NRMCA e-news

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Schwing America, Inc.
NRMCA's celebration of the 100th anniversary of ready mixed concrete in the U.S. concludes begins its May offerings with the histories of another Producer and Associate member. See below for the two companies we've selected for this week, along with a link to those companies respective Web sites for more information. This week's industry milestone: The first tentative ASTM C 94, Standard Specification for Ready Mixed Concrete, was adopted in 1933. It provided for ready mixed concrete to be sold in a fresh and plastic state and was made possible in part by research performed by NRMCA.

To have your company featured in this space in the coming weeks, please contact NRMCA's Kathleen Carr Smith at or 301-587-1400, ext. 1145.

Cemstone Products Co. - In 1927 Hammon T. Becken founded a company that focused on the production of sand and gravel to manufacture concrete blocks, ultimately to be used in the construction of high-quality, reasonably-priced homes. In the 80+ years since its founding, the Becken family still operate the business, which has expanded through the years to serve much of Minnesota with ready mixed concrete and related businesses. Read more.

An NRMCA Producer member since 1985

Heatec - The company was formed in 1972 to repair and service asphalt heaters known as "The Chattanooga Heater." Shortly thereafter, the company also began to design and fabricate asphalt storage tanks for Astec HMA plants. Astec Industries bought the company in 1977 and it became known officially as Heatec. Heatec equipment for the concrete industry includes direct-contact water heaters and direct-fired tanks for heated water. Read more.

An NRMCA Associate member since 2008
GivenHansco, Inc
Chicago has named a two-mile section of West Cermak Road "the greenest street in America" for its sustainability features. The permeable pavement has "smog-eating cement" technology, which could help reduce air pollution. Bioswales on the sides with drought-resistant plantings are expected to reduce stormwater runoff by up to 80%, and solar panels and windmills power the street lights. The project cost 21% less than similar projects using traditional paving, according to the city's Office of Environment and Sustainability, and should require less maintenance.

Source: AGC SmartBrief e-newsletter for May 6 which contained this May 2 article posted on the Web site Earth Techling.
Some 61 mixer trucks were needed to supply concrete for an area of 579 cubic yards at the site of the future Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Braselton. It’s the largest concrete pour for the new hospital.

Source: A May 4 article in the Gainesville (GA) Times. Read more.
This week's international concrete-related news comes from Turkey, where researchers at Namik Kemal University said they're making progress on an improved form of concrete, made by utilizing a waste material of the agricultural industry - sunflower seed husks. The husks are a waste product of the vegetable oil and food industry, and the improvements are related to fact that through the use of the sunflower seed husks, the density of the concrete is reduced while at the same time improving "the material’s resistance to cracking after exposure to icy then thawing conditions."

Source: A May 1 posting on the Web site Clean Technica. Read more.
From sunflower seeds to olives. Yes, olives. University of Granada researchers have successfully manufactured self-compacting concrete using ash from the combustion of olive pruning residue pellets. In an article published in Construction and Building Materials, the researchers present preliminary results on the use of fly ash, produced in domestic boiler combustion of biomass olive residue pellets, as a substitute for filler in the manufacture of self-compacting concrete. The concrete produced has a compression strength slightly higher than that of conventional concrete and over the minimum required by Spanish Structural Concrete Code EHE-08 (Real Decreto 1247/2008, de 18 de julio).

Source: May 2 posting on the Web site Read more.
NRMCA’s Amanda Hult attended the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) Annual Conference in Des Moines, IA, last month, representing NRMCA as an exhibitor in the American Concrete Paving Association’s (ACPA) booth. Along with NRMCA, the concrete exhibit had representation from an ACPA chapter and surrounding state affiliates.

"We have found that our involvement in professional organizations, such as NACE, allow us a very efficient means of building relationships with customers," said John Cunningham, vice president of the Iowa Concrete Paving Association said. "Conferences allow us the opportunity to visit with decision makers in a more relaxed atmosphere. In addition, our visits have a much more candid nature. Along with helping us build personal relationships, our participation in conferences helps us show support for our customers."

