Wall Street Journal Spotlights PCA Opposition to EPA’s New Water Rule

Last week’s EPA announcement of the final "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule met with criticism from PCA, a coalition of interest groups, and lawmakers from rural states in the May 28 issue of the Wall Street Journal.

Opponents say the regulation could apply to bodies of water as small as roadside ditches and demonstrates overreach by the administration. Lawsuits challenging the final rule are expected.

PCA crafted a response highlighting the detrimental economic impact of the regulation. Manufacturers, farmers, and businesses, and  will be subject to additional scrutiny if they “impact downstream waters.” The EPA will make that determination on a case-by-case basis.

Earlier this month, the U.S. House passed legislation in opposition of the rule change and the Senate is considering similar legislation.

Contact Bryan Brendle

Member News

Salt River Materials Group Completes Arizona Home with Habitat for Humanity

Ryan_Family_HH_SRMGSalt River Materials Group (SRMG) and Habitat for Humanity recently hosted a dedication welcoming a deserving family to their new home in Sedona, Arizona.

The Ryan family’s home was the first Habitat for Humanity home built in Sedona. The structure includes Hercuwall® insulated concrete framing system, concrete paved driveway, stucco exterior, and  decorative concrete flooring, counters, and patio. Nearly 30 project partners including PCA, ENERGY STAR, and LEED® for Homes donated materials and expertise to the project.

Salt River Materials Group has had the honor of partnering with Habitat for Humanity to sponsor homes for well-deserving families,” said Roger Smith, SRMG president and chief executive officer. “In partnering with other construction contractors and suppliers as well as numerous other home building providers, we have all enjoyed a sense of coming together for a simple common cause and it is one of the best reasons to be part of a Habitat for Humanity project. We know the Ryan family will have so many memories for years to come”.

See more on the build at www.srmgsedonahabitat.com


PCA Introduces Particulate Matter Compliance Workshop

Due to an overwhelming response to the  panel discussion “Getting to .07: PM Compliance at Today's Cement Plant" at the recent IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference in Toronto, Ontario, PCA is introducing a more detailed one-day program this summer to help manufacturers achieve particulate matter (PM) compliance with National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).

The Skokie workshop is ideal for staff involved with demonstrating and maintaining compliance with the PM-related requirements of the portland cement maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards. Covered topics include:

  • Basic operation and troubleshooting of dust collection systems including industry best practices, how to identify and prevent common bag house problems, addressing the causes, and how system design impacts reliability.
  • Reading the signs: dust collector controls and how these can impact compliance including what should be monitored, what the data tell us, and how education and training of plant personnel can impact compliance.
  • Preparing for effective performance testing including preliminary evaluations of the source, detailed logistics for test day, the potential for using spiking to optimize your operating parameter limits, and considerations for alarm limits on your PM CPMS.

To keep each class small enough to address questions, PCA will repeat the one-day program on three consecutive days; June 23, June 24, and June 25, from 8 a.m.– 5 p.m.

The program is free to all PCA members and associate members but registration is required. To register, please click on one of the links below:

Discounted hotel rates are available at the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-North Shore/Skokie. Please call 1-847-583-1111 and mention that you are attending the PCA PM Compliance Workshop to receive the special discounted rate.

Contact Rick Bohan


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple Gets $23 Million Facelift

Unity Temple in SunCTLGroup, and a team of architectural, design, and construction professionals are in the midst of a $23 million restoration to Frank Lloyd Wright’s first public building – the Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois.

Led by Project Manager C.P. Bok, the CTLGroup team identified and resolved outstanding issues pertaining to the scope of the restoration program, performed exterior concrete restoration mockups to assess the suitability of repair materials and techniques, and performed exterior wall cleaning trials to assess suitability of various cleaning methods. The team also provided assistance during the bidding process, prepared technical specifications, drawings, and documents. CTLGroup has provided consulting and laboratory services to maintain the landmark building since 1999.

Completed in 1908, Unity Temple is one of Wright’s great early works and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1970. Harboe Architects PC of Chicago created the restoration’s master plan for the landmark building.

CTLGroup has started Phase 4 of the project which includes a comprehensive condition survey of the exterior walls and interior concrete elements. Also under review are exterior wall shotcrete and crack repairs, cantilevered roof slab repairs, and miscellaneous structural strengthening repairs. 

The building is scheduled to re-open to the public in fall 2016.

Codes & Standards

PCA Advocates for Resilient Construction at Masonry Conference

During the 12th North American Masonry Conference at the University of Colorado Denver, from May 17-20, PCA staff made three presentations to audiences that included international architects, engineers, educators, and industry representatives actively engaged in programs to advance design and construction practices for masonry structures.

“The Need for More Resilient Construction: Opportunities for Masonry” by Steve Szoke, PCA senior director, codes and standards, advocated for enhanced resiliency, citing escalating disasters and property loss statistics; discussion of influencing factors; the need for community resiliency and continuity; the pros and cons of voluntary and mandatory programs, and concluded with a general invitation to embrace the concepts and develop necessary tools.

“Mortars and Grouts for the 21st Century” by Jamie Farny, PCA market manager, buildings, looked at the ways cement manufacturers are responding to increasing environmental concerns, notably the introduction of portland limestone cements that maintain performance but reduce the environmental footprint of cement. The presentation described these developments and their significance for masonry markets.

In “New Programs for Educating and Certifying Masonry Testing Technicians,” Farny described joint activities from the American Concrete Institute and The Masonry Society to raise the bar for masonry testing. Educating, training, and certifying masonry testing technicians can improve construction by preventing errors that might delay projects or add to the cost of testing and quality assurance.

Contact Jamie Farny

Education & Training

Register Today for the Professors’ Workshop


Concrete 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.

See the PCA website for registration and the activities

Contact Michelle Wilson


Announcement and Call for Papers: SCMT4

Abstracts are due July 25, 2015, for the 4th International Conference in Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies (SCMT4). The conference will be held August 7-11, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The conference presents information on the latest research and development in all different materials. Themes include carbon credits, carbon dioxide sequestration, and designing structures with sustainable materials. End of life materials that can be recycled, energy management for construction, and maintenance and repair techniques for sustainability of  buildings and infrastructure are among other topics.

Papers are invited on all the different materials that are used in construction including aggregates, bitumen, cementitious materials (fly ash, wood ash, slag, silica fume, natural pozzolans, and other similar materials), concrete, glass, gypsum, lime, masonry, metals, plastics, rock, timber and other materials of construction. Papers on paints, adhesives, preservatives, and preservation processes are also welcome.

For additional information, go to www.unlv.edu

Contact Steve Kosmatka

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