Concrete Products is the leading source for Concrete Plants, Concrete Mixers, Precast, and Ready Mix news.

Building energy facts rise as judge dismisses LEED lawsuit

Findings from charter research projects at the two-year-old Concrete Sustainability Hub continue to validate longstanding industry claims on potential energy savings a home or building owner can realize with concrete structures. They surface as construction and real estate interests look beyond the style of green certification to the substance of hard energy-consumption numbers during a project’s use or operation phase.

Read more: Building energy facts rise as judge dismisses LEED lawsuit

Highway funding faces perfect storm

The slight, gradual rebound in projected 2011-12 concrete demand has given way to a nearly flat outlook for the period, after a downgraded forecast Portland Cement Association released late last month. Chief Economist Ed Sullivan attributed highway-funding legislation uncertainty in calling for a 0.6 percent 2011-12 cement consumption increase over a 2009-10 trough. A previous forecast that might have seen cement shipments this year and next combine for an 8–10 percent gain factored a 20 percent increase in federal highway funding, which PCA now sees will continue at its present level.

Read more: Highway funding faces perfect storm

An old standby meets sustainability era

“A product as old as time.” That’s how our cover story subject, Shaw Brick of Nova Scotia, describes its core offering in a 150th anniversary timeline. Market share-driven acquisitions, plant investment, and integrated production and distribution of clay and concrete masonry units have kept the Shaw brand a fixture in North American masonry.

Read more: An old standby meets sustainability era

Rogue union locals do little to sustain cast-in-place practice

Quality control in a plant environment and absence of weather-induced pour delays lead advantages that precast concrete interests cite when comparing their methods to cast-in-place alternatives. A few United Brotherhood of Carpenters locals, embittered by failure to organize concrete subcontractor crews, might codify another advantage in precasters’ pitch: Lower probability of general contractor or project owner harassment.

Read more: Rogue union locals do little to sustain cast-in-place practice

OSH, Davis-Bacon Acts Bring Taxpayers Divergent Returns

As the Occupational Safety & Health Administration marked its 40th anniversary at the end of April, agency officials pointed to an impressive two-thirds reduction in workplace fatality rates since 1970 (report, OSHA timeline, page 14).

Read more: OSH, Davis-Bacon Acts Bring Taxpayers Divergent Returns