The Northwest Chapter of the American Society of Professional Engineers recently held its Day of Training in Fayetteville, AR, for engineers from a variety of backgrounds. NRMCA’s local paving engineer Amanda Hult presented on Concrete’s Contribution to Sustainable Construction and Concrete Overlays: Another Way to Pave. She presented the attendees with basic design information on concrete overlays and provided several of the engineers with the Guide to Concrete Overlays of Asphalt Parking Lots to take with them.
"This is a great option that never ever crossed my mind," one engineer related to Hult "I have a project that would be a perfect candidate. May I contact you for assistance?"
Hult closed the presentation with information on NRMCA’s Design Assistance Program
. The engineers were challenged to provide a concrete section on their future projects to encourage competition.
The American Concrete Pavement Association's (ACPA) Colorado/Wyoming Chapter recently conducted a very successful workshop and awards luncheon last week in Denver, attracting over 335 registrants from DOT’s, local agencies, regional transportation districts and engineering firms, among others. Notable presenters included Leif Wathne, ACPA, who served as master of ceremonies; Randy Jensen, FHWA Colorado Division; Mike Lewis, CDOT; Mark Snyder, PhD, Steve Waalkes, Michigan Concrete Association; Mehdi Akbarian, PhD, MIT; Jim Mack, CEMEX; Larry Soiled, ACPA and Bob Rothwell, WYDOT. NRMCA Vice President, Local Paving, Don Clem facilitated a breakout session on concrete overlay design.
NRMCA Senior Director, Local Paving, Ken Justice, in conjunction with NRMCA Producer member Silvi Concrete of Morrisville, PA, recently held a one-day contractor parking lot boot camp workshop for 12 contractors and the Silvi sales force. The participants learned about ACI 330, concrete overlays for asphalt parking lots, NRMCA's Design Assistance Program (DAP), and an introduction to NRMCA’s Concrete Pavement Analyst software. The program was well received and two DAP requests have already been received.
"I found this workshop to be very helpful for both Silvi Concrete and these contractors," said Zach Rich, Silvi's director of concrete promotion/sales. "We were unaware of how much help the NRMCA can offer with design assistance, but we will definitely be using this service now. The contractors that I spoke to today have at least four projects that we want to get to the NRMCA right away."
Based on members’ requests, the six 2017 Developing Industry Leaders’ presentations are available for viewing on NRMCA’s Web site
. Topics include cyber security in the ready mix industry, promoting performance-based specifications, integrating "Build with Strength" in a producer's promotion activities, P2P benefits and specifier feedback, use of autonomous vehicles in the ready mix industry and use of NRMCA’s Fleet Benchmarking study as a tool to save money.
Please watch NRMCA E-NEWS in mid-April for the next Developing Industry Leader’s application process. For more information, contact Eileen Dickson at email@example.com.
Media articles on Congress, transportation infrastructure, regulation, taxes and other subjects, each of which relate to the ready mixed concrete industry, are updated each week by NRMCA's Government Affairs staff. To access the most recent compilation of articles for March 13 - 17, 2017, please click here
If you would like to receive this weekly updated link in a separate e-mail, or if you have questions or comments about the roundup, contact NRMCA’s Andrew Tyrrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, the Senate sent the Congressional Review Act (CRA) Joint Resolution of Disapproval – which passed on March 6 on a straight party-line vote of 49-48 -- to repeal the federal contracts blacklisting rule to the President’s desk to be signed into law. This rule is an Obama-era regulation – which moots Executive Order (EO) 13673, "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" -- that had a negative impact on the ready mixed concrete industry. The House of Representatives passed the joint resolution, H.J. Res. 37 on February 2, 2017. Once signed by the president, the CRA Joint Resolution of Disapproval prohibits the future re-issuance of a federal regulation in the same or similar form without Congressional authority.
The federal contracts blacklisting rule blocked businesses from fulfilling federal contracts if they had been accused of violating labor laws, regardless of whether the accusation had been considered in court or otherwise proven. The House passed a resolution disapproving of the rule several weeks ago, and with the Senate’s passage of similar legislation, the repeal of the rule has been presented to the Oval Office for President Trump’s signature.
The federal blacklisting rule is one of more than a dozen targeted thus far by the Republican majority in the House and Senate, and NRMCA strongly supports the repeal of this regulation. NRMCA lobbied for repeal of the blacklisting rule along with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, a coalition comprised of over 600 organizations representing millions of businesses that employ tens of millions of workers nationwide in nearly every industry. CDW members are joined by our mutual concern over actions by the National Labor Relations Board.
