NRMCA e-news
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Association & Industry News

NRMCA and Build With Strength are presenting a full complement of educational seminars during next month's CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show in Las Vegas. Each week until the beginning of the show, E-NEWS will highlight a single seminar, beginning with Pathway to Resilience: Concrete Solutions to Sustainable Communities scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in South Hall S 232.

Over the past several decades, there has been a continuous increase in human and economic loss from disaster events. The rise in disasters and their consequences are related to a rise in people’s vulnerability, induced by human development. This seminar will offer a view on emerging risks and opportunities with the overarching goal of supporting and advancing resilience of buildings and critical infrastructure using concrete. Speakers include NRMCA Senior Vice President of Codes and Standards Tien Peng and Evan Reis of the US Resiliency Council.

Click here to register and here for the full lineup of courses at the show. For more information, contact Tien Peng at tpeng@nrmca.org.

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Government Affairs

Last week, Reps. Rob Woodall (R-GA) and Sanford Bishop (R-GA) introduced the Freight Restriction for Efficient and Safe Hauling (FRESH) Act which would allow trucks carrying perishable products to travel on federal highways in states where the maximum state highway weight limit is greater than the maximum federal limit. NRMCA and the Georgia Ready Mixed Concrete Association worked closely with Rep. Woodall, a long-time ready mixed concrete champion, to develop, write and introduce this legislation that will allow our members to more efficiently and safely reach job sites. NRMCA will advocate for this legislation to be included in the surface reauthorization bill.

Click here to read Rep. Woodall’s press release on the underlying legislation. For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

The NRMCA Government Affairs team will host a legislative update Webinar on Thursday, February 20, at 3 p.m. Eastern time. It will include an overview of what is happening in Washington, a look at the political and legislative outlook, a presentation of NRMCA’s 2020 legislative priorities and agenda, and an update on CONCRETEPAC and NRMCA’s political program.

Click here to register.

Last week, NRMCA hosted representatives from NSSGA, PCA and various steel associations for a discussion on how to combat federal initiatives to promote mass timber. These buildings associations were heavily involved in NRMCA’s fight against tall wood buildings in the 2018 farm bill. Last year, a number of pro-wood provisions in appropriations bills were omitted from bill text and report language. In 2020, NRMCA expects a section of the Republican climate plan to focus heavily on promoting sustainable construction products, including mass timber. While few details of the plan have been released, the plan will incorporate the “Trillion Trees” initiative introduced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this year and endorsed by President Trump in his State of the Union address.

The coalition will produce a joint letter advocating for materials neutrality, conduct joint meetings explaining and arguing against any preference for any particular material, specifically wood and mass timber, as well as work on including provisions in key appropriations bills. NRMCA and PCA previously sent a joint letter to the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on the importance of not overestimating the environmental advantages of mass timber.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

In addition to the emphasis on planting trees, the Republican climate package is expected to include provisions allowing for use of biomass as an alternative fuel and incentives for sustainable buildings. NRMCA has worked with the sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), to achieve a “materials neutral” stance – and received assurances that the legislation will not favor one construction material over another. Rep. Westerman’s bill will create incentives for sustainable construction, including carbon absorbing materials. HIs staff has indicated that concrete would be considered a sustainable and carbon absorbing material within the scope of the legislation. This will create opportunities to promote concrete and concrete construction systems, such as ICF construction, as a climate solution. The devil is in the details, however, and NRMCA Government Affairs team will be closely following the progress of these proposals and remain in contact with the sponsors.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

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Pavement

NRMCA Senior Director, Local Paving, Ken Justice recently conducted a series of career day presentations in Philadelphia area grade schools, discussing civil engineering, construction management and promotion. Students tried on hard hats, safety vests, safety glasses and went over various sets of plans and blueprints, with the success of the program seen in the smiles, questions and even hugs from many children (including his son, pictured here at right) and invitations from the teachers to return.

"We at NRMCA encourage you to reach out to your local schools and share your experiences with these young minds," Justice said.

For more information, contact Ken Justice at kjustice@nrmca.org.

NRMCA’s popular Parking Lot Boot Camp recently rolled into Richmond, KY, with Concrete Materials Company and contractor Stewart Contracting attending the two-day training session. The boot camp was sponsored by the Kentucky Concrete Association and was taught by NRMCA Senior Director, Local Paving, Amanda Hult and Senior Vice President, Local Paving, Phil Kresge.

“From what I’ve seen in past boot camps, success hinges on the involvement and commitment of the attendees,” said Kresge. “Based on the interaction in this class, and the level of interest from both the producer and the contractor, I expect great things from this group.”

Jason Stewart, owner of Stewart Contracting, said he had offered concrete pavement alternates on past projects, but admitted that he had done so by applying the existing, over-designed, heavy duty concrete details to the overall project. “With his new-found understanding of ACI 330, Jason feels much more confident that he will be competitive and successful with future recommendations,” reported Hult.

