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From the category archives: Brick Industry Association Blog


2014 Brick in Architecture Awards - Best In Class Commercial Winner - Sundance Square

Sundance Square Brick In Architecture Awards Best In Class Commercial.

With a new world-class plaza and two sustainable mixed-use office buildings as its bookends, the completion of Sundance Square marked the capstone moment to a successful downtown Fort Worth redevelopment. The project features extensive use of clay brick, a material selected for its ability to bring visual cohesion to the surrounding areas and to create a space that invites people to gather and visit.

When assessing the project, the architects considered the site’s location, size, and the style of the surrounding buildings. Their goal was to enhance the vibrant street-level retail spaces, to provide appropriate physical enclosure for a top-tier civic plaza, and to continue Fort Worth’s tradition of constructing refined and distinct buildings that reinforce the area’s timeless and beautiful character.

The architects chose clay brick for its beauty, durability, and ability to stand the test of time. The two opposing buildings, The Westbrook and Commerce Building, were given solid, yet refined, brick façades that further reinforce the handcrafted feel of the neighborhood and its pedestrian-friendly character.  The Westbrook uses a custom blend of clay brick while the largest façade on the Commerce Building was intended to resemble an old mill building which uses crimson brick. The warm and welcoming plaza is also made with brick pavers. With the owner seeking LEED certification for the project, proximity of sourcing for the local materials was an important consideration.

From the beginning, Sundance Square strove to become the primary public outdoor gathering space in downtown Fort Worth. That vision has been dramatically realized, as it instantly became one of the most significant public outdoor gathering spaces in the entire region.

The project is expected to achieve LEED Certification at the Silver level or above.

To see more of Sundance Square, see its feature article in Brick In Architecture.  It will also appear in the December issue of Architect magazine.

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.

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.

J. Gregg Borchelt Winner of BIA Lifetime Achievement Award

Gregg Borchelt HeadshotBrick Industry Association Chairman Brett Packer is pleased to announce that the Executive Committee of BIA has chosen J. Gregg Borchelt, PE, as the 2014 recipient of the BIA Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award is presented in recognition of his important accomplishments and dedication to the brick industry and BIA over his highly respected 40 year career. The award honors an outstanding individual who has given substantially of themselves throughout their career to the advancement and betterment of the clay brick industry. Their contribution is viewed with our organization’s mission and strategic goals in mind. The mission of BIA is to promote clay brick with the goal of increasing the market share and to safeguard the clay brick industry. 

Having received both his B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering and his M.S. Degree in Structures from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, Gregg became a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and Texas before moving to Virginia to join BIA in 1988 with the support of his wife, Kathy, and their two children. 

Throughout his tenure at BIA as Director, and then Vice-President, of Engineering and Research, and finally as President and CEO, Gregg has been involved in just about every major issue that the brick industry has had to address.  From seismic design provisions which had the potential to limit brick’s use to the environmental, health and safety issues that threaten the industry today, Gregg’s technical prowess has helped keep the brick industry from being regulated out of business.

Gregg’s leadership of Engineering and Research has allowed BIA to maximize their impact on the design and construction community through research, articles, publications, speaking, and advocacy. His oversight of research has significantly benefited the brick industry by demonstrating that brick and brick construction provide the performance and durability required in the marketplace – especially research programs on low IRA brick, high IRA brick, and pavers. Gregg has written, critiqued, and championed many articles, publications, and presentations on brick used and referenced by architects and engineers to set the standard of practice for brick masonry. Some of his or his staff’s papers have been accepted by and presented to national and international masonry conferences. His long tenure has allowed him to mentor many BIA staff members in their professional development as well as maximize their impact for the industry.

Gregg has served in a variety of leadership roles within ASTM, the Construction Specification Institute (CSI), The Masonry Society (TMS), and the Masonry Standard Joint Committee (MSJC). As a voting ASTM member for 39 years of both C12 on Mortars and Grout for Masonry and C15 on Manufactured Masonry Units, he has served with distinction as Chairman of C15 and Chairman of Subcommittee C15.02 on clay brick and tile and worked tirelessly on a multitude of task groups. He has served on the Board of Directors, as Vice-President, and as Treasurer of CSI. Gregg is a founding member of TMS – the technical professional association for the masonry industry - where he has served as Board member, Secretary, Treasurer and President. As a member of MSJC, he has participated in the development of the TMS 402 Building Code for Masonry Structures – the code accepted by engineers and architects across the country.

Gregg has received many notable awards over the years, including:

  • Fellow, Construction Specifications Institute (1990)
  • Fellow, ASTM International (1997)
  • Honorary Member, ASTM Committees C12 and C15 (2005 and 2006)
  • ASTM Alan Yorkdale Memorial Award (1996 and 1999)
  • Fellow, The Masonry Society (2005)
  • ASTM Gilbert C. Robinson Memorial Award (2009)
  • Honorary Member, The Masonry Society (2011)

The Brick Industry salutes J. Gregg Borchelt, PE, winner of the 2014 BIA Lifetime Achievement Award with the plaque inscription:

“To honor our outstanding friend and colleague who has provided leadership for over forty years to the masonry and clay brick industries, expanded the stature of BIA and the clay brick industry nationally and internationally, improved the standards for the brick and masonry industry as a whole, demonstrated exceptional leadership in resolving challenges while forging compromise, and mentored members and staff in their professional development to maximize their impact on the future of the clay brick industry.”

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