Frequently Asked Questions

Does the type of aggregate used in making the unit matter for determining inclusion?
No. If the aggregates are mixed with a cementitious binding material and the resulting unit is made on a block machine and conforms to other definitions, those units made with a wide range of aggregates should be included. A non-exhaustive list of aggregates includes: natural aggregates (calcareous, siliceous, limestone, granite, etc), manufactured lightweight aggregates (expanded clay, shale, slate, bottom ash, etc.), manufactured aggregates (polystyrene, etc.), recycled materials, etc.
Does the type of cementitious material used in making the unit matter for determining inclusion?
No. Portland cement variations might be most common, but units made with alternative cement replacement binders should be included also.
Should units intended to be laid with robotic installations be included?
Yes – assuming that they meet other determining requirements.
Should concrete brick be reported?
Yes – if they are “architectural,” meaning that they are intended to be exposed in the masonry wall (which would typically mean that they have integral coloring) and they meet the standard block criteria that they: 1) have an actual bed depth of 3 inches or greater, 2) are manufactured on a block machine, 3) are made of dry-cast concrete, and 4) are suitable for use in concrete masonry construction.
Should concrete lintels be reported?
U-shaped and knock-out concrete block lintel units (typically 8 to 24 inches in length), SHOULD be reported (see Included Products). These units are simply a type of concrete block that meets all of the definitions of a concrete masonry unit within this program. However, those concrete products that are designed to span and entire opening (typically greater than 24 inches, and typically reinforced) are specifically excluded from this program, regardless of whether they are made of wet-cast or dry-cast concrete.
Are proprietary units included, or only standard, commodity units?
All concrete masonry units, including those licensed and patented, are included if they meet the governing definitions.
Are fly-ash block included?
Yes – this product includes binding mediums referenced in the definition of dry-cast concrete.
Are units made on a big board machine included?
Yes – if those units meet the other qualifications (made for use in masonry construction; width of 3 inches or greater). The definition of "block machine" is such that it would encompass most big-board machines.
Are non-loadbearing units included, or is the program limited to structural block?
The definitions do not distinguish between loadbearing, non-loadbearing, veneer, or other applications. The key factor is whether the units are manufactured and sold primarily for use in “masonry construction.” Therefore, non-loadbearing units used in masonry are included.
Are there certain ASTM unit specifications that apply to included and excluded units?

While ASTM standards are not referenced in the definitions, they can provide a reasonable guide to assist in determining inclusion and exclusion.

In general, units complying with the following specs are included: C 90 Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, C129 Nonloadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, C744 Prefaced Concrete Units, C1634 Concrete Facing Brick and Other Concrete Masonry Facing Units, C1790 Fly Ash Facing Brick.

In general, units complying with the following specs are excluded: C55 Concrete Building Brick, C139 Catch Basin and Manhole Units, C216 Facing Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made from Clay or Shale), C652 Hollow Brick (Hollow Masonry Units Made from Clay or Shale), C936 Solid Concrete Interlocking Paving Units, C1372 Dry-Cast Segmental Retaining Wall Units, C1623 Manufactured Concrete Masonry Lintels, C1670 Adhered Manufactured Stone Masonry Veneer Units, C1691 Unreinforced Autoclaved Aerated (AAC) Concrete Masonry Units, C1782 Segmental Concrete Paving Slab, C1884 Concrete Ballast Block, C1877 Adhered Concrete Masonry Units.

Are units made in or shipped to countries outside of the United States assessed?
No. Only those units made and sold within the U.S. are included. Units are excluded if they are manufactured outside of the U.S. For the purposes of this program, those units made in U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are excluded.

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