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Life cycle, nanotech research lead ACI Foundation 2018 commitments

The ACI Foundation Concrete Research Council will fund a record eight research projects, its 2018 budget buoyed by a one-time, $500,000 commitment the American Concrete Institute announced earlier this year to address the industry’s growing need for such technical support. The projects and their principal investigators are:

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Below-garage space not lost on Northeast Precast’s Prespan system

Millville, N.J.-based Northeast Precast has patented an insulated, precast floor plank system for residential and commercial projects. Prespan allows builders to gain a clear span of the entire home or building to create a full basement or crawl space walls under the garage. The rigid product exhibits less deflection and is 25 percent lighter compared to hollow core plank.

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With Ash Grove in the books, CRH holds commanding cement stake

CRH Americas closed a $3.5 billion acquisition of Ash Grove Cement Co. late last month days after announcing a settlement to resolve Federal Trade Commission charges that the deal violated antitrust law. Terms called for the Oldcastle Inc. parent company to sell a Three Forks, Mont., cement plant and quarry to GCC Americas; three Omaha, Neb., area sand & gravel sites to Martin Marietta Materials; plus, three quarries and two asphalt plants near Kansas City to Summit Materials. The settlement also contains two three-year provisions: It grants GCC an option to use two Three Forks-fed CRH terminals in Alberta; and, holds that CRH, at GCC’s option, will purchase cement from the mill for distribution in Canada.

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Lehigh Cement parent pencils acquisition budget hovering $2B

HeidelbergCement AG, Germany, envisions $1.8 billion to $2.4 billion in acquisitions over the next three years, backed by $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion in non-core asset sales, plus savings realized from continuous efficiency improvements across global cement, aggregates and ready mixed concrete businesses. Driving those improvements at the Lehigh Portland Cement parent company are digital platform implementation in operations, maintenance, logistics and purchasing.

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Design-build outgrows “alternative delivery” label

Design-build is the fastest growing and most popular method of delivering nonresidential and non-building projects, according to “Design-Build Utilization: Combined Market Study,” prepared by construction-wise management consultant and merger & acquisition specialist FMI. Analysts at the Raleigh, N.C., firm assess the near-term outlook for nonresidential, highway/street and water/wastewater construction markets, leveraging figures from internal project databases, CMD Reed, Dodge Data & Analytics, U.S. Census Bureau and major associations, plus insights from stakeholder surveys.

Read more: Design-build outgrows “alternative delivery” label