dynamics of masonry

dynamics of masonry
dynamics of masonry 12 block

Omni Block Featured in dynamics of masonry

Omni Block was recently featured in the industry publication dynamics of masonry in an article entitled “Rebirth of Single Wythe Masonry”. The article effectively addresses how insulated single wythe masonry complies with the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) which 39 states and Washington DC have adopted. The complete article is at http://digital.ipcprintservices.com/publication/frame.php?i=262705&p=11&pn=&ver=flex.

Omni Block Home Beating Utility Projections by 75%!

Texas Home Beating Utility Projections by 75%!

The latest Omni Block Home Energy Rating System (HERS) evaluation was recently completed in Alvarado, Texas. The 2512 sq. ft. single-story total electric house, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Pete Muzika, scored a 58 (see floor plan below). This basically means that the house should perform 42% better than the prevailing energy code. The certificate can be seen below. The HERS evaluation includes a blower door test and a duct blaster test as well as the make and model of all appliances and the HVAC system. The third-party testing company, TexEnergy Solutions, used an R-19.6 for the Omni Block walls. When questioned about why they used this lower R-Value the lead project coordinator responded, “That 19.6 was the highest R-Value that this region can input. Any higher R-Value inputed would not change the overall result.”

Notice that TexEnergy projected the energy consumption to completely run this house at $2,602 annually or approximately $214 a month on average. The owners have now lived in the home for over 11 months, keeping their thermostat set at 72° in the summer and 74° in the winter. The actual average monthly energy cost has been $86!

Statement of fact: This house, built with Omni Block is beating the utility projection by 75%!

The only variable is Omni Block. The reason that they are so far off on their estimate is that current software (REM/Rate) that is used to input the data does not adequately allow for Omni Block’s thermal mass affect on the ambient indoor temperatures.

Tighter is Better

“The 2012 IECC code mandates a maximum Air Changes per Hour (ACH) of 5.0. Many new homes struggle to make that target. To calculate the ACH of this Omni Block home, multiply the blower door test score of 1,380 CFM times 60 minutes per hour and divide by 44,312 (the cubic footage of the house). The result is 1.88 Air Changes per Hour, which is exceptionally tight. This is one of the tightest buildings that we have tested”, according to Bill Syfan, LEED AP HOMES, HERS Rater and NGBS Verifier.HERCPete Floor Plan


Renew Urban Charleston

Renew Urban Charleston

Charleston, SC

Bill Huey Architects 155 Wentworth Living Room
Wentworth AIA 3

155 Wentworth Street was a cooperative construction project in Charleston, SC. Architect Bill Huey + Associates, Renew Urban Charleston, American College of the Building Arts and the supplier of Omni Block, Adams Building Products have collectively worked together to construct this cost-effective “prototype” energy efficient single-family residence.

Wentworth AIA 4

To learn more about the American College of the Building Arts and Renew Urban and their other projects please visit http://www.renewurban.net/in-progress/.

Wentworth AIA 2

The use of standard concrete lintels and ledger bolts for the load-bearing of the second floor are shown in the photo above.

Industrial Residential Architecture

Residential Industrial Architecture

Scottsdale, AZ

Copeland Interior 3
Copeland Interior 2

The combination of exposed wood at ledger, truss, interior wall locations and exposed Omni Block provide a beautiful industrial look.

Copeland Interior 1

Architect: Tom Norris owner of Norris Architects
Scottsdale, AZ 480-734-7711

Copeland Glass Block

The Omni Block job site looks the same as any other block job site. These masons are preparing to start the second floor.

Copeland pre-glass block
Copeland Glass Block Installed

The second floor is nearly complete and the glass block is installed, window openings defined, and the ledger bolts grouted solidly within the bond beam block.

Copeland wood ledger

A typical ledger is securely bolted to the block wall. The framer can now hang the second floor joists onto the ledger.


The top-of-wall course requires that the interior cell that normally contains an insulation insert is left void, which allows horizontal rebar to be placed continuously around the structure and then grouted solid. There is still a layer of insulation protecting the interior conditioned space.


A section of wall that is at a door jamb and contains an electrical outlet with a vertical conduit application.

Roger Carter Recreation Community Center

Marks, Thomas 2

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/).

Marks, Thomas 4

The building came in under budget and is very
energy efficient for a building of its kind.

Marks, Thomas 5

Omni Block allowed for flexibility of design that
this building type required.

Marks, Thomas 1
Marks, Thomas 3

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.”


Dwell Magazine – Simpatico Homes


If you are into the clean lines of modernistic architecture, close to “net zero” energy strategies, and economical construction, then Simpatico Homes of northern California is right up your alley.

Simpatico Exposed Block

Homeowner, Seth Krubiner is shown relaxing in his modular home space. Notice the exposed natural beauty of Omni Block installed in a “stack bond” pattern. The mason “tooled the joints” approximately 1″ deep to make the block pattern more pronounced. For the complete Dwell Magazine article and pictorial, please visit http://www.dwell.com/green/article/eichler-inspired-modular-home-california

Simpatico 2

Not that long ago, renown architect, Robert Swatt, a principal at Swatt|Miers 
Architects based in Emeryville, California contacted Denny Miller of Omni Block and began his extensive evaluation of Omni Block’s insulated concrete block system. Swatt’s goal was to have the lower portion built on-site and then install the modular second floor with pre-fab components.

Simpatico 3

Simpatico, which is also run by architect Steven Stept of Swatt | Miers, places a strong emphasis on affordability, which, in the oft-pricey realm of prefab housing, is something they are able to achieve via the careful sourcing of materials.

Exposed Block

Exposed Block 1

The “industrialized contemporary” architecture of this building is exactly what the homeowners were looking for. The ruggedness of the block, inside and out, lends itself to a unique motif but also maintenance free finishes. The exterior was treated with a water soluble penetrating sealer. The interior hard surfaces are softened by furniture, area rugs and wall artwork. The metal barrel ceiling is insulated immediately above with a spray foam insulation. The walls can be left exposed and meet the 2012 Energy Code.

Exposed Block 3

The “coining” look at the corners was per the homeowner’s wishes. A common way to minimize block color variation is to apply a water-based penetrating stain over the completed building.

Exposed Block 2

The stain will also reduce any color variations in the mortar. It is recommended that a water-based penetrating sealer be applied over the stain or natural block.



Builders in Brooklyn and other boroughs are now building with Omni Block. On a 30′ x 80′ building that is 3 stories high, Omni Block is saving approximately 74 square feet of livable space per floor due to not having to furr, insulate and sheetrock. At a sale price of $400 a square foot, that is almost $30,000 of additional revenue per floor and Omni Block is only costing them approximately $8,000 per floor.


Notice that the #5 vertical rebar is every 32″ in this 3-story building. Typically, one #5 is every 48″.


The general contractor is now on his third such building and has stated that Omni Block is just like working with standard CMU, only better!