PCA Spring Congress Continues Centennial Celebration


PCA continues its Centennial Celebration at the Spring Congress, March 13-15, at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour will give the keynote address at the Group Lunch on March 14. The Centennial Celebration Banquet and Reception is that evening at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel.

A password-protected meeting app will provide up-to-the-minute information such as the latest agenda, speaker information, maps, an attendee list, and more. Once you have accessed the app, attendees will be prompted to establish a password, using the e-mail that was used to register for the conference. To download the PCA Meetings mobile app:

> iPhone and iPad users - search “PCA Meetings” on the Apple App Store.
> Android users - search “PCA Meetings” on the Google Play Store.
> Blackberry, Windows, others - go to this address on your computer or smart phone: https://pcameetings.gatherdigital.com

Free WiFi is available in the hotel rooms and can be purchased in the meeting rooms.

Read more on the PCA Spring Congress

Contact Kathryn DiProva


ICC Vote Disapproves Increased Heights for Wood Structures

Cross Laminated Timbe_framedrThe results of the ICC online governmental voting for the first group of code change proposals for the development of the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) were reported by the International Code Council (ICC) on February 29, 2016. One of the most significant involved cross laminated timber (CLT) construction. For multi-family occupancies the height increase would have been from 5-stories to 9-stories. This proposal was disapproved, but it is likely that the wood industry will propose increases in allowable heights of heavy and cross laminated timber for even larger heights in the 2021 development cycle. ICC approved the formation of an ad hoc committee on tall wood buildings to develop code change proposals to be heard in the development of the 2021 edition of the IBC. 

The Group A ICC Cycle voters also disapproved measures to allow wooden parking structures and remove the requirement for dedicated fire service elevators.

Click here for the list of results to Group A ICC proposals which have the potential to impact the cement industry.

Contact Jay Hall

Industry News

Papadopoulos Launches International Resiliency Effort

Aris Papadopoulos, retired Titan America CEO and former PCA board of directors chairman, launchedAris Papadopoulos framed Resilience Action Fund (International) (RAF-I) on March 2. 

The non-profit UK company teams with Resilience Action Fund (RAF), a US non-profit organization launched in 2015, to advance awareness, transparency and education for greater resilience in the built environment against natural and other hazards. The mission is closely aligned with the goals of the United Nations’ Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030, signed last year by 187 countries. This agreement is referenced in the 2015 Paris Climate Change agreement.

“Our goal is to achieve greater value differentiation between high and low resilience buildings through awareness, transparency, and education. These are largely absent today, as we tend to undervalue high-resilience assets and overvalue low-resilience ones,” said Papadopoulos. “Forward thinking businesses will capitalize on this emerging movement with related products/services and resilience-oriented investment strategies.” Concurrently, the hardcover, second edition of his Resilience: The Ultimate Sustainability – Lessons from Failing to Develop a Stronger and Safer Built Environment was released with RAF as publisher. It is available at www.buildingresilient.com

Market Intelligence

Paving Market Impediments Continue to Limit Market Share

Paving_SC_CH_colorado_pulverize-framedDespite low oil prices, asphalt prices remain higher than expected. From summer of 2014 through December 2015, oil prices fell nearly 65 percent and Asphalt Producer Price Index (PPI) fell 5.4 percent. This relative insensitivity to such a sharp decline suggests there are other factors applying upward pressure on prices. Cokers and increased light crude refining from domestic sources continue to limit asphalt production, keeping prices elevated.

Concrete remains competitive on cost with asphalt; however, a bigger threat looms. Market shares have not responded to relative price movements as expected. This points to the policy barriers in the paving market that inhibit free market behavior. Examples include asphalt price escalators, lack of equivalent designs across materials, inaccurate life cycle cost inputs, and the lack of true alternate bidding policies. While progress has been made on this front, removing these impediments remains the greater challenge to increasing concrete market share.

Contact Andrew Moss


Register for IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference

IEE_ICA_PCA_2016_FramedEarly bird registration for the IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference ends on March 15. After that date, registration increases $200. The conference, hosted in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, May 15-19, is the biggest cement industry conference this year. The theme is Sustainable Strength through Innovation. Sustainability and technology experts will present on innovations, and attendees may tour the recently upgraded Ash Grove Midlothian facility.

More information.

Contact Rick Bohan


CP Tech Center Offers Materials-Related Concrete Pavement Distresses Webinar March 9

CP Tech Center Logo framedNational Concrete Paving Technical Center Director Peter Taylor hosts a webinar March 9 at 12:00 p.m. CDT on materials-related concrete pavement distresses. Materials-related distress (or MRD) are not related to inadequate design or construction, and instead, are related to the materials properties and environments to which they are exposed. MRDs may be seen in either hardened concrete pastes or aggregates and pastes. The webinar will describe three specific distresses, as well as their causes/mechanisms, time of appearance, and solutions for preventing or reducing distresses all together.

The one-hour webinar will cover physical mechanisms (i.e., freeze/thaw deterioration of hardened cement paste; de-icer scaling/deterioration; and freeze-thaw deterioration of aggregate) and chemical mechanisms (i.e., alkali-silica reactivity (ASR); alkali-carbonate reactivity (ACR); sulfate attack (both internal and external) and corrosion of embedded steel). For aggregates, the course will cover ASR and D-cracking, as well as distresses occurring because of other contaminants.   

Webinar registration 

Contact Paul Tennis

Market Development

WBCSD Cement Sustainablility Initiative Hosts Getting the Numbers Right Webinar Next Week

CSI-logo-cropped-framedThe World Business Council for Sustainable Development Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) will host a webinar March 15 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. CDT for companies participating in the Getting the Numbers Right (GNR) initiative on carbon dioxide emissions. The webinar will help companies already participating in the GNR to optimize the company reports they receive in benchmarking their performance; and for those who are still considering, they can see what could be the added value for participating. Discussion will include how to use the public reports for dialogue with government authorities and stakeholders. Two time slots are available to accommodate the audience based in different parts of the world.

Webinar registration

Contact David Shepherd

Regional News

South Carolina DOT Chooses Concrete for Interstate Reconstruction

#2_I-20 Richland County Paving Complete Spears Creek Facing East_framedOver 50 years, traffic on a formerly rural section ballooned up to 60,000 vehicles per day on a stretch of I-20 in Richland, South Carolina. Highway officials chose concrete to reconstruct the highway and widen it from four to six lanes. The project was completed in early 2015, approximately 28 months after it began.  Pavement removal and replacement was conducted under regular traffic conditions. Two lanes in each direction were maintained during daytime hours. Medians split traffic and crossover allowed for entering and exiting traffic. The total low bid for completing the project was $64,378,721. Concrete consisted of 304,737 square yards of 12-inch thick mainline paving, and 110,699 square yards of full-depth concrete shoulders. Fast-track concrete paving was done at night and off-peak times around the two interchanges. The existing concrete pavement was removed and sold as graded aggregate base, as per SCDOT specifications.

Read Spotlight

Contact Roger Faulkner


Purchase the 16th Edition of Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures

EB001 16 cover-low res3x3_framedPCA’s publication, Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures, in the newly released 16th version is a must-have for those in the concrete or cement industry. The publication is available for $75 and reflects more than 100 years of industry knowledge. The latest advances in concrete technology as well as materials, properties of concrete, mix design, placement, and testing are covered. 

For more information, go to the PCA website.

Contact Michelle Wilson