Commanding a New Era
- Written by Josephine Smith
DAVID PITRE IS 2014-15 CHAIRMAN OF THE INTERLOCKING CONCRETE PAVEMENT INSTITUTE
The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute accomplished a great amount in 2013, which seemed fitting as it entered a new era as this year marks ICPI’s 20th anniversary. Convening in New Orleans in late March for the 2014 Annual Meeting and anniversary observance, David Pitre, director of Engineering Products for Pavestone Co., opened the general session and began his two-year term as chairman at the close of the meeting.
“In many respects 2013 was a watershed year. The celebration of ICPI’s 20th anniversary was a tribute to our long serving members and leaders who went through the growing pains of a start-up association and recognition of our accomplishments,” explains Pitre, who succeeds Oaks Concrete/Brampton Brick’s Dave Carter. “In spite of the recession in the construction industry, ICPI managed its resources well and through member support of a capital building campaign invested in an office condominium. This investment will result in an annual savings of over $40,000 a year compared to leasing that will be invested in programs, design tools, and marketing materials that support industry stakeholders.” ICPI members contributed more than $400,000 in the capital building campaign. Construction on the new permanent headquarters in Chantilly, Va., was completed in February.
Along with budget changes reflecting the headquarters acquisition, a new dues structure was introduced last year for producers, associates and contractors. “It is another example of members coming together to develop a model that puts ICPI on a sustainable fiscal track,” comments Pitre. “We observed significant merger and acquisition activity over the last several years among our producer members and a dues restructuring was necessary if ICPI was going to maintain the level of service our members expect.”
The Dues Equity Special Committee engaged a consultant to help identify models and assess their likely impact on the Institute. The consultant conducted interviews and surveys to understand the motivations, perceptions and expectations of ICPI members in all categories. The research was vital to developing an equitable dues structure that helps provide necessary funds to sustain activities. A special committee has also been established to identify programs and services for supporting slab producers.
ICPI also established the Commercial Technical Promotion (CTP) Team in 2013, charged with increasing the interlocking concrete pavement and permeable interlocking concrete pavement share of the total pavement market in the United States and Canada. To achieve this, ICPI has committed to develop a technically skilled and knowledgeable sales force ready to meet the needs of the commercial market. There are currently 189 CTP Team Members that have committed themselves to this challenge. Team members attend training webinars, serve as a resource to design professionals in their markets, deliver at least three ICPI presentations to design professionals in the commercial market, and provide data on their local markets for evaluation.
Furthermore, the Institute and the National Concrete Masonry Association jointly launched a new sales course to prepare representatives who sell segmental concrete products in the commercial market. “Our inaugural Commercial Sales Course held in late 2013 was a tremendous success. ICPI hosted a comprehensive three-day program for sales professionals that educated them on the primary aspects of selling pavers in the commercial and municipal markets,” says Pitre.
Content included an overview of competitive systems and provided technical background specific to permeable interlocking concrete pavements, segmental retaining walls and articulating concrete block. Related software, product specifications, plan review, and bidding procedures were also covered. The inaugural ICPI-NCMA Commercial Sales Course took place in Rosemont, Ill., adjacent to O’Hare International Airport, and had 46 attendees. The event is expected to be held annually.
IMPLEMENT THE PLAN
As the new ICPI chairman, Pitre is continuously asked what he wants to see accomplished during his two-year term. His answer is pretty straightforward: “ICPI’s goals are my goals.”
“One of ICPI’s strengths is that we create a Strategic Planning Committee every three years that includes officers, directors, committee chairs, members-at-large and even design professionals,” he explains. “The committee does an environmental scan of our industry and develops goals and objectives for our next three-year plan. This plan is presented to all of our committees and Board to get buy in from all stakeholders. This ensures that incoming chairs do not need to adopt a new agenda when they take office. Our role as chair is to engage our members and staff to implement the plan.”
