The Masonry Society
  Individuals and organizations interested in masonry in North America join and support The Masonry Society (TMS). Architects, contractors, engineers, students, manufacturers, building code officials, building owners, and others involved with masonry form the core of the membership.

The Masonry Society, the American Concrete Institute, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, through the Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC), develop the "Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures" and the "Specification for Masonry Structures." As the International Building Code defers to ACI 317 and the Steel Manual, the IBC also references the "Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures."

The TMS bookstore offers the Building Code, the Specification, and other design-aids at the "Publications" tab at :

"Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures" contains both the "Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures," (TMS 402/ACI 530/ASCE 5) and the “Specification for Masonry Structures,” (TMS 602/ACI 530.1/ASCE 6).

The "Masonry Designers' Guide," helps a designer implement the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures.

"Masonry Structures; Behavior and Design," Third Edition, is a widely used textbook.

"Standard Method for Determining the Sound Transmission Class Rating for Masonry Walls," (TMS-0302)

"Standard Method for Determining the Fire Resistance of Concrete and Masonry Construction Assemblies," (ACI 216.1/TMS 0216)

The "Concrete Masonry Handbook for Architects, Engineers, Builders," 6th Edition covers concrete masonry from soup to nuts.

When inspection, full or part-time, is needed, the "Reinforced Concrete Masonry Construction Inspector's Handbook," 6th Edition, guides development of an effective program of inspection.

ASTM Standards, Test Methods, Practices and Guides
  Most products used in construction are described by ASTM standards, test methods, practices, and guides. The documents listed below are commonly used when masonry systems are designed and constructed. Often, ASTM documents reference other documents published by ASTM.

Unlike Brick Industry Association Tech Notes and National Concrete Masonry Association TEKs, ASTM documents are not available free on the web. ASTM documents may be purchased at 

There are no ASTM standards for glass block. Requirements for glass block are in Chapter 7 of the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (TMS 402/ACI 530/ASCE 5)


ASTM C91, Specification for Masonry Cement
ASTM C144, Specification for Aggregate for Masonry Mortar
ASTM C150, Specification for Portland Cement
ASTM C207, Specification for Hydrated Lime for Masonry Purposes
ASTM C270, Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry
ASTM C780, Test Method for Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation
ASTM C952, Test Method for Bond Strength of Mortar to Masonry Units
ASTM C979, Standard Specification for Pigments for Integrally Colored Concrete
ASTM C1142, Specification for Extended Life Mortar for Unit Masonry
ASTM C1180, Terminology of Mortar and Grout for Unit Masonry
ASTM C1261, Specification for Firebox Brick for Residential Fireplaces
ASTM C1324, Test Method for Examination and Analysis of Hardened Masonry Mortar
ASTM C1329, Specification for Mortar Cement
ASTM C1384, Specification for Admixtures for Masonry Mortars
ASTM C1586, Guide for Quality Assurance of Mortars
ASTM C1713, Specification for Mortars for the Repair of Historic Masonry

Clay Bricks

ASTM C32, Specification for Sewer and Manhole Brick
ASTM C62, Specification for Building Brick
ASTM C67, Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Brick and Structural Clay Tile
ASTM C126, Specification for Ceramic Glazed Structural Glazed Facing Tile, Facing Brick, and Solid Masonry Units
ASTM C212, Specification for Structural Clay Facing Tile
ASTM C216, Specification for Facing Brick
ASTM C652, Specification for Hollow Brick
ASTM C896, Terminology Related to Clay Products
ASTM C902, Specification for Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick
ASTM C1088, Specification for Thin Veneer Brick Units Made from Clay or Shale
ASTM C1272, Specification for Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick
ASTM C1405, Specification for Glazed Brick
ASTM F1312, Specification for Brick, Insulating, High Temperature, Fire Clay

Concrete Masonry

ASTM C55, Specification for Concrete Building Brick
ASTM C90, Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units
ASTM C140, Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Concrete Masonry Units and Related Units.
ASTM C936, Specification for Solid Concrete Interlocking Paving Units
ASTM C979, Specification for Pigments for Integrally Colored Concrete
ASTM C1634, Specification for Concrete Facing Brick


ASTM C404, Specification for Aggregates for Masonry Grout
ASTM C476, Specification for Grout for Masonry
ASTM C1019, Test Method for Sampling and Testing Grout
ASTM C1180, Terminology of Mortar and Grout for Unit Masonry

Cast Stone

ASTM C1364, Specification for Architectural Cast Stone

Adhered Masonry

ASTM C936, Specification for Application of Portland Cement-Based Plaster
ASTM C933, Specification for Welded Wire Lath
ASTM C1088, Specification for Thin Veneer Brick Units Made from Clay or Shale
ASTM C1328, Specification for Plastic (Stucco) Cement

A specification and an installation guide for adhered manufactured stone masonry veneer are under development by ASTM Subcommittee C15.11.

