Build With Strength, in combination with the CNCA and CalCIMA, will host a developer roundtable and site tour event in Escondido, CA, on December 9 and 10. The event will take place at a tall wall theater and senior living facility. The program will demonstrate the benefits of concrete construction through the use of insulated concrete forms (ICFs) in commercial, residential and multifamily markets. With collaborative discussion from the owner and design team on these projects, it is a great learning opportunity for developers and the architecture, engineering and contracting community that is looking to build fire safe, resilient and energy efficient structures.
ICF’s have seen a surge in interest and usage as elevated lumber costs have made them a true first-cost competitive concrete structure when compared to traditional wood frame and podium construction. ICF structures have the added benefit of providing a concrete envelope with superior resiliency and energy savings that ultimately help our industry work toward its net zero and sustainability goals. The simplicity of usage and construction can also benefit a project’s schedule and speed to market.
Build With Strength is a coalition led by NRMCA that promotes concrete building systems through communications, project promotion, education and advocacy. To learn more, contact Brandon Wray at email@example.com or 408- 806-0453 or Patrick Matsche at firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-672-5275.
Last week, NRMCA kicked off the educational sessions at the promotion summit hosted by the Great Lakes Cement Promotion Council in Farmington Hills, MI. Shamim Rashid-Sumar, NRMCA vice president, fire codes and standards, joined Kerry Sutton, code advocacy engineer for the American Concrete Institute (ACI), on the opening panel to present Coalition Building within the Codes and Standards Community. The summit also featured several industry updates, including a legislative/infrastructure bill update by Andrew Tyrrell, NRMCA executive vice president, government affairs. The event aimed to engage cement and concrete state affiliates in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin in dialogue and collaboration on code advocacy and legislative issues.
NRMCA encourages the adoption of statewide building codes and legislation that benefits the built environment to be more durable, resilient and sustainable. NRMCA can assist in the adoption of statewide or local legislation by providing example model language for issues including, but not limited to, Resilient Construction Incentives, Wildland Urban Interface Code Adoption, Fire Districts and Model Fire Resistance Legislation.
For more information, including model legislation language, visit NRMCA’s state and local advocacy webpage or contact Tien Peng, senior vice president, codes and standards, at email@example.com.
Association & Industry News
The Winter 2021 issue of NRMCA's quarterly magazine Concrete InFocus is now available online. The cover story is a detailed report of the annual Mixer Driver Recruitment and Retention Survey; other features include the latest entries in the Innovations in Buildings, Developing Industry Leaders and Think First safety series along with NRMCA's three regular columnists, Phil Kresge, Jon Hanson and Doug Ruhlin. This issue's Member Spotlight offering was submitted by Associate member Command Alkon.
Would you like to be added to the print copy distribution list? If so, contact Amanda Muller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments on the issue or how to submit an article for publication? Contact Frank Cavaliere at email@example.com.
Last week, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. This legislation marks a historic $1 trillion investment in America’s infrastructure over the next five years. The bill includes both a five-year surface reauthorization and an additional $550 billion in infrastructure funding.
Click here to see the funding and potential projects that the IIJA could mean for your state and here to see an analysis of the economic impact on your state or other states. For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, after the Congressional Budget Office returned its estimate of the costs of the package, the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better (BBB) Act. The legislation invests in Democrats’ social priorities, including climate, housing and childcare. The package is a slimmed-down version of the $3.5 trillion spending bill that Democrats proposed earlier this year but failed to gain the support of the majority of their caucus.
While Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he hopes to pass the Build Back Better Act before Christmas, the package faces an uncertain future in the Senate. The package has changed significantly in response to input from Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and it is unclear whether Manchin will support the bill this year. The senator has previously suggested that the timing of the legislation could slip to 2022. Finally, any changes the Senate makes to BBB will have to be approved by the House of Representatives before the bill can be signed by the president.
For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at email@example.com.
Earlier this month, Build With Strength's partnership with Habitat for Humanity expanded into Missouri when both entities along with a number of other organizations built an insulated concrete home in Joplin for a Marine Corps veteran and his family. The event generated a signification amount of local news coverage, including this report from NBC affiliate KSN.
