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September 2013

ORGANIZATIONS
The ACI Foundation has announced Ann Daugherty as its new director, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the foundation and its programs. She will also serve as the manager of programs for the foundation’s Strategic Development Council (SDC), and as the liaison for a number of SDC Accelerated Technology Implementation teams, the Technology Management Committee and the Technology Transfer Advisory Group. Additionally, as liaison to the Concrete Research Council, she will work with the foundation and research partners to launch the all-new Concrete Research Network, an online portal that will connect researchers, funders and users of concrete research needs.

Daugherty was most recently manager of the Petrography Group at CTLGroup in Skokie, Ill., where she managed an annual budget, and coordinated large scale and long-term projects within and among its technical groups. She is a member of ASTM Committee C09, Concrete and Aggregates and Subcommittee C09.20, Normal Weight Aggregates, and serves as secretary to Subcommittee C09.65, Petrography. Daugherty is also a member of the ACI Illinois Chapter and the Illinois Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s Technical Committee.

Associated Builders and Contractors will relocate its national headquarters office from Arlington, Va., to Capitol Hill by year’s end, entering an 11-year lease for nearly 20,000 sq. ft. of office space at 440 First Street, NW.

“Advocacy on the Hill and at federal government agencies is a major part of the value ABC delivers to our 22,000 member firms,” says ABC President Mike Bellaman. “We believe this move will enhance our political and legislative efforts here in Washington and will position ABC to best inform and influence the debates on issues impacting our members and their employees.

ABC will occupy the entire second floor and one-third of the third floor of the newly remodeled 10-story building. The Washington office of OTJ Architects is designing the space, and Hitt Contracting, Falls Church, Va., is the general contractor for the project. Both companies are ABC members. Developer First Potomac is pursuing LEED Platinum certification for the building.

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association has announced Rice University Professor of Sociology Stephen Klineberg, Ph.D., as keynote speaker for the 2013 TCA Convention, September 30–October 2, at the Marriott Town Square in Sugar Land, Texas, near Houston.

“Dr. Klineberg’s presentation will give attendees a context for what is happening in Houston, arguably the hottest tilt-up market in the world right now. He will tell the fascinating story of Houston and address how trends observed there relate to national trends impacting of our lives,” says TCA Managing Director Mitch Bloomquist. “Each year the educational content for the TCA Convention is updated to reflect current industry issues, advancements in technology, changes in market conditions, building codes, and the ever-changing needs of the TCA membership. As the event moves around the country, we feel it is also important for there to be content relevant to the host market/region.”

Dr. Klineberg initiated the annual “Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey” with students in 1982. Now in its 32nd year, the Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey is the nation’s longest-running study of any metropolitan area’s economy, population, life experiences, beliefs, and attitudes. The surveys develop an ever-richer, ever-changing picture of the region’s economic and demographic patterns, its quality of life, the growth of its urban centers, and the impact of continuing in-migration both from the U.S. and abroad.

The TCA Convention keynote, sponsored by A.H. Harris, will take place October 1 at noon. Registration details and additional information can be found at http://tilt-up.org/events/2013-tca-convention.

Also, TCA has enlisted University of Houston, Keystone Concrete Placement, and Seretta Construction as the official education partners for the convention. In an effort to bring students to the TCA Annual Convention, TCA has partnered with the University of Houston’s Department of Construction Management. Keystone Concrete Placement is a full service, turnkey commercial concrete construction company in Houston. Seretta Construction is a leading commercial concrete subcontractor specializing in tilt-wall construction and specialty slabs; company president Andrew McPherson is TCA treasurer. Keystone Concrete Placement and Seretta Construction will provide complimentary convention registration for as many as 100 students interested in learning more about tilt-up concrete construction.

Irvine, Calif.-based Sage Construction and Real Estate has signed on as a gold sponsor for the agcXML initiative, geared toward bringing better information exchange among all construction companies and the systems they use. The initiative is supported by the Associated General Contractors of America. Burger Consulting Group was engaged by the AGC to serve as the steward for this initiative. It brings together a core group of software developers and industry professionals to build greater software interoperability standards and practices and to enable the reliable exchange of transactional data involved in a typical construction project including submittals, RFIs, payment data, and addenda.

