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Vanderbilt University

Residential Colleges A & B

Vanderbilt chimneys.jpg

Vanderbilt University—Residential Colleges A & B

Nashville, TN

Architects: David M. Schwarz Architects; Hastings

Client: IMS Masonry

Completion: 2020 / 2022
Category: Institutional

Project Type: Stone Engineering

Stone Types:

+ Crab Orchard Sandstone: split face
+ India Pink Sandstone
+ Indiana Limestone



Summer 2020–Dynamics of Masonry


Jan 2021—Masonry: Let’s Get Creative

Masonry and stone-clad residential building featuring Victorian/Gothic architecture styles, and detailed aesthetic elements. Vanderbilt re-imagined their west end neighbourhood through the design of four new residential colleges. Vertical brick expansion joints were hidden behind downspouts; molded brick was used instead of extruded to make wall surfaces slightly irregular. The chimneys create a convincing profile along the skyline, but also conceal plumbing and ventilation systems.


Our resources were scaled and PICCO changed its process to achieve a six month schedule crash. Masonry detailing documentation for all facades and courtyards were developed to a level of detail rarely seen, helping translate to an authentic craftsmanship. Meticulous coordination aligned the architect’s design, cladding, structure, envelope, windows, fabrication, installation, schedule, and cost. PICCO helped improve outcomes from a previous campus-build experience (with another service provider).


We accepted the full scope of masonry facade coordination and engineering services: 3D modeling, shop drawings/shop tickets, connection engineering, mock-ups, and prefabrication design. Our suggestion to prefabricate the full steel-framed masonry chimney as one piece proved more efficient, better controlled, and cost-effective.


Working with renowned drafting and engineering firm PICCO Engineering

during Design Assist, we were able to use the present design in modulating stone to correspond to brick coursing as well as show proper jointing of pieces, knowing that later we both will work to come up with connection design. Each stone has its own individual anchor, which was custom

designed by PICCO. Each stone; therefore, has its own cutting ticket to be fabricated with unique anchorage slots prepped.”

—Heath Holdaway, President, IMS Masonry

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