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Williams and Sons Masonry, Inc.

Re: Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, La Jolla:

Serving as the hallmark of the new facility, the seven-story, 130,000-brick, tower includes accent bands of porcelain-glazed brick.

San Diego-based Williams & Sons Masonry, Inc. is the masonry contractor on this specialized masonry project, working hand-in-hand with McCarthy Construction on developing the best solutions for this complex façade component.

The company acknowledges the project is one of the biggest brick jobs in San Diego in the past 15 years, in both the number of bricks used and the ultimate height of the final brick structure.

Before the bricks could be placed, seven stories of structural steel had to be erected.  Crews began constructing the tower in February 2012 by placing 5,900 tons of steel with a 300-ton capacity crane.  To construct the brickwork on the tower, Williams & Sons crews had to place scaffolding with cranes and ‘Reach’ forklifts.

The scaffolding chosen for this project is a crank-up tower platform system which is manually cranked up or down to keep the bricklaying height at a comfortable level.  The Architect had selected a stacked bond pattern with 3/8” deep raked mortar joints.  With the brick laid, aluminum reveals were then added. To match these aluminum reveals, glazed bricks were then incorporated into the tower’s recesses to augment architectural highlights. The glazed reset brick used is a special, high-quality brick, made in Texas, another signature detail for the new facility.

Experts in local public commercial masonry projects for more than 30 years, Williams and Sons acknowledges the requirements of this project were demanding.  Todd Williams, President of Williams and Sons Masonry, said laying the brick was the easy part; erecting the scaffolding with cranes and forklifts was the biggest challenge.  “There’s a lot to it,“ said Williams, “every aspect of our work was well planned for months, even years in advance.”

[Originally published in the AGC-SD Constructor – Summer 2013 Issue]