Created with the oversight of professional building envelope consultants, engineers, architects, experienced commercial masonry contractors, and other masonry specialists, the National Masonry System Guide: Northwest Edition is the product of decades of combined in-the-field masonry experience. RDH played a critical role in the guide’s creation in 2016 and in the 2018 document update, drawing on our long history of publishing guideline, policy, and best practice documents. We were also involved in presenting workshops to share the information in the guide with the industry.

The guide provides comprehensive design and construction detailing information for 8 primary above‑grade wall assembly options composed of clay or concrete masonry as an adhered or anchored veneer or single-wythe concrete masonry unit (CMU) wall application. Each assembly within the guide is addressed specifically to the Northwest region (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) and considers the local climate, codes, and building preferences and practices. At the end of each chapter, 2D and 3D details and cutaway wall sections summarize the chapter content and illustrate its use in real-world applications. Each assembly chapter also provides a pricing analysis to demonstrate the relative price per square foot.

The section following the 8 assembly chapters contains additional information regarding thermal modeling parameters, published industry references, and product resources. Additional features of the guide include design and construction/installation checklists and other design considerations as well as an assembly comparison matrix to assist designers with assembly selection, including comparison categories for both commercial and/or residential applications.


May 6, 2019


Masonry Institute of Washington


Guide Development, 2D and 3D Details, Workshop Delivery

Year Published:


Key Services

Knowledge Sharing

At RDH-BSL, we’re constantly striving to understand and meet industry needs. We’re on site, learning through hands-on experience, and also in the lab and the field, conducting wide-ranging research on building performance. We are always asking “why” so we can share new insights with others in the fields of building science, construction, architecture, and design.

This sharing takes a number of forms, for example: developing clear, practical guides; leading seminars, webinars, and other online and offline events; developing curriculum packages and training materials; and writing for a wide range of industry publications. We make many of these resources available through our Technical Library and

Bailey Brown | MS, PE

Principal, Building Science Specialist
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Michael Kramer | LEED AP

Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist
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Graham Finch | Dipl.T., M.A.Sc., P.Eng.

Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist
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Dr. John Straube | PhD, P.Eng.

Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist
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