Heat Flow Monitoring Abstract

Omni Block, Inc., a leader and pioneer in the environmentally friendly construction arena, is developing a new methodology of determining “real world” thermal performance. The attached abstract provides a detailed overview and the current developmental status of our concept. We are looking for the right fit of a qualified individual or firm that can provide the missing link. The arduino technical world is where we feel this missing link can be realized. Any serious solution will be considered. Please contact Denny Miller at dmiller@omniblock.com for more information.
Monitoring Heat Flow 6-5-15

NCMA Weighs in on Structural Engineering Q and A

There are some code-imposed height limits on CMU construction, but they are very tall and only start to kick in around 15-20 stories depending upon the seismic risk, building use, etc.

In 2011 when we (NCMA) changed ASTM C90 to permit alternative unit configurations, we concurrently had to check and revise some of the design equations for masonry to account for the wide array of unit configurations that previously did not fall under ASTM C90. I would not expect these design checks to result in substantial differences in the design strength of Omni versus a standard CMU assembly, but there are some differences. In order to have a ‘code-compliant’ structural design using Omni, an engineer would need to use the 2013 edition of TMS 402 (the structural design standard for masonry) that captures all this cross-standard coordination.

The 2013 edition of TMS 402 allows Omni Block to be ungrouted (or partially grouted), but the design checks may be different…but there are literally hundreds of factors that trigger different checks for different applications making it impossible to state that the design strength of a standard CMU assembly and an Omni Block assembly would be the same for every circumstance. They will be close, but there can be differences – if for no other reason than the difference in the cross-sections.

Structural design is more complicated as an engineer needs to consider both the impact to the net cross-sectional properties as well as the average cross-sectional properties. (The former is used for strength determination, the latter used for calculating deflections.)

We are in the process now of updating our structural design TEK to reflect the changes incorporated into the 2013 edition of TMS 402 (where these additional design checks were incorporated). The relevant requirements are shown below. Essentially an engineer would need to check the shear stresses in the webs of the units if the normalized web area is less than 27 in.^2/ft^2 (which corresponds roughly to a conventional three web unit). In the case of Omni Block, the critical web shear plane would need to be determined (which is likely to coincide with the location of the insulation inserts where the web area is minimum) and the corresponding web shear stresses calculated for the design loads.




Jason Thompson
Vice President of Engineering
National Concrete Masonry Association
13750 Sunrise Valley Drive
Herndon, VA 20171-4662

Community Church

Omni Block split face was selected by the Prescott, AZ Community Church. The chapel/administrative building is adjacent to a well-traveled roadway so in addition to the insulative qualities of Omni Block, sound abatement was also key factor. This was the first time using Omni Block by both Paul Lutz, owner of the general contracting firm of Ravencrest Builders and Bill Laipple, owner of Laipple Construction, the mason on the project. Paul and Bill were very pleased at how easily the block was laid and the inserts installed. Bill was initially concerned about the production (amount of block laid) of his masonry crew laying Omni Block versus standard concrete block. He now believes, “there is not a noticeable difference between the two.”
Prescott 1

Prescott 2

These photos show the uniformity of the block and that it is stocked the same as regular CMU. Vertical rebar was “typical” which is one #5 every 48″ on center and around all windows and doors.

Prescott 3

Prescott 4

The EPS foam inserts overlap so that there is not a direct thermal bridge from the exterior to the interior of the wall assembly.

Prescott 5

Prescott 6

Design Magazine

The national and highly respected Méxican Architectural and Interior Design publication “Ambientes” highlighted Omni Block as an up and coming new product in the Mexican marketplace. More great media coverage is definitely successfully getting the word out.

Omni Block is Now in México

Omni Block is now in Mérida, México (Yucatán)!!! The first project is a custom residence that is earmarked to be the first LEED Certified building in all of México. Omni Block is central to the LEED certification therefore the local newspaper printed a feature-story that included Omni Block and the residential project.

For more information and detailed renderings of the project please visit www.casaecomaya.com/.

The design and building team are picture below: Juan Santos (mason), Rodrigo Toussaint (construction manager), Antonio Morales (masonry contractor), Antonio Sosa (architectural assistant), and Juan Carlos Seijo (lead architect).

The block was manufactured by Mapsa, located in Mérida. It is a beautiful, light, and natural sandstone color.
aMM Team 1 copy

aNewspaper copy

Block in grass copy

Roger Carter Recreation Community Center

The Roger Carter Recreation Community Center in Ellicott City, Maryland has been awarded Excellence in Green Building. The building was designed utilizing 12″ Omni Block by Marks, Thomas Architects (www.marks-thomas.com/projects/roger-carter-recreation-community-center/). The building came in under budget and is very energy efficient for a building of its kind. Kemper Masonry located in Seven Valleys, PA (717) 428-1614 laid the block for the project. Ron, from Kemper, said “it lays up just like regular CMU. It’s a no brainer and was easy to work with.”

Marks, Thomas 1

Marks, Thomas 3

Marks, Thomas 4

Marks, Thomas 5

Marks, Thomas 2

Marks, Thomas 6

Rocky River High School

The Omni Block used in Rocky River High School locker room addition was layed up by Zavarella Brothers Construction (Cleveland, OH). Chas Svec located in Maple Heights, OH (www.chassvecinc.com) manufactured Omni Block for the nearby project.

Rocky River

Rocky River 1

Dan Zavarella, owner of Zavarella Brothers recently emailed Omni Block, “In a short meeting with my foreman and crew to explain the system to them, they were laying block in minutes. Common sense! Great product! Great Idea!”

This is the typical feedback that we receive from masons across the country when laying Omni Block, even for their very first time.

Rocky River 2

Omni Block Hits Cleveland

Cleveland 3

Cleveland 2

Cleveland 1

Cleveland 4

Chas Svec, Inc. manufactures Omni Block in Cleveland. The masonry firm owned by Danny Zavarello utilized Omni Block in the Rocky River City High School expansion project in Rocky River, Ohio. The 12″ Omni Block was selected for the energy efficiency and the durability of a single-wythe masonry wall. The architect desired to leave both the exterior and interior faces exposed, which Omni Block is designed to accomplish. Notice the 3 layers of insulation and 4 layers of masonry face shells as depicted in the construction photos.

Mr. Zavarello found that, “Laying Omni Block was the same as typical CMU and the inserts went right in”.

Split-Face Omni Block is made in Prescott

The Omni Block split-face was manufactured this week (October 13) at Yavapai Block in the high desert of Prescott, AZ. Tyler Smith, owner of Yavapai Block confirmed that the manufacturing loss due to breakage during the actual splitting of the block was higher than standard CMU but less than he expected. He also indicated that he would slightly change the mix design when running Omni Block to reduce the loss percentage. This is the first mass produced Omni Block split-face block and was manufactured for an upcoming local church project that will be erected by Laipple Construction, a local masonry firm. Bill Laipple, owner of Laipple Construction has been looking for an energy efficient concrete block and his extensive research led him to Omni Block. He and general contractor Paul Lutz are responsible for the upcoming church project and several single-family residences in the Prescott area.

Yavapai 1

Yavapai 2