NRMCA e-news

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Schwing America, Inc.
The Euclid Chemical Company
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has introduced six new factsheets as part of its Get Road Smart Q&A series, with simple, easy-to-understand answers to drivers’ and motor carriers’ most common questions about CSA—along with updated industry and driver presentations. Click here to learn more.
What does Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the oil boom in North Dakota have to do with a recent cement shortage in the state? As a result of the shortage, the Aggregate and Ready Mix Association of Minnesota wants the governor to temporarily lift the limit on how many hours cement truck drivers can work, as some max out their hours of service while waiting for the next shipment at concrete suppliers.

Source: A November 9 posting by KMSP-TV, a Fox affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Read more and view the video.
Academics from the University of Bath are collaborating with Indian researchers in a two-year project to create environmentally-friendly concrete that uses plastic waste as a partial replacement for sand. This news could be welcome for the country since cement shortages have led to a rapid rise in unregulated sand extraction from riverbeds.

Source: A November 13 posting by Read more.
NRMCA’s Amanda Hult and Doug O’Neill will be hosting a free, one-hour Webinar on Thursday, December 4, at noon Eastern time to discuss the Design Assistance Program (DAP) and the Jointing Plan Assistance Program (JPAP) for Parking Lots and Streets and Local Roads. This Webinar will detail the free services provided to the industry through these Design Assistance Programs. The NRMCA staff will discuss in detail the information provided in the deliverables as well as how to use this information as a part of the promotional effort.

This Webinar is ideal for those involved in the promotion of concrete pavements or looking for assistance in gaining market share in concrete parking lots and streets and local roads. Designers and specifiers looking for information on how to submit for pavement design assistance are also invited to attend.

Click here to register. For more information, contact Amanda Hult at
On a recent trip to Louisville, KY, NRMCA Vice President, National Resources, Amy Miller met with Jill Lewis Smith, AIA, president of Civic Consultants Inc. Over the past 15 years, she has designed about half of her municipal projects with ICF construction. Most of the industry believed that ICF construction costs more, but was a better sustainable building option. Jill and her staff started to notice that in literally all cases, the ICF constructed projects were coming in at lower or equal cost to their conventionally framed counterparts, Miller said. When challenged with the design of low-income housing, Smith felt this would be an opportunity to show that ICF construction could be an option that could compete with the cost of wood frame construction and would offer safety and long-term energy savings for residents.

As a part of a HOPE VI Grant program in Louisville, Mrs. Smith designed four 2-story single family residences ranging in size from 1,540 to 1,950 square feet. The four units are currently under construction. These homes are designed with the detailing and methods Jill and her staff at Civic Consultants Inc. have created to lower energy costs by about half, and provide storm resilient dwellings. Another segment of the project has been designated for traditional wood construction. According to Mrs. Smith, the homes are similar in square footage and the price of construction is the same. The four homes along with at least four traditionally framed homes with similar square footage and design will be monitored by the Louisville Metro Housing Authority for five years for energy and water use, maintenance costs and durability. The concrete for the ICF construction was supplied by NRMCA Producer member Ernst Concrete.
Mrs. Smith works closely with the Kentucky Ready-Mixed Concrete Association, Miller noted. Through its work with her, she was also able to design a concrete parking lot for another part of the project. "No one ever thought it was possible to build a price-competitive ICF product for this market segment," Smith said. "This is a game changer as this project, along with similar projects we’re working on, proves that ICF can be utilized for any market segment when designed correctly and constructed according to the design. The solution to our national need for affordable housing is simple, the ICF constructed home. What this means is we can break the cycle of poverty by giving the lower income individual a home to invest in, rather than a disposable mobile or modular home."

For more information, contact Amy Miller at
Two years ago, NRMCA Senior Director, National Resources, Doug O’Neill partnered with Tom Tallman, sales manager of Scranton Thruway Builders Supply, a division of United Materials in Buffalo, NY, to present the case for using ACI 330 to the design team at Benderson Development in Buffalo. Benderson designs new Delta Sonic Car Wash locations. O'Neill just learned from Gary Markinson, sales manager with Saunders Concrete in Syracuse, NY, that a new Delta Sonic Car Wash unit was recently built in the area and used approximately 1,200 yards of concrete to pave the property surrounding the facility.