NRMCA Parking Lot Boot Camp is a 10-hour program, typically conducted over two days at a contractor or producer’s site. Parking Lot Boot Camps create a team approach for producers and contractors to pursue parking lot opportunities in their service markets, be they new parking lot construction or concrete overlays of asphalt parking lots. The program has become widely successful in helping everyone - producer and contractor - expand their business into paving markets that they normally did not have or only had a small percentage of.

For more information and to schedule your own Parking Lot Boot Camp, contact Phil Kresge at pkresge@nrmca.org.

Buildings

The Nebraska Concrete & Aggregates Association and the Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) recently hosted an insulated concrete forms (ICF) installation training event to promote construction among the build community, reports NRMCA Project Manager, Concrete Promotion, Derek Torres. ICFs are quickly becoming the method of choice for all forms of construction due to attributes such as speed and safe construction, operation maintenance and energy savings, resilience, sound control and building insurance discounts. These benefits are creating ICF project demand and this training is delivering a knowledgeable contractor workforce that can augment its portfolio of construction services.

At left, Darryl Ulrich of ICF-MA/Fox Blocks (standing in background) addresses the audience and demonstrates the benefits and advantages of ICF construction. At right, attendees included a wide range of construction professionals, such as architects, engineers, concrete contractors and ready mixed concrete producers.

Build With Strength (BWS) has recently partnered with ICFMA and launched ICF contractor training. The training is driven locally by NRMCA state affiliates and is targeting concrete contractors, framers, masons and other construction personnel who will learn the techniques to expand their construction services portfolio and be more competitive in today’s construction environment.

As part of BWS campaign, NRMCA promotes sustainable concrete solutions for buildings. For more information, contact Derek Torres at dtorres@nrmca.org or 973-876-0938.

In an effort to educate building code officials on the basics of ICF construction, Connecticut Concrete Promotion Council (CCPC) Executive Director Dominic Di Cenzo recently teamed with NRMCA Senior Director, Building Innovations, Doug O’Neill and NRMCA member company O&G Industries of Torrington, CT, to discuss ICF construction at the Litchfield County Building Officials Association’s meeting. Attendees from O&G Industries included TJ Oneglia, vice president operations - concrete division; Sue Duffy, assistant vice president - aggregates, concrete & specialty products and Jim Maher, technical services director - concrete division.

At left, NRMCA’s Doug O’Neill and O&G’s Jim Maher address building officials from Litchfield County, CT and at right, CCPC’s Dominic Di Cenzo speaks to students at Hanford High School about opportunities in the concrete industry.

The initial goal was to give Connecticut building code officials a better understanding of ICF construction along with the current state of the local market, O'Neill said. While trading e-mails during the planning of this meeting, it was clear there were many concrete-related questions which the group wanted answered. The team from O&G fielded questions from the 38 attendees ranging from mix designs and quality control to advances in concrete technology. There were some great questions and the group was very interested in visiting an active ICF project, O'Neill said.

Di Cenzo is working on another “Concrete & Coffee Hard Hat Tour” where the CCPC hosts interested designers, contractors and building officials on a tour of an ICF project. And on a lighter note, the team of Di Cenzo and O’Neill also attended a local high school career fair, highlighting the tremendous opportunities for young people in the concrete industry.

For more information, contact Doug O’Neill at doneill@nrmca.org.

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) is accepting comments on the first draft of the revised Guide for Peer Review in the Fire Protection Design Process. The scope of the guide includes the initiation, scope, conduct and report of a peer review of fire protection engineering work product. Typically sought by a reviewing authority to provide a second opinion regarding the engineering work product’s likelihood of achieving stated objectives, peer review may also serve as a tool to assist stakeholders in making decisions regarding design suitability. NRMCA’s Shamim Rashid-Sumar is a member of SFPE and is providing comments to the revision of the Guide.

Build with Strength is a coalition led by NRMCA that promotes standards advocacy to leverage policies promoting safety and resiliency and help place more concrete. More information on the Guide is available and comments may be submitted here by Wednesday, February 26. For more information on fire codes and standards advocacy efforts, contact Shamim Rashid-Sumar at ssumar@nrmca.org.

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SEO

This year’s first Plant Manager Certification class was held in January in Cincinnati; every now and then a group has a stellar performance and this class was one of them, with 15% of attendees scoring at least 90% on both exams and 55% scoring 90% or higher on one exam. First in the class, missing just one question on both exams, was Michael Dawson of Silvi Concrete, Fairless Hills, PA. The others on the “A Team," in alphabetical order, are Steve Cannon, Head, Inc., Titus, AL; Russell Deakins, Irving Materials, Louisville, KY; Anthony Giacalone, Delaware Valley Concrete, Hatboro, PA; Willard Patterson, Head, Inc., Columbus, OH; Justin Smith, VCNA United Materials, North Tonawanda, NY and Richard Whittemore, Capitol Concrete, Norfolk, VA.

