Historic District  –  Phoenix

The project was approved through the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation department with no modifications to the plan even though the home is a more modern expression.  The City cited the use of quality materials in the project as one reason for their approval.  The size of a half-high block lent itself to the historic context of the neighborhood and other brick homes in the area.  Neighbors were polled for their choice between stucco and brick for this project and the overwhelming consensus was that a brick look was preferred.  Omni Block’s half-high “Omni Brick” satisfied these needs.

The Omni Block system is part of an overall energy approach to the home to minimize life cycle operating costs.  The home will be a laboratory experiment for the architect, who is the homeowner as well and will couple with other technologies to minimize energy usage of a masonry home in a desert environment.

For durability, sound control, energy performance and aesthetic expression Omni Block met all the requirements.

The foundation or stem walls completed with Omni Block’s 4″ high block to match the above grade house exterior detailing. Some of the exposed stem will be covered by the finished grade (dirt) but what is not will seamlessly transition from stem to exterior walls of the home. The slab (not poured as of yet) is now insulated via Omni Block’s the insulation inserts in the exterior cells. The interior cells, in stem wall situations is left void and grouted solid.

Lance is the lead mason in many of these photos and is employed by Magsam Masonry. He has been a employee of Bill Magsam, owner of Magsam Masonry for over 20 years and has worked on numerous Omni Block projects in the past.

Omni Block’s corner units have the same grout cell as standard CMU.

Each vertical rebar must have 40 bar diameters (40 x 5/8″ = 25″) overlap at each splice. These photos show that the vertical rebar will extend beyond the top of the grout filled block 25″ completing the stem wall section. Photos taken March 2017.

The house consists of a combination of standard 8″ high Omni Block that will be stuccoed on the exterior and skim-coated on the interior and 4″ high Omni Brick that will be lightly sandblasted in most areas on the exterior and interior. Some areas may be ground to expose the aggregate mix on site in some others. Note that vertical rebar has yet to be placed in the cells that are void of insulation.

This trowel work should look very familiar to a mason that lays standard CMU.