Designing with Brick

with Anthony Catania
1 AIA CES Learning Unit|HSW

New apartment building in Washington, DC

Contemporary production methods and construction practices make the use and detailing of brick difficult in the execution of traditional architecture. This seminar will examine strategies for incorporating brick into traditional buildings today, from the perspective of the designer. The course will provide an overview of the history of brick and its uses, as well as the proper design configurations to express the inherent nature of this material in a tasteful and sophisticated manner, helping designers make informed choices in the selection of brick and mortar.

This course will enable participants to:

1. Gain a general understanding of the history of brick making and how it informs the selection of styles of brick today.

2. Learn about brick detailing that is durable and therefore protects both load-bearing and curtain wall designs. Best practices will be presented that extend the longevity of a building and protect its occupants, in contrast to contemporary mistakes often found today. Brick patterns, proper and appropriate joints and mortar, and detailing including arches that visually and safely transfer loads will be illustrated to support these practices.

3. Understand how brick, created from abundant natural resources, is an inherently sustainable material that is good for the environment. Examples of proper detailing, including how various finishes and joint types can protect against the ingress of water will be presented to demonstrate how brick can last for generations, in contrast to buildings with short life spans that are therefore inherently wasteful.

4. Review how brick buildings can define a unified character of a neighborhood, and contribute to a tangible sense of place by using local materials and details, which can elevate the human experience in their durability, scale, and inventiveness. Urban examples will be presented that reflect desirable places to live thanks in generous part to their use of brick, and will be analyzed against examples without such prolific use of brick.

Please click here for additional AIA Continuing Education Provider Information:

Instructional Delivery Method: Live Online Learning Program

Program Level: Introductory

AIA CES Program Approval Expiration Date: November 6, 2023

Provider Number: G193

Provider Statement: The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number G193. All registered AIA CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider or this learning program may be sent to AIA CES ([email protected] or (800) AIA 3837, Option 3).

This learning program is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.

AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.


This course will be offered on December 4, 2020 as part of the Health, Safety, and Welfare in Traditional Design day. Course registration is available on the program page here.