Courses for Learning Units

Courses are periodically offered by PCMA for Learning Unit Credits

These courses qualify for AIA/CES LU HSW for Architects, Learning Units for Engineers, and ICC CEU & MCAA credits for Mason Contractors.
PCMA is an Approved Provider PA Department of Labor & Industry for Building Code Officials.

Masonry Detailing Tips

Effective design of masonry often is dependent of proper detailing. This presentation discusses some of the critical issues related to detailing of exterior masonry wall systems including lintels, bond beams, shelf angles, continuous insulation, and new assembly strength allowances. Design for differential movement of dissimilar materials and the wall system detailing practices are also presented.

Masonry and Energy Codes - Effective Compliance Methods

Prescriptive energy code requirements (R and U values) for building envelopes have increased significantly over the past several years. Compliance with these code provisions is becoming increasingly more difficult, and new design solutions are necessary. This presentation will provide an overview of the energy code provisions, discuss energy code compliance options for exterior wall systems, review design aids, discuss thermal bridging and effective U and R values, discuss whole energy analysis, and finally, review the diminishing energy savings of increasing envelope insulation on mass exterior masonry walls.

Study of Initial Cost of Construction – Multi-Residential Structures

The presenter will educate the attendee on the typical construction types and configurations commonly used in multi-family residential construction and their relative performance initially and over time. An explanation will be made of the construction cost model, which accurately evaluates the relative construction cost of a multi-family building constructed using different construction materials including wood, steel, masonry, precast and ICF. This new study addresses the initial cost of construction a common multi-family residential building based on the 2015 International Building Code designed using the balanced design approach.

Building Design and the Building Code Official

The program will discuss design decisions that have created significant project challenges in the opinion of the building code official. The code official will offer potential solutions to the problems and discuss why the decision, while positive in the mind of the design professional, ultimately created challenges for the project during permitting and construction.

Understanding of Concrete Masonry Systems

This presentation covers the basics of concrete masonry materials including how units are manufactured, unit configurations, masonry terminology, masonry mortars and grouts and the attributes of concrete masonry units. Design and construction requirements for concrete masonry as well as related codes and standards references are presented.

Fundamentals of Balanced Design for Fire Safe Construction

This program addresses the fundamentals and advantages of balanced design for fire safe construction and makes the attendee aware of the cost competitive nature of this type of design approach.

Enhanced Building Resilience for Community Continuity

Community continuity relies on its buildings. Practices that prioritize least initial cost often result in the worst building that can be legally constructed. The problem of insufficient resilience has escalated, now demanding national attention. Learn about this problem and strategies for enhanced resilience.

Concrete Masonry + Thermal Performance for Sustainable Design

This presentation addresses thermal mass and how to include it in the design of a concrete masonry envelope system. Insulation systems, thermal bridging and control of air infiltration as relates to concrete masonry are also included. Recent ASTM-C90 changes to unit configurations and how these changes can affect the thermal performance of wall assemblies is addressed.

Sustainability in Masonry Building Construction

This seminar provides an overview of masonry as a sustainable construction material. It deals primarily with clay brickwork and concrete blockwork and describes their principal properties with regard to sustainability and issues of recycling and reuse. The broader issues associated with sustainable masonry design are presented. This includes sustainable aspects of masonry materials and exterior masonry cavity wall system. Masonry position in LEED is briefly presented. A brief outline of possible development of new framework beyond LEED rating system is included. This will help in better viewing masonry as a more sustainable building system.

NCMA SRW Plan Review and Construction Inspection

The presentation will review the minimum requirements for the successful construction of Segmental Retaining Walls. The course will cover plan review, design and specification requirements, example plans, minimum construction requirements and construction inspection.

NCMA Segmental Retaining Wall Best Practices

This presentation introduces the best practices for design, specification, construction and inspection for segmental retaining walls developed based on over 20 years of industry experience. It will highlight information in the new Segmental Retaining Wall Best Practices Manual, available for free download.


The Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association is a trade association dedicated to support, promote and expand the use of concrete masonry, segmental retaining wall and pavers as well as related products within Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region.


813 Chestnut Street
P.O. Box 4
Lebanon, PA 17042


(717) 279-6346