Mass Wall Masonry in a Modern Context

with Austin Tunnell
1 AIA CES Learning Unit|HSW

Mass wall masonry, born from thousands of years of experimentation and innovation, was the cornerstone of traditional building in the United States up until the advent of lumber mills and mass-produced nails in the nineteenth century. This industrialization upended traditional building and replaced it with a whole new system and set of practices. While many of these practices are good, some have resulted in a reduction in the durability and longevity of newer buildings. We can learn a great deal from masonry buildings that have lasted hundreds and even thousands of years and that continue to be used and repurposed for new functions in our communities. In this presentation, we will explore ways to blend the best of traditional and innovative building practices in mass-wall masonry construction in a modern context.

This course will enable participants to:

1. Explore mass wall systems that blend traditional methods of masonry building with modern practices to achieve durable, environmentally sound buildings with long life-spans.

2.Investigate advances that enable mass-wall construction to be energy efficient in varying climates by bringing sustainably produced vapor permeable insulative materials into the wall section to meet energy codes.

3. Look at ways mass wall masonry materials, methods and finishing can support a cleaner environment and reduce CO2 without compromising the load bearing capacity and life cycle of the wall.

4. Examine efficiencies in mass wall construction techniques and processes that help make mass wall buildings economically viable in smaller scale incremental development and infill projects.

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: May 6, 2024

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 June 11, 2021 as part of the Health, Safety, and Welfare in Traditional Design day. Course registration is available on the program page here.