New York skyline from the water

Facades+ New York City

New York, NY – Building Blocks looks forward to the Facades+ symposium and workshop event in New York City next month. The two-day program unites top professionals from design, fabrication, and construction. Together, they consider high-performance envelopes in the context of New York City’s unique architectural landscape. The event fosters collaboration and innovation. Consequently, Facades+ is the premier conference on high-performance building enclosures. Read more or review the program. The conference is hosted by the Architect’s Newspaper.


Facades+ New York City

April 16-17, 2018


Metropolitan West

639 West 46th Street

New York, NY 10036

Chicago skyline in black and white

Brandon Dotson Joins the Team

Brandon Dotson

Architectural Designer

Chicago, IL – Brandon Dotson joins the Building Blocks team as Architectural Designer. He will collaborate with clients to create project-specific details and system designs.


Before joining our team, Brandon worked on projects all over the world including Istanbul, the Bahamas, New York, Miami, and Chicago. He holds a Masters of Architecture from Florida International University.

GFRC for Hard Rock

GFRC Contract Won for Hard Rock in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA – Building Blocks will provide GFRC for Hard Rock in New Orleans. The glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) is cladding panels. The new Hard Rock is located in the French Quarter of downtown New Orleans. The building is 18-stories. It features 350 hotel rooms and 62 apartment units. The rooms have prime views of the city’s historic district. The signature Hard Rock music-focused environment is appropriate for the music-centered culture of New Orleans. It opens in Spring 2019.


Hard Rock New Orleans


PCI Convention 2018 in Denver

PCI Convention 2018

Denver, CO – Building Blocks will attend the PCI Convention in Denver next month. The four-day program brings together members of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute with industry non-members for the purpose of committee meetings, education courses, and training sessions. The PCI Convention & National Bridge Conference is coupled with The Precast Show tradeshow. The tradeshow is the largest precast-specific trade show in North America. As a result, the combined event brings together over 1,000 attendees.


PCI Convention & National Bridge Conference

February 20-24, 2018


Colorado Convention Center

700 14th St

Denver, CO 80202


New York skyline for Facade Tectonics

The Facade Tectonics Institute

Chicago, IL – Building Blocks is a supporting member of Facade Tectonics. The Facade Tectonics Institute is an international membership organization. The group carries out progressive, broad-based research in building facade technology. Likewise, they catalyze and foster a deep dialogue of collaborative research activity. Their goal is to bridge the fragmented building industry. Hence, they tie industry, government, academic, design, and building ownership professionals into one comprehensive conversation.


The Institute conducts one annual conference. They also host a series of half-day forums at national and international venues. Furthermore, they publish a journal and produce technical guides, research reports, and books addressing diverse areas of building facade technology.

Facade Tectonics logo

Learn more about membership

and their mission.

New GFRC manufacturing facility for Building Blocks

New GFRC Manufacturing Facility Opens

Kissimmee, FL – The new Building Blocks GFRC manufacturing facility is up and running. It is a 7-acre site near Orlando, Florida. The site is close to our Florida markets. It also supports easy shipping throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. The plant employs highly trained technicians in a team-based, continuous learning environment.


We use glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) for new construction in four distinct applications: cladding, curtainwall, formwork, and unitized wall systems. Our unitized wall system combines GFRC cladding, Schüco windows, and ThermaFiber insulation into a complete prefabricated wall. This system provides a dry floor immediately upon installation. It also delivers superior performance throughout the life of a building.


Building Blocks is set to introduce a proprietary mix of GFRC to the market with the establishment of a new production facility. Preliminary tests show that the improved GFRC offers lower vapor permeability and less expansion than existing GFRC mixes. This reduces tolerance requirements and delivers an even higher performance facade material.

Chicago skyline in black and white

Maggie McMahon Joins the Team

Maggie McMahon

Project Manager

Chicago, IL – Maggie McMahon joins the Building Blocks team as Project Manager. She will handle estimating and project management for restoration and new construction projects that feature terra cotta and glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) facade systems. The emphasis of her work is on financial reporting and billing.


Maggie began her career in sales and customer service at an art gallery prior to joining Building Blocks. Maggie focused on architecture history with a studio practice in sculpture while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Chicago skyline in black and white

James Liu Joins the Team

James Liu

Color Technician

Chicago, IL – James Liu joins the Building Blocks team as Color Technician. He will create the glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) samples that our project partners use to determine the finished look of their building facade projects. James will build and maintain our GFRC sample database to develop color options and product lines.


James previously studied pigments and pottery in Jingdazhen, China. He is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelors of Fine Arts.

Jimmy Lee Joins the Team

Jimmy Lee

Jimmy Lee

Chief Operating Officer

Kissimmee, FL – Jimmy Lee joins the Building Blocks team as Chief Operating Officer. He is formerly the President of GFRC Cladding and Vice President of GFRC 360. Previously, he worked with Harmon Contract W.S.A and Curtain Wall Design and Consulting. Jimmy has over 30 years of experience in the high rise cladding industry.


His expertise in prefabricated and unitized systems spans a variety of materials from precast, GFRC, and granite to metal panel systems. Jimmy is known for delivering wall systems that solve client challenges. He prizes effective design and the preservation of architectural intent in his work.

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill logo

AIA Education at Smith + Gill

Chicago, IL – Building Blocks will deliver two continuing education programs at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill this spring. The first focuses on the high-performance capabilities of glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC). It defines the manufacturing, system capabilities, and design. Similarly, the second session expands on GFRC fundamentals. It specifically covers recladding and overcladding projects.


Building Blocks is an American Institute of Architects (AIA) approved provider of continuing education. As a result, we give Lunch & Learn presentations for practicing architects. We teach sessions about GFRC and terra cotta. See more information about the AIA CEU courses we offer here.