"Our sponsorship and exhibit booth provide their organizations with revenue to help further their profession," Cunningham continued. "We hope to be a regular part of the world in which our customers operate. We want to understand their challenges and show them that we want to help them meet their goals. Participating in conferences gives us the chance to learn about the challenges that they must meet and we also get the benefit of spending time with them away from their offices."

Hult said hundreds of county engineers from many states across the U.S. attended the conference.
For more information, contact Amanda Hult at
Late last month, NRMCA's Director of Pavement Structures Amanda Hult joined a host of industry colleagues in Denver at the annual Concrete Day at the Capital. Hosted by the Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Association (CRMCA), American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) and the Portland Cement Association (PCA), the event and its free lunch provided a prime opportunity for the concrete industry to join together and recognize the hard work of Colorado legislators, their staff and capital building employees. Along with CRMCA, ACPA, and PCA, the concrete industry was well represented by local ready mix and cement companies, and concrete contractors, said Hult who discussed and updated government officials and industry members on NRMCA activities and available resources. 

"We have participated in this event for the past four years and it gets bigger every year," said one of Hult's colleagues, Dave Gray, market manager for NRMCA Producer member GCC of America. "Three cooks flipping hamburgers non-stop for three hours means a lot of folks were there for the big event."

For more information, contact Amanda Hult at
A stop at the NRMCA booth at Greenbuild 2012 by the president of a national development firm has resulted in a solid relationship with the concrete industry, reports NRMCA Senior National Resource Director Jon Hansen. The firm, located in the greater St. Louis area, specializes in inner city neighborhood rebuilding and currently has projects in over 35 cities across the U.S. A major challenge for the type of urban renewal it does is the management of stormwater. It has used pervious concrete twice, once with very good results and once with very bad results. "We know it can be done correctly by the examples of the two projects we have, we just need to learn how to have it done correctly every time," the company president said.

The company president then invited NRMCA to meet with his design and construction division in St Louis. Hansen along with Evan Bolesta of the Concrete Council of St Louis spent a morning touring sites and then meeting with 10 members of the civil and architectural teams. The end result of the meeting was that NRMCA will help to coordinate the involvement of local associations, qualified producers and contractors as the company develops projects in other cities across the U.S.

"This is a textbook example of how NRMCA can facilitate national clients to local partners and members in full loop concrete promotion" Hansen said. "This firm not only has an  interest in using pervious concrete for stormwater control, it also has a strong desire to use plain concrete drive lanes along with pervious parking areas for reduction of heat island and minimizing future maintenance cost."

For more information, contact Jon Hansen at
After attending a recent Concrete Forum for Northeast Florida, a county engineer who was there courtesy of Jeff Salter, accounts manager for NRMCA Producer CEMEX, requested a similar presentation for engineers in the Southeast Georgia area. The half-day presentation was sponsored by CEMEX and then held May 2 in Brunswick, GA. The presentation consisted of four presenters:
  • Amy Miller, senior national resource director, NRMCA, began with an overview of concrete pavements as well as design and specification of concrete pavements.
  • Michael Davy, a CEMEX market development manager, spoke on construction of concrete pavements, including overlays and intersections.
  • Bob Nicholson, paving application director from the Georgia Concrete Paving Association, spoke on Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) and was able to share RCC projects local to Georgia.
  • Lastly was NRMCA’s Brian Killingsworth, senior director of pavement structures who provided information on specifying materials and construction and also spoke on maintenance of concrete pavements.
"We believe the information at this seminar will help further generate an interest in concrete pavements in this market," Salter said.

"As is the case with any local streets and road promotion,  a first step is to find someone within the county/municipality that can make decisions and understands the benefits of using concrete," Miller added. "Jeff identified this person in Glynn County, GA. As a result of Jeff bringing this engineer to the Florida venue, we were happy to put together a team of industry professionals that could present the county and designers with information to help them understand the missed opportunity when concrete is not at least an option."

For more information, contact Amy Miller at
NRMCA's state promotion colleague in Kentucky Finley Messick recently learned that pervious concrete is making further inroads in the Bluegrass State. National retail chain Dollar General's Elizabethtown store was the first unit to feature pervious concrete. Now Messick, executive director for the Kentucky Ready-Mixed Concrete Association, says that the retailer's Bowling Green store also features pervious placement.

