NRMCA e-news

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Schwing America, Inc.
The Euclid Chemical Company
Nearly 90 percent of 1,350-plus respondents to an industry-wide Associated General Contractors of America survey conducted in July and August reported trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key spots as demand for construction continues to rebound in many markets. Seventy-nine percent of responding firms nationwide cite difficulty filling one or more of 21 hourly craft professional positions, particularly carpenters (73 percent of firms that employ carpenters report difficulty), followed by sheet metal installers (65 percent) and concrete workers (63 percent).

Source: A September 15 posting on, based on a survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America. Read more.
A Washington man’s concrete home is still standing after surviving a raging wildfire that passed his home and scorched acres of surrounding land. John Belles said he was prepared for the inevitability of a wildfire when he built his thin-shelled, concrete dome in 1999 surrounded by dry fields in Okanogan County. After shuttling three vehicles off his property, Belles said he realized he had to hurry as the fire was only a couple hundred yards away. Belles said he waited out the flames for about a minute as the fire passed by his home. The only damage sustained was a service pole, which resulted in a loss of power.

Source: An August 24 posting by ABC News. Click here to read more and view the video.
Add Nigeria to the many countries that have realized the advantages of concrete roads. In making his argument, the author cites U.S. statistics publicized by NRMCA and the RMC Research & Education Foundation.

Source: A September 18 posting by The Nation. Read more.
A joint effort of NRMCA and the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) met during the ASCC annual conference in Dallas last week. A large number of ready mix producers, concrete contractors and equipment suppliers were in attendance. This was the group's second meeting, following an initial informational meeting held in May. Current co-chairs of the task group are Myron Hillock with Somero Enterprises and NRMCA Senior Vice President, Local Paving, Jon Hansen.

The task group's focus is on paving for parking lots and streets and local roads. On the agenda for the Friday meeting was the group mission statement and a list of goals. The mission statement approved by majority vote is: "Support local markets in making concrete pavement the material of choice" and is supported with goals of increased market share, education, awareness building and pursuing paving opportunities jointly through partnerships with contractors and concrete suppliers.

Any member of NRMCA or ASCC is welcome to join. For more information, contact Jon Hansen at
Jonathan Arnold, president and CEO of Kansas City’s Arnold Development Group addressed the Closing General Session at NRMCA's ConcreteWorks last week in San Antonio, TX, by laying out his vision for the future of real estate development. From his experience, retrofitting old concrete warehouses for next generation housing, Arnold realized that concrete frame structures provide unparalleled long-term value and flexibility, allowing downstream investors to re-imagine the buildings’ futures. Combining concrete’s intrinsic value with forward-thinking financing and project delivery models, Arnold believes concrete will provide a template to meet the enormous housing production needs we can expect to face in the years ahead in this country.

During his presentation he pointed out how Integrated Project Delivery – or IPD – incentivizes a project team to join forces, working together to find savings while designing and constructing a more durable, hyper-efficient, and attractive multi-family project with 276 units. Using Western Forms to accelerate the construction schedule and reduce waste provides Arnold’s team with a forming system he had to go to South America to see first-hand despite the company’s location right around the corner from his office in Kansas City.

"The efficiencies that Arnold Development’s team have found offer a path for all developers in the multi-family sector to build new facilities that save tenants money, dramatically reduce the buildings’ energy consumption and carbon footprint, and offer an attractive investment option for even the biggest players in this arena," explains Gregg Lewis, NRMCA’s senior director, building innovations. "I hope that when we look back at this year’s watershed event in San Antonio we will recognize it for exactly what it was: concrete’s first step toward reestablishing its preeminence in mid-rise construction. If the Arnold Development team realizes even a fraction of its goals with this project it will revolutionize the way developers work and highlight how our industry can reclaim the mantle of sustainability where long-term value meets lowest first cost. It’s now up to us to take this example and show our colleagues in the design, construction and development industries that the best and most cost-effective design solutions are also the ones that improve our communities and bring green building right into the mainstream."

Click here for more information on this project. To discuss Lewis's comments with him, contact him via e-mail at
The massive mat foundation pour for Houston's Capitol Tower development was recently completed. The two-day pour operation encompassed a mat foundation footprint of over 35,000 square feet and utilized 9,200 cubic yards of concrete and 2.4 million pounds of rebar. Houston's local public radio station featured the concrete foundation placement on its "Houston Matters" program. A podcast of the segment "Building Sturdy Structures on Houston's Swampy Foundation," as well as a time-lapse video of the operation is on the show's Web site.

