Mastering Masonry

Masonry is an art that Citnalta has been perfecting since 1974. In the past year, Citnalta’s Masonry Division has completed work at P.S. 196Q, 345 Adams Street, and P.S. 32K. There are several steps the Masonry Division takes to get these buildings to project completion.



The typical process of any masonry project is to first layout the building as per the Contract plans, find any issues or mistakes in the preplanning process and try to resolve them before it impacts the project schedule. If the job requires back-up CMU, this is installed first followed by all door and window openings, inside corners, and outside corners are detailed with waterproofing materials. After the detail work is completed, the entire substrate is sprayed with an approved Air Vapor Barrier (AVB), including all the metal flashing, copper flashings, caulking at seams and control joints.


At this point, all materials must be tested and approved for compliance with Contract scope requirements. After the AVB has been signed off on, face brick applications can begin. All face brick is structurally tied back to the substrate 16” o.c. vertically and horizontally. As the face brick comes up the building, we also install insulation between the substrate and face brick as required to maintain temperatures in the building. When the brickwork meets the top of the parapet, we install a cast coping stone to terminate the masonry work. The final step is to washdown all the work leaving it looking beautiful and brand new.



The masonry work at PS 196Q was completed in November of 2021. The scope for this project consisted of 110,000 face bricks, 31,000 sq. ft. of AVB, 5,000 sq. ft. of CMU, and 430 linear feet of coping stones on three different roof tops. Thousands of feet flashings, metal, and fabric, caulking and additional materials were used to keep the building watertight.


We are currently working on Lehman College Nursing Education, Research and Practice Center in the Bronx. The general scope of masonry work consists of 14,000 sq. ft. of CMU in the cellar of the building, a small portion on the basement level, and the entire elevator shaft enclosure on the north side of the building. The masonry work also includes 14,600 sq. ft. of Norman-sized face brick (which translates to 65,700 bricks), 15,000 sq. ft. of a UHPC Exterior Panel System (2,340 panels), and 31,000 sq. ft. of AVB, all self-performed by the Masonry Division of Citnalta. As of late October, we have installed 91% of the face brick, 88% of the AVB and roughly 21% of the UHPC Panel System, all of which is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.

Contribution by Ken Reilly