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FlaDOT cashes in on Oldcastle Precast’s competitive toll conversion solution

16 Oldcastle 150The Oldcastle Precast plant in Newnan, Ga., provided 50-plus turnkey toll equipment shelters for the Florida Department of Transportation’s expressway toll conversion projects. The agency plans to shift all mainline plazas to All Electronic Toll—AET, a no-cash tolling gantry system—along state expressways.

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Mineral technology, machinery developer taps clays’ geopolymer binder potential

15 Watershediii 150A National Science Foundation-backed building materials technology startup, Watershed Materials in Napa, Calif., reports a high-strength masonry unit production process using natural mineral-based geopolymers. Recently identified reactive compounds allow for molding universally available clays into what the company contends is a sustainable alternative to conventional concrete masonry.

 

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Hardscape unit demand outpaces overall landscape product business

14 Hardscape 150Landscaping product demand is forecast to grow 5.3 percent per year, from $5.3 billion in 2014 to $8.2 billion in 2019, as the market continues to recover from the effects of the 2007–2009 recession. Of four major categories profiled in Landscaping Products, a new five-year outlook from Cleveland market researcher Freedonia Group, hardscape units—concrete or clay pavers, segmental retaining wall units—lead the pack with projected annual growth at 7.3 percent, from just over $2 billion in 2014 sales toward $2.9 billion in 2019.

 

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EPA RainWorks Challenge

Environmental Protection Agency ’s fourth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge compels undergraduate and graduate student participants to design green infrastructure systems to reduce stormwater pollution. Such systems include permeable pavement materials, rain-harvesting vessels and vegetated green roofs. Along with companion practices, EPA notes, they decrease pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems; increase economic activity, neighborhood revitalization, job creation and open space; and, reduce local water infrastructure burden, urban heat island effect and energy consumption.

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Concrete trades near top in AGC survey tracking widespread labor shortages

Nearly 90 percent of 1,350-plus respondents to an industry-wide Associated General Contractors of America survey, conducted at peak season, report trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key spots as construction demand continues to rebound in many markets. Seventy-nine percent of responding firms nationwide cite difficulty filling one or more of 21 hourly craft professional positions, particularly carpenters (73 percent of firms that employ carpenters report difficulty), followed by sheet metal installers (65 percent) and concrete workers (63 percent).

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