Communicate Your Transportation Concerns to Congress

BANNER-SLIDER-HILL2015Spring signals the return of cement company employees and other industry members back to Washington, DC, for the annual Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) legislative fly-in and Cement and Concrete Day on the Hill. Scheduled for April 14-15, the TCC Fly-In will address the reauthorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP21) that is set to expire at the end of May.

MAP21 provided more than $105 billion for surface transportation funds for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. It transformed the framework for investments to guide infrastructure growth and development.

The TCC Fly-In and Cement and Concrete Day on the Hill allows participants to personally meet with congressional delegates to discuss the importance of robust, continued investment in transportation infrastructure to the nation's economy, and investment that creates jobs while building the future.

On April 15, after Congressional visits, PCA will be hosting an evening reception with Members of Congress, staff, and industry partners.

Learn more about the TCC Fly-In and Cement and Concrete Day on the Hill

Contact Collin Long

Codes and Standards

PCA Continues to Foster Support for Enhanced Resiliency

As it continues efforts to represent the importance of resiliency and other important industry interests, the PCA Codes and Standards department addressed these issues on several fronts in March through industry coordination, meeting with code officials, and reaching out to new audiences.

  • Industry Coordination – Through an invitation from the National Precast Concrete Association, PCA presented the concepts, benefits, and need for industry action related to enhanced resiliency at the Precast Show on March 7.
  • Code Officials – Following a presentation at the Ohio Concrete annual convention in Columbus, Ohio, Concrete staff arranged for a PCA presentation at the annual conference of the Ohio Building Officials Association on March 10. The audience was very receptive to the concepts and issues of increased resiliency, and shared that real change would require grassroots efforts to engage governors, state legislators, mayors, council members, and other civic leaders. They further advised that the opposition to more stringent codes, typically builders and developers, are constantly in contact with civic leaders and cement and concrete industry efforts need to duplicate those contacts.
  • New Audience – PCA staff, by invitation, brought the need for enhanced community resiliency to a completely different audience during the Society for Advanced Anthropology annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 27. This new audience could be an ally in other programs. For example, several papers were presented on mortality and morbidity related to increasing temperatures in urban environments. Such work, if combined with prediction models of improvements in health through lower temperatures, could be valuable to promote cool communities that use cool pavements.

Contact Steve Szoke

Market Intelligence

Oman Data:  Paving Volume Increases in 2014

Oman_LargeOman paving volume shares finished strong in 2014, closing out the fourth quarter with a share of 18.2 percent. Oman shares serve as an indicator for concrete paving market share. This represents a large increase compared to the third quarter’s share of 10.6 percent. The fourth quarter bump brought the 2014 year-end share to 15.3 percent, an improvement from 14.8 percent in 2013.

Total concrete pavement volume for state highway projects is up 5.3 percent from 2013, while asphalt in this market only increased 1.3 percent. 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) brought more than $27 billion to highway and bridge construction beginning in 2009. During the increased three-year funding period (2009 – 2012), concrete volume shares inflated above normal levels, to an average 17.5 percent. Following the end of ARRA, concrete volume shares leveled out to an average of 15 percent, up from the pre-ARRA average of 14.5 percent.

Even with overall pavement spending increasing more than 9 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, significant increases in available funding remain in critical need.  

Contact Andrew Moss


FHWA Releases Sustainable Pavement Report

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Sustainable Paving Technical Working Group recently released the comprehensive “Towards Sustainable Pavement Systems: A Reference Document.”

The report provides guidance on sustainability considerations, synthesizing the large and diverse body of technical information that exists on pavement sustainability. More than two years in development, the document covers sustainability considerations in all aspects of the pavement life cycle, from materials, design, and construction and through the use, maintenance/preservation, and end-of-life phases. In addition, it addresses general sustainability concepts and assessment. 

PCA members, regional promotion groups and staff, the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, American Concrete Pavement Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, and the CP Tech Center contributed to the document development.