Click here to read a feature length story on this nationwide charitable campaign. For more information, contact Gregg Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a decision consolidating more than two dozen cases challenging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to require their employees to either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to weekly testing into one case. The case will be heard by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals; a court largely dominated by Republican appointed judges. This latest development follows the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding its previous stay of the ETS earlier this month and directing that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the ETS. OSHA has stated it will adhere to the court’s decision.
Since the release of OSHA’s ETS on November 4, numerous lawsuits have been filed challenging its legality. Due to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ injunction, the rule has since been paused. The fluid nature of the current court case, the upcoming ETS deadline of December 5 and the ETS comment period deadline of December 6 have created a lot of confusion about what actions businesses should take. At this juncture, businesses are faced with whether they should prepare for the ETS to be upheld, ignore it until the courts issue a final ruling or simply slow walk implementation while monitoring progress. Regardless of the case outcome in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, it is highly likely that the losing side will appeal to the Supreme Court for a final decision. This entire scenario is predicted to culminate with a final decision in roughly mid-December. However, certain court rulings and updates to implementation dates are anticipated before then.
Despite the uncertain outcome of the ETS litigation, NRMCA will continue to advocate on and monitor the ETS while updating members on its changing status. Click here for more information on how the ETS could impact the ready mixed concrete industry and here to review the specifics of the ETS.
For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at email@example.com.
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to reinstate the federal definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that was in place before 2015. This is the latest development in a long line of changes, rewrites and legal challenges surrounding the definition of WOTUS. Both the Obama and Trump administrations attempted to rewrite WOTUS, but were rebuffed by the courts. Prior to President Obama’s WOTUS rewrite in 2015, the WOTUS rule in place had then allowed for more certainty and clarity about what the federal government’s jurisdiction was regarding waterways around the nation such as rivers, streams, lakes, bays and other features. Since 2015, there has been a lot of turmoil and confusion about the definition of WOTUS, where it’s applied and how.
This latest proposal, while attempting to reinstate the pre-2015 WOTUS scheme and a welcome update supported by NRMCA, also states that EPA’s approach “would support a stable implementation of 'waters of the United States' while the agencies continue to consult with states, Tribes, local governments, and a broad array of stakeholders in both the implementation of WOTUS and future regulatory actions.” This future regulatory action is already underway as EPA is currently working toward scheduling stakeholder meetings across the nation throughout December and January to gather information on what a new WOTUS definition should look like. While not as narrow as the Trump WOTUS definition, the pre-2015 rule is much more preferrable to the overly broad Obama 2015 rule.
EPA is accepting comments on the proposal for 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register. NRMCA will be filing comments in support of reinstating the 2015 WOTUS definition and its retention.
Click here to review the WOTUS proposal and ongoing EPA WOTUS action items. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration is continuing for the December offering of NRMCA’s newest course, Think Like an Owner, which is being held virtually December 13 - 15 each day from noon to 4 p.m. Eastern time. This course is intended to empower participants to understand the drivers of financial performance and improve their management style with an eye to profitability of their business center. Crafted and taught by Bob Capasso, CEO of Concrete Financial Insights, the course is based on insights gleaned from NRMCA's Performance Benchmarking Survey and seeks to address the issue of declining profits in a growing market.
Participants will learn how to read financial statements, measure performance, examine elements of profit and loss, and think in terms of economic profit. This course is a must-attend for industry participants from plant managers to company presidents who want to run their operations profitably.
Course overview is available here and registration is open here. For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at email@example.com.
Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.
November 30 - December 2, Orlando, FL *Sold Out
December 6 - 9, Online Course
December 7 - 10, Orlando, FL *Sold Out
December 13 - 15, Online Course
December 15, Free Virtual Conference
January 31 - February 2, San Antonio, TX
January 31 - February 4, Linthicum Heights, MD
February 8 - 11, Phoenix
February 15 - 17, Dallas
February 15 - 17, Online Course
February 22 - 24, Smyrna, TN
March 22 - 24, Smyrna, TN
April 5 - 7, Dallas
April 19 - 21, Smyrna, TN
September 29 - October 3, Aurora, CO