The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Student Education Committee recently judged the Sika Corp.-sponsored Engineering Student Design Competition, or Big Beam Contest, challenging college or university teams to fabricate and test a precast/prestressed concrete beam with the help of local PCI Producer members. Prizes based on efficient design, highest load capacity and other criteria are awarded to the top 20 entries, drawn from a North America-wide pool.
Portland Cement Association has named Michael Schon vice president and counsel for Government Affairs. He will have lead responsibility for shepherding the association’s regulatory advocacy efforts and promoting the cement industry in general. He joins PCA from Baker Botts L.L.P., where he served as Environmental Practice Group senior associate, representing energy and manufacturing clients in environmental litigation, while providing regulatory guidance and counseling for federal and state environmental issues.
The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute-produced Hardscape North America (HNA), October 21-23 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, encompasses continuing education and networking sessions for product dealers and installers, new products showcase, signature awards program and nightly entertainment. Along with co-located Green Industry & Equipment Expo, it spans 750 exhibits in the center plus a 19-acre outdoor demonstration area. ICPI presents this year’s agenda as a “formula for a high return on investment.”
Gate Precast Co. has named industry veteran Steve Schweitzer as vice president, operations manager, at its Winchester, Ky., plant, an 18-acre site with 30,000 sq. ft. under roof. His precast industry tenure spans 36 years, most recently in the commercial sales and estimating departments at Prestress Services Industries. In addition to his work experience, he is also a member of several Precast/Presstressed Concrete Institute committees and active in PCI Central Region programs.
The developer of a life cycle assessment (LCA) tool informing ready mixed and manufactured-concrete interests’ product category rules (PCR) and environmental product declarations (EPD) has released Impact Estimator for Buildings Version 5.1 and Pavement LCA Version 2.1, both programs available as free downloads. Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, Ottawa, revised the software with support of Cement Association of Canada, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Portland Cement Association and Slag Cement Association (SCA), plus input from the NRMCA- and PCA-chartered Concrete Sustainability Hub at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (CSHub).
An artificial reef program utilizing discarded concrete transmission poles to enhance south Florida’s marine environment garnered Florida Power & Light Co. the Industry Excellence Award, Environmental category, in an annual Southeastern Electric Exchange program. Over a three-year period, FPL initiated a recycling program repurposing 183 prestressed poles—approximately 3,000 tons of concrete—for projects off the coast of St. Lucie County. The reefs provide habitat to 110-plus marine life species, whose abundance and variety attract divers and anglers.
Denver-based Summit Materials Inc. has acquired LeGrand Johnson Construction Co., serving northern and central Utah, western Wyoming and southern Idaho through four ready mixed concrete, five sand & gravel and five asphalt plants. The Logan, Utah, operator becomes the 12th brand integrated with Kilgore Companies, an Intermountain platform launched in 2009 and now spanning upwards of 20 ready mixed and 20 aggregate sites, plus newer asphalt capacity.Read More
A strategic partnership with Lafarge Canada will position Quality Concrete Ltd. with upwards of 20 ready mixed plants in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. A Halifax ChronicleHerald report with limited detail on the partnership structure notes that Lafarge is contributing nine ready mixed and four aggregate plants to the business, while maintaining its Brookfield, N.S., cement operation.
Except for the hint of a slight decline indicated at mid-year, commercial, industrial and institutional building activity continues at a steady pace, according to the Nonresidential Construction Index Report (NRCI) for Q3 2015 from leading management consultant FMI, and reflecting sentiments of construction executives nationwide.
A $420 million asset deal with Martin Marietta Materials Inc., anchored by the former TXI Oro Grande plant and scheduled for third quarter closing, will enable Glendora, Calif.-based CalPortland Co. to replace capacity from its idled Colton mill—about 35 miles south—and strengthen a home state, integrated cement and concrete platform. Coupled with Stockton and San Diego terminals, the plant will contribute to what CalPortland parent Taiheiyo Cement Corp. reports is “a steady improvement in sales volume and profit in [the] Group’s U.S. operations.”Read More