On Thursday, April 26, the New York City Special Riggers Association (NYCSRA) held its sixth annual technical meeting featuring a presentation by Glen-Gery Corporation, a 127-year-old brick and stone manufacturer, on brick manufacturing and specification. The event’s keynote speaker, Leroy Danforth, P.E., design services manager of Glen-Gery, discussed brickmaking through quarrying, crushing, grinding, screening, and molding, while offering insight into different types of brick, including red bricks derived from shale and lighter-toned bricks created by blending shale and clay together.
The three most common methods of forming brick are by hand, by machine and through extrusion. Though handmade bricks account for only about 1% of all bricks in the U.S., they are a non-uniform, wholly unique aesthetic product that has the greatest shape-making capability. On the other hand, machine molded bricks have great availability, timeless versatility and shape flexibility. For instance, they can match bricks in a 100-year-old building, while working perfectly for modern sites. Lastly, Danforth discussed creating bricks through extrusion, which accounts for nearly 95% of bricks used in the US. They are widely available, extremely versatile, and can have different glazes, textures and coatings.
Danforth continued by expanding on the importance of bricks to the restoration industry that often needs customized shapes and sizes. Dominick D’Argenio, district sales manager, NYC, who has been with Glen-Gery for 38 years, echoed his comments. Noting the company’s relationship with the Landmarks Preservation Commission and its work for schools and housing preservation, D’Argenio said, “We take pride in matching the buildings, replicating the old styles. We customize colors and make blends to maximize the variation in color from old style.” He said too that "We work closely with masons, general contractors, designers, architects – they can talk to us."
The event proved to be a great success, giving attendees a greater depth of knowledge regarding the material they use so often.
Zimmy Patel, Urban DC, design and construction, discovered “a lot of treasured information about brick bonding – [this] gives us a better understanding of industry best practices.”
Spiro Markatos, Accura, said, “It’s helpful to the industry because product knowledge is always key – knowing your product and having the ability to translate that to your clients has many benefits.”
The New York City Special Rigger’s Association is an organization dedicated in keeping its members informed on all updates concerning, but not limited to, the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB),
OSHA code changes and compliance, with emphasis on the safety of workers and the general public.
Photo: Keynote speaker, Leroy Danforth, P.E., design services manager of Glen-Gery, addresses the audience during NYCSRA’s 6th Annual Technical Meeting at Club 101. Photo by Evan Angelastro