When our industry works together, we succeed together.

1924

Adoption of Standard Units
Up until the early 1920’s block was made in 30 different lengths, 20 different widths, and 26 different heights. That changed in 1924 when we came together to adopt a schedule of standard unit sizes, specifically 8x8x16.

1933

Industry Funded Load Tests
During the Great Depression, the industry collaborated to fund a series of comprehensive load tests at Underwriters’ Laboratories and promoted the results of that research nationally to specifiers.

1956

National Ad Campaigns
Pooling financial resources, our industry promoted concrete masonry directly to homeowners in a series of national ads designed to inform buyers, influence preference, and drive demand for our product.

1973

Development of New Products
Thanks to a steady stream of research funding, the industry developed new products such as architectural concrete masonry, a big seller due to its thermal inertia, varied colors, unique textures and distinct styling.

During our long history, there are numerous examples of how collaboration among block producers has lead to success.

When Harmon Palmer figured out concrete block didn’t have to be solid in 1900, his discovery launched an entire industry. In just 20 short years, his original product evolved into a completely new building material. Back then, concrete block was so new that builders, architects and insurers didn’t know what to make of it. Our predecessors learned pretty quickly they’d have to work together to make sure our young industry would survive.

Those early pioneers pooled their money to prove our product could stand up to fire. They researched new ways to ensure product quality, promoted results of industry-funded testing, and educated the marketplace on the superior attributes of concrete block.

Fast forward 121 years. Today, through our checkoff effort, we’re trying to do much of the same: pool resources for research, education and promotion.

Our current effort to establish the national CMU Checkoff is the result of over a decade of discussion, debate and deliberation. It’s an investment in research, education and promotion. It’s to ensure we all succeed.

Video:

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Design Escapes
The CMU Checkoff Initiative was created by producers frustrated with continual loss of market share. That frustration was compounded when program ideas surfaced that could drive demand, but there was no way to fund multi-year, well-funded programs that would change outdated perceptions of CMU.

© Concrete Masonry Checkoff Initiative