One of the most exhilarating challenges facing today’s architects is to design a building capturing the quintessential spirit of the owner or of the building’s use. This might mean conveying the spirit of an up-and-coming business; or portraying the contemporary, traditional or pioneering spirit of a growing family with big dreams. The architectural design of a hospital might wish to evoke a feeling of care and trust – a place where one can find vanguard health-care technologies, as well as caring professionals to administer them. No one knows these great expectations better than Metromont Materials, Inc., of Spartanburg, S.C.
Founded in 1925 by Captain James Roy Pennell, the company first began operating as Pennell and Harley Construction Engineers, and contracted heavy construction projects throughout the Southeast. Today, Metromont Materials is an autonomous South Carolina limited-liability corporation operated by local management, serving residential, commercial and institutional construction needs.
Metromont employs more than 1,000 people in its operations, including 30 ready-mix plants, 12 block plants, two pre-cast plants, one reinforced concrete pipe plant, one concrete paver plant and 18 building materials plants throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Providing architectural block, concrete masonry units, concrete brick, reinforced concrete pipe, masonry reinforcing and accessories, bagged goods, flashing, glass block, waterproofing, masonry fill insulation and flue liners to the construction industry, Metromont markets its products throughout the Southeastern portion of the country.
One Call Does it All
With such a tag line to identify its business, Metromont’s customers know they can count on finding all of their building material needs under one roof. With construction trends continually changing as materials technologies advance, Metromont keeps pace with the latest in industry standards and needs. The building materials chosen for today’s most avant-garde construction projects, aesthetically pleasing and technologically sound, reflect these new advances.
For example, over the last few decades architectural concrete masonry has completely changed the face of how buildings look. With concrete masonry manufactured in a wide range of shapes, sizes, textures, styles and colors, building owners can be assured that their new buildings will evoke the spirit infused into the architectural designs.
“Building with concrete masonry lets architects select a product to fit their design – instead of forcing the design to fit the selected product,” say Metromont personnel. The architecturally interesting textures seen in many of newly constructed buildings today are achieved by scoring, splitting, grinding and polishing masonry. Sculptured facings are created by projecting ribs or flutes on the face of the architectural masonry in addition to utilizing vertical scoring or recesses for additional textural dimension.
Metromont representatives work closely with architects and builders to discuss the viability of design ideas, to review specifications to ensure the right products are chosen for the specific design and to prepare submittal information and coordinate deliveries.
Concrete Masonry Units
Concrete masonry units have gained prominence in the construction of homes, schools, industrial buildings and municipal structures because of the many benefits they offer any construction project. These benefits include:
• Economy: Compared to other
construction materials, concrete masonry units are easy on the bottom line because they do not require labor-intensive forming or bracing. They also provide excellent resistance to damage without the need (and added cost) of protection devices.
• Durability: There is no need to worry about deterioration or weakening, as concrete masonry units do not rust, rot or decay. Moreover, insects tend not to build their homes in them, which is good news for homeowners.
• Fire resistance: Concrete masonry units used with mortar can provide fire ratings up to four hours.
• Versatility and beauty: Design changes are easier using concrete masonry units because they can be removed or added to more easily than other types of construction. In addition to a wide range of available textures, these units come in many colors to help give any construction project the desired signature look.
Metromont’s rich tradition of providing quality architectural concrete masonry products includes its Carolina Heritage integrally colored concrete block used in many eye-appealing projects. Consistency of size, ease of installation and multiple colors throughout the brick – not just applied on the surface – are a few of the benefits of using these blocks. Carolina Heritage brick complements other architectural concrete products such as split-face and ground-face block.
Architectural concrete masonry is made up of various face designs, including split-face block, split-scored, fluted or ribbed, and ground-face masonry units. Architectural concrete masonry can be designed as a veneer system or as a single wythe wall, and is the only masonry product that can be manufactured with an integral water-repellent system for a lifetime of moisture protection.
The Italians are well known for their masonry artistry and this is quite evident in Rome, where some parts of the city’s main sewer system (more than 2,000 years old) are still in use. The reason? Partly it’s attributable to the use of stone masonry and natural cement concrete. Metromont takes this rich knowledge and brings it into the 21st century, with its concrete pipe in a variety of sizes – from 4 inches to 17 feet in diameter – and shapes: circular, horizontal elliptical, vertical elliptical, arch and rectangular.
Made of Portland cement, aggregate, and water, concrete pipe serves as a conduit material for irrigation, water supply lines, sanitary sewers, culverts, and storm drains. We all know how important it is to have well-designed and well-made products for these applications – as they keep us safe from flooding and other catastrophes. Concrete pipe is produced by centrifugal/spinning, dry-cast, packer head and tamp-entail processes.
Metromont also produces central-mixed, transit-mixed and shrink-mixed concrete. Ready-mixed concrete is especially beneficial when small quantities of concrete are needed – or when intermittent placing of concrete is required.
Not only does Metromont supply superior products, but the company backs that up with uncompromising service, with a fleet of over 300 trucks to get products where they need to be and when they need to be there.
Metromont Materials has always been there when architects and contractors needed them – for more than 77 years. The company plans to continue to supply quality products, services and building systems to its customers in the construction industry, and plans to maintain its role as a progressive company to serve the needs of the construction industry for years to come.