The latest Executive Order from President Donald Trump, issued on March 13, directs federal agencies to come up with plans to reorganize their operations, scale back unnecessary programs and restructure their organizations as needed to be more cost effective. The ultimate aim of the order is to cut waste through a thorough examination of every executive department and agency. While numerous presidents have floated the idea of restructuring government agencies, including former President Barack Obama, this promises to be a concrete step in that direction.
Government agencies have six months to conduct their studies and present their recommendations to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney. Since the president has little power to reorganize executive agencies on his own, restructurings will likely require Congressional approval. The order has also directed OMB Director Mulvaney to seek public input. NRMCA supports the President in his efforts to streamline the executive branch and any examination of wasteful spending of any federal agency.
In association with CDW coalition partners, NRMCA Government Affairs team was on the Hill this past week asking Members of Congress to support measures that would prevent the federal government from enforcing three Obama-era rules harmful to the ready mixed concrete industry. These rules, put forward by the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), include the joint employer rule, the ambush elections rule, and the micro unions rule. Each of these rules has a negative impact on the ready mixed concrete industry.
Each year, the House Appropriations Committee solicits input from Members of Congress as they formulate the next fiscal year’s budget. NRMCA Government Affairs requested congressional offices to support including measures in the appropriations bills that would prevent the Department of Labor and the NLRB from being provided with funding to enforce these regulations. Government Affairs staff will continue to monitor these requests and work to have them included in the budget for the next fiscal year.
Recent fires in Kansas, Arizona and North Carolina highlight the need for resilient construction methods and stonger building codes throughout the United States, reports NRMCA Vice President of State and Local Government Affairs John Loyer.
This past weekend, a light-framed, combustible elderly care facility in Phoenix was destroyed by a fire
that spread quickly through the 3-story lightweight, combustible, wood-framed building, leaving nothing but a "large rubble pile," according to Phoenix Fire Captain Reda Bigler. The fire left an estimated cost of $7 million with a nearby residence sustaining significant damage. And in Raleigh, NC, one of the city’s largest fires
in nearly a century destroyed an unfinished downtown apartment building built with light-framed combustible wood and damaged other nearby buildings last week, forcing hundreds of people to leave their homes and nearby restaurants. At the height of the blaze, over 100 firefighters surrounded the complex, pouring water from aerial ladders to try to keep the fire from jumping to nearby buildings. A firefighter was taken to the hospital with a non life-threatening puncture wound when a piece of falling glass hit him in the chest, but luckily no other injuries from the fire were reported.
Earlier this week, in Overland Park, KS, a massive fire broke out at an apartment complex under construction. Several nearby homes with wood shake roofs also caught fire. The 8-alarm fire at the Royale Apartments along U.S. 69 and College Boulevard was reported at 3:30 p.m. One building was destroyed by the fire in a manner of minutes while another building was badly damaged. Fire crews said at least 22 homes were damaged by flames and smoke. Three firefighters were taken to area hospitals for treatment; all were reported in fair condition.
Does this sound familiar? There are several pieces of legislation in New Jersey (seven bills, to be exact) and two in Maryland that address this very issue and, most importantly, come from the logical construct that most of us have come to realize: this type of construction using wood is not safe. It burns and we need to find ways to control the fire or prevent it from ever happening by building with safer, fire-resistant materials, such as concrete or steel. These fires and many others show the urgency in passing safer building codes. Lightweight, combustible construction supports the wood and homebuilding industries and their first cost perspective—not our firefighters and communities. Resilient construction methods will protect those living and working in these public spaces, as well as the first responders charged with responding to fire or natural disasters.
Through the Build with Strength
initiative, NRMCA has resources to help members and state affiliates advocate for resilient and safer construction including model legislation, talking points, public relations, and other key strategies. To learn more about how NRMCA can assist in state advocacy, please contact John Loyer at 703-675-7603 or email@example.com
The 2017 Fleet Benchmarking Survey "sponsored by Lytx DriveCam" is filled out by industry fleet managers and/or financial managers early each year, based on data gathered from the previous calendar year’s performance. This year’s form includes new question on mixer drum composition, idle time and types of fuel being used. The Fleet Benchmarking Survey is used to establish industry benchmarking norms and procedures. Information gathered from the annual Fleet Benchmarking Survey is published in a full report in Concrete InFocus magazine each fall. A shorter Executive Summary of the survey is also made available to all.
