MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub

MIT Researchers Map Fuel-Efficient Roads

The Concrete Sustainability Hub at MIT recently released the research brief “Mapping of ExcessFuel Consumption” that illustrates a way to calculate what sections of a highway network have the highest level of fuel consumption. The ratings are based on pavement material, structural properties, and roughness.

Working with data for the Commonwealth of Virginia, researchers integrated their analysis into a
Geographical Information System to generate a map illustrating fuel consumption at different
locations throughout the highway network.

They found that only 1.3 percent of the analyzed interstate network is responsible for 10 percent of
greenhouse gas emissions, which means that the rehab of those few lane miles would result in
significant improvement.

Two factors contribute to how pavements affect fuel consumption: deflection and roughness.
Deflection has a higher impact for trucks and heavy vehicles, while roughness is more important for

The findings suggest that using stiffer pavements in roads with high truck traffic and smoother
pavements in roads with high car traffic leads to the highest reduction in fuel consumption.
Furthermore, higher excess fuel consumption is observed around cities with highvolume

Read more at ThinkHarder. Blog.

Member News

Wildlife Habitat Council Annual Symposium Features Titan America Plant

Pennsuco at nightTitan America’s Pennsuco Plant was celebrated for corporate conservation after its three-year effort to save native trees in around the Florida plant. Maleuca trees, thought to be harmless and put in by the Corps of Engineers in the 1940s, were declared an invasive species in the 1990s. The company removed the maleuca trees and replaced them with native trees including gumbo limbo, live oak, and red maple. Titan Environmental Manager Muhammad Khan presented a case study on Florida’s ecological restoration at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s annual symposium last month.

Titan employees at the Pennsuco complex received international recognition for their contributions to  conservation education at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s 25th Annual Symposium in 2013. Titan demonstrated its continued commitment to environmental stewardship by achieving Corporate Lands for Learning certification at the complex.

The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit, nonlobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands.

Washington DC

EPA Designates Coal Ash as “Solid Waste” - On December 19, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule on coal ash, classifying the material as “solid waste” under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the nation's primary law for regulating solid waste. Industry has long advocated for regulation under the more flexible “solid waste” classification in lieu of a “hazardous waste” designation, as favored by environmental groups. PCA continues to examine technical aspects of the proposal to determine the efficacy of a possible legislative remedy, which House GOP lawmakers continue to support.
Contact Bryan Brendle

EPA to Propose Model GHG Rule, Pushes Back Deadline for Final Regulations - On January 7, EPA’s Acting Air Chief Janet McCabe stated during a teleconference that within the next few weeks the agency would unveil a proposed federal model regulation for greenhouse gas (GHG) controls on existing power plants. States will have the option to adopt the model rule in the event they fail to submit State Implementation Plans to comply with state-specific GHG emission reduction targets, as outlined in the proposal. The model federal regulation will be open for public comment. McCabe also stated that EPA will issue final GHG regulations on both new and existing sources “in a coordinated fashion” by mid-summer, effectively pushing back the June 1, 2015 deadline announced by the agency last year.
Contact Bryan Brendle

EPA to Conduct Three Public Hearings on Proposed Ozone Standards - The EPA last week announced a schedule for three public hearings on the proposed revisions to the 2008 ozone standards, on which federal regulators opened a 90-day comment period on December 17, 2014. EPA proposes to lower both the primary and secondary standards to a range from 65–70 parts per billion (ppb), while accepting comments on retaining the existing standard of 75 ppb, and setting a standard as low as 60 ppb. The public comment period closes on March 17, 2015. The public hearings will take place from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the locations listed below:

> January 29: EPA, William Jefferson Clinton East building, Room 1153, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW,  Washington, DC (PCA staff will attend).
> January 29: Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram Street, Arlington, Texas
> February 2: California Air Resources Board, Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California
Contact Bryan Brendle

PCA Advocates Greater Investment in Airports - Last week, PCA joined 21 associations in signing a letter to leaders of the House and Senate transportation committees expressing support for legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Specifically, the letter encourages elected officials to modernize the manner in which airport infrastructure is financed. Led by the Airports Council International and American Association of Airport Executives, the group will continue to advocate for greater local flexibility in determining Passenger Facility Charges and the protection of the Airport Improvement Program, a federal grant program that supports infrastructure development. With the FAA’s current authorization set to expire in September, Congress is expected to consider legislation in early 2015. Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, has indentified FAA reauthorization as one of his top priorities in the new year.
Contact Collin Long

Market Intelligence

PCA’s Market Intelligence Releases the 2014-2015 State Forecast

According to the PCA State Construction and Cement Forecast report, the construction recovery continues to expand and all regions are expected to participate in 2015. Favorable demographics, pent-up demand, and improved confidence will help fuel the stronger relative growth.

The recently released state forecast expects the strongest rates of cement growth to occur in the West and South with increases of 7.6 and 7.4 percent, respectively.

The Midwest will grow by 6 percent lead by the Great Lakes while the Northeast is projected to increase 6.3 percent. Declining energy prices add downside risks in select energy states with the largest negative impact likely in the Northern Plains given their higher production costs and outsized dependence on the energy sector.

PCA's 2014 State Construction and Cement Forecasts - All States report provides five-year outlooks on state economics and cement consumption. Published twice a year (with a summer update), it includes key construction indicators as well as projects on residential permit activity, and sectoral construction spending.  

Contact David Zwicke


Check Out Safe Rooms at Las Vegas Trade Shows


PCA is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) to present a Tornado Safe Room Showcase at both the NAHB International Builders' Show, January 20-22, and World of Concrete, February 3-6, in Las Vegas.

Safe rooms produced with precast, masonry, cast-in-place, and insulating concrete form construction and adhering to the most current FEMA guidelines for building safe rooms will be on display.  Homebuilders and concrete contractors will be able to view up close the inherent resilience of concrete systems.

Contact Donn Thompson or Alpa Swinger

Manufacturing News

57th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference Promises to be Really Big

Registration is now available for the 57th annual 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 on-line at

Education & Training

ASA's Shotcrete Inspector Education Class Will Debut at WOC 2015

American Shotcrete Association (ASA) will present a long anticipated class for shotcrete inspectors at World of Concrete, February 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The session will cover more than 40 critical elements of shotcrete applications that on-site inspectors must know to properly evaluate and sign-off on shotcrete acceptance documents.

WOC_DiscountAs a World of Concrete 2015 cosponsor, PCA offers discount admission to exhibits. By registering through PCA and using promo code A32, exhibit admission is only $20, a $40 savings.

Additionally, PCA receives a rebate from Hanley-Wood based on the number of pre-registered attendees who come to the show.

World of Concrete 2015 will be held in Las Vegas on February 2-6, 2015. The largest, most comprehensive commercial concrete and masonry event for the concrete industry features more than 1,500 exhibitors and more than 100 seminars and conference sessions.

For discounted registration, click here.