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Herb Nordmeyer Leading Stucco Consultant.

Herb Nordmeyer became a leading Stucco Consultant through a life-time of hard work, constant study, and trying to learn from everyone he ever met. While he seldom mentions that he is a leading stucco consultant, after spending a little time with him there is no doubt that he is not only a leading stucco consultant, but also knows pozzolans, mortars, lime, and green building technology.

 

Nordmeyer has just published the first wonderful book in The Stucco Book series. Click on the link to read more about his first Stucco Book. Or you can read the Stucco Book review by Sylvia Scheid.

Herb will have three books in all when the series is finished. They include:

  • The Stucco Book – The Basics – Published 2012
  • The Stucco Book – Forensics & Repairs – to be published 2013
  • The Stucco Book – Creative Stuccoing – to be published 2014

 

Herb and Judy at their Tomko home

Herb Nordmeyer grew up in a family that was in the pozzolan business; in fact, they furnished pozzolans for Falcon Dam, which was the first Bureau of Reclamation dam that used pozzolans. Pozzolans were added to react with the calcium hydroxide that is given off with cement hydrates, and to reduce the heat of hydration so the concrete could be poured faster without having to install miles of copper cooling tubes in the dam. They had the best volcanic ash deposits in the country. This opened the doors to Herb becoming a research scientist with an interest in pozzolans, including fly ash. As he progressed in his career, he became the acknowledged expert in stucco, lime, pozzolans, and mortar. As a stucco expert, he has designed and specified many of the better bagged mixes that are currently available around the country.

Tragedy builds a friendship. We met Herb when he was organizing the Straw Bale Association of Texas to finish the Greg Tomko Straw Bale home. Greg Tomko was about 10% complete in building his straw bale dream home when he fell off the roof and passed away. This left a mother and several children with an unfinished home, inadequate plans since most of the plans were in Greg’s head, and no father. One of the Tomko children was paralyzed from an automobile accident. Herb and SBAT, along with hundreds of volunteers, stepped forward to finish the home for the family. When we heard about the project, we sent a stucco sprayer to Herb to help out. One of the treasures that came out of the project was the beginning of our friendship with Herb that is close to two decades old. Thank you, Herb. Thank you, SBAT. God bless the Tomkos. The Tomko Straw Bale home is now used as a vacation rental/special events center to support the family. (http://www.strawmanor.com/)

Herb is quick to point out that he is not an architect, an engineer, or an attorney, but that he has been in construction-related fields for most of his life. When his father, in whose steps Herb followed, found he needed a chemistry education, the family cleared off the kitchen table, and he and his father studied chemistry three nights a week under the guidance of his mother, a chemist. Even though Herb went on to earn degrees in biology, chemistry, and aquatic ecology, he considers his real education that home schooling. After following a career based on his formal education for a few years, he got back into the construction materials field.

Over the years he has had such formal job titles as:

  • Assistant to the Head of Research and Development,
  • Director of Research, and
  • Product and Technology Manager.
  • For the last 10 years he has been known informally as the old codger.

In the early 1980s, Herb, along with several associates, formed Rainbow Cement, Inc., and produced colored masonry cements and stuccos.

In the early 1990s he became associated with Best Masonry and Tool Supply, with facilities in Atlanta, Houston, and San Antonio. His primary job was to develop the greenest line of cement products that had ever been developed. His lab was referred to as “The Skunk Works,” after the WWII lab which developed products that most people thought could never be developed. He followed his father’s advice Just because no one has thought of doing it, does not mean it cannot be done, and If the man with the trowel does not say, “I love it!” you don’t have anything to sell.”

In 1999, Best was bought out by ISG Resources, and Herb was installed in a lab that was over 12 times the size of The Skunk Works and was reporting to the president of ISG Resources. ISG Resources’ mission was to develop products based on coal ash, and they felt they had to have the technology that Herb grew up with, and that he had developed for Best, and they needed Herb’s services to meet that goal.

In 2004, ISG Resources was bought out by Headwaters, Inc., one of the largest building products and energy companies in the US.

In 2007, Headwaters and Oldcastle traded assets, and Herb went to work for the largest construction material supplier in the world.

Following his retirement in January, 2010, Herb set up a consulting company, Nordmeyer, LLC.