"The work at the Bowling Green location was performed by a member of the Tennessee Concrete Association (TCA) under the guidance of TCA's Alan Sparkman," Messick noted. "This was a solid example of national and state-level cooperation that led to a successful pour."

For more information, contact Finley Messick at
Mark your calendars for two more of NRMCA's promotion-focused Webinars scheduled for this month - and on the same day too. Both Introduction to Concrete Pavement Analyst Software and The Quantifiable Advantages of Concrete Parking Lots are set for Monday, May 13. Click on the respective links below to learn more and then to register online.
The Euclid Chemical Company
Evolving from its Regional Work Plan Meetings held annually across the country, NRMCA has added an educational component to its already successful formula of coming together with staff and member leaders of state and area associations, Portland Cement Association, American Concrete Pavement Association and other interested parties to share information about critical industry trends, available tools and resources and new initiatives being developed to make concrete THE construction material of choice.

The first of these new Regional ConcreteWorks events, for the Lower Atlantic Region, is scheduled for Monday, May 13, in Frankfort, KY, at the offices of affiliate partner Kentucky Ready-Mixed Concrete Association. The agenda will include sessions on Architecture 2030’s Challenge for Products, Building with Resilience in Construction and will also have an opportunity for each affiliate organization in the region to highlight critical issues impacting the concrete industry in his/her state, as well as provide information on initiatives underway that provide resources and tools that may be useful to share with other states.

A small fee is being charged to cover the lunch which will be served during this 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. meeting. Interested parties in the Lower Atlantic (or neighboring) regions are welcome, but space is limited to 40 and will be held on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here to learn more about the agenda or to register for the event. Additional regional ConcreteWorks events are being planned in the other nine regions throughout the year, mostly in the fall. More information will be provided as those are scheduled. For more information, contact NRMCA’s Nicole Maher at or 240-485-1158 or for registration questions contact NRMCA’s Jessica Walgenbach at or 240-485-1152.
Lionel Lemay of NRMCA presented twice last week at the American Society of Civil Engineers Structures Congress in Pittsburgh. The first presentation was part of a preconference seminar titled New Essentials for your Sustainability Tool Kit sponsored by the Structural Engineering Institute's Sustainability Committee titled Disaster Resilience - How to Avoid Unsustainable Rebuilding, Before and After Failures Due to Natural Disasters. Lemay, presenting along with fellow committee member Matthew Comber of Degenkolb Engineers, outlined current efforts to advance structural engineering toward a more evolved state which includes critical disaster mitigation considerations. Voluntary community-based enhancement strategies, government incentives, mandatory building code requirements and design tools were presented with the objective of reducing losses from natural and man-made hazards.

Lemay’s second presentation, titled Sustainable Concrete: The Role of Performance-based Specifications, outlined how concrete performance can be improved while lowering the environmental footprint by implementing performance-based specifications. With greater emphasis placed on sustainability in recent years, structural engineers are faced with the challenge of meeting traditional design criteria in addition to evolving criteria that support sustainable construction. Performance-based specifications for concrete can substantially help meet this new challenge. Prescriptive requirements such as minimum cement content or maximum water to cement ratio are among many common specification requirements that can increase the environmental footprint of concrete. A paper with the same title, authored by NRMCA’s Lionel Lemay, Colin Lobo and Karthik Obla, will be published in the conference proceedings.

For more information, contact Lionel Lemay at or 847-918-7101.
According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the worldwide market for green building materials will grow from $116 billion in 2013 to $254 billion by 2020.

The report also found that while the downturn in construction activity significantly affected materials producers of all products alike, the green buildings market appears to have slipped less than the buildings market as a whole. That is, demand for green buildings has remained relatively robust during the global recession.

The use of environmental product standards and life cycle assessments, along with product and company reporting, will be significant in shaping the green materials market, making environmental performance more measurable and more transparent. For example, increasing use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), supported by LEED and BREEAM (common in Europe), will help clarify benefits and make selecting green products easier, it says.

NRMCA is taking a leading role in helping our industry shift its business toward green building. The NRMCA EPD Program recently certified the first Environmental Product Declaration for Concrete in North America. You can find it here. The NRMCA EPD Program was established in 2012 to enable its members to meet new requirements in LEED v4 and the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products. 

