Association News

Register Today for the PCA Fall Meeting

BANNER-MEDRECTANGLE-FALL15-croppedThe PCA Fall Committee Meetings will take place August 31-September 1, 2015 at the Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Meeting highlights include:

> Economic Update by Edward Sullivan, PCA group vice president and chief economist at the Monday group lunch

> Presentation of the John P. Gleason, Jr., Leadership Awards at the lunch on Monday

> A meeting of the Manufacturing Technical Committee focusing on emerging issues and best practices

> Tuesday's group breakfast will be keynoted by Alex Herrgott, deputy staff director of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

Registration and hotel reservations may be found on­line at the Members Only section of the PCA’s website. Hotel reservations should be made by August 8.

Contact Kathryn DiProva

Industry News

Summit Materials Acquires Assets from Lafarge

Summit Materials, Inc., announced July 20 that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of a 1.2 million short ton capacity cement plant in Davenport, Iowa, along with seven cement distribution terminals from Lafarge North America Inc., for a purchase price of $450 million in cash, plus an exchange of Summit’s Bettendorf, Iowa, cement distribution terminal.

The newly acquired cement operations join Summit’s existing cement plant in Hannibal, Missouri, and cement distribution terminal in St. Louis, Missouri. The combined business will operate as Continental Cement Company, L.L.C., an existing wholly-owned subsidiary of Summit.

Following completion of the transaction, Summit owns 2.4 million short tons of cement production capacity across the two cement plants plus eight cement distribution terminals along the Mississippi River system ranging from Minneapolis, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tom Hill, president and CEO of Summit, said, “We are thrilled to complete this acquisition which roughly doubles our cement capacity and firmly establishes our position as a top three cement producer on the Mississippi River. We are excited to integrate these low-cost, efficient operations into our platform.”



PCA Applauds House Action to Support Coal Ash Recycling

Capitol_sliderBy a bipartisan vote of 258 to 166, the U.S. House of Representatives on July 22 passed legislation that will promote continued recycling of coal ash.

The “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015,” (H.R. 1734), sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), codifies a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate coal ash under the 'solid waste' provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Proposals had been made to treat this ash as a hazardous waste, which would have curtailed, if not completely stopped, recycling.  The EPA recently decided that coal ash should for the time being not be regulated as a hazardous waste, but there has been uncertainty that this position could change. H.R. 1734 would codify the EPA determination into law.

See PCA news release

Contact Bryan Brendle

Education & Training

PCA Hosts Professors' Workshop

Action photo StructurePoint 1_croppedMore than 30 professors from around the world participated in the PCA Education Foundation 2015 Professors’ Workshop, July 20-24, at the PCA headquarters in Skokie, Illinois. The Professors’ Workshop is designed to provide faculty in engineering, architecture, and construction management programs the tools to teach the latest developments in concrete design, construction, and materials. Discussions enabled participants to share innovative ways to teach concrete applications and develop their concrete curriculum on a variety of concrete subjects in one concentrated workshop.

Attendees could choose from three tracks: Concrete Materials Properties; Engineering and Economics of Concrete Structures; and Design, Construction, and Performance of Concrete Pavements. PCA presentations on Market Intelligence, Codes and Standards, Sustainability, and Resiliency were also included. In addition to the educational sessions, the professors engaged in networking opportunities to exchange ideas with peers from other universities, attended demonstrations by software vendors, and received more than $2,500 of free resource materials.

PCA Education Foundation thanks the following organizations for contributing to the workshop: American Concrete Institute, American Concrete Pavement Association, American Shotcrete Association, American Society of Concrete Contractors, Center for Advanced Cement-based Materials at Purdue University College of Engineering, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute Education and Research Foundation, CTLGroup, Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate Institute, Lafarge North America, National Concrete Pavement Technology Center, National Concrete Masonry Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Post-Tensioning Institute, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, StructurePoint, and The Masonry Society.

Contact Michelle Wilson

Codes & Standards

PCA Website Posts Advance Copy of Sustainability Code Modifications

An advance copy of Code Amendments for Sustainability: Modifications to the International Building Code, 2012 Edition (CAS-B12)  is available for free download from the PCA website. The document provides the most up-to-date and specific sustainability code recommendations developed by PCA, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IIBHS), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

PCA recommendations minimize the reliance on automatic fire suppression for enhanced property protection, stress avoiding an extensive fire that destroys a great deal of land or property and improved performance for structures under construction, areas prone to wildland fires, and fires after disasters. The IIHBS recommendations address natural disasters, excluding floods, while FEMA recommendations concern floods and storm shelters.

The new document includes detailed commentary to substantiate the recommended modifications. It also places each recommendation into a primary area of impact: Energy Conservation and Management; Enhanced Resilience; Enhanced Security; General or Administrative Provisions of the Code; Interior Environmental Quality; Material Resources Conservation and Management; Site Selection and Development; and Water Conservation and Management.

These recommendations are intended to provide high performance building requirements for use by state and local governments and Federal Agencies to implement sustainable or green building initiatives. The requirements are formatted to facilitate adoption as amendments to the 2012 International Building Code. The CAS-B12 modifications only become mandatory if a local jurisdiction chooses to adopt all or portions of these criteria, however these criteria are also available for designers who want to improve building performance simply because it is the right thing to do.

High Performance Building Requirements for Sustainability Version 2.0 remains posted on the PCA website as a resource for the jurisdictions that continues use it.

Contact Steve Szoke

Market Intelligence

Portland Cement Consumption Grows Over Last Year

Fifteen of the 18 market segments tracked for cement consumption recorded growth from year-ago levels in the first quarter of 2015, according PCA’s latest Survey of Portland Cement Consumption by User Group.

The nontraditional paving segment that includes soil cement, roller-compacted concrete, and full-depth reclamation, jumped 68 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2014. This segment is among the forefront of PCA’s promotional efforts. Segments with a high exposure to the residential building market also enjoyed sizable gains. The fiber cement siding market grew 53 percent, while concrete roof tile manufacturers and building materials dealers increased 39 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Contact Brian Schmidt

Regional News

West Virginia Saves $13 Million with Concrete

Paving Pictures_2-croppedSince 2008, the West Virginia Department of Highways (WVDOH) has realized $13 million in cost savings after selecting concrete for six paving projects.

The projects were completed in November 2014 and there are now more than 45 miles of new concrete 4-lane divided highway between Moorfield and Davis, West Virginia.

The alternate design alternate bid (ADAB) process showed a substantial cost savings for concrete versus asphalt.

“Instead of one material being chosen ahead of time, the market determines what material will be used,” said Darrell Allen, former WVDOH deputy state highway engineer. “ADAB is more economical and we plan to continue to use it.”

Read the Spotlight on this project.

Contact Roger Faulkner

Education & Training

PCA Offers Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures Course

PCA’s publication Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures is the foundation for a concrete industry course offered October 5-8, 2015 on the PCA campus.

The course reflects the latest advances in concrete technology. Covered will be materials, properties of concrete, mix design, placement, and testing. It is especially useful for concrete industry personnel who need fundamental yet practical concrete knowledge and combines classroom instruction, lab demonstrations, and hands-on training to help employees meet customer needs.

For more information, go to the PCA website

Contact Michelle Wilson

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