“The willingness within the industry to deliver true interoperability is at an all-time high. This agcXML initiative is occurring at the right time, when the industry is truly looking for improved project efficiencies,” said Dennis Stejskal, Sage Construction vice president of Product Management, adding the company will work with AGC, Burger Consulting and other industry vendors “to help deliver the real benefits that can be accomplished with the efficient exchange of project information.”

The initiative was first launched in 2009 to address the lack of transactional standards and transport mechanisms that have long plagued the construction industry. It resulted in a set of XML schemas designed to facilitate the exchange of data allowing software developers the ability to modify applications to import and export data in a standard format. Activity around the initiative had slowed over the past few years, but as demand grew for interoperability and the technology to support it improved, the AGC, through its IT Forum Steering Committee, resurrected the effort. 

Notes AGC Chief Information Officer Fara Francis, “[Sage Construction’s] understanding of the importance of bringing open standards and adoption of agcXML to our industry is a testament to the company’s forward-thinking strategic positioning. Sage has been engaged in this conversation of open standards and interoperability for a long time, and therefore, we look forward to continued collaboration with them on this important industry initiative.”

The newly formed group of industry leaders will inject momentum into this renewed initiative by developing new schema, documentation and possible transport options and by updating existing schema. The agcXML project management office will be presenting the standards to contractors and software developers as well as working with software vendors on the technical specifications and structure. Additional information on the project can be obtained by visiting http://agcxml.org.


Equipment manufacturers gauge export volumes
U.S. construction machinery exports dropped 21 percent during the first half of 2013, with $10.8 billion shipped to global markets compared to $13.7 billion at midyear 2012, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The AEM off-road equipment manufacturing trade group consolidates U.S. Commerce Dept. data with other sources into global trend reports for members.

Nearly all world regions recorded double-digit declines, except Central America with a double-digit gain. For construction equipment exports for the first half of 2013, compared with midyear 2012:

Exports to Europe declined 20 percent for a total $1.4 billion, and dropped 15 percent to Canada for a total $3.7 billion.

Exports to Asia decreased 24 percent to $1.2 billion.

Exports to Central America gained 15 percent to $1.2 billion, with exports to South America dropping 13 percent to $1.9 billion.

Australia/Oceania’s export purchases decreased 62 percent to $750 million, while Africa took delivery of $654 million worth of construction equipment, a 20-percent drop.


Ready mixed association calls for design entries
The Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association is accepting entries through December 6 for its 32nd annual Concrete Design Awards competition, showcasing best uses of ready-mixed in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Winners will be honored at the Concrete Design Awards Ceremony, next March at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel.

A panel of Wisconsin/UP educators and construction professionals will judge the entries in categories that range from ICF to Decorative Commercial to Site Cast Tilt-Up. To be eligible, a project must be completed in 2011, 2012 or 2013, and its concrete producer is a member of WRMCA. Engineers, architects, contractors, project owners, developers, and producers are encouraged to apply.

Cosponsors for the 2013 program are Acuity, BW Supply, County Materials, GeoTest, WRMCA, and the ACI International – Wisconsin Chapter. Entry applications are available for download at the WRMCA website, www.wrmca.com. For more information or to request an entries brochure, contact Cherish Schwenn, 800/242-6298; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


MANUFACTURERS
Cemen Tech is transferring Elkin Hi-Tech volumetric mixer line production to its Indianola, Iowa, flagship facility near Des Moines, and planning a customer support center in eastern Pennsylvania for namesake, Elkin and International Mobile Mixer brands. 

Production of the Elkin Hi-Tech line of mobile concrete mixers will begin transitioning from an Indiana, Pa., plant to the Iowa operation in October. “This enables us to better respond to customer demand for the Elkin Hi-Tech product line while leveraging manufacturing and engineering synergies with our line of Cemen Tech products,” says CEO Chris Wignall. “It also enables us to take advantage of the progress we are making as we work to become a lean enterprise. This is a positive move for customers and Cemen Tech.”