The goal areas for the 2013-2016 Strategic Plan are technical excellence, education and professional competence, marketing and communications, government relations and advocacy, membership and benefits, trade show, and governance and management. Among objectives: engage FHWA/LTAP in permeable pavement education; advance relevant technical knowledge through research; and, sustain profitability of Hardscape North America (HNA). Pertaining to HNA, Pitre notes that the event, staged at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, “continues to grow in attendance and exhibitors, and some of the additions to 2014 include a design-build contractor competition and further education opportunities.” More than 8,200 hardscape and landscape contractors and distributors attended the 7th annual HNA, co-located with GIE+Expo in late October. HNA also attracted 44 new exhibiting companies.
“Many of the programs my predecessors put in place are getting traction, for example our Commercial Promotion Special Committee has linked 189 sales professionals throughout North America,” says Pitre. “This group has identified state-level barriers to adoption of interlocking and permeable pavers. As a result, our Technical Director David Smith has assisted state and federal environmental and natural resource agencies to develop their best management practices that include most current guidelines for permeable pavement systems.
“Additionally, members are coming forward with productive ideas on how and where to use ICPI resources. Our Engineering Director Rob Bowers presented an overview of permeable pavers to the National Association of County Engineers at their annual meeting. He presented the same overview to a design professional workshop at the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center as part of the conclusion of an ICPI-funded cold climate research project.”
The American Society of Civil Engineers PICP (Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement) Standard is a “document we are excited about with the added credibility that ASCE lends to its documents,” says Pitre. “The standard will be 260 pages and is under ASCE review with an expected August 2014 release.” In 2011, ICPI initiated a contract with ASCE to develop a national standard on PICP design, construction and maintenance. The standards committee consists of PICP designers, researchers and users from across the U.S. and Canada. The deliverable from this committee is an ASCE/ANSI national standard that can be adopted by state and local stormwater and transportation agencies.
Results from the 2013 ICPI/NCMA Industry Sales Survey, which reports on 2012 sales data and estimates annual paver sales per responses, indicate that the segmental concrete pavement industry continues a steady economic rebound from the recession. The survey respondents included 73 manufacturing companies, most of which reported improvements from the previous year’s survey. Sales increased by 2.2 percent for U.S. segmental concrete paving production in 2012, up from 4.17 to 4.26 million square feet per producer.
Permeable interlocking concrete pavement continues as a high growth product to meet national, provincial, state and local regulations for reducing stormwater runoff. In the U.S. there was a 53.3 percent increase in production over 2011 and a 25.6 percent increase in Canada. Permeable pavers represent 4.9 percent of total paving product shipments in North America, and about one-fourth of all concrete paver sales in commercial/municipal applications.
This year, concrete paving slabs have shown significant growth as the trend continues toward larger units in commercial and residential pedestrian applications. This is the case especially in Canada, where producers experienced an 8.6 percent increase in shipments over 2011. Concrete paving slabs represent 34.1 percent of total paving product output in North America.
As the industry continues to rebound, the Institute is looking at areas of opportunity for members. “In Canada we plan to take a larger role and partner with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities,” says Pitre. “This will give ICPI members access to their 2,000 members representing 90 percent of the Canadian population at their annual meeting and Sustainable Communities tradeshows.”
RULES & REGULATIONS UPDATE
“By passage of MAP-21, with specific language for technology transfer of permeable pavements, we now have an opportunity to educate both national and state agencies on the benefit of permeable interlocking concrete pavement systems,” affirms Pitre. “We are actively pursuing specific projects that apply to research and development technologies as directed in the law. ICPI is actively lobbying for continuation and expansion of the language in the successor bill, and we expect to continue successful demonstration projects for members of the U.S. Congress.”
In regards to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s revisions to silica exposure guidelines, Pitre believes ICPI made “persuasive points about the impact of the proposed rule and recommended it be withdrawn.” The Institute is participating with the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and the ACC Silica Panel representing both contractors and manufacturers, respectively. OSHA has completed its public hearings, and Pitre says that the Institute is “cautiously optimistic the criticism offered over three weeks of testimony will be taken into account.”
