Cold Weather Masonry

Winter is here! Cold temps and snow bring complications for construction work, and this is especially true for temperature-sensitive materials like masonry. What special steps need to be taken for cold weather masonry work?

In this post we’ll share some resources that we often consult when we encounter wintertime masonry work.

First, for an overall introduction to masonry exterior wall systems, check out the Whole Building Design Guide. The WBDG is a great resource for all things high performance construction.

WBDG is a gateway to up-to-date information on integrated ‘whole building’ design techniques and technologies. The goal of ‘Whole Building’ Design is to create a successful high-performance building by applying an integrated design and team approach to the project during the planning and programming phases.

In terms of information more specifically focused on cold weather masonry construction, industry groups for brick, concrete masonry units (CMU), and cast stone each have their own guides.

The Brick Industry Association (BIA) Technical Notes are a great place to start. Tech Note 1 Hot and Cold Weather Construction includes a table with steps to take before, during, and after brick masonry construction work to mitigate the risks of extreme temperatures.

The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) TEK Resources has guidance specifically related to concrete masonry construction. TEK 03-01C All-Weather Concrete Masonry Construction discusses recommended cold weather procedures.

The Cast Stone Institute Technical Bulletin #41 describes cold weather procedures for cast stone (aka architectural precast concrete).

Here in New England winter weather is with us for several months out of the year. These technical resources provide a wealth of information to guide cold weather masonry construction and we consult them often to help our clients’ building envelope projects achieve success.

Have specific questions? Leave a comment and we’ll consider it as a topic for a future post.

Leave a Reply