Tallman and O’Neill have set their sights on returning to Benderson in the coming months to discuss other opportunities with not only pavements but with ICF construction.

For more information, contact Doug O'Neill at
During the PCA Board of Directors meeting last week, PCA Chief Economist and Group Vice President Ed Sullivan reported that 2014 cement consumption in the U.S. continued to grow in line with expectations. PCA’s cement volume forecast remains essentially unchanged since the fall forecast of 2013. The United States’ cement market is expected to grow 8.2 percent in 2014, followed by similar rates of growth in 2015 and 2016. However, minor adjustments have been made regarding the construction sub sectors. Housing starts, for example, have been trimmed slightly compared to the summer forecast and more emphasis has been placed on multifamily starts. Reflecting the trends of the first half of 2014, cement intensities have been increased compared to the previous forecast. The oil price environment has changed significantly since the summer and these new impacts have been integrated into the forecast projections.

Going forward, Sullivan stated that the underlying economic fundamentals are strengthening and are reflected in the labor market. Sustained gains in monthly job creation in excess of 225,000 net new jobs monthly, in the context of sub-six percent unemployment translates into more consumer spending power, stronger state and local tax receipts, more favorable returns on investment for commercial building and stronger household formation – all leading to stronger construction spending in 2015.

Source: PCA Executive Report e-newsletter for November 24, 2014.
NRMCA is pleased to announce that the 2015 Sponsorship Program is now available. With over 6,000 members and partners in the ready mixed concrete industry who rely on NRMCA for training and information, NRMCA is a powerful force in the ready mixed concrete industry around the globe. Click here to examine the numerous opportunities in the NRMCA Sponsorship Kit to reach key buying influences in the industry. Regardless of your budget, you’ll find opportunities that can deliver to a powerful, receptive audience at an affordable cost.

Sponsorship opportunities are limited and sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. So act now to join the growing list of members who support NRMCA through annual sponsorship!

For more information about NRMCA’s sponsorship program or to discuss a custom sponsorship package, please contact Kathleen Carr-Smith at or 240-485-1145.
The Portland Cement Association has named named James G. Toscas president and chief executive officer, effective December 15. Toscas has decades of experience in the concrete industry. For the past 11 years, he served as president and CEO of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and from 1998 to 2002 he was executive vice president and CEO at the American Concrete Institute (ACI). As a founder of the Concrete and Masonry-Related Associations, Toscas improved the collaboration of all industry allies and provided a forum for the establishment of a strategic roadmap for the entire concrete industry.

"Jim brings to PCA a wealth of skill and knowledge that will serve the association and membership well," said Cary Cohrs, PCA’s immediate past Board of Directors chairman and chairman of the recruitment committee. "He understands the value of membership engagement and its vital role for the success of the Association."

"PCA is a leader in the cement and concrete industry. It is an honor to safeguard that reputation while establishing the paths to move it towards new challenges and opportunities," said Toscas.

Prior to joining ACI, Toscas was executive director and CEO of the American Nuclear Society. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from the University of Chicago and a Masters of Science in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

The PCA Board of Directors also elected John Stull, president and CEO of Lafarge North America Inc., as chairman of the association. Karl Watson Jr., president of CEMEX USA, was named vice chairman. 

Source: PCA press release. For more information, contact Patti Flesher or Erik Rancatore at 847-972-9136.
Late last Friday, the White House finally published its 2014 fall regulatory agenda, which details progress and upcoming actions on regulatory items across Executive Branch agencies. To view updates on regulatory items from EPA, OSHA, FMCSA and other agencies impacting the ready mixed concrete industry, please click here. To view NRMCA’s regulatory cheat sheet with more information on these issues and many others, please click here.

For more information, contact: Kevin Walgenbach at
NRMCA will host three Plant Manager Certification classes in the near future. Note that there are no plans to host any more of these classes until December 2015. Register soon: March 24-27 in Salt Lake City is the best option.

• December 9-12, Phoenix - this class has only a couple seats left.  First come, first served.
• January 20-23, Des Moines - SOLD OUT
• March 24-27, Salt Lake City - lots of room. When the snow melts, are your batchmen certified to begin to place concrete according to specifications?