NRMCA will be offering free Webinars on EPDs:
• Wednesday, May 22: noon - 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to register.
• Wednesday, June 19, noon - 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to register.

For more information on the Navigant Research report, click here or contact NRMCA's Tien Peng at or 206-913-8535.
The May 2013 issue of Concrete Capitol Connection is now available online, with updates on legislation, regulation and case law from the previous month. If you would like to receive this monthly newsletter in a separate e-mail, or if you have questions or comments, please contact NRMCA’s Kevin Walgenbach at
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 the Week of April 29 - May 3, 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
NRMCA's Technology in Practice series cover brief technical topics in the popular "What?, Why? And How?" format and are developed as educational topics for ready mixed concrete industry technical personnel. The topics are selected and developed by the NRMCA Research, Engineering and Standards (RES) Committee. NRMCA releases two more topics in the series:

TIP 9 – Density of Structural Lightweight Concrete – discusses the relationship between oven-dry density, equilibrium density and fresh bulk density of lightweight concrete. The density of lightweight concrete is critical when used for design load on structural members, fire rating of building assemblies and overall mass of a structure in seismic conditions. The TIP discusses procedures used in ASTM C567 to calculate or measure the density of lightweight concrete in different moisture conditions and to develop information required in project submittals.

TIP 10 – Mixing Water Quality for Concrete – addresses the process of qualifying non-potable sources of water, such as well water or mixer wash water, for use as mixing water in concrete. It discusses the details of ASTM C1602, Specification for Mixing Water and the testing requirements to qualify non-potable sources of water for use in concrete.

The TIP series is available as a package of the current 10 topics. The list of topics and a brief preview of each can be viewed here. Contact Jacques Jenkins to order a set of the TIPs.
*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.

May 12-15, Chicago
Fifth North American Conference on Design and Use of Self-Consolidating Concrete
May 13, Frankfort, KY
Regional ConcreteWorks
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
May 13, Webinar
Introduction to Concrete Pavement Analyst Program
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
May 13, Webinar
The Quantifiable Advantages of Concrete Parking Lots
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
May 20, Webinar
Roller Compacted Concrete: Your Third Choice for Pavement
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
May 20-23 Online Course
Pervious Concrete: A Stormwater Solution
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
May 22, Free Webinar
Environmental Product Declarations
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101
May 31, Webinar
ACI 330 R-08 – The Gold Standard of Concrete Parking Lot Design
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
June 3-5, Chicago
Concrete Durability Course
Email: Karen Bean, 888-84-NRMCA, x1168
June 3, Webinar (Part I)
Designing and Specifying Pervious Concrete
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
June 10, Webinar (Part II)
Designing and Specifying Pervious Concrete
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
June 11, Webinar
Concrete Overlays for Streets and Local Roads and Parking Lots
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
June 19, Free Webinar
Environmental Product Declarations
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101
June 25, Webinar
Controlling Moisture in Concrete Slabs
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
July 8-11, Online Course
Design of Concrete Pavements
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
July 15–19, Skokie, IL
2013 Professors Workshop: Teaching Buildings, Bridges, Materials, and Pavements
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101
August 11-15, Montreal
ISARC 2013: 30th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, Mining & Petroleum Industries
Email: Chantal Murphy, 514-939-2710, ext. 1309
August 13-16, Silver Spring, MD 
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
August 27, Webinar 
Concrete Pavement Jointing Plans
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
August 30, Webinar
ACI 330 R-08 – The Gold Standard of Concrete Parking Lot Design
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
September 22-24, Las Vegas
Concrete Works & Board of Directors' Meeting
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
November 8, Webinar
ACI 330 R-08 – The Gold Standard of Concrete Parking Lot Design
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
November 19-21, Silver Spring, MD
The Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
October 1-4, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP I: Introduction to Concrete Fundamentals—Concrete 101
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
December 3-5, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP II: Customer Business Knowledge
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
December 4-6, Orlando, FL
Environmental Professional Certification Course
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
December 10-13, Orlando, FL 
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
Fritz-Pak Corporation
Marcotte Systems Ltd.
Norman-Spencer Agency, Inc.
MPAQ Automation
Putzmeister America, Inc.
Kimble Mixer Company