The building is just one of three in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum v4 precertification and advances sustainable practices. Fly ash, a safe, recycled material, replaced 60 percent of the cement used in the foundation. The method saves more than 1 million pounds of CO2, the equivalent emissions associated with driving a car 1.2 million miles. Among the many features, the 35-story structure's exterior design includes a high-performance curtain wall system to achieve maximum energy efficiency and panoramic views with 10 foot floor-to-ceiling glass. The lobby will integrate the street and tunnel levels, creating light-filled pedestrian crossroads with retail and gathering places.

Source: Portland Cement Association
CarbonCure Technologies Inc.
NRMCA has scheduled its one-day course Improving Concrete Quality intended for concrete producers, ingredient material suppliers, engineers, testing labs and contractors for Tuesday, December 15, in Milwaukee. Improving Concrete Quality, a new book authored by one of the instructors, and other NRMCA resources provide the basic content for the course.

Improved concrete quality can benefit all stakeholders in a concrete construction project.This course will answer some of the following questions:
  • How do you know if you have good quality? What should be your quality metric?
  • How to become more profitable through better quality?
  • What are all the key statistical calculations you need to know in concrete?
  • How to control the mixing water content in concrete?
  • How to deal with temperature and delivery time variations?
  • What is the most effective way to ensure that your materials ingredients are of good quality? 
  • How to improve batching accuracy, mixing uniformity?
  • How to identify non standard testing and curing? How to improve testing quality?
  • Tests a producer should do, internal audits and many more.
Course instructors are Kevin MacDonald, Ph.D., FACI, Beton Consulting Engineers LLC, and Karthik Obla, Ph.D., P.E. at NRMCA. Producers will learn readily implementable steps to manage variability and attain a more consistent product. Ingredient suppliers will learn how material variation affects concrete variation. Engineers will learn the opportunity for improving quality through specifications and testing lab professionals will learn to measure and improve testing quality. 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.
Last December, President Obama signed into law legislation funding the federal government through September 2015. Contained in the legislation was a provision that temporarily suspended the two restrictions that had been placed on the use of the 34-hour restart: the two 1 a.m.-5 a.m. periods and the once-a-week use requirements. Following President Obama’s signature, the use of the 34-hour restart provision reverted to the pre-July 2013 standard: meaning drivers who need to restart their weekly on-duty clock after having been on-duty for 60 hours in 7 days, or 70 hours in 8 days, could simply go off-duty for 34 consecutive hours. Drivers no longer needed to take the restart provision over two night periods and they could use the restart provision more than once per week.

However, the rule’s suspension is supposed to end once Fiscal Year 2015 (September 30, 2015) ends or when the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) submits a report to Congress assessing the safety implications of the 34-hour restart changes. A spokesman for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stated that the study is still being conducted, with findings yet to be analyzed. Once the study has been finalized and submitted to Congress, the suspension will end, although the frame for such a date seems to be elusive.

While most drivers in the ready mixed concrete industry are able to take advantage of the construction materials delivery 24-hour restart exception [49 CFR 395.1(m)], drivers in the industry who drive commercial motor vehicles to haul cement or aggregates are required to use the 34-hour restart. For the cement and aggregate haulers, or mixer drivers who frequently switch to either of these driving functions, these drivers are the select few that are impacted by the change.

To summarize:
1) Drivers using the 34-hour restart still do NOT have to have two periods off-duty between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to fulfill the restart requirement.
2) Drivers can use the 34-hour restart more than once per week.
3) This change is temporary and will only last until DOT issues their study findings (date yet to be determined). 
4) All other provisions of the HOS rules remain unchanged.

Click here for more information and to view the enforcement suspension language or contact Gary Mullings at or Kevin Walgenbach at
Last week, NRMCA and the Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (TMMB) filed joint comments on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) aimed at requiring and strengthening rear underride guards for single unit trucks (SUTs), such as ready mixed concrete trucks. The proposal aims to consider possible amendments to the federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) requiring rear impact (underride) guards on all SUTs, including mixer trucks. While mixer trucks are currently required to install rear guards if they qualify, as per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), the proposal would now require that SUTs be compliant under NHTSA with a more robust standard, similar to the Canadian motor vehicle safety standards. Such a new requirement, which would also be imposed on tractor-trailer trucks as well, would potentially mean new mixer trucks would need to be equipped with a larger, heavier, more expensive underride guard than is currently required. The proposal also included questions about possible requirements for adding reflective tape to SUTs to increase truck visibility.

