March 2020 Monthly Meeting

Mar 3 2020 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Meeting Title: 

Deconstructing the Masonry Wall: A methodology for wall design specifically for the Northwest


Aceh Community Room
Mercy Corps, 45 SW Ankeny St
Portland, OR 97204


Tonia Sorrell-Neal


This course takes a detailed look at the basic decision-making process for walls in the pre-design and early design stages. Attendees will learn a design approach that quickly and systematically takes them through a series of micro-decisions on a small number (eight or fewer) of subassemblies of the wall, resulting in a well informed system design as well as reviewing The 2018 Masonry Systems Guide, Northwest Edition which standardizes best practices for masonry wall systems design and construction specific to the climate and building conditions in the nortwest. This presentation will introduce the guide's 8 primary masonry based wall systems which include anchored and adhered veneers and structural CMU walls as well as wood and steel backups for each. Also included in the guide and the presentations are costing and budgeting information, thermal requirements and weatherproofing and specifications.

This session will use examples of walls from real projects and walk the audience through the uniquely swift linear decision-making process. It will also discuss development of a wall taxonomy, the curation of a Wall Systems Library, and opportunities for BIM integration.

Tonia Sorrell-Neal serves as the Executive Director of the Masonry Institute of Washington, a statewide construction trade association representing masonry contractors, manufacturers and suppliers; working with brick, block, stone, marble, restoration, PCC and tile. Tonia has more than 20 years of experience in the construction industry as an association director and legislative liaison.

Tonia began her career in the construction industry in 1993 at the law firm of Brown Todd & Heyburn, LLC focusing on construction defect litigation. In 1996, she transitioned to association representation as government affairs director, legislative liaison and member services for the general contractor, subcontractor and homebuilding industries and served in this capacity until taking over as Executive Director of WSCMC in 2008.

She is past president of the Washington Construction Industry Council and a United State Green Building Council certified LEED AP. She participates in the Association of Washington Business Education and Government Affairs Committees and is a 2005 recipient of the AWB Heavy Hitter Award for leadership. She is also a masonry industry representative for the Western State Clay Products Association, the Masonry Executives Council and the Western Washington Masonry Trades Joint Apprenticeship Training Council.

Tonia is an alumnus from the University of Louisville, Ball State University; and Portland Culinary Institute.