2021 Associated Masonry Contractors of Houston Golden Trowel Honor Award – Residential (Multi-Family)

Village of Southampton
The Village of Southampton project is a luxury senior living high-rise complex located in the Rice Village area in Houston, TX. The building’s façade is constructed with a combination of two different colors of brick, cast stone cornices and Arriscraft masonry units that are either anchored to the CMU backup or thin-set on metal stud backer walls. Our scope of work consisted of the supply and installation of:
• 33,690 each of lightweight CMU
• 510 each of ground-face burnished block
• 274,950 each of General Shale Colonial grain modular brick
• 199,780 each of General Shale Mandarin modular brick
• 1,060 square feet of cubic cast stone
• 3,840 each of 1’ X 2’ X 4” thick Arriscraft masonry units
• 500 each of 1’ x 2’ x ¾” thick Arriscraft thin masonry units

The project duration was 16 months from start to finish. Our work was completed on time and under budget. We utilized a combination of conventional scaffold and mast climbing scaffold throughout the project, thus enabling us to work on multiple areas simultaneously.

The building is situated on a site in the middle of a densely populated residential area. Site logistics made it extremely difficult to stock the job and to maintain a steady supply of materials as needed. The compact site required careful planning of material deliveries and the distribution of these materials on site. Construction sequencing required that we install the brick veneer on the façade prior to installing the cast stone and Arriscraft on the lowest levels. Work on the upper levels was performed on mast climbing scaffold that was supplied to all trades by the General Contractor. The masonry materials on the upper levels were stocked on each level and then fed to the masons through window openings. Amenity deck materials were hoisted with a crane and the mortar and grout required were mixed on the deck itself.

The lower levels of the façade are constructed of 4” thick Arriscraft masonry units set in mortar, ¾” thick Arriscraft thin units adhered with thin-set mortar on cement backer board and cubic pieces of cast stone window trim, door trim, and cornice pieces. The tower above is constructed with two colors of modular face brick set in a running bond throughout, with the two different colors combining to accentuate the window openings in an alternating scheme. The amenity deck is constructed using both colors of brick, burnished block planter walls and cast stone coping atop the free-standing brick divider wall at the outside of the deck.

We encountered several challenges throughout the construction process other than the site logistics as mentioned earlier. Because the veneer on the lower levels was installed after the installation of the brick above, extreme care was needed in the installation of the cast stone cornice that the brick rests upon. This required that all of the cornice stones be self-supporting rather than rest on the masonry veneer below. Special anchors designed by an engineer ensured that the cornice could support the heavy load that it carried. All of the shelf angles that supported our masonry veneer were flashed with metal. Great care was required when installing the masonry to prevent damage to this flashing. The flashing also made it difficult to properly align the masonry from floor to floor. Some areas of the façade did not interface properly with the window flashing that was provided by others. This required that all of the brick surrounding the affected windows be removed and replaced with new materials. Extreme care was required to match the new masonry and mortar colors with the existing to ensure that the finished product did not look like it was patched in.

This project’s combined use of multiple masonry elements produces a rich and highly articulated façade that invokes the gilded buildings of the past, which is in stark contrast to the bland modern buildings that are so prevalent in our area. This beautiful building not only enhances the skyline in this area, it also displays the craftsmanship inherent in our skilled masons.

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