NRMCA’s and TMMB’s comments stressed concerns about increased added costs for purchasing mixer trucks with the updated guards, safety improvements and increased weight issues. Specifically, NRMCA and TMMB stated that, "the consequence of adding more weight to mixer trucks for compliance with each and every new regulation results in the industry being forced to reduce payload in order to stay compliant with weight tolerances. Meaning the industry is then forced to use more trucks, making more trips to deliver the same amount of ready mixed concrete. More trips means increased emissions, increased fuel consumption, more trucks sitting in traffic, and longer hours for industry drivers." NRMCA and TMMB also noted their opposition to a reflective tape mandate, stating, "...truck mixer manufacturers already apply reflective tape to all new mixer trucks in various capacities. Depending on the manufacturer, the mixer type, and equipment on the mixer truck, there are different amounts of reflective tape in different areas on mixer trucks. Moreover, many mixer truck clients have their own company safety requirements that dictate greater amounts of reflective tape on multiple surfaces."

Click here for more information on the underride guard proposal or contact Kevin Walgenbach at
Last Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long-awaited final rule requiring electronic reporting of Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program information. As per the unofficial version, the "final rule requires NPDES regulated entities to electronically submit NPDES compliance monitoring reports and notices to their authorized NPDES program or to EPA through the National Environmental Information Exchange Network." Specifically, the information now required to be submitted electronically instead of with paper reports include Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs), Notices of Intent to discharge in compliance with a general permit, general permit waivers, certifications, notices of termination of coverage and program reports. The final rule also notes that "...while the final rule changes the mode of transmission of these data, it does not change the information required from NPDES permitted facilities under existing regulations and practices."

Of concern to NRMCA with the rule’s original proposal was the notion that the electronically submitted information would be displayed online in the public domain for anyone to view. While NRMCA contested that many NPDES documents could contain employee information which should remain private, NRMCA also commented that, "Allowing [potentially] unqualified individuals access to NPDES permits will undoubtedly result in unfounded, false, misleading, arbitrary, and/or costly environmental claims, heightened security risks and allegations with no added environmental benefit." However, the final rule does not make a determination about putting such information in the public domain, but instead will be relying on a separate rulemaking addressing making any and all EPA obtained information available for public viewing. 

Finally, EPA will phase in the rule’s requirements over a five-year period. Each interval will include different requirements, referred to as Phase 1 and Phase 2. 

Click here for more information on the final rule, its specifics and the implementation schedule or contact Kevin Walgenbach at
NRMCA's free Green-Star Auditor Webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, October 20, from 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern time. This is a required Webinar to be an Accredited Green-Star Auditor. This Webinar explains the educational and work experience needed to be an Accredited Green-Star Auditor and along with the continuing educational requirements to keep the certification. The Accredited Green-Star Auditor certification is valid for three years at which time the auditor must reapply. A few handy templates are covered to assist the company in starting Green-Star. At the conclusion of the Webinar, the attendee will understand the requirements to be an accredited Green-Star Auditor and the expectations that accompany certification. This course earns 1 credit hour toward a CCPf certification.
Click here for more information, registration links and staff contacts.
McInnis USA, Inc.
NRMCA published version 1.0 of the Industry-Wide EPD in 2014. Over 70 companies representing 2,300 plants participated. The Industry-Wide EPD has already been used on several projects. However, many members did not participate in version 1.0 and have indicated they should have. NRMCA will update the NRMCA Industry-Wide EPD for Concrete to give those companies that did not participate in version 1.0 a second opportunity to participate. Version 2.0 will also provide an opportunity to those companies that purchased or sold plants since version 1.0 to provide updated information. Companies that participated in Version 1.0 and have no significant changes to their operations will not need to provide data for Version 2.0 since NRMCA will use the data submitted during Version 1.0.

Why Should Members Participate?
• EPDs are required in LEED v4 and other standards. You can produce product specific EPDs but they are expensive and time consuming. The NRMCA Industry-Wide EPD is free to NRMCA members.
• Companies must provide data to the Industry-Wide EPD in order to use the EPD for submittals.
• Concrete contributes significantly to LEED v4 and EPDs help design teams meet LEED certification criteria.
• By participating in the NRMCA Industry-Wide EPD, you can demonstrate leadership in environmental stewardship. 
• You will position yourself to take advantage of the green building movement.

Important Details
• You must be an NRMCA member at the time of data collection to be listed in the EPD.
• Only those producers that provide data for the Industry-Wide EPD can be listed and be eligible to use the document for a LEED submittal.
• Any data you provide will remain completely confidential.