The remaining 2020 Plant Manager Certification classes with open enrollment are Boston, March 24 - 27; New Orleans, April 28 - May 1 and Phoenix, December 15 - 18 (the February class in Miami is sold out).

Click here for more information, registration options and staff contact.

NRMCA has crafted the fifth annual member survey to measure regulatory action within the industry to determine regulatory trends on specific issues, issue types and in geographic regions. This information, while strictly confidential, will help NRMCA to better tailor its actions to address and/or combat any such issues and keep a finger on the pulse of when, where, how and why regulatory agencies are targeting and/or levying enforcement actions against the industry.

NRMCA urges you to take the survey at your earliest convenience; it is open until 5 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, February 28. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

Registration for NRMCA’s Spring Safety Course scheduled for May 13 - 15 in Glendora, CA, is still open. This 2.5-day course teaches participants about OSHA safety compliance, beginning with why safety is so important and details the reasons why an effective safety program actually saves money through loss prevention and control. Participants learn about the new silica rule, electrical safety, machine guarding, fall protection, hazard communication, confined spaces, personal protective equipment, firefighting and evacuation, maintenance shop safety, chute handling, fleet safety, pre-trip inspection and much more.

Click here for location details, registration options and staff contacts.

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Engineering

NRMCA is offering its information-packed, one-day course, Handling Concrete Specifications, Low Strength Problems and Mixture Submittals, intended for concrete producers, contractors, engineers and testing labs on Wednesday, May 20, in Nashville, TN, in association with the Tennessee Concrete Association. The course will address the latest changes to the code and specification requirements (ACI 318, 301, ASTM C94) governing ready mixed concrete. Topics include:

  • What are the durability exposure classes in ACI 318?
  • What are the changes in the new ACI 318, ACI 301, ASTM C94 that are related to ready mixed concrete?
  • What are some specification revisions that can provide all around benefits in performance and cost?
  • What are the causes for low strength problems and who is responsible?
  • What should be on a concrete test report?
  • How does one improve the quality of acceptance testing?
  • Non-destructive testing, Coring – when and how?
  • How to do a proper mixture submittal?

Course instructors are Luke Snell, P.E., FACI, FASCE, Western Technologies and Karthik Obla, Ph.D., P.E., NRMCA vice president, technical services. Producers, contractors, engineers and testing labs will find the discussions on investigating low strength problems and specifications very helpful to address issues that impact partnering, project cost and schedule. Upon successful completion of the course, attendees will earn 8 professional development hours, a certificate of completion and credits toward NRMCA’s STEPS program.

Click here for more information, registration options and staff contact.

News Links

Concrete Industry Makes Solid Commitments to Cut Carbon Emission - An article posted on the Daily Commercial News website acknowledges the increased interest in mass timber construction, but argues that "concrete isn't going anywhere." In fact, states author John Bleasby, concrete manufacturers are improving the energy efficiency of their production processes. Read more.

Mapping Potholes by Phone - Was the headline of an article in The New York Times that was called to our attention by Jeremy Gregory, the executive director of the Concrete Sustainabilty Hub at MIT who said the it was "a great example of how our collaboratoin with industry on research, implementation and communication enables us to reach a wider audience beyond transportation officials." Read more on the efforts by an international group of engineering students to develop a smartphone app to track potholes and measure road quality.

The Pathway to Net Zero Carbon Buildings - Was the subject of a recent article posted by Architect magazine in which author Dr. Chris Drew discusses a partnership among NRMCA, Producer member Ozinga Brothers and the firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture aimed at developing concrete mixes with low, zero or even negative carbon footprints. Read more.

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Calendar

*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.

February 20, Castle Hayne, NC
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) Contractor Training Course
Email: Jessica Palmer, 864-238-7839

February 25 – 28, Miami *Sold Out
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 7 – 9, Las Vegas
NRMCA 2020 Annual Convention
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 10 – 14, Las Vegas
CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 17 – 19, Dallas
CCSP Module IV: Sales Fundamentals for Sales and Non-Sales Staff
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 24 – 27, Boston
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 25, Winchester, KY
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) Symposium & Training Course
Email: James Bogdan, (412) 420-4138

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April 28 – May 1, New Orleans
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

April 29, Charlotte, NC
Improving Concrete Quality Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

May 13 – 15, Glendora, CA
Concrete Safety Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

May 20, Nashville, TN
Handling Concrete Specifications, Low Strength Problems and Mixture Submittals
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

September 25 – 29, Denver
NRMCA's ConcreteWorks
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

October 20 – 22, Mendota Heights, MN
Concrete Safety Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

November 17 – 19, Glendora, CA
Environmental Course for the Ready Mixed Concrete Industry
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

December 15 – 18, Phoenix
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

*If you wish to be added to the wait list for sold out courses, please send your request to meetings@nrmca.org.

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