Click here for more information, registration links and staff contact.
Argos has certified an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for two products it manufacture at its plants in Miraflores, Panama. This is the fifth EPD Argos has published, making it one of the leaders in publishing EPDs. Developing and certifying an EPD requires a rigorous process of conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA) of plant operations and product formulation followed by an extensive review by independent LCA professionals using a standard called a Product Category Rule (PCR). Argos chose the NRMCA EPD Program to certify its EPD; this is the first EPD NRMCA has certified from outside the U.S.

Argos followed the Product Category Rule for Concrete developed by the Carbon Leadership Forum and relevant international standards. PRé Consultants conducted the LCA and developed the EPD for Argos. Climate Earth verified the EPD. As is required by the standards, the EPD is published on NRMCA’s Web site. 

The concrete industry leads the way with the number of products with EPDs with nearly 2,000 products certified.

For more information about EPDs and the NRMCA EPD program visit or contact Lionel Lemay at or 847-918-7101.
NRMCA, in partnership with Grey Matters Consultancy, hosted the International Concrete Technology Forum, Middle East, in Dubai last week. The conference brings researchers and practitioners together to discuss the latest advances, technical knowledge, continuing research, tools and solutions for concrete manufacturing, design and construction. The conference featured speakers from all over the world, including NRMCA’s Lionel Lemay and Colin Lobo. The conference, which alternates as the International Concrete Sustainability Conference or Technology Forum, has been hosted by NRMCA in the U.S. annually since 2006, Latin America starting this year and in the Middle East since 2010. 

During the event, the very first set of graduates of the NRMCA Certified Concrete Professional Middle East (CCPfME) was awarded to 12 industry professionals. CCPfME is the highest designation in the concrete industry. Professionals must take a total of 120 hours of continuing education through NRMCA, its Middle East partner Grey Matters and other approved education providers to meet the requirements for the certification. Many of the graduates started their courses through NRMCA online programs and completed with Grey Matters education programs. Another highlight of the event was the awarding of the NRMCA Quality Certification to Unimix, the first ever awarded in the Middle East.

Click here for more information or contact Lionel Lemay at or 847-918-7101.
NRMCA is announcing new corporate and organizational partners for its 10th annual International Concrete Sustainability Conference scheduled for Miami, May 11-13, 2015. Perennial NRMCA Super Sponsors, BASF, Grace, Sika and Trimble will be joined by Lehigh Hanson and Holcim as corporate sponsors. Organizational sponsors include the RMC Research & Education Foundation, Portland Cement Association, Iberoamerican Federation of Ready Mixed Concrete, Florida International University, American Concrete Institute and Florida Independent Concrete & Associated Products.

The conference provides learning and networking opportunities on the latest advances, technical knowledge, continuing research, tools and solutions for sustainable concrete design, manufacturing and construction. Engineers, architects, public works officials, risk managers, material suppliers, researchers, academics, students, contractors, and concrete industry professionals are invited to share their experiences and accomplishments in advancing sustainable development. Several additional sponsorship opportunities are still available for the conference.

Click here for sponsorship details or contact Lionel Lemay at or 847-918-7101 if you have questions.
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 November 17 - 21, 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 Elizabeth Fox at
This past Sunday, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a segment on the current state of America’s Infrastructure. Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sounded the alarm once again on America’s crumbling infrastructure.  Bridges and roads around the United States are crumbling after decades of wear and tear – more than 66,000 bridges are structurally deficient – and LaHood called for a new strategy to replenish the funds needed for improvement. "We are deficient everywhere in the country because the states simply don't have the resources, and the national government has not provided the leadership to keep up with our crumbling roads and our bridges that are falling down," he said. Watch the Entire 60 Minutes Segment here.

The short-term fix passed earlier this year merely delays the Highway Trust fund’s insolvency and puts next construction season and nearly one million direct jobs in the highway materials industry in jeopardy as states are unable to plan on projects moving forward when funding is set to run out on May 30, 2015. Currently, every $5 billion of federal investment leads to 1 million cubic yard of placed concrete and creates 2,500 industry jobs. Congress still has the opportunity to act now to fix the Highway Trust Fund and make infrastructure a priority going forward.

