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Architectural Concrete Masonry Units for K-12 Design

Concrete Masonry Units are the Right Choice for School Architectural Design

If you are considering concrete masonry units for your architectural design in an elementary school, middle school, junior high, high school, college campus, or any other application, you have come to the right place. We have a number of resources that will give you more insight into why designing with concrete masonry provides multiple benefits in safety, efficiency, and aesthetics with educational architectural design.

This building used concrete masonry units for architectural flavor

Lasting Value

Durable and low in maintenance, concrete block resists fire, mold, pests, vandalism and water damage – saving more over the lifelong value of the structure. Check out why Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., chose concrete masonry units for its renovation, partly because of lower maintenance costs and other architectural benefits.


Concrete masonry units provide architectural freedom through a variety of designs, shapes, textures and colors that combine innovation and aesthetically beautiful design. Here are some design resources to help architects choose the right concrete masonry units for energy efficiency, fire resistance, sound and noise control and structural applications in the K-12 (and beyond) educational environment.


concrete masonry units provide durability

Never Burns

Concrete masonry is safer than wood– particularly in schools. When a fire breaks out, concrete masonry units will help to contain the fire, allowing students to evacuate safely. Read more about the fire resistance ratings of concrete block.


Concrete block creates strong, durable mass walls that result in a quieter environment. Classroom activity and noise are contained. And, when you want sound magnified, concrete masonry design can create beautiful music with great acoustics.

concrete masonry units help to block out sound



Upgrading to concrete masonry units usually costs less than 5% of overall initial construction costs. And maintenance over the lifetime of the material is significantly less than other materials. For more information on how to maintain concrete block and masonry construction, read this TEK.

Safe Rooms with Concrete Masonry Unit

Concrete buildings provide more security from extreme weather events such as earthquakes, floods, high winds and wildfires. Unlike sprinkler systems and smoke detectors, concrete can’t fail due to corrosion, faulty sensors, or man-made error. Concrete block safe rooms and buildings are often used by the entire community during weather events.

TEK for Educational Architects

For more technical information about using concrete masonry units for your school system, check out our technical specification documents, which are written especially for architects and engineers looking more information on how to best utilize concrete masonry units in architectural design for K-12 (and beyond) schools.

They include building codes and specifications for using concrete block, details of the shapes and sizes of concrete masonry units, information on the costs and estimating for concrete masonry construction, as well as fire resistance ratings, R-Value and U-Value calculations, and much more.



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