Contact David Shepherd

Member News

San Francisco Makes Solid Mass Transit Improvements 

Between 2000 and 2030, 1.25 million new vehicles are expected to enter the Bay Area--a 31.5 percent increase during 30 years. In response, cities and local transportation agencies are providing much needed alternatives for commuters through the construction of new, state-of-the art mass transit systems. CEMEX USA is contributing to two of these: San Francisco’s new intermodal Transbay Transit Center, and an ongoing extension of the Bay Area’s Rapid Transit (BART) system into Silicon Valley.

Renowned architect César Pelli’s firm, Pelli Architects, designed the transit center with the aim to achieve LEED® gold certification. The five-story, multi-modal center is expected to transform San Francisco into a vibrant, transit-friendly area in the tradition of London and Paris.

“At CEMEX, we work in close partnership with our customers and communities to help build infrastructure that supports growth and sustainability,” said Karl H. Watson Jr., president of CEMEX USA. “These two projects are testimony to our technical expertise and our commitment to building a better future for our customers and in the communities in which we operate."

CEMEX is working on these massive projects with very specific logistical considerations due to the Bay Area’s groundwater levels and sustainability specifications. The center’s underground structure required very stringent low permeability and low shrinkage concrete. Its extremely busy neighborhood location meant that ready-mix concrete trucks could only dispatch late Friday evening through Saturday afternoon to complete the 15 continuous pours of up to 5,000 cubic yards. For the BART extension, groundwater levels varied along the route and required CEMEX to work closely with the client to develop, test, and deliver 35 tailor-made concrete mixes to meet the needs of each section of the line.

CEMEX specially designed concrete mixes for the transit center structures that include up to 35 percent supplementary cementitious material, in keeping with LEED criteria. The BART extension concrete mixes include 50 percent supplementary cementitious material, much of it material removed from the old rail beds.


Attend the 57th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference

IEEE-IAS-PCA Cement ConferenceThere is still time to register for the 57th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference, April 26-30, 2015, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada.

The largest conference in the industry, this meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest economic forecast, industry news, government regulations updates, and the latest technology that impacts its operations and business continuity.

The meeting will include presentations from the industry’s top technical people, addressing the diverse technical issues and proposing potential solutions to the many challenges facing the cement industry. In addition, St. Mary’s Bowmanville facility, Canada’s largest cement plant, will host tours.

Register at www.CementConference.org

Contact Rick Bohan

Architectural and Decorative Concrete

Tallest All-Residential Structure Shines with White Cement

New York’s iconic 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential concrete building in the western hemisphere, is notable not only for its height, 1,400 feet tall, but also for its small footprint, only 93 feet on each side. Structural concrete dominates the super-tall market due to concrete’s strength and stiffness and this building uses white cement concrete both structurally and architecturally to punctuate its large window openings that give residents 360-degree views of Manhattan.

Construction on the building began in the fall of 2012 and the building was "topped out" in October 2014.

Recognizing that high-rise market often drives innovation in the concrete construction industry PCA’s Decorative/White Concrete Subcommittee produced “Constructing an Iconic Building Using White Portland Cement” a 4-page white paper the details the construction of 432 Park Avenue and the important role concrete played in its construction. 

Three AC Business Media e-newsletters promoted the case study allowing it to reach a wide audience in the construction industry, including engineering firms, builder/contractors, architects, and material suppliers. It was featured by Concrete ContactorEquipment Today, and Sustainable Construction.

Contact Jamie Farny

Education and Training

Registration Now Open for the Professors' Workshop

APP-PROF15Concrete materials properties, engineering and economics of concrete structures, and design, construction, and performance of concrete pavements are the topics scheduled for the PCA Education Foundation Professors’ Workshop, July 20-24, 2015.

Held at the PCA office in Skokie, Illinois, the workshop provides faculty in engineering, architecture, and construction management the tools to teach the latest developments in concrete design, construction, and materials. Networking opportunities to exchange ideas with professors from many universities, demonstrations by software vendors, and more than $2,500 of free resource materials are also part of the week.

The workshop fee of $395 includes all handout materials, resource literature, shipping, lunches, receptions, and a dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Skokie.

Visit the PCA website for registration and the activities.

Contact Michelle Wilson