NRMCA e-news

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Schwing America, Inc.
GivenHansco, Inc
Construction employment in the U.S. stalled in June as more former construction workers left the industry, according to an analysis of new federal data released July 6 by the Associated General Contractors of America. The lack of current job openings, along with the departure of experienced workers, suggests a potential skilled-labor shortage may be developing, construction association officials warned. "Employment in the construction industry has fluctuated within a very narrow range - one per cent above or below the June level of 5.5 million - for more than two years now," said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist.

Source: July 10 posting by the Daily Commercial News and Construction Record. Read more.
That's the description used by - the Web site of the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirier in an article on the Route 52 causeway bridge which connects mainland New Jersey to the barrier island of Ocean City. Concrete was chosen as the primary material since it is less vulnerable to saltwater than steel. Make that lots of concrete - If one were to pile it all up on a football field, the amount of concrete used in the bridge would rise 10 stories high. Read more.
Los Angeles County supervisors earlier this month moved toward asking voters to impose a fee on property owners to pay for treating polluted stormwater runoff before it reaches local beaches, lakes and rivers. Over the last several years, the county Department of Public Works has sought to have owners of both private and public property contribute money for building, upgrading and maintaining the infrastructure needed to comply with stringent water quality standards imposed by the state and federal governments.

Source: A July 3 article by the San Gabriel County Tribune. Read more.
The recent very hot weather along the East Coast had many residents asking the proverbial question, "How Hot is It?" Well, eggs may have been frying on sidewalks, but at Reagan National Airport earlier this month, the heat was so oppressive that a plane sank four inches into the tarmac. A July 8 report by attributed the mishap to the asphalt runway. Read more.
A meeting held last month with workers from the city of Santa Rosa's, CA, and Sonoma County's public works departments was very timely, reports NRMCA Senior National Resource Director Jon Hansen. "Timely in the sense that they are feeling the pressure from unstable asphalt prices and are looking for sustainable, longer lasting street paving," he said.

The city and county attendees requested additional details on construction and budget estimates for switching some existing projects from asphalt to concrete. The City of Santa Rosa was particularly interested in using the NRMCA Streets and Local Roads Design Assistance Program to help get it started, Hansen said. Paulette Salisbury with the California Nevada Cement Association arranged the meeting as a continuation of the streets and local roads seminars in which Hansen participated in the Bay Area in March; she is spearheading the followup with the city and county.

For more information contact Jon Hansen at or Paulette Salisbury at
The NRMCA Pervious Concrete Promotion Subcommittee meeting will be held Wednesday, October 3, in Las Vegas. Senior Director of National Resources and subcommittee staff liaison Phil Kresge said that this year’s meeting is being held in conjunction with the 2012 Bunyan Pervious Roast, October 2-4. In prior years, the subcommittee meeting has been held during NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks Conference & Expo. By holding the meeting in conjunction with Bunyan’s annual workshop, NRMCA hopes to involve more of the industry’s pervious concrete experts.

"In the past, the Bunyan Pervious Roast has been a gathering of the pervious concrete ‘brain trust,’ with most of the industry’s leading professionals attending," Kresge said. "We thought it would be a good opportunity to involve some of these folks that might not have come to the subcommittee meeting at a different venue."

For those unfamiliar with the Pervious Roast, it is a three-day workshop focusing on new technology and on "pushing the limits" of pervious concrete. According to Dave Mitchell of Bunyan Industries and host of the event, "the Bunyan Pervious Roast offers a broad spectrum of topics which are outside the official, established and recommended practices for method as well as for materials testing. The evolution of pervious is at hand and it happens in small groups, on subjects that we face every day that we design, produce and construct this pavement.  The realities of our limits and the encouragement of better practices are found in these little breakout groups."

The Pervious Concrete Promotion Subcommittee is focused on moving the market forward for pervious concrete. "The subcommittee meetings provide a networking opportunity for industry promoters to share their experiences, successes and frustrations,"  Kresge added. 