Click here to download the application form. For more information, contact Lionel Lemay at or 847-918-7101.
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 September 21 - 25, 2015, 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 Jill Landry at
NRMCA will host its next Quarterly DC Days on Wednesday, October 7, and we hope you consider participating. Please join your industry peers on Capitol Hill to advocate for swift passage of a long-term, fully funded highway bill before the current extension expires on October 29, a permanent ready mixed concrete Hours of Service 30-min break rule exemption, inclusion of a logbook exemption for ready mixed concrete drivers and resilient construction tax credit issues impacting the ready mixed concrete industry. Details for the event include the following:
Who: Members of NRMCA’s Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors are invited to participate.
What: The committee's quarterly DC Days will be an opportunity to meet with your congressional members and staff to talk about issues of importance to our industry – specifically Hours of Service regulations, logbook exemption for ready mixed concrete drivers, passage of transportation bill and resilient construction.
When: Wednesday, October 7
Where: Washington, DC
Why: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has yet to introduce a highway bill and the House Ways and Means Committee still needs to identify a funding mechanism. The October 7 NRMCA Quarterly DC Days is a prime time to help move this process along by educating key members of each committee for swift action on passing a highway bill. You are your best advocate for your business. Taking the time to educate decision makers can help ensure that fixes to issues result in positive outcomes for the entire ready mixed concrete industry.
To RSVP, have questions or would like additional information, please e-mail Kerri Leininger at and Jill Landry at
The NRMCA is now accepting entries for its 2016 Kids Art Contest, sponsored by the Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau. The theme for the contest is "Ready Mixed Concrete Truck Driving Safety".  The contest is open to children up to grade 12 who have a relationship to an NRMCA Member.

• All entrants must be related to or sponsored by an NRMCA member.
• Contestants are limited to one entry each.
• Artwork should be 100% produced by the entrant and be original.
• Entries may be in a medium of the artist's choice (oil, water color, pastels, pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, crayon, etc.). Entries can be a drawing, collage, painting or other two-dimensional work.
• Entries must incorporate a ready mixed concrete truck in some manner, but should not be limited solely to a picture of a ready mixed concrete truck.
• Entries must be on 11" x 14" flat paper. We encourage artwork to be on good quality bond or drawing paper, or illustration board. Entries should not be framed or matted.
• For contact purposes, please include artist’s name, address, phone number, age and grade, and the name of the NRMCA Member and that relationship to the artist on the back of their artwork.
• Entries must be post marked no later than December 31, 2015.

Entries will be divided into the following grade categories: pre-K - K; 1-3, 4-6 and 7-12. First, second and third place winners will be selected from each grade category. Prizes will be awarded in each grade category ($100 first; $50 second and $25 third place). Entries will be judged only against others in their grade category and based on originality, effort, creativity, composition and interpretation of the theme "Ready Mixed Concrete Truck Driving Safety".  

Winners in each category will be announced at NRMCA’s Annual Convention, March 13-15, 2016 in San Diego. First place entries will be auctioned off at the CONCRETEPAC Auction. Images of the winning entries will be used later in the year to create a 2017 NRMCA calendar; winners and each sponsoring member will receive a free copy of the calendar. Selected entries will also be displayed at NRMCA’s Annual Convention. NRMCA reserves the right to copy and modify any entry for reproduction. Entries will not be returned and may be used for future promotional opportunities.

Entries must be post marked no later than December 31, 2015 and should be mailed or delivered to:

Jill Landry
900 Spring Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910 

For more information, click here or contact NRMCA’s Jill Landry at
*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.

October 6 - 8, Online Class
Handling Concrete Specifications, Low Strength Problems and Mixture Submittals
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
October 13 - 16, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module I: Concrete 101
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
November 2 - 6, Silver Spring, MD Sold Out!
Annual Concrete Technologist Training and Certification Course "Short Course"
Email: Karen Bean, 240-485-1168
November 4, Free Webinar
STEPS A Long Term Career Tool for the RMC Industry
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
November 17 - 19, Silver Spring, MD
Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
November 17 - 19, Charlotte, NC
NRMCA Safety Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 1 - 3, Orlando, FL
Environmental Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 1 - 3, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module II: Customer Business Knowledge
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 8 - 11, Orlando, FL
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
December 15, Milwaukee
Improving Concrete Quality
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
January 26 - 29, Omaha, NE
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
February 8 - 12, Des Moines, IA
Regional Concrete Technologist Training and Certification Course "Short Course"
Email: Karen Bean, 240-485-1168
February 23 - 25, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module III: General Business Knowledge
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
March 13 - 15, San Diego
NRMCA's Annual Convention
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152

March 22 - 24, Silver Spring, MD
CCSP Module IV: Professional Sales Skills
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
April 5 - 8, Birmingham, AL
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 888-84-NRMCA, x1152
May 15 - 18, Washington, DC
International Concrete Sustainability & Self-Compacting Concrete Conference
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101
Fritz-Pak Corporation
Putzmeister America, Inc.
Xypex Chemical Corp
McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing, Inc.
True Dispatch
Lehigh Hanson