Words: Todd Fredrick

Dan Kamys, Editorial Director -

I thoroughly enjoy my job putting together this magazine every month, but there are definitely some topics that are more difficult to write about than others. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Salt Lake City, Utah, and attend a ballistics testing event orchestrated by the people at Interstate Brick. The goal was to demonstrate the capability of masonry— structural brick in particular to withstand various types of ammunition. As you’ll see in the cover story itself, the testing confirmed what we all knew. Masonry is resilient; arguably more so than we might have thought.    The context of this article is what makes it a difficult topic to cover. Like I mentioned to the folks at Interstate Brick while I was there, this is not something people like to talk about. As the parent of a young child about to be of school age, I certainly don’t like talking about the necessity of schools to be constructed from ballistic-resistant materials. However, this is something that has to be considered in the wake of the senseless violence we’ve seen recently.    The issue of building materials is apolitical and distinct from the arguments of gun restrictions and background checks. The truth is if someone wanted to inflict a mass-casualty event, they could, regardless of how many hoops it required them to jump through. Building materials are just another way to make ourselves safer.    As Steven Judd of Interstate Brick explained to me, and you’ll see in the article, the desire for this testing mainly came from the design community. Logically, this comes from building owners who want the building specced for some degree of protection from live rounds. In addition to seismic and wind resiliency, I tend to believe gun protection of walls will be an increasing consideration for projects going forward. I sincerely hope you enjoy our cover story for this issue.    On to the rest of our issue, in this edition of MASONRY, you’ll see several pieces worth mentioning. We continue our Contractor Q&A series with a piece on Employee Retention, which is a little shift in focus that we think you’ll find beneficial. Our Safety article for this month focuses on Hazard Communications, which should be a key component of smooth operations for any masonry business.    Finally, we have an article from NCCER that highlights the importance of creating a proper construction resumè. While many of the young tradespeople may not consider the industry to be an area they need a resumè for, but in order to progress into more managerial roles, this is a skill worth having.     As I write this, I am about to head out for New Hampshire for our MCAA Mid-Year Meeting. Please watch for the recap of our time in the Northeast for our November issue.    Wishing you a Happy Fall.      dsig
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