The subcommittee meeting is open to all NRMCA members and invited guests. Specifics of meeting location and agenda will be announced once they are confirmed. For more information, contact Phil Kresge at
NRMCA's national resource directors have an upcoming Webinar that focuses on concrete parking lots. Click on the link below to learn more or contact NRMCA's Jessica Walgenbach at
The Euclid Chemical Company
An article titled Set in stone? A perspective on the concrete sustainability challenge in the April 2012 MRS Bulletin of the Materials Research Society, MIT researchers involved in the Concrete Science Platform of the Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSH) summarize progress on their research and outlook for the near future. The abstract of the article is below:

"As the most abundant engineered material on Earth, concrete is essential to the physical infrastructure of all modern societies. There are no known materials that can replace concrete in terms of cost and availability. There are, however, environmental concerns, including the significant CO2 emissions associated with cement production, which create new incentives for university–industry collaboration to address concrete sustainability. Herein, we examine one aspect of this challenge - the translation of scientific understanding at the microscale into industrial innovation at the macroscale - by seeking improvements in cement-paste processing, performance, and sustainability through control of the mechanisms that govern microstructure development. Specifically, we consider modeling, simulation, and experimental advances in fracture, dissolution, precipitation, and hydration of cement paste precursors, as well as properties of the hardened cement paste within concrete. The aim of such studies is to optimize the chemical reactivity, mechanical performance, and other physical properties of cement paste to enable more sustainable processing routes for this ubiquitous material."

The article can be accessed hereThe CSH at MIT is supported by the RMC Research & Education Foundation and the Portland Cement Association. More information can be found at the CSH Web siteAll interested parties are invited to attend the 2012 Annual MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub Research Progress Update for Industry and Key Stakeholders scheduled for Thursday, September 27, in Cambridge, MA. Please click here for more information and to access the registration form.
The members of NRMCA’s Materials Division are proud to present the second in a series of self-guided PowerPoint presentations designed to help producer members educate their workforce on everything In the Mix. Available now in the Members’ Only section of, In the Mix: Fibers explores the various fiber types, the benefits of adding fiber to concrete and best practices for utilizing fiber. Visit the Members’ Only section of to get started. 

In addition to In the Mix: Fibers, you can view four modules that cover color in concrete now. Future additions to the series will include modules on cement, admixtures and fly ash. Stay tuned to E-NEWS to find out when more In the Mix entries become available.

For more information on the In the Mix series please contact, Kathleen Carr-Smith, NRMCA’s senior vice president, membership & communications at For information on how to log on to NRMCA’s Member’s Only site, including usernames and passwords, please contact Kimberly Pittmon at
Operations and production account for approximately 90% of producers’ expenses. Therefore, it has never been more important for your plant crew to be efficient, productive, and risk and  regulatory savvy. To meet these challenges head on, NRMCA will cover the skills needed in the Plant Manager Certification workshop set for August 14-17  in Silver Spring, MD (metro Washington, DC). This class not only serves producers, but specifically meets the Army Corp of Engineers' contract spec requirement for personnel who must be certified as part of awarded federal contracts. It is also a required class in the NRMCA Operations and Production Track in the STEPS program.

Whether your operations staff now manages more plants or is new to plant management and batching, the curriculum intensely covers the product knowledge, plant safety, environmental regulations, plant operations and ready mixed industry business skills they should apply every day for your company’s healthy turnaround. Send them in August or December 11-14 in Denver. It’s a class they – and your company – can’t afford to forgo. Remember, operations account for 90% of your expenses. Mitigate your risk and educate your staff.
Click here for more course information, staff contact and registration options.
Along with members of the Southwest Pacific Concrete Alliance, NRMCA’s Tien Peng participated in the Benefits of Reflective Pavements workshop on June 19 in Berkeley, CA. This lecture and demonstration event hosted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) highlighted the improved pedestrian safety, increased pavement durability, improved air quality and the cooling benefits of concrete. Leading experts that presented included:
Dr. Melvin Pomerantz LBNL Heat Island Group
Dr. K. Ziedman, leading expert on roadway illumination
Dr. James Signore, UC Pavement Research Center
Abby Young, principal environmental planner, Bay Area Air Quality Management District

While the LBNL Heat Island Group has been conducting research on urban heat island (UHI) and cool communities since the 1980s, municipalities are only now starting to implement the recommendation from the research in their planning activities. Events such as this allow regulators and decision makers to hear from research scientists and allow industry professionals to support their findings. Approximately 80 engineers, architects and a number of planning officials from California attended the event.

Urban heat islands are caused by the use of dark colored pavements and roofing in urban areas, where temperatures can reach 3-7 degrees higher than surrounding rural areas. One of the most effective methods of reducing urban heat islands is to use light colored pavements and cladding such as concrete. The next step for LBNL Heat Island Group is to better understand the effects of cool surfaces on school yards. Peng will work with LBNL to identify recent projects from affiliate members can be considered for case studies.

