If you are designing a gymnasium, big-box retail, or one of several other building types, you can still utilize integral-insulated exposed single-wythe concrete masonry (CMU) walls for code compliance. This cost-effective wall system remains a prescriptive path design option in the latest Washington and Oregon energy codes.
Northwest Concrete Masonry Association (NWCMA) is pleased to announce that the Central Spokane YMCA/YWCA and Parkrose Middle School (Portland, OR) recently achieved the U.S. Resiliency Council (USRC) Silver Rating.
The USRC Building Rating System describes the expected impacts of an earthquake or other natural disaster on buildings. The Silver Rating indicates achievement of key performance targets including limited building damage and a shortened operational recovery time after a major seismic event. Most importantly, loss of life caused directly by building damage is not anticipated.
Tom Young, Executive Director of NWCMA, explains, “A resilient building is an asset to a community. In addition to being a good long-term investment it can often serve as a recovery operations center or provide shelter to a community impacted by a natural disaster.”
The Parkrose Middle School is a two-story 140,000 sq. ft. structure designed by Dull Olson Weekes – IBI Group Architects, Inc. and KPFF Consulting Engineers. It is an excellent example of an all-masonry cavity wall system incorporating interior exposed concrete masonry structural walls with a brick veneer exterior. The school has also received several other design awards as well as LEED Gold status and is a huge source of pride within the community.
The Central Spokane YMCA/YWCA is a two-story load-bearing masonry building designed by ALSC Architects and Coffman Engineers. It utilizes both 8” and 12” concrete masonry shear walls. This was the first time the YMCA and YWCA combined resources into one facility which was designed to meet a silver LEED certification.
Achieving the USRC Silver Rating recognizes the inherent resiliency of these reinforced masonry buildings which were the first two rated under the USRC Getting-to-Silver initiative. When a natural disaster such as an earthquake strikes, it is critical to have safe buildings that sustain minimal damage and quickly achieve functionality. Resilient buildings perform well and contribute to resilient communities.
Established in the 1950s, the Northwest Concrete Masonry Association (NWCMA) works to support its original goal of industry advancement by striving for more innovative and productive ways to design, deliver, and install concrete masonry wall systems.
NWCMA also works on behalf of the concrete masonry industry and designers in the Pacific Northwest to educate architects and engineers on the benefits of using concrete masonry in the design of their buildings.
Affiliation with NWCMA offers both professional growth and business opportunities. It provides its members and affiliates with comprehensive, dynamic services, which include expert technical assistance, education, marketing, and research and development.