CalStar offers two AIA- and GBCI-approved continuing education courses: “Reducing Embodied Energy in Masonry Construction” and “Product Transparency: The Next Step to Getting Greener.” They provide one learning unit (LU) and qualify for HSW. There are two options for earning CEU credits from CalStar:
The very things that make CalStar products more sustainable (recycled content, no kiln firing) also make them more affordable. CalStar can often save on your masonry costs. See our sustainability section for more on how our products save you money.
CalStar products have been used on hundreds of projects, including schools, hotels, retail establishments, restaurants, medical buildings, multifamily properties, and single-family homes. Visit our project locator for the locations of most of the projects featuring our products. For case studies on select projects, visit our project gallery.
You bet. Our forming and coloring process is quite flexible. If it can be molded or cast, we can probably make it. Please contact us to discuss your particular job.
CalStar pavers meet ASTM C936 Standard Specification for Solid Concrete Interlocking Paving Units. View our paver test reports.
CalStar thru-wall units meet ASTM C90 Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units. View our thru-wall test reports.
CalStar bricks and facing units meet or exceed industry expectations for strength, absorption, and freeze/thaw durability. View our brick test reports.
Absolutely. We only use independent, accredited, third-party labs for our external testing. View our many test reports here.
Specify CalStar products the same way you would specify any masonry or paver product. For thru-wall and pavers units, reference ASTM C90 Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units and C936 Standard Specification for Solid Concrete Interlocking Paving Units, respectively.
For CalStar bricks and facing units, specify the units must have minimum compressive strength of 3,000 psi and maximum absorption of 17%, and must pass the freezing and thawing test in ASTM C67, with maximum 0.5% weight loss.
CalStar products are compatible with standard mortars, such as Type N and Type S.
Like many construction materials, CalStar units will shrink modestly through time. (Clay is one of the more uncommon materials that expands over time.) To accommodate the material movement, place movement joints where good building practice dictates (e.g., at stress concentrations, near building corners, and re-entrant corners of large windows and bays, at changes in wall height, etc.). In areas with long, unbroken spans, control joints should be placed every 20 feet, on center.
Absolutely. Standard practices for good construction should be followed. Bond-breaker or slip-planes should be used between dissimilar materials to accommodate differential material movement. For example, if you have a clay brick façade with a cast-stone base course, you would want to place a slip-plane or bond-breaker between these two different materials. Do the same with CalStar products and different materials.
The Thru-Wall units combine CalStar’s premium look with ASTM C90 Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units performance. They meet ASTM C90 exactly, and can be designed with using NCMA design guidelines and details.
Consider using CalStar thru-wall units to achieve the look of brick with the performance of block in one unit. You can reduce your materials and labor cost by laying one product instead of two.
CalStar combines fly ash, sand, water, pigments and some additives. We form the products on a vibrocompaction press and cure them overnight in a sauna-like environment.
Yes. Unequivocally. But don’t just take our word for it. We had an independent firm analyze product safety. View their test report.
Fly ash has a long track record of safe use in building materials. Fly ash is commonly used as a partial replacement for cement in concrete. Fly ash has been used in building materials for more than 80 years. The Hoover Dam has fly ash in its concrete. Virtually all high-performance concrete mixes in the world have fly ash in them. At CalStar, we rigorously test our products for safety. For more information and test results, visit our environmental information page.
Yes. Based on third-party environmental health and safety assessments, CalStar products do not pose any greater risk than normal clay brick to masons. Masons can handle CalStar products the same way they handle conventional products.
Clay products are typically kiln-fired using fossil fuels for one to four days at about 2,000 degrees F. Concrete products use Portland cement, which is a carbon-intensive material. CalStar doesn’t fire products or use Portland cement, so much less energy is required to form the products and much less CO2 is associated with the products. Absent of firing and Portland cement, the manufacture of CalStar products requires up to 81% less energy and emits up to 84% less CO2.
For every modular brick manufactured, CalStar saves almost a pound of CO2 emissions, 5,000 BTU of energy and more than 1.5 pounds of material otherwise destined for the landfill. It adds up quickly!
CalStar’s LEED calculator can determine the environmental savings for your project. Give it a try!