The Pennsylvania support center positions Cemen Tech to provide fast, quality service from qualified technicians who have extensive knowledge and experience in construction, maintenance, repair and mixing applications of Elkin products, he adds, while demonstrating commitment to a strong, eastern U.S. customer base. Cemen Tech acquired Elkin Hi-Tech and its product lines in 2007; both are wholly owned subsidiaries of Multi-Tech, Inc.

The Roanoke Cement Co. Front Royal, Va., terminal has logged 12 years, nine months without a lost time accident, an accomplishment that garnered first place in the 2013 Cement Industry Terminal Safety Awards. Responding to the Portland Cement Association recognition, “This achievement represents the entire length of time the plant has been in operation,” Titan America Director of Customer Resources and Distribution David Brinkley, tipping his hat to the Front Royal staff for its “terrific accomplishment.”

The PCA Logistics Committee members consider factors such as accident prevention, accountability, safety and environmental innovations as criteria for judging. Front Royal’s other safety accomplishments included Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program certification by the Commonwealth of Virginia, implementation of a Hazard Tag Tracking program, an on-site driver-training program, and recognition by the EPA in the Energy Star Challenge for Industry.

The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Labor and Industry honored the exemplary safety performance in August with certification in the program. Titan America/Roanoke Cement officials, as well as customers and local dignitaries, were on-hand to celebrate with the Front Royal staff.

After a seven-year absence, Don McNutt has rejoined Spillman Co., returning to the Columbus, Ohio, formwork and precast equipment manufacturer as president and chief operating officer. During his career, McNutt has been actively involved in various capacities within the concrete products industry, having worked for architectural, structural, pipe, and underground precast producers. In his new capacity at Spillman, he will be responsible for all production, engineering, sales, office, and customer activities and will also directly serve our customers in the Southeast U.S.

McNutt holds a civil engineering degree from University of Cincinnati and P.E. registrations in Ohio and four other states. While already a member of ASCE and ASTM, he will become an active member of ASTM C13 on Concrete Pipe and C27 on Precast Concrete, and will also participate in various other industry committees.

Cummins Inc. marked production of the 1.5 millionth engine at its Jamestown Engine Plant (JEP) in Jamestown, N.Y., last month. Established in 1974, JEP is one of the top five heavy-duty diesel engine producers worldwide with production in recent years typically exceeding 100,000 engines annually. The JEP also remains one of the company’s largest manufacturing facilities, as it accounts for 12 percent of Cummins total engine production in 2012.

“Cummins has remained the leader in the heavy-duty North American truck market by consistently delivering engines with better fuel economy, reliability and durability. We credit much of our success to the hard-working employees that commit themselves every day to provide products and service that meet or exceed our customer expectations,” said Plant Manager Mike Abbate.

The largest private employer in Chautauqua County, N.Y., with over 1,400 employees working in the 1 million-plus square feet, Jamestown is one of Cummins 28 worldwide manufacturing locations and produces many of the heavy-duty engines, including the ISX15, the ISX12 and the ISM diesel models. The flagship ISX15 engine continues to be the top-selling engine in the heavy-duty truck market with Jamestown total production exceeding 677,000 ISX15 engines since 2003. The Heavy-Duty Engine Plant is also in full production with the new high-performance Cummins Westport ISX12 G Heavy-Duty natural gas engine.

CeraTech Inc. in Alexandria, Va., has expanded operations into the Middle East and Africa via a license agreement with CeraTech ME&A, Ltd., a newly formed, separately owned and operated company with exclusive rights to manufacture, market, and sell CeraTech’s highly durable and environmentally-friendly cements. As the licensor, CeraTech will provide technical support and ongoing product development and research to ME&A.

According to CeraTech Inc. CEO Jon Hyman, “Establishing an independent licensing agreement in the Middle East and Africa is an important step for our company. ME&A has the ability to provide what is essentially a zero carbon construction material to fast growing markets in countries outside the United States.”