Experience and perspective Pitre has gained at Pavestone will help him to continue to execute the Institute’s strategic plan during his chairmanship. “Pavestone is involved in all of the primary sales channels for our industry: retail which services the do-it-yourself consumer, hardscape distributors and commercial contractors. We engage developers, municipal and state officials, design professionals, and contractors as part of the process to influence regulation or get specified,” Pitre affirms. “ICPI is trying to reach these audiences as well, but has the benefit of our collaborative efforts as well as Institute credibility that comes with design tools, contractor courses, and marketing materials we’ve developed over the years.”
PAVESTONE CO. At-A-Glance
Pavestone has manufactured segmental concrete products for the commercial, residential, contractor, industrial and retail consumer markets since 1980. Dedicated to the production of the concrete pave stone and retaining wall units, the company’s business principle is to be driven not only by technology in manufacturing, but also in the development of segmental paving and retaining wall systems.
Pavestone offers several permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) units from mechanical lay capable units to multi-piece units with textured surface that has more residential appeal. Recent notable projects by the company include supplying PICP to Fort Carson (shown here) in Colorado that was designed to withstand the load of an Abrams M1 tank—approximately 70 tons—and installing over 70,000 sq. ft. of PICP in the entrance areas of Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University as part of its expansion and project goal of eliminating surface ponding in a highly precipitated region.
With 20 regional manufacturing locations, distributing to over 40 states, Pavestone continues to set the standards for service to the buyer, specifier and contractor.
NEW BRAND FOR A NEW ERA
ICPI introduced a new logo earlier this year signifying its growth and transformation as well as reinforcing its culture of a professional, credible and forward-thinking organization built over a 20-year history.
“The launch of our new logo initiates a new era at ICPI that raises our identity as a trade association and communicates our renewed vision to advance segmental pavement systems as the preferred choice for sustainable and environmentally friendly pavements in North America,” says 2014-15 Institute Chairman David Pitre. “We are proud to be the voice of the segmental pavement industry, and our new logo reflects our commitment to further our mission in creating awareness, acceptance and use of the world’s best pavement system.
“The previous logo served ICPI for the last two decades. In recalling the past 20 years, ICPI started in 1993 with 66 charter members initiating the first organizational meeting and has since grown to over 900 members with an operating budget of $3 million supporting an industry that has grown to over 485 million square feet. The new logo brings a renewed excitement and vibrancy to ICPI and it members to help launch our next 20 years.”
The new logo represents a significant shift in ICPI’s overall vision, identity and message. ICPI needed an updated brand to reflect the industry today and to communicate its new vision, mission and strategic focus, which relies heavily on increasing its brand visibility as the authority on segmental paving systems to its user groups.
“The timing for the new logo couldn’t have been better planned,” observes Jessica Chase, CAE, ICPI’s director of Marketing and Membership. “Not only are we celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, we’ve also recently moved to a new headquarters office in Chantilly, Virginia. 2014 marks a year of transition for the association, and it’s a great time to refresh all of our branded materials.”
The logo has been modernized with a new icon, yet maintains the integrity of key elements within its original logo such as the diamond shape, illustrative of many concrete paver laying patterns. The new icon also includes hidden symbols, spelling out the letters I-C-P-I. The Institute moved to a more energetic font and color palette suggesting the vibrancy within the industry. The color green communicates the ICPI vision of offering sustainable and environmentally friendly products, as well as symbolizes ambition, endurance and growth.
INTERLOCKING CONCRETE PAVEMENT INSTITUTE At-A-Glance
Founded in 1993, the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute is the leading resource on emerging trends, technology and information for the segmental concrete pavement industry in North America. ICPI promotes the highest product standards through product certification and installation guidelines through installer development programs.
Membership consists of interlocking paver manufacturers, design professionals, paver installation contractors and suppliers of products and services related to the industry. ICPI offers a variety of services to its members through its vast library of technical publications, online design idea galleries, paver installer certification programs and the industry’s only dedicated magazine, Interlock Design Magazine.
Following purchase of an office condominium, the Institute recently occupied new headquarters: 14801 Murdock Street, Suite 230, Chantilly, VA 20151; 703/657-6900; www.icpi.org.
CHAIRMAN - DAVID PITRE
Director of Engineering Products Pavestone Co.
IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN - DAVE CARTER
Executive Vice President OAKS Concrete Products/Brampton Brick