The National Precast Concrete Association elected Greg Stratis, president of Wilmington, Mass.-based Shea Concrete Products, to a one-year term as chairman during its 51st annual convention in Austin, Texas. Joining him as 2016-17 officers are Chairman-Elect Ashley Smith of Smith-Midland Corp. in Midland, Va., and Secretary/Treasurer Michael Hoffman of Lindsay Precast in Canal Fulton, Ohio.
“We all know it is a challenging time to be a precaster,” Stratis told NPCA producers and associates. “But for every new challenge there are new opportunities, and the board, committees and staff are all committed to helping members take advantage of them.”
Along with the officer slate, NPCA elected five new directors to three-year terms: Richard Alvarado of Western Concrete Products in El Paso, Texas; Ray Clark of U.S. Formliner in Athens, Ga.; Jonathan Ohmes of Champion Precast in Troy, Mo.; Philip Shoults of Oldcastle Precast in Mansfield, Texas; and, Ron Sparks of Columbia Precast Products in Washougal, Wash.
The association also named recipients of top individual honors: Mark Thompson, vice president of Jefferson Concrete Products in Watertown, N.Y., Robert E. Yoakum Award for long-time service to the industry and association; and, Sam Lines of Concrete Sealants in Tipp City, Ohio, Douglas G. Hoskin Award for membership recruitment.
The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Operations, Environmental & Safety Committee has presented Jeffrey Hinkle, transportation manager of Chandler Concrete Co. in Burlington, N.C., the 2017 Joseph E. Carpenter Award. Honoring a Rinker Materials operations manager who was instrumental in the NRMCA Committee on Maintenance launch, the award was instituted in 1988 and is presented annually to persons who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the ready mixed concrete industry in operations, environmental and safety endeavors.
Hinkle has been involved in fleet maintenance for over 30 years, the last 18 with Chandler Concrete. An OES Committee member since 1998, he served as vice chairman and chairman for 2012-14 and 2014-16 terms. He is one of the developers of NRMCA’s annual National Mixer Driver Championