I know that imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery; however, when imitation is based on false claims, I’m not flattered!  MTI’s Sure CavityTM rainscreen drainage plane is the first and only rainscreen drainage plane on the market today that has “true” channels.  Sure CavityTM has always been configured with this channel technology since its innovative birth more than two decades ago.  Our competitors know that it is the “best” technology to quickly drain water from a high point to a low point and out of the rainscreen building envelope.  That’s why some are now claiming that they have “channel” technology, even though they don’t.

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a channel as “a tubelike passage for liquids.”  Most school kids, if asked to draw a channel, would probably draw a couple of straight lines with some blue water in between.  When I did a Google image search for channel, the pictures that came up generally showed relatively straight banks (or sides) with water between those straight sides (ie. the Panama Canal, Erie Canal, etc.)  I am totally amazed how someone can look at a piece of fibrous plastic (think of a kitchen scrub pad) and see channels!  The whole idea behind an effective rainscreen drainage plane is moving moisture “quickly” down from a high point to a low point.  Water does not move quickly when it has to twist its way through a maze of fibrous material!  You can even add some vertical waves to the pattern but you aren’t really creating channels, and the fibrous makeup of the drainage material still puts a myriad of roadblocks in the path of the water you are trying to “quickly” get out of the wall.

A wise marketer once said, “It’s your ad, you can say what you want.”  I suppose that is true, but is it right?  MTI doesn’t have to make up product features in order to market our Sure Cavity rainscreen drainage plane products as the best moisture management solution.  We are the leader; our rainscreen drainage plane products have the technology others envy (and attempt to imitate), and our ICC and CCMC Evaluation Reports confirm that Sure Cavity works the way it is supposed to work.  No other manufacturer of drainage plane products on the market today have both a CCMC and ICC Evaluation Report for their drainage plane products.  None!  So I guess the old “Caveat Emptor – Let the buyer beware!” adage still hold true; kind of sad, isn’t it.

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Getting It Wright

I have been fascinated with Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural style since I was a kid.  I think it comes from walking by his Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa.  The building was an island of extraordinary in a sea of bland brick boxes.  I don’t imagine that too many kids asked their parents to take them to buildings designed by specific architects, but I did ask mine to do just that!

Wright didn’t design many hotels, and this is the last surviving one.  Built in 1910 the hotel and adjoining bank had fallen on hard times by the 1950s, but it still reflected a unique presence even in a deteriorated state.  Thanks to determined area residents, the hotel and bank are being restored, and the hotel is slated to reopen later this summer.  You can learn more about this project at the Wright on the Park website.  If you would like some history on how Wright got involved with this hotel project in Mason City, you can get some historical background here.  If you like Wright’s architectural style but can’t make it to the Midwest, here’s an index to surviving Wright designed buildings around the country.

Northeast Iowa, the area Masonry Technology Inc. calls home, has several Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes and buildings.  Mason City has two as well as several others designed by other notable Prairie School architects like Louis Sullivan.  You can view images of them here.  There is also an Iowa index of buildings of Prairie School design.

I have included some photos of the remodel from its north side (the side facing Central Park).  These were taken on a rainy day toward the end of April.