September 2023



Celebrating the Art and Craftsmanship of Masonry During National Construction Appreciation Week

Did you know next week is National Construction Appreciation Week? This event, held annually, honors the men and women who work tirelessly, applying their skills to build the infrastructure that forms the backbone of America. Today, we spotlight an age-old craft that's responsible for some of the world's most enduring and beautiful structures—masonry.

Beauty, Versatility and Durability

Architects and builders frequently choose masonry for its beauty, versatility and

durability. The aesthetic appeal of a well-crafted masonry wall or facade is timeless. The versatility of masonry allows for a wide range of designs, from intricate brickwork  patterns to grand stone edifices. Moreover, with various types of stones, bricks and techniques available, masonry can be adapted to suit different architectural styles and environmental conditions.

A Skill Beyond Automation

As technology advances, many trades face the looming threat of automation. Yet, the skill and precision required in masonry work remain irreplaceable by machines. Whether it's the nuanced skill required to lay bricks in complex patterns or the expertise needed to mix mortar to just the right consistency, the human element is indispensable. Every brick and block must be laid by hand, requiring a skilled craftsperson. Masonry is as much an art as it is a science, with every stone or brick laid forming a part of a larger canvas. Masonry is a skilled trade that takes much time, effort and talent to learn.

Honoring Our Masons

This National Construction Appreciation Week, let's recognize the talented masons who bring architects' visions to life. These men and women are not just construction workers; they are artists, skilled craftspeople and vital contributors to our nation's infrastructure.

Consider visiting a local construction site to witness the skill in action or even sending a thank-you note to masons you may know. It's a small gesture, but one that recognizes the value and significance of their work in shaping the America we know today.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating and appreciating the masonry industry.

From the Desk of Phil Ledent

MIM members are committed to quality workmanship. While the MIM offers many opportunities for contractor education, I often find myself learning from each project and contractor I meet.

Whether it's learning new ways to reduce dust when mixing mortar and grout on the new Greater Midland Community Center with Boettcher Masonry; figuring out ways to make a stack bond, corbeled veneer work on a new Spectrum ramp with Fishbeck and Burggrabe Masonry; or seeing how sdi structures and Leidal and Hart Mason Contractors came up with CMU lintels that spanned upwards of 26'-0" on the Detroit Catholic Central STEM addition; I'm always reminded that, while masonry may be an old industry, the ingenuity of our members constantly revitalizes it.

So, for this National Construction Appreciation Week, I simply want to say thank you to all our hard-working members who continue to move our industry forward!

Where in the masonry world will the MIM

Mortar Board show up next?

MIM members across the state are showing

their masonry pride by posing with the MIM Mortar Board.

If you'd like to join in the fun and pose with the Mortar Board in front of your offices, job sites or trucks, please reach out to Phil Ledent at phil@masonryinfo.org.

On the Road Again

It's been a busy summer for Phil, with a multitude of workshops, trainings, demonstrations, lunch and learns and more across Michigan.

Just over the last month, Phil has conducted grout workshops for Boettcher Masonry and Complete Enclosures, and A&E lunch and learn presentations on a range of topics including fire resistance ratings, masonry lintel design, masonry specifications and movement for IMEG, TowerPinkster, Designhaus Architecture and Wakely Associates.

And October promises to be just as busy with more lunch and learns and workshops on the schedule.

MIM workshops are intended to build collaboration between the field and the design office so that masonry becomes more than lines on a piece of paper. If you would like Phil to present a workshop, a lunch and learn or provide training for your team, please reach out

In Case You Missed It

What’s driving construction technology spending in 2023 and 2024? According to Construction Dive, companies are expanding their spending on construction technology for various reasons. However, the reasons can be boiled down to an increase in efficiency. Read more here.

The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI), issued by Dodge Construction Network, declined 0.9% in July to 193.4 from the revised June reading of 195.1. Over the month, the commercial component of the DMI remained relatively flat, ticking down 0.2%, while the institutional component fell 1.9%.

According to the Deltek 2023 survey of the architecture and engineering (A&E) industry, A&E firms continue to see strong performance despite increasing costs. While financial performance and pipelines are strong, firms still face challenges developing staff. As the market continues to grow and rising costs challenge A&E businesses to do more with less, firms must be more strategic in their pursuits and address talent gaps as they balance opportunities with the resources required to support them. Download the

study here.

As the industry ramps up outreach, the number of computer and data science majors applying to construction jobs has doubled, according to a new report shared by Construction Dive. The report claims that, as major tech firms lay off workers, current computer science and related majors are looking to construction as a place to start

their careers. The number of applications

from computer science and data science majors to construction doubled in the last

year, per the report. The industry still needs more skilled tradesworkers, but experts say those with diverse academic experiences outside of construction can help the industry move forward. 

Calendar of Events


15 Toledo Mason Contractors Association Golf Outing.

(9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.) Valleywood Golf Course (Swanton, OH).

21 AIA Detroit 2023 Celebration of Architecture. Register here.

28 MIM Board of Trustees Meeting. (9 a.m. - noon)

29 Michigan Mason Contractors Association Annual Fall Golf Outing. Frankenmuth, MI.


5 MIOSHA Wall Bracing Workshop. Lansing, MI.

9-10 Concrete Masonry Checkoff Region 3 Advisory Committee Meeting. Minneapolis, MN.

16 MIM Flashing Workshop. Albaugh Masonry, Waterford, MI

(8 a.m. - 1 p.m.). Register here.

17 The Building Enclosure Council - Greater Detroit Symposium - Consciousness 2023. The BEC-GD symposium presents a distinguished panel of speakers to discuss the current and upcoming trends in building enclosure performance and evaluation. (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) Register here.

18 MIM Flashing Workshop. Davenport Masonry, Holt, MI

(8 a.m. - 1 p.m.). Register here.

Professional Development

Tools & Resources

Membership Directory

Tip of the Month

The TMS 402 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures requires the designer to show movement joints on the project drawings. See recommendations for CMU and brick here and here, respectively. The MIM also offers lunch and learn presentations addressing movement control, reach out to learn more!

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