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From monthly archives: February, 2014

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'February, 2014'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

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.

BIA Joins Social Media

Although BIA has a presence in the social media world for some time now, our efforts have not been focused on building our online audience as much as they could have been.  One of BIA’s goals this year is to make a more concerted effort to connect to the online community.  Since MNR uses BIA’s website and online presence, Kelly Ewell, MNR’s Director of Marketing Services, will be taking a more active role in making BIA’s  social media sites more active overall as well. You might be “fans” or follow some of our online profiles, but do you know all of them?



 Google +




 You Tube

 Linked In
 (this is the Linked In social media account)

 Linked In
 (this is the Linked In discussion group)

BIA invites each of you to like, follow, join, or subscribe to each of these sites.  Some of the above accounts are newly created, so you’ll be helping to build our following.

Our use of these accounts will be an experiment at first to find a good balance of how to broadcast our information, but hopefully our efforts will be a good, low cost way of reaching industry members, architects, builders, and planners in real time with our message.  Each social media site has a different focus or slant to it.  For example, Facebook and Twitter are considered the most popular, but the younger generations are moving away from Facebook and towards Instagram. And while there are anecdotes that claim Google+ is not as popular, it’s run by Google and they dominate web searches, so using Google+ is good for Search Engine Optimization and term rankings if nothing else.  By claiming our space in each of these we can give BIA the best chance of reaching all types within our audiences.

We hope to see you online!

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.

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.”