CeraTech Inc. offers three cement system brands: ekkomaxx, a general-purpose; Kerok, acid and corrosion resistant; and, Firerok, high heat and thermal resistance. Third-party laboratory results from life cycle testing demonstrate that CeraTech cement concrete has a life cycle more than twice that of conventional portland cement concrete.

“[The] technology is uniquely positioned to meet the high growth demand for construction materials in the Middle East and Africa regions,” says CeraTech ME&A CEO Laurent Delifer. “Our product satisfies both government and private corporation concerns for sustainability and meets the stringent standards set by oil and gas companies. Countries in our markets are at the very early stage of establishing green building practices. The ability to offer cement with a virtually zero carbon footprint and that uses much less water gives us a very strong competitive advantage as well. We will be working closely with current cement producers and key players in the ecosystem to establish markets throughout the Middle East and Africa.”


Report LEED-certified building occupancy above 4 million
The U.S. Green Building Council has released its inaugural LEED in Motion report, a holistic statistical snapshot of the green building movement aimed at equipping its members with the insight to make a strong case for sustainable building activity. The first of three reports in the LEED in Motion series, available exclusively to USGBC member companies, LEED in Motion: People and Progress examines the individuals and organizations that are driving and benefitting from green building, utilizing graphics, charts and other tools to demonstrate the breadth of the community intent on creating buildings that are better for the environment and the people who utilize them every day.

“LEED is a transformative force that works at the intersection of a variety of societal and economic interests, including the construction, real estate and environmental communities,” says USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi. “The new LEED in Motion report reflects that incredible cross-section of people—diverse in background, geography and vocation—who are working together to fulfill USGBC’s mission of a sustainably built environment within a generation.”

The first section of the report, Occupants and Industry, examines the broad community that engages with green buildings as residents and tenants—as much a part of the movement as industry practitioners. Currently, USGBC estimates that more than 4.3 million people live and work in LEED-certified buildings, while more than 6.2 million people experience a LEED-certified project every day. The LEED Professionals section of the report considers the community of more than 186,000.

LEED credential holders are actively applying their specialized knowledge of LEED to advance the green building rating system while adding value to the firms that employ them. In particular, the report notes the top 10 U.S. states for LEED Professionals, as well as the top 10 industries in which they are employed.

The report also examines the nearly 13,000 USGBC member organizations, ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to small neighborhood businesses, representing 13 million employees and $1.8 trillion in combined revenue. People and Progress reports on the location and market sectors of these geographically and professionally diverse organizations, which are advancing green building with activities such as portfoliowide LEED certifications and participation on LEED development committees.

The report also features several project spotlights, highlighting sustainable features and achievements at projects in the medical, education and commercial real estate sectors, in addition to interviews with green building leaders. USGBC will release the next two LEED in Motion reports, Places and Policies and Impacts and Innovation, later this year. USGBC members can download LEED in Motion: People and Progress, by visiting www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-motion-people-and-progress.


Mars Mineral lands lightweight aggregate machinery contract
Mars Mineral, a Pennsylvania fly ash-pelletizing equipment specialist, recently completed the sale of three 30D120L pin mixers and two P-120 Disc Pelletizers to U.K.-based Lytag Ltd., which will deploy the equipment at the Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, England. Lytag lightweight aggregate, the pelletized fly ash, suits ready mixed and manufactured concrete, plus drainage and filter applications. 

The aggregate production entails fly ash conditioning in the pin mixers and pelletizing in the Mars Mineral-supplied discs. Pellets formed are then heated to a temperature of around 2000°F and processed to the required grades, depending on target application. The finished product has diameters ranging from 9/16 in. to conventional fine-aggregate grades.

Acknowledging Lytag’s equipment choice, aimed at maintaining a key position in the U.K. lightweight aggregate market, Mars Mineral President Clayton Woodward notes, “It’s gratifying to help a customer make a highly useful product from a material that would otherwise become part of the solid waste stream.”

In addition to producing machinery that converts fine dusts and powders into spherical shaped pellets, the company also offers materials testing, equipment rental, systems design, and engineering and installation. Mars Mineral is based in Mars, Pa., near Pittsburgh, is a division of Woodward Inc.