Over the years, Herb’s work has involved:

  • Product development,
  • Formulating stuccos, mortars, and hydraulic cements,
  • Providing in-plant and in-field quality control,
  • Providing assistance to users of masonry and stucco products, including cast stone,
  • Troubleshooting at construction sites when problems developed,
  • Forensic analysis when problems developed after a building was placed into service, and
  • Developing and presenting AIA and other training modules concerning stuccos, masonry, pozzolans, and green building.
  • He has been very active in ASTM, serving on Committees C 1 (Cements), C 11 (Gypsum and Related Products including stucco), C 12 (Mortar for Unit Masonry), C 15 (Masonry Units), and C 27 (Precast Products), and had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors of ASTM Committee C 12.

Herb has authored and co-authored several articles and publications including, but not limited to:

  • Stucco Handbook for Builders {ISG Resources, 1999},
  • High Pozzolan Mortars and Stuccos {14th International Symposium on Management and Use of Coal
  • Combustion Products (CCPs), EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, 2001},
  • Acid Resistance of High Fly Ash Mortars and Stuccos {15th International Symposium on Management and Use of Coal Combustion Products (CCPs), EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, 2003},
  • High Pozzolan Mortars and Stuccos (Masonry: Opportunities for the 21st Century, STP 1432, ASTM, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, 2003},
  • Degradation of One-Coat Stucco By Well-Meaning Professionals {Walls and Ceilings Magazine, BNP Media, November 2005},
  • Degradation of One-Coat Stucco By Well-Meaning Professionals-A Further Look {Walls and Ceilings Magazine, BNP Media, February, 2006},
  • Water-Repellent Performance in Pozzolanic and Traditional Mortars (with Paul Taylor) {World of Coal Ash, 2007 Proceedings, American Coal Ash Associations, 15200 East Girard Ave, Suite 3050, Aurora, CO 50014, 2007},
  • Type S Masonry Mortars Modified with Liquid Water Repellent (with John H. Matthys) {10th North American Masonry Conference. The Masonry Society, 3970 Broadway, Suite 201-D, Boulder, CO 80304, 2007},
  • Greening of Mortars with Pozzolans (with Keith Bargaheiser) {Eleventh Symposium on Masonry, STP 1496, ASTM, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, 2008},
  • Variations in the Activity of Dry-Powder Water-Repellent Mortar Admixtures with Different Mortar Formulae (with Pam Hall) {Eleventh Symposium on Masonry, STP 1496, ASTM, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, 2008}.

 

Vikki's Stucco Garden ShedHerb Nordmeyer’s love of teaching and his creative side can be seen in many of his projects. This lovely faux stucco tree stump shed, that he named Victoria’s Secret, was built by his friend, Vikki. Vikki was one of the Tomko volunteers who had never stuccoed before showing up as a volunteer. Herb taught her and guided her through the construction process. Before this, her biggest ferrocement project was a small mushroom stool.

His wife, Judy, claims that everything Herb does is a research project, since he built her a straw home before most people had heard of straw construction and then built her a larger energy efficient home that gets most of its cooling and all of its heating from a 20” box fan in the basement.

Nordmeyer, LLC, specializes in:

  • mortar, stucco, and manufactured stone forensics
  • mortar and stucco consulting, including formulae development
  • energy-efficient construction, and straw bale construction.

Stucco consultant: What can Herb Nordmeyer do for your project or product?

  • He can design and specify a mix to match a specific project.
  • He can evaluate your batching, mixing, and stucco application systems for efficiency and alignment with manufacturers’ specifications.
  • He can act as an expert witness for stucco, lime, mortar, and plasters. BUT, he prefers to solve problems and make suggestions for quality stucco installation to avoid problems ahead of time.
  • Most importantly, he can think outside the conventional box that traps most of humanity.

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Contact Herb Nordmeyer with your stucco questions. His email address is: herbnordmeyer@gmail.com

Herb continues to live and work in San Antonio Texas, his phone number is: 210-573-2030

Herb KayakingWhen Herb is away from stucco, he embraces two other passions, writing and kayaking.

For 15 years he and his wife, Judy, have worked with their church’s devotion writing ministry. He has been a writer and an editor, and she has been a copy editor and organizer. This ministry is instrumental in publishing at least two booklets of devotions per year, which are then translated into Spanish.

Over 30 years ago he collected some of the animal stories that his mother told and wrote them down as a Christmas gift to his mother and his siblings. After his mother’s funeral, he found that each of his siblings still had and treasured his/her copy. He is now expanding that booklet into a full-length book of animal stories, under the working title of Animals I Have Hated, and another book is coming together under the working title of Faux Green/Real Green, where he is trying to separate real green technology from green washing. It goes without saying that people are asking him to collect his writing concerning stucco into a book.

To learn more about Herb’s kayaking passion, go to Texas Nature Kayaking.

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