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Construction economist assesses slowing private work stability

An Associated Builders & Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows seasonally adjusted, annualized spending of $687 billion in August, 1.1 percent and 1.3 percent lower than prior month and August 2015 levels, respectively. Four of the five largest nonresidential subsectors—power, highway and street, commercial and manufacturing—combined to fall 2.2 percent on a monthly basis in August 2016.

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LafargeHolcim, 3D printing specialist aim to commercialize structural elements

Through a partnership with French start-up XtreeE, a developer of large-scale 3D printing systems, LafargeHolcim Ltd. is eyeing commercialization of the first concrete structural element of its kind in Europe. Bringing the digital revolution to construction, the producer notes, 3D printing allows complex geometric structures to be created at a reasonable cost and with shorter production times compared to traditional fabrication. LafargeHolcim has initially pegged three 3D-printed concrete targets: high value-added architecture, affordable housing, and robotics-enabled, precast building element fabrication.

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Concrete end uses help propel coal ash recycling to record level

“We are pleased to report that 52 percent of coal combustion products were beneficially used in 2015—up from the previous year’s record of 48 percent. For the first time, we are using more of these valuable resources than we are throwing away,” reports American Coal Ash Association Executive Director Tom Adams, taking stock of the central metric in the group’s latest “Production and Use Survey.”

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Holcim spotlights $96 million Maryland plant capacity, environmental upgrades

Holcim (US) staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony late last month to cap a two-year Hagerstown, Md., cement plant modernization. The company underscored a clinker capacity increase upward of 200,000 tons annually, plus emissions controls abiding new Environmental Protection Agency National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) thresholds.

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Forterra floats 29 percent stake in $340 million initial public offering

Water and wastewater infrastructure-geared Forterra Inc., a recently established entity emanating from Forterra Building Products, raised $340 million in a mid-October initial public offering, trading under the symbol FRTA on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. In U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, the company indicated that the IPO would give new investors and principal owner Forterra US Holdings LLC, respectively, 29 percent and 71 percent stakes in a 96-plant operation with annual sales of about $1.6 billion across Drainage Pipe & Precast Products and Water Transmission Pipe & Products segments.

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