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Seismic Test Shows Retrofitting Essential to Ensure Public Safety and Structural Integrity


here are roughly 8,000 to 10,000 mid-rise, multi-wythe brick masonry structures, built between 1840 and 1930 in New York City alone. Add to those the thousands of similar buildings in other major cities and it only makes sense to test how they perform in earthquakes. Working with the University of Buffalo, IMI, the International Union, and Local 3 New York combined forces to see how masonry performs. In February, they conducted a series of seismic tests to develop and improve numerical models of buildings to determine how vulnerable they can be in earthquakes:

From left to right, Juan Aleman, a graduate research assistant in engineering at the University of Buffalo, Rick Williamson, Frank Pietrowski, Bruno Belluz, Jim Bilotta, William Haagen and Todd Flynn, all of Local 3 NY. Not pictured are Local 3 members Frank Martinez and Mike Pizetoski. Results of the test show that unreinforced masonry structures need retrofit to properly handle anticipated future seismic events to maximize public safety and structural integrity.

The International Union and IMI are working with the New York City Council, the Maryland Department of General Services and other public agencies to gain greater seismic retrofit legislation, increasing not only public safety, but work opportunities for BAC members. Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland established the Seismic Safety Task Force, including BAC President James Boland and IMI National Director of Industry Development Dave Sovinski to assess every building

owned or operated by the State to rank them in order of danger in an earthquake. This information will go to the Maryland General Assembly for funding of the retrofit work.

IMI and BAC Commit Major Funding to Advance BIM for Masonry


MI and BAC have each made a substantial financial commitment this year to the Building Information Modeling for Masonry (BIM-M) effort as it rolls out its roadmap to fully integrate masonry into the design process. “This is particularly important since other competing industries are embracing the use of digital modeling, clash detection and construction coordination using BIM,” said BAC President James Boland

who also serves as co-chair of IMI. “Our goal is to keep masonry competitive by leveraging our natural advantages as a quality material with a skilled labor force to combine with coming technological improvements to make sure our members are competing on a level playing field with other products and systems.” Working with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Digital Building Laboratory, the masonry industry developed the roadmap, which repre-

sents a total immersion of all aspects of masonry, from architectural and engineering coordination through masonry materials and properties to construction management and mason contracting functions. As the project moves into its next phase, IMI and BAC will be working to familiarize and educate members and contractors on the use of BIM-M so that the industry will not lose any time once it is fully operational.

Welding Classes Begin at Flynn Center Whether it’s refractory work, stone, brick or restoration, having a welding certification can mean expanded work opportunities for BAC members. Welding booths were recently constructed and outfitted at the IMI National Training Center to give more members access to this valuable training. For further information, contact Standing from left, IMI instructor Keith Schoenberger, and students Jamie Zielinski, Beth Wesley, Samuel Mastronardi, John Jump, and Chicago welding instructor Lars Espeland; kneeling is student Jason Olender.

is s u e 1 , 2 0 13 |


Issue 1 - 2013  

bricklayers union and allied craftworkers

Issue 1 - 2013  

bricklayers union and allied craftworkers