More than 170 Texas cities have adopted minimum requirements for masonry on the exteriors of new construction. A new interactive map shows the locations of many of these cities. One such community is the fast-growing city of Frisco, north of Dallas.
Frisco Mayor Maher Maso, an information technology entrepreneur, says Frisco always has excelled at long-term planning and policies that support sustainability. That mindset led officials to consider and ultimately adopt masonry planning. In focusing on sustainability, Frisco officials saw it as a proverbial three-legged stool with legs of safety, durability, and aesthetics. The Frisco Fire Department, which is ISO 1 certified, emphasized the safety benefits of masonry construction.
Officials also were swayed by the durability, low-maintenance, and aesthetic characteristics of masonry. Frisco planners and elected officials recognized that many new buildings look good for a while, but the real test is how they will look in 10, 20, or 30 years.
“As neighborhoods age,” Maso said, “what’s the best material to withstand the test of time? What requires the least maintenance? All the signs pointed to masonry… Just about everything we’ve built has had sustainability in mind.” Garza said, “Texas has a rich history of building with long-lasting masonry products. Masonry is part of the Texas heritage, and by embracing masonry planning, local officials and civic leaders, such as those in Frisco, are helping to build a strong legacy for their communities.“
Research has shown that masonry (brick, stone, concrete block) provides greater protection against fire, and windstorms, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, than non-masonry siding products. In addition, other research has shown that masonry requirements result in: 1) higher overall property values; 2) growth in the tax base, lessening the tax burden on residents; 3) continued population and housing growth, and 4) no significant impact on affordability for either renters or buyers of housing.