Quoin Corner Spring Summer

Posted by on March 4, 2020

Quoin Corner Spring Summer

Thin Brick

By Harold Friberg
Executive Director

Clay thin brick are primarily manufactured from the same materials and with some of the same manufacturing process as traditional full size brick, but are thinner therefore weighing less. When manufactured to meet the requirements of ASTM C-1088, thin veneer brick, range in thickness starting at ½” and are typically limited to a maximum thickness of 1-3/4”.

Thin brick are available in a variety of colors, textures and sizes. Some manufacturers provide shapes for corners etc., that assist in creating the appearance of a traditional brick façade. Thin brick is fire resistant, cost effective, sustainable, and provides a myriad of design options. Thin brick leaves an impression of strength, durability, and quality that exceeds the appear-ance of many other facades.

A great example of a project that incorporated the use of thin brick is the affordable housing project known as The Louisa Flowers. Completed in 2019 the 12 story 240 unit building pro-vides housing for the chronically homeless and survivors of domestic violence. The project was constructed in the Lloyd District of North East Portland close to the mass transit rail line known as Max. The 177,000 plus square foot building used concrete and post tension con-crete slabs for the structural frame.

Michael Stanner AIA with LRS Architects, the project architect, explained some of the reasons why thin brick was chosen, “To achieve the $260/sf budget, multiple rounds of detailed cost estimates were analyzed along with value engineering options. In order to meet the Lloyd District Design Guidelines of light colored masonry, the team worked to develop a unique solution that included thin bricks with two different thicknesses and textures. The unique application was alternated to create a distinct pattern along the exterior. The use of thin brick allowed for a masonry building without the additional miscellaneous steel supports nec-essary in traditional masonry construction due to it being a lighter weight material. This was viewed as an economical way to achieve the durability of a masonry building.”

“Two different colors and thickness were utilized on the exterior façade. The colors on the façade included Picket Fence (white) and Pewter (gray). The white brick has a ½” thickness with a glazed finish while the pewter brick has a 1 ¾” thickness with a wire cut finish. The Louisa Flowers draws on the district’s character and exhibits a high level of material craft. Surrounded by modern high and midrise masonry structures, the façade’s woven pattern distinguishes the building from its neighbors. The building’s undulating massing combined with the reflectivity and thickness variation of the brick, creates a dynamic interplay between light and shadow, giving the building a strong presence within the Portland cityscape,” Stanner stated.

Stanner explained a third color was used on the project, “Additionally, an accent color, cobalt blue ½” thick brick with a glazed finish, was applied to the west wall of the ground floor internal passageway running north to south through the building.”

The design flexibility of the product is highlighted using three different colors, two different textures and two different thicknesses, but the design did not stop there. The design team chose to use a soldier course pattern instead of the traditional running bond. Stanner said, “The soldier pattern emphasized the verticality of each brick panel. Breaking from the traditional use of brick in a staggered running bond pattern, the stacked soldier pattern reinforced the woven dynamic across the façade and streamlined the panelization of the design. It is important to note that the thin brick system was field installed and not preassembled. The soldier pattern also compliments and simplified the installation at the undulating curved façade.”

The project also received a Platinum rating in LEED® for Homes Multifamily rating system. The Louisa Flowers project showcases thin brick and all the characteristics that masonry is known for: cost effective, durable, sustainable, resilient and design flexible.


Owner: Home Forward
Architect of Record: LRS Architects
Design Architect: Lever Architecture
Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
General Contractor: O’Neill/Walsh Community Builders
Mason Contractor: B&B Tile and Masonry

Building Code Update Gives Designers Flexibility to Use Larger Exterior Adhered Porcelain Tile

April 20, 2020

(Anderson, SC)— An update to the International Building Code (IBC) will allow designers to use adhered porcelain tiles as large as 48×48 inches or 36×72 inches on building facades.

The proposed change, driven by the International Masonry Institute (IMI) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), was certified by the International Code Council Board of Directors this month and will go into effect in the 2021 IBC.

Prior to the update, the IBC limited adhered porcelain tile to a maximum of 24 inches on one side and a maximum of 3 square feet per tile. In common tile sizes, that means the largest permissible tiles were 20 inches x 20 inches and 12 inches x 24 inches. Advances in porcelain tile manufacturing have resulted in extremely large and extremely thin tiles, as thin as 1/8 inch, now being widely available. Moreover, tile setting mortar is now more resistant to tensile and shear forces, thanks to advances in polymer- modified Portland cement mortar technology. The combination of these factors – thinner, lighter tiles and stronger mortars – already allow larger tiles to be successfully adhered to exterior facades. The 2021 IBC will make it possible for designers and builders to specify such without requiring the code variance process.

With this update, designers, building owners, and construction professionals will have more flexibility to select tile as an alternative to precast concrete, metal panels, and other materials for building exteriors, expanding the tile market and work opportunities for qualified tile contractors and installers.

About Tile Council of North America (TCNA)

TCNA is a trade association representing manufacturers of ceramic tile, tile installation materials, tile equipment, raw materials and other tile-related products. Established in 1945 as the Tile Council of America (TCA), it became the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) in 2003, reflecting its membership expansion to all of North America.

The Tile Council is recognized for its leadership role in facilitating the development of North American and international industry quality standards to benefit tile consumers. Additionally, TCNA regularly conducts independent research and product testing, works with regulatory, trade, and other government agencies, and publishes installation guidelines, tile standards, economic reports, and promotional literature.

About International Masonry Institute (IMI)

IMI, the labor-management partnership of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) and its signatory contractors, is committed to growing the market share of work for union contracting companies and their employees.


Kathy Meyer
(864) 646-8453

Masonry & Ceramic Tile Institute of Oregon


We are looking forward to another fun filled event and your participation is requested. Play will be a “Four Person Scramble” with registration starting at 6:30 am. Play begins with a shotgun start at 7:45 am. There will be contests including long drive, closest to the pin, “Beat the Pro” and a putting contest. A barbecue lunch is provided, the winners will be given cash prizes and a raffle will be held. Cost is $100 per player and registration is easy. Just contact Harold Friberg at harold@mioctio.org or 503- 354-7309. Please register today. Hope to see you there!

Friday July 24, 2020 7:45 am Shotgun Start

Langdon Farms Golf Club, 24377 NE Airport Road Aurora, OR 97002

Masonry and Ceramic Tile Institute of Oregon

9848 East Burnside Street Portland, OR 97216 https://mioctio.org

Upcoming Events

Masonry & Ceramic Tile Institute of Oregon
Annual Golf Tournament

Friday July 24, 2020
Langdon Farms Golf Club

National Concrete Masonry Association
August 4-6,2020
Mid Year Virtual Meeting

The Masonry Society Annual Meeting
October 14-17, 2020
Denver, CO

Mason Contractors Association of America
Mid Year Meeting

September 13-17, 2020
French Lick, IN

Brick Industry Association Fall Meetings
October 20-21, 2020
Sea Island, GA

Construct AEC Education & Expo
September 30 – October 2, 2020
Grapevine, TX

The Masonry and Ceramic Tile Institute of Oregon assumes no responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of this document

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