Sustainability

New Environmental Impact Estimator for Buildings Software Available

New Athena Institute life cycle assessment (LCA) for buildings software now includes the most current environmental impact data for concrete.

The free version of Athena Sustainable Materials Institute Impact Estimator for Buildings software incorporates environmental impact data recently from the Industry Wide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Industry Bookmark report, published by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA).

PCA and NRMCA commissioned Athena to include the new concrete and cement data in the software. It has become the industry standard for conducting LCAs and is the only system that fully complies with the U.S. Green Building Council LEED v4 technical requirements.

In addition to the EPD and benchmark report for concrete, the new release of the Impact Estimator for Buildings includes a tutorial on how to define a custom product and an updated cement profile based on research from the Concrete Sustainability Hub at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Download the free Athena software at www.athenasmi.org. The NRMCA EPD and benchmark reports are available at the NRMCA website.

Member News

CEMEX Recognized for Doing Well by Doing Good

CEMEX Worldwide is ranked number 16 of 50 companies recognized in Fortune magazine’s first ever Change the World list. Fortune selected companies worldwide that have made a sizeable impact on major global, social, or environmental problems as part of their competitive strategy.

CEMEX was among more than 200 companies nominated and selected thanks to its Patrimonio Hoy program. It provides families living in Latin American urban and semi-urban areas with access to building materials, as well as microfinancing, technical advice, and logistical support to assist participants in building their own homes.

Patrimonio Hoy addresses not only to housing projects but also to the improvement of local public infrastructure. Since its inception, Patrimonio Hoy has provided affordable solutions to approximately 2 million people throughout Latin America.

To assemble the list, Fortune worked together with FSG, a non-profit social impact consulting firm, and business, academic and nonprofit experts around the world. The evaluation considered four criteria: the degree of business innovation involved, the measurable impact at scale on an important social challenge, the contribution of the shared-value activities to the company’s profitability and competitive advantage, and the significance of the shared-value effort to the overall business.

View the complete Fortune Change the World list. 

Market Intelligence

Sullivan Reports Strong Gains in Construction

Sullivan_framedIn spite of mixed signals from recent economic indicators, fundamentals remain strong and construction is logging gains compared to last year, according to a video forecast update from Ed Sullivan, PCA chief economist and group vice president.

Sullivan said in his monthly national and regional economic update that consumers are getting more confident, banks are starting to ease credit availability, and other areas of the economy seem to be improving.

Overall, construction activity is still on track to achieve 5 percent growth this year.

“We’re seeing strong growth, and we are expecting that to continue,” Sullivan says. “The wild card here is residential, especially single family residential. Other construction sectors, such as nonresidential and public works are exceeding expectations."

Sullivan also discusses other economic indicators including GDP, job creation, and the labor market.

See the video report on the PCA ThinkHarder Blog.

Contact Ed Sullivan

 

Regional News

Michigan Concrete Association and PCA Begin Workforce Development Project

With construction on the rise, including growth in concrete projects, a need exists to attract skilled workers to the industry. To raise the profile of cement, concrete paving and ready-mix concrete jobs, the Michigan Concrete Association (MCA) and PCA plan to release a cement industry workforce development video series this fall.

The new “Build A Better Future” video series will showcase the important role concrete jobs have in society and the creation of our nation’s infrastructure and built environment.

The first videos are scheduled to be released online as early as October 1.

Contact Ray McVeigh

CP Tech Center

FHWA Publishes New Briefs on Best Practices for Jointed Concrete Pavements

The CP Tech Center recently published three technical briefs on best practices for jointed concrete pavements with support of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):

Production of these and future related briefs is made possible by the FHWA through the Technology Transfer, Delivery, and Implementation of Best Practices for Jointed Concrete Pavements project.

Contact Steve Kosmatka

Education and 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 on the PCA Skokie, Illinois 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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