The interest in developing sustainable building material products has resulted in the increased use of non-traditional materials as ingredients in making building units. Some of these new ingredients include wood chips, plastics, and even shredded rug. These ingredients are often mixed with cements. They are cast into shapes that look like traditional concrete masonry units and fired clay bricks.  While they may appear to be at first glance to be similar to these traditional building units, products cast with alternative materials often do not conform to the ASTM standards for those unit types.

To help direct suppliers of these alternative and the manufacturers who may wish to use these products as ingredients, ASTM C15 has started a new subcommittee, C15.12 on Alternative Masonry Materials and Related Units. This subcommittee has started to develop a new standard, a draft Guide for Developing Specifications for Masonry Units. They have begun their work on this proposed standard under the work item - WK43364.

Industry professionals are invited to join the sub-committee. If you are a member of ASTM and are interested in joining Subcommittee C15.12, please login to the My ASTM portion of the website and under the My Committees page on the top left hand side there is a link to Join Additional Committees. Scroll to Committee C15 and then C15.12 to officially join.

The Subcommittee C15.12 will host its first official subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 3 pm in Jacksonville, FL

If you have any questions about the new sub-committee’s work, please contact Eric Johnson (  If you’d like to learn how to become a member of ASTM, contact Kevin Shanahan by email at, or phone at 610.832.9737.