PCA100-BANNER-LETTERBOARD

Market Intelligence

PCA Membership Represents 93% of US Cement Industry

Due to recent mergers, acquisitions, and membership additions, Portland Cement Association member companies now represent 93 percent of domestic cement capacity.

The United States’ cement industry has an annual clinker production capacity of approximately 100 million metric tons. Over the past eight years, cement manufacturers have invested an estimated $4.5 billion in new capacity. PCA member companies operate plants in every region and ship to every state in the U.S. 

Contact Brian Schmidt

Advocacy

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to Hear Challenges to the Silica Rule 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has been selected to hear all challenges to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) tightening of the permissible exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica. Some industry groups – including construction groups, state chambers of commerce, and the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association have already filed suits in opposition to the rule. The rule has also received legislative attention, with a hearing held on April 19th by the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. During the hearing, Chairman Walberg (R-WI) criticized the rule as costly and noted that enforcement of the existing standard would be the appropriate way to address silica exposure.

The deadline for filing a petition for review of OSHA’s silica rule is May 24th. The OSHA rule is important not only because of the direct impacts that it has on cement terminals and cement customers, but also because it will likely inform the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s revision of its silica exposure standard, which applies to cement manufacturing facilities.

Contact Michael Schon

Market Development

"Houses that Work" Program Tours the U.S.

High-performance home builders, design professionals and contractors gathered to learn more about “Houses that Work” and the importance of resilient home construction. The April 5th event in Middletown, CT, was led by Gordon Cook and the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA). PCA co-sponsors this educational program which is based on years of field research from the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Building America program. 

The curriculum offers ways to improve the performance, efficiency, durability, safety and health in the design and construction of homes, including the inherent attributes of insulated concrete wall systems.  Interested participants received copies of the PCA publication “Concrete Systems for Homes and Low Rise Construction”.

To learn more about the next “Houses that Work” sessions, visit http://www.eeba.org.

 

Member News

Roanoke Cement Helps Students Get Their Feet Wet in Water-Quality Project

Thanks to PCA member Roanoke Cement Company, Troutville, Virginia, 130 sixth-grade students jumped feet first into a study of water quality and ecology.

Roanoke Cement teamed up with environmental teachers and local experts to give Central Academy Middle Schools students first-hand experience in what it takes to improve water quality and the environment. The two-day event took place at Roanoke Cement’s Catabawa Creek mitigation site. Subject areas included aquatic macro invertebrate sampling, visual stream assessment and testing, tree species inventory, and a soil survey.

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Research and Technology

ACI/TMS Energy Session Informs of Threats to Concrete and Masonry

The International Code Council International Energy Conservation Code and American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers Energy Design of New Buildings except Low-rise Residential Buildings continue to focus on prescriptive component compliance methods involving increases in thermal resistance insulation and less recognition for the benefits of thermal mass. In addition, there are efforts to reduce or eliminate the negative effects of thermal anomalies in building components. Thermal bridges being addressed include perimeter slab edges, columns, and spandrel beams; projected concrete slab balconies; shelf angles to support masonry; anchors; and ties.

A session sponsored by several ACI committees at last week's spring conference, including ACI/TMS 122 Energy Efficiency of Concrete and Masonry Systems, shared current and proposed provisions of the codes and standards. PCA’s lead presentation demonstrated solutions for compliance while pointing out the cost implications that may shift designers and owners to alternative systems. Subsequent presentations focused on alternative compliance methods and strategies to minimize cost increases.  

Contact Steve Szoke

Research/Technology

VIRINA Steel Joins as New Associate Member

VIRINA Steel (VIRINA) joined PCA as an associate member this month. Based in California, VIRINA is a steel products company that offers a revolutionary steel products based on a proprietary production process. VIRINA Steel Nano Steel products are offered as an uncoated steel microstructure that can be made in all shapes and sizes. VIRINA Steel Grinding Balls for the cement industry are among its turnkey products.

Contact Rick Bohan