For more information, click here or contact Tien Peng at 206-913-8535 or with potential case study projects.
NRMCA’s Lionel Lemay discussed performance-based specifications and other sustainability initiatives of the concrete industry, including Green-Star and Sustainable Concrete Plant certification programs, at two key events in San Francisco last week. More than 50 architects and engineers attended a joint event of the San Francisco chapters of the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE) and the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) on the evening of July 10. Lemay’s presentation focused on specifying concrete for high performance and sustainability. On July 11, Lemay presented on a similar topic to more than 40 structural engineers at the structural engineering firm of Rutherford and Chekene Consulting Engineers.
San Francisco is a hotbed of construction activity and engineers and architects in that market are keenly aware of the sustainability movement and the trend toward performance specifications. Engineers and architects are constantly working to move their specifications toward performance-oriented requirements but struggle with complex and relatively expensive testing requirements. In addition, additional requirements that focus on sustainability and green building often conflict with other performance requirements. Lemay’s presentations attempted to clarify options to address both high performance and sustainability.

San Francisco is also the site for next year's NRMCA’s International Concrete Sustainability Conference, May 6-8 ( For more details, contact Lionel Lemay at or 847-918-7101.

A host of publications across the ideological spectrum have offered their respective analyses on the recently passed transportation bill, heath care, presidential campaigns, labor and other topics, all of which relate to the ready mixed concrete industry. To access these articles for the week of July 9 - 13, 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 Kevin Walgenbach at
The July Internet Spotlight, good through Tuesday, July 31, features two essential mixer truck driver publications:
  • Truck Mixers Driver's Manual (Spanish Version also available) - This 74-page manual educates truck mixer drivers about concrete and customer relations. It also highlights driver duties, safety precautions, equipment inspection and maintenance procedures, and what the driver should do in case of an accident. Order online today English or Spanish and receive 25% off: regular member price is $14, Internet Special $10.50, plus shipping.
  • English-Spanish Translation Manual - This 96-page, concrete-specific, glove box-sized, English-to-Spanish booklet addresses communication challenges on the job site. It includes common words, photos and phrases, each with its own phonetic pronunciation, commonly used during a job site pour. Order online today and receive 25% off: regular member price is $14, Internet Special $10.50, plus shipping.
Please use Discount Code ISJULY12 to receive the online discount.
*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.

July 23, Sacramento, CA
Concrete Safety Course
Email: Karen Bean, 888-84-NRMCA, x1168
July 26, Webinar
ACI 330 R-08 – The Gold Standard of Concrete Parking Lot Design
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
July 26, Acme, MI
Slabs: We've Got You Covered
Contact: Concrete Foundations Association's Ed Sauter,
August 6-9, Online Course
Pervious Concrete—A Stormwater Solution
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
August 9, Webinar
Streets and Local Roads
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
August 14, Webinar
Introduction to Concrete Pavement Analyst Software
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
August 14, Webinar (Part 2 on August 21)
Designing & Specifying Pervious Concrete
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
August 14-17, Silver Spring, MD
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
August 21, Webinar
The Quantifiable Advantages of Concrete Parking Lots
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
August 21, Webinar (Part 2)
Designing & Specifying Pervious Concrete
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
August 27-30, Online Course
Design of Concrete Pavements
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
September 4, Webinar
Introduction to Concrete Pavement Analyst Software
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
September 4, Webinar (Part 2 on September 11)
Designing & Specifying Pervious Concrete
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
September 5-7, Silver Spring, MD
NRMCA Concrete Durability Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
September 11, Webinar
The Quantifiable Advantages of Concrete Parking Lots
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
September 11, Webinar (Part 2)
Designing & Specifying Pervious Concrete
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
September 16-19, Metro Washington, DC
2012 NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks & Board of Directors Meeting
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
September 20, Webinar
Streets and Local Roads
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
October 2-5, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module I: Concrete 101
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
October 23-25, Silver Spring, MD
Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
November 1, Webinar
Streets and Local Roads
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
November 5-9, Silver Spring, MD
Technical Short Course
Email: Karen Bean, 888-84-NRMCA, x1168
December 4-6, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module II: Customer Business Knowledge
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
December 4-6, Orlando, FL
Environmental Professional Certification Course for the Ready Mixed Concrete Industry
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 11-14, Denver
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
December 12-13, Doha, Qatar
International Concrete Technology Forum
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101
February 19-21, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module III: General Business Knowledge
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
March 3-5, San Antonio, TX
NRMCA Annual Convention
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
March 19-21, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module IV: Sales Fundamentals
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
May 6-8, San Francisco
International Concrete Sustainability Conference
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101
May 12-15, Chicago
Fifth North American Conference on Design and Use of Self-Consolidating Concrete
Fritz-Pak Corporation
Marcotte Systems Ltd.
WAM Inc.
MPAQ Automation
Command Alkon