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February 22, 2006

Masonry

Building blocks crumble

Masonry Canada calls it quits Feb. 25

After almost a decade of existence, Masonry Canada is calling it quits next month.

Established in 1996, the association had about 30 members mainly coming from the concrete block and clay brick making industries.

“We decided we could perhaps do more if we operated separately,” said Patrick Kelly, a senior product quality manager with Hanson Brick.

“In other words, the block guys needs are slightly different from the clay brick guys needs.”

Kelly explained that concrete blocks are predominately used as load-bearing materials, so the block industry’s focus is very much on structural design.Clay bricks are overwhelmingly used for building exteriors in residential construction, so the brick industry therefore has a strong esthetic focus.

Kelly said common to both products are performance qualities such as resistance to fire and noise.

“There’s a certain amount of overlap, but they are very distinct markets,” he said.

Masonry Canada was originally formed by merging the Clay Brick Association of Canada (CBAC) and the Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association (the CCMPA).

“What is going to happen now is we are going to go back to the original associations which we had prior to Masonry Canada,” said Kelly, adding the original associations were dormant but never completely disbanded.

Masonry Canada officially disbands on Feb. 25. The association’s website, www.masonrycanada.ca, with links to the now-active original associations, will be left up for about a year.

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