Click here to take action. For more information, please contact NRMCA’s Elizabeth Fox at
As a tough year closes, now is the best time for sales reps to really concentrate on mastering how their customers' businesses work. No rock should be left unturned for possible quick orders or to tactically plan for 2015. To help, NRMCA will offer a hands-on, updated workshop, CCSP Module II, Understanding Your Concrete Contractor's Business, December 16-18 in Silver Spring, MD, at the RMC Research & Education Foundation Center.

Topics tie directly into what a sales rep should know that impacts business, including learning about contactors’ estimating methods, bidding, design, procurement, project planning and scheduling. Those that pass the optional exam receive credit toward CCSP Module II certification. This is a required class for STEPS recognition.

Click here to register, more information and staff contact.
The NRMCA November Internet Spotlight, which is good through Tuesday, December 2, is NRMCA’s newest best seller, Improving Quality Concrete. This book discusses concrete quality measurement as well as the tangible and intangible benefits due to improved quality. The book will also be of significant value to concrete producers who will come away with readily implementable steps to reduce variability and attain a more consistent product, thereby seeing performance benefits and cost savings.

Order online today and receive 20% off. Regular member price is $75, Internet Special $60, plus shipping. Use Discount Code: ISNOV14.
*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.

December 2-5, Austin, TX
CCSP Module I, "Concrete 101" - Technical/Product Knowledge
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
December 2-5, Nashville, TN
CCSP Module I, "Concrete 101" - Technical/Product Knowledge
Email: Darla Sparkman
December 3-5, Phoenix
Environmental Professional Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 5, Free Webinar
Winning Initial Streets & Roads Projects in Counties & Municipalities
Email: Jacques Jenkins, 240-485-1165
December 9, Webinar
Roller Compacted Concrete
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 9, Free Webinar
Streets & Roads Promotion for DOTs, Counties & Municipalities
Email: Jacques Jenkins, 240-485-1165
December 9, New Orleans
Gulf Coast Region ConcreteWorks
Email: Nicole Maher, 1-888-846-7622, ext. 1158
December 9-12, Phoenix
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 10, Denver
Handling Concrete Specifications
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 10, Silver Spring, MD
Atlantic Region ConcreteWorks
Email: Nicole Maher, 1-888-846-7622, ext. 1158
December 12, Free Webinar
Streets & Roads Concrete Construction & Repair Basics
Email: Jacques Jenkins, 240-485-1165
December 15, Webinar
The Quantifiable Advantages of Concrete Parking Lots
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 15, Webinar
Introduction to Concrete Pavement Analyst
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 16, Webinar
Designing & Specifying Pervious Concrete (Part I)
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 16-18, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module II: Customer Business Knowledge 
Understanding the Concrete Contractor's Business
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
December 23, Webinar
Designing & Specifying Pervious Concrete (Part II)
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
January 15, Free Webinar
Streets & Roads Elected Official Advocacy
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
January 16, Free Webinar
Streets & Roads Promotion & Advocacy Overview
Email: Jacques Jenkins, 240-485-1165
January 20-23, Des Moines, IA
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
January 22, Free Webinar
Streets & Roads Team Building & Situation Analysis
Email: Jacques Jenkins, 240-485-1165
January 29, Free Webinar
Roller-Compacted Concrete for Streets & Roads
Email: Jacques Jenkins, 240-485-1165
February 9-13, Seattle
Regional Concrete Technologist Training and Certification Course "Short Course"
Email: Karen Bean, 240-485-1168
February 17-19, 2015, Silver Spring, MD
Dispatcher Training Forum
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
February 24-26, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module III: Business Skills Basics for Profit - General Business Knowledge
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
February 25, Atlanta
Improving Concrete Quality
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
March 18, Webinar
STEPS - A Long Term Career Tool for the RMC Industry
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
March 31-April 2, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module IV: Professional Sales Skills Workshop - 24 hours
Email: Shawnita Dickens, 888-84-NRMCA, x1154
May, Location TBA
Concrete Durability Course
Email: Karen Bean, 240-485-1168
Fritz-Pak Corporation
MPAQ Automation
Putzmeister America, Inc.
Xypex Chemical Corp
McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing, Inc.