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CCMPA Q4 Update & Merry Christmas Wishes

Q4 2020 CCMPA Update

Dear Friends, 

2020 has certainly been a year for the books. Despite the challenges that have presented themselves, overall CCMPA and our partners had several key wins. 

Top Ten Wins in 2020: 

1. Collaboratively Designed and Executed a 2020-2023 Strategic Plan 

2. Revamped – created a “Dr. Block” section where we provide professional consulting to enquiries from across North America. There is also a (free!) online job board for members.  

3. Revitalized Social media and saw exponential results (Over 300K views in November!) 

4. Completed Nationwide 4-series #Blockitout ads  

5. Completed Market Analysis: Block is setting a concrete industry precedent with over 70% of Block in Canada being made with GUL 

6. CCMPA gave back. We fed Easter dinner to over 10K people across Canada, purchased 1050 trees to offset our Carbon footprint,  exercised H2 Membership Dues forgiveness for our Producers, and funded home delivery of the Masonry Design textbook to students across the country.  

7. MASS Version 4.0 Now available! (Details below). 

8. Re-established Fire Testing @ Carleton University 

9. Championing North American Change in Codes and Standards Development (G. Sturgeon and CANUS).

10. Municipal Policy wins in partnership with MasonryWorks (Details below)

2020 saw definite wins, and we plan to continue to push forward in 2021. We will drive with a clear marketing approach, influencing codes and standards, see the development of an online resource library at, and formalize our advocacy / lobbying efforts for concrete block.We also have a new Vice-President and Board of Directors for the 2021-2023 term, announcement below.  We would like to thank our outgoing Board members for their service, and we look forward to the exciting developments with all the new members. 

As we move into the close of 2020, we would like to send our warmest holiday greetings and wishes for safe, happy & healthy 2021 to you and your families. 

All the best,
Paul, Marcus, Justin and Andrea 

2021-2023 CCMPA Board of Directors

Luciano Teseo

Luciano Teseo


Richvale York Block

Marc McEachnie

Marc McEachnie


Century Concrete

Mike Lafontaine

Mike Lafontaine

Western Rep

CTR Expocrete

Jeff Maclean

Jeff Maclean

Eastern Rep

Shaw Brick

Claude Picard

Claude Picard

Quebec Rep

Brampton Brick

Dean Garbutt

Dean Garbutt

Supplier Rep


Chuck Chambers

Chuck Chambers

Supplier Rep

St. Mary’s Cement

2021-2023 Executive Committee

Paul Hargest

Paul Hargest


Brampton Brick

Justin Campbell

Justin Campbell


Day & Campbell

Andrea McChesney

Andrea McChesney

Executive Director

Thank you to everyone who attended our AGM last Thursday, November 26th!

We certainly appreciate you taking the time to participate and giving our keynote speaker a warm Canadian welcome!  Special thank you to our existing Board of Directors, incoming Board members and all the individuals that graciously provided cross-Canada updates.
We stayed together, even when apart.

New! Strategic Social Media

Mass Version 4.0 has ARRIVED!

Key Features:

  • A new multi-storey shear wall module
  • Seismic design added, including engineering calculations for ductility verification
  • New boundary element option based on shear wall research and earthquake performance
  • New Website!  Including videos, tutorials, and frequently asked questions
New Website found here:

Original Release Notification here:

For more information, email Brad Crumb

Update: CSA Canada-US Standards Research Project

This project began in 2019 with a $50,000 grant from CSA to help support a joint effort with our American counterparts in moving towards harmonization between our masonry design standards. The project is now complete. Some relevant information from the project.

1.  CSA, CCMPA, CMDC, TMS, NCMA Joint Effort

2. 2 Summits (one in each country), 14 Member team

3. 10 Publications (Journal and conference papers) and a CSA Research report

4. CSA Report was 160 Pages written by CMDC, contains 200+ recommendations for changes to the CSA S304

The Masonry Society Awards Success 

CMDC/CCMPA Co-sponsored Programs are having outstanding results!

Ph.D. Dissertation: Nader Aly, Concordia University, under the direction of Dr. Khaled Galal

Master’s Thesis: Clayton Pettit, University of Alberta, for “Effect of Rotational Base Stiffness on the Behaviour of Loadbearing Masonry Walls” under the direction of Dr. Carlos Cruz-Noguez 

Contact for more details

University Program and Research Updates

2020 saw the closure of several multi-year projects as well as their successful re-application for new research projects. All Universities have successfully moved away form an ad hoc funding model to a leveraged grants program. From East-to-West the following updates can be provided.

a. Dalhousie University – This program is looking at half-scale blocks used in an all-masonry wall system similar to infill style construction.

b. Concordia University – Previous 4-year grant ended in 2019 and approval for a new 5-year program was received early 2020. Focus remains on seismic behaviour, with a switch to conventional construction including partially-grouted walls and flanged walls.

