s marketing and communication programs, member recruitment, and member services. Sears will also help establish local brick councils in key markets around the country.