2013 Golden Trowel Award – Honor

Houston, TX (Sept., 2013) – The Associated Masonry Contractors of Houston presented Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. with the Golden Trowel Honor Award in the Block category for Lockhart-Turner Consolidated Elementary.

This new 115,000 square foot school provides state-of-the-art educational environment for Houston ISD’s Science and Technology Magnet elementary school, funded under the District’s 2007 Bond program. In addition to classroom space for 750 students, the school boasts a large gymnasium/cafeteria, media center and art rooms. The large science classrooms share easy access to the science garden; a dynamic interactive wetlands geared to the exploration of elementary level life science.

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) provided and installed over 36,000 4x8x16 Burnt Sienna colored masonry units, 12,600 4x4x16 Charcoal burnished units, 1,800 4x8x16 Charcoal burnished units, 5,000 8x8x16 regular light weight CMU and 1,200 4x8x16 regular light weight CMU. Cast stone window sills and parapet coping where utilized and match the charcoal burnished units.

CMS faced an intricate challenge during the construction of the main entrance. The main entrance was designed with a slight radius and had a three color scheme that would include two different shades of Astra Glaze blue glazed concrete masonry units (Cobalt & Ocean) along with Charcoal burnished concrete masonry units. The different types of CMU did not have the same face dimension and extreme care was taken to integrate them seamlessly into the wall using a stacked bond. The entrance installation was made more challenging because there was no set color pattern. Pursuant to the architect’s direction, CMS had to ensure that a random selection of colors was used. Another challenge was installing the hanging radius soffit. Because of the design, the radius soffit would need to match the structural steel frame which preceded it. Accordingly, CMS built the soffit in units after creating a template from the existing steel. The prefabricated units were reinforced with high strength grout and reinforcing steel and were lifted into place and held while the connections to the structure were made. Since the radius entry wall was clad on both sides, the soffit joints were actually splayed slightly such that the center line of each aligned perfectly with the inside and outside walls.

Another interesting feature of the school is the fact that the exterior Charcoal accent walls are constructed of “half high” units. This gives the façade a more intimate scale. It also dictated the use of “third bond” where only one third of a unit overlaps another unit. This was incorporated into the typical 8x8x16 units as well. Coupled with the projected 8×8 vertical accent strips, the façade has a very distinct look.

ArchitectHarrison Hornberg
General ContractorTurner Construction

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