c. Carleton University – Fire testing has restarted after a long hiatus. A set of walls were tested early November and testing is planned to run over the winter and into 2021.

d. University of Ottawa – A meeting with a new professor was held there. Her expertise is on energy modelling and would compliment some of the gaps we currently have in that area with respect to changes to energy codes.

e. Queen’s University – A short program on the use of recycled aggregates for use in block production has completed. Pending final publications this should enable the use of recycled aggregates within CSA A165 as a proposed change.

f. York University – A second CSA research grant which CMDC received is being used to support a student to evaluate possible changes to the upcoming suite of masonry standards to address climate change and new pressures from energy codes.

g. McMaster University – The work in this research program is related to half-scale units and the integration of controlled rocking devices in masonry shear walls. This is a part of an effort to stay ahead in every changing seismic design requirements.

h. University of Waterloo – Year 4 of 5 in the ergonomics study at Waterloo. Planning has begun on the next project phase that could continue beyond this. Work continues on how the results can be adapted and applied within the jobsite and training centre.

i. University of Western Ontario – A short research program was approved this year to continue work on early strength of masonry and wind bracing design.

j. University of Windsor – Testing of out-of-plane walls continues at Windsor with the first set of walls wrapping up testing in 2020. Plans for the next set will begin in the new year.

k. University of Manitoba – A planned restart at UofM has hit some setbacks, however, p a research program beginning in 2021 is expected with a focus on cold weather construction and durability of block construction.

l. University of Saskatchewan – Research at UofS is focused on some of the primary issues discovered during the Canada/US harmonization project. This includes a revaluation of how masonry strength is measured and how minimum web thickness are specified by the A165.

m. University of Alberta – Two large projects continue to run at UofA that cover many different topics, including, shear connected walls, out-of-plane wall stiffness, thermal performance of masonry and shear strength of shear walls.

n. University of Calgary – A new project was approved early 2020 looking at high-strength cementitious materials that could be used to make high strength structural block.

o. University of British Columbia – A new project was approved late 2020 to look at the seismic behaviour of 30 cm unit walls for tall masonry structures as well as how special detailing can improve that behaviour.

2020 Municipal Infrastructure Strategy Update

Scope Overview: Focus on municipal clerks, politicians and their statutory obligation to receive delegations and information from the public to deliver both Masonry Works newsletters and council presentations.
The strategy targets municipalities with a population over 40,000, seventy-seven in total, in an effort to have them incorporate lifecycle costing into future procurement of building and facilities assets if they are updating their Procurement Bylaw in 2020 or sometime during this current term of Council which ends Oct 2022.

This strategy includes outreach to three groups within municipalities:

  • Municipal clerks as the initial contact to traffic the request;
  • Management from Purchasing and Asset Management departments to encourage the inclusion of life-cycle costing in their updated procurement bylaw or policy; and
  • Elected officials, specifically those chairing corporate services committees, to present to Councils when Procurement bylaws are being discussed; and all elected officials in the target municipalities through a 3X per year newsletter highlighting issues of importance to both Masonry Works and Municipalities

Continuing the strategy of advocating for changes to procurement bylaws directly with procurement managers and directors has been slow due to the statutory obligations involved in this process. Procurement is legally required to be an unbiased process, and procurement officials must maintain the appearance of being above outside influence. Even though outreach efforts have not been anchored around any specific project, procurement officials have been reticent to speak with representatives of advocacy organizations, and many of Masonry Works’ initial entreaties were rebuffed by these officials.

The reticence appears to have been broken by trafficking the request through the Clerk’s Office and asking a process question. This question is a simple information request, inquiring if the municipal council is updating its procurement bylaw this year or this term of Council, and if so, how we can get involved in the process. 
The Province of Ontario has a guide for municipalities that suggests procurement policy be updated every few years, but at least every 5 years. A review of this guide also identified that some municipalities make it a practice to meet with the supplier community regularly to gain input on improving procurement practices. However, the guide states that stakeholder consultation is only a suggestion and not required by the Act.

Initially, we targeted 37 of the identified municipalities, based on the strength of lifecycle costing language in their procurement policy (i.e. Nil or weak). We have initiated contact with 25 of the 37 municipalities identified as primary targets.  Two meeting were secured and held with Peel Region and Wellington County.
During these and previous meetings with Asset Managers it has become clear that even with “Lowest Total Cost of Ownership” language or “Best Value” defined as “means the optimal balance of performance and cost. It may include a time horizon that reflects the overall life cycle of a given Good or Service,’ it was not necessarily being applied effectively.   As such, the outreach effort has been broadened to all municipalities with over 40,000 in population to explore application of the language and well as encouraging those without it to include it.

All seventy-seven municipalities have hence been contacted and meetings have taken place with Milton and Hamilton, and to date are scheduled or are being arranged with Burlington, Middlesex, Oakville and Richmond Hill.

Andrea McChesney

Written by:

Andrea McChesney, HBA, MA

Executive Director, CCMPA