Entries must be submitted by e-mail to Gary Mullings at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, April 14. Click here for more information, staff contact and to download the entry form.
The Safety Contest & Benchmarking Survey has for years been a safety performance and incentive/award program aimed to foster safe practices at ready mixed concrete plants across the nation. The Safety Contest & Benchmarking Survey is a per-plant contest open to all facilities operated by NRMCA member companies in good standing. Companies with more than one division are encouraged to distribute entry blanks to individuals responsible for keeping safety records at each plant location.
Entries must be e-mailed to Karen Bean at email@example.com by Friday, April 28. Click here for more information, to download the entry form and staff contact.
The NRMCA Concrete Durability Course is scheduled for June 6-8 at the Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia, Inc. in Atlanta. The course is taught by Michael Thomas, University of New Brunswick; Kevin Folliard, University of Texas at Austin; and NRMCA Engineering Staff. The course provides a fundamental understanding of the nature of cement and concrete as they relate to durability of concrete. Topics will cover cracking, alkali aggregate reactions, sulfate attack, corrosion of reinforcing steel, freeze-thaw durability and other aspects. A group exercise will be facilitated to walk attendees through ConcreteWorks software that can be used to develop concrete mixtures for durability and to evaluate the potential for temperature-related cracking. The course also discusses the durability provisions in the Building Code - ACI 318-14 and how specifications can be structured to address durability. Comprehensive reference material is provided as course notes that is an excellent resource to concrete producers and associated technical personnel. The course concludes with a comprehensive exam on the subject matter covered.
Those with the NRMCA Level 3 Certification obtain the NRMCA Concrete Technologist Level 4 Certification when passing this exam. However, it is not essential to have attended the NRMCA Technical Short Course to attend the Durability Course. The course provides required learning units toward the technical track of the NRMCA STEPS certification program. Persons interested in attending this course are encouraged to register as soon as possible.
More information, staff contact and registration links are available here.
A new CIP topic is now available – CIP 44 – Durability Requirements for Concrete. CIP 44 covers the exposure classes covered in the ACI 318 Building Code and the associated requirements for concrete. The CIP can be distributed to design professionals to address these provisions in their specifications. Other topics in the popular Concrete in Practice series have been revised with updated content. CIPs are developed by the NRMCA Research Engineering and Standards Committee.
The following topics have been updated:
- CIP 11 – Curing in-Place Concrete
- CIP 14 – Finishing Concrete Flatwork
- CIP 28 – Concrete Slab Moisture
- CIP 29 – Vapor Retarders under Slabs on Grade
CIPs are brief technical topics developed for customers of ready mixed companies and address testing, best practices, special ready mixed concrete products and troubleshooting topics. They can be viewed and purchased here.
The Educational Activities Committee (EAC) conducted its Spring 2017 meeting earlier this month at NRMCA 's Annual Convention in Las Vegas. The minutes are available on EAC's Web site
. The next EAC meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 29, at ConcreteWorks in Dallas. EAC is looking for new members; please feel welcome to attend and join the next meeting.
Key outcomes from the Spring meeting were:
1. The committee successfully launched a new, one-day leadership workshop for senior-level operations managers. It was so successful it will be scheduled for twice a year, with the next one in November.
2. This year’s career-focused Developing Industry Leaders program was the largest cohort group to date, with 23 participants from across the country. NRMCA will expand the program to include a second-year leadership workshop.
*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.
April 25 - 28, Seattle
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
June 6 - 8, Atlanta
Concrete Durability Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
Last week, City of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray appointed
Jessica Finn Coven as chief resilience officer (CRO), a new position created to lead citywide resilience building efforts to help Seattle prepare for catastrophic events like heat waves and floods – and "stresses" – longer-term pressures like climate change, income inequality and impacts from Seattle’s unprecedented growth. Seattle was selected to be a founding member of the 100 Resilient Cities by The Rockefeller Foundation, which provided a grant to support and fund the position.
NRMCA's Build with Strength campaign has been encouraging designers, planners and building owners to mitigate for the potential impacts of natural disasters as well as long-term building issues, such as wildfires, increased flooding and climate change. Concrete is the material of choice for disaster resilience, mitigating the disastrous effects of flood, seismic and high winds. Build with Strength
supports our members with resources to help members and state affiliates advocate for resilient construction, including model legislation, talking points, public relations and other key strategies.
To learn more about how NRMCA can assist in state advocacy, please contact Tien Peng at 206-913-8535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.