What does Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) Mean?
Definition of Concrete masonry unit ( CMU ) in Construction
These are all the masonry block units on a project. The block can be in almost any shape and size, however are normally in increments of 2 inches, from 4 inches on up to 16 inches. These are the common sizes, however, blocks can be custom made to almost any size and shape. Block plants are located all over the country and are very specific to local suppliers, due to the cost of transportation to the project. CMU’s can be made of almost any color possible, due to the ability to add coloration to the raw materials at the plant, and can be ordered in almost any shape that can either be cut or molded. The surface finishes can also be custom made, such as split face block, ridged block, smooth face block, etc. Most CMU units are made in common coursing, which means they increase by the 2″ in length and are usually always a face dimension of 8″. Again, however, custom sizes are always available for the right price. CMU components can also be made of light weight material to reduce the load on the structure as well as the burden on the mason tenders. Pumice is used in block manufacturing to reduce the weight of each masonry unit, however strength is sacrificed, therefore light weight masonry units cannot simply be substituted for standard weight block without the proper approvals by the design team.