Other Stuff

ASTM C315, Specification for Clay Flue Liners and Chimney Pots
ASTM C1283, Practice for Installing Clay Flue Lining
ASTM C1535, Practice for Application of Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems Class PI
ASTM C1623, Specification for Manufactured Concrete Masonry Lintels


ASTM C901, Specification for Prefabricated Masonry Panels
ASTM C1072, Test Methods for Measurement of Masonry Flexural Bond Strength
ASTM C1093, Practice for Accreditation of Testing Agencies for Masonry
ASTM C1314, Test Method for Compressive Strength of Masonry Prisms
ASTM C1357, Test Method for Evaluating Masonry Bond Strength
ASTM C1400, Guide for Reduction of Efflorescence Potential in New Masonry Walls
ASTM C1232, Terminology of Masonry
ASTM E514, Test Method for Water Penetration and Leakage Through Masonry

Brick Industry Association Tech Notes
  The manufacturers and sellers of clay bricks support The Brick Industry Association (BIA). In addition to promoting the use of clay masonry, the BIA is the premier source of design and construction information for clay masonry. Of particular importance are the Technical Notes on Brick Construction—the Tech Notes. The information in the Tech Notes includes cold weather construction advice, guidance about mortar choice, details for designing drainage walls, the ways that clay masonry can be green, fire ratings, and advice about cleaning new masonry.

The 91 BIA Tech Notes can be freely downloaded at

A good working knowledge of clay masonry is held in these Tech Notes:

1; Cold and hot weather construction
2; Glossary of terms peculiar to clay masonry
7-series; Water penetration resistance
8-series; Mortar
9A; ASTM specifications
13; Glazed bricks
14-series; Paving
19-series; Fireplaces and chimneys
20; Cleaning
21-series; Cavity walls
23-series; Staining and efflorescence
26; Single wythe construction
28-series; Veneer systems
29-series; Brick in landscape architecture
31-series; Arches and lintels
36-series; Detailing caps, copings, sills, and soffits
41; Hollow brick masonry
43-series; Passive solar heating
44-series; Ties, anchors, and fasteners
46; Maintenance
47; Condensation
48; Sustainability

National Concrete Masonry Association
  The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) represents the producers of concrete masonry products—concrete masonry units, concrete pavers, and hardscape. To aid the use of concrete masonry systems, the NCMA has written TEKs which provide guidance to designers and contractors.

The TEKs can be downloaded at

An understanding of the use of concrete masonry in veneers can be learned from these TEKs:

1-4; Glossary of terms
2-3A; Architectural CMU
3-6B; Concrete masonry veneers
3-7A; Fireplaces
3-11; Concrete basement walls
5-1B; Veneer details
5-2A; Clay and concrete banding
5-4B; Residential details
6-series; Energy
6-9B; Concrete masonry and LEED
8-1A; Maintenance
8-2A; Stain removal
8-3A; Efflorescence
8-4A; Cleaning of new masonry
9-1A; Mortars
10-1A; Crack control
10-4; Crack control in concrete masonry veneers
12-1A; Ties and anchors
12-2B; Joint reinforcement
13-2A; Noise control
14-6; Bond patterns
14-14; Arches
19-1; Water repellants
19-4A; Flashing strategies
19-5A; Flashing details
19-6; Joint sealants

Masonry Organizations
  The Masonry Society (TMS) is the organization for those involved with masonry—manufacturers, designers, code officials, contractors, and educators. TMS is the lead organization in the writing of the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, the masonry design code.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) () oversees the writing of codes and standards in the United States. Those who work with ceramic tile will recognize ANSI installation standards, A108.1 and the ANSI product specifications, A137.1.

ASTM International (ASTM) () is responsible for almost all of the specifications and test methods for products and systems in the United States.

International Code Council (ICC) () I-Codes have replaced the BOCA Building Code, the National Building Code, Southern Building Code, and the Uniform Building Code. The I-Codes direct the designer of masonry systems to the "Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures," TMS 402/ACI 530/ASCE 5.

Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC) is responsible for drafting the "Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures," TMS 402/ACI 530/ASCE 5.

Brick Industry Association (BIA) is the union of the Brick Institute of America and the National Association of Brick Distributors into one organization that promotes the use of clay masonry. The BIA website is a portal to vast amounts of information about the promotion, design, specification, and use of clay masonry.

Western States Clay Products Association is a west coast BIA that has particular concerns about the use of clay masonry in earthquake-prone areas. WSCPA documents that address steel stud back-up, single wythe loadbearing clay masonry, and structural clay masonry veneers are particularly interesting.

National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) promotes the use of concrete masonry units and similarly-manufactured products. As the BIA website is the portal to all things about clay bricks, the NCMA website is the gateway to information about concrete masonry. The Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute (ICPI) is an off-shoot of NCMA.

Masonry Institute of America (MIA) is a west coast organization that is very interested in the inspection of masonry as it is constructed. MIA inspection guides are excellent.

International Masonry Institute (IMI) is supported by the union mason contractors and the union masons and laborers. The IMI promotes the use of masonry across the Unites States with designers, owners, and developers. The IMI on-line details are a wonderful resource for the industry.

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) is the organization that I call, write, or e-mail when I have a question about Portland cement.

Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) is the home of the three-part format and the standardization of specifications across all design practitioners.

Masonry Contractors Association of America (MCAA) is the organ of union mason contractors. MCAA publishes Masonry Magazine, the only general masonry magazine available in the United States.