October 2016

Cement Board Stucco Systems And Cement Board Masonry Veneer: Better Options Than Ever Before

Scott Hughes and Pat Grotlisch

Cement Board Stucco Systems (CBSS) and Cement Board Masonry Veneer (CBMV) are cost effective, impact resistant and designed to create the stucco look your customers appreciate, in a faster application. And now there are even more reasons to include them in your designs – code standards and programs approve these exterior applications.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and International Building Code (IBC) accept both Cement Board Stucco Systems (CBSS) and Cement Board Masonry Veneer (CBMV) as solid exterior wall options that meet stringent commercial code standards. The International Code Council (ICC) supports them. Documentation includes:

  • ASTM C1516, which contains approved substrates for direct-applied exterior finish systems with cement board stucco
  • International Code Council (ICC) Acceptance Criteria 59 – AC59 contains provisions to demonstrate the compliance of direct-applied CBSS with performance requirements of the ICC. This allows stucco manufacturers to qualify an entire direct-applied system, not just components. AC59 addresses such aspects as durability and serviceability.
  • ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria 51 – AC51 contains the physical properties and test criteria required for manufactured stone in exterior-adhered veneer systems. ASTM C1670 (product standard) now reinforces the minimum product requirements for adhered manufactured stone masonry veneer units and ASTM C1780 (installation standard) also provides accepted procedures to designers and installers of adhered manufactured stone masonry veneer systems in residential and commercial construction.
  • The Masonry Veneer Manufacturers Association (MVMA) also includes specifications in its “Installation Guide for Adhered Concrete Masonry Veneer.”
  • ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria 376 – AC376 provides approval requirements for ASTM C1325 cement boards for exterior finishes, such as CBMV and CBSS. This includes installation requirements as well as wind load and shear/fire-resistance details.
  • ICC-ESR-1510 – ESR-1510 gives assurance that PermaBase® brand Cement Board can be used as an exterior backer board for tile, stone, thin brick, Portland cement stucco, synthetic stucco and manufactured stone.

Aside from code standard endorsements, CBSS and CBMV can save you money. If you want to see how this works, let us help you calculate your cost for a particular project. You will save time, labor and expenses with CBSS or CBMV versus the old conventional method. We are also available to explain the system to a code official involved with your project, if you would like additional assistance. (Acceptance reports AC59 and AC51 make it easier to understand and support.)

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call us. We are your team on call, here to help you design and build better.

"If you want the look and feel of masonry veneer without all the cost associated with traditional installation techniques, look hard at Cement Board Masonry Veneer. Architects love how simple the system is to detail and install. Do you like the look of stucco but not the potential issues of cracking and poor installation? Cement Board Stucco is also easy to install with specifications and details provided by major EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) manufacturers. In addition, 10-year warranties are available for both of these systems."
- Scott W. Hughes

"Cement Board Stucco and Cement Board Masonry Veneer Systems are growing in popularity because architects appreciate that they offer a systems approach that uses engineered components. This provides more durability, consistent quality, requires no field mixing, and they are not dependent on weather conditions."
- Pat Grotlisch

Product Overview

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Project Profile

Proximity Hotel In Greensboro, North Carolina


Operated by Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants & Hotels
Design and construction led by Dennis Quaintance, CEO of Quaintance-Weaver
First LEED Platinum certified hotel in America

Opened in 2007, this luxury AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel utilized more than 70 sustainable practices during construction. As CEO Dennis Quaintance says, "I would never have believed that we could use 39 percent less energy and 33 percent less water without one iota of compromise in comfort or luxury and with minimal additional construction costs. It just goes to show what a determined team can accomplish if they use common sense and get a little bit of help from the sun."

Read More About The Project

Continuing Education

Now that school is back in session, fulfill some CEUs by taking these continuing education courses:

Finishing Gypsum Board: Appearance and Indoor Air Quality
High Performance Gypsum: Protect Against Mold, Moisture and Exposure


Reduce Airborne Dust By 60 Percent When You Specify ProForm® brand XP® With Dust-Tech®

Watch how ProForm® brand XP® with Dust-Tech® and ProForm® brand XP® Lite with Dust-Tech® reduce airborne dust by 60 percent.

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Amy Hockett
National Marketing Manager, Architectural Services & Sustainability

Pat Grotlisch

Frank Fuller

Alan Zeedyk
Gulf / Southeast

Thad Goodman
Central / Midwest

Scott Hughes
Northeast / Atlantic

Trang Schwartz
Architectural Specialist