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Council grades states on energy efficiency through building, vehicle metrics

As the federal government loosens environmental rules, states are investing more in energy efficiency and delivering increased power savings. Based on 32 metrics in six areas, including building and vehicle performance, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 12th annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard cites leaders California and Massachusetts; laggards North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming; and, states with the highest year-over-year improvements, notably New Jersey.

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Concrete Masonry Act opens door to checkoff referendum in 2019

The Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education and Promotion Act, authorizing concrete block and brick stakeholders to pursue an industry-wide referendum on a national commodity checkoff program, was signed into law last month as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. If modeled after other national programs, a concrete masonry unit checkoff could entail collection of one or more cents per building block or brick sold, with a producer-contractor board allocating funds to research, education and promotion activities—all under federal agency oversight.

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Road Builders implore DOT to sunset proprietary-product rule

A 1916 rule enacted by President Woodrow Wilson’s administration is curbing 21st century transportation innovations that could improve safety and quality on the nation’s major roadways, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) notes in recent testimony submitted to the U.S. House Highways & Transit Subcommittee.

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Labor Board reexamines contractor, union bargaining relationships

Weighing construction industry bargaining relationship provisions per National Labor Relations Act Sections 8(f) and 9(a), the National Labor Relation Board invites stakeholder briefs through the end of this month on whether the agency should revisit policy dating to the Casale Industries (1993) and Staunton Fuel & Materials (2001) cases.

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FHWA measures ultra-high performance concrete traction

From “Building Bridges Better – Ultra-high performance concrete creates strong, long-lasting connections,” Federal Highway Administration Center for Accelerating Innovations’ Innovator, Issue 67 … The use of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) to make better field-cast connections between prefabricated bridge elements (PBEs) is advancing across the United States. Transportation agencies have used the steel fiber-reinforced, portland cement-based composite material on 100-plus projects since the nation’s first bridge incorporating UHPC was completed in Iowa in 2006. Half of those structures were built after the Federal Highway Administration began encouraging deployment of UHPC connections for PBEs through Every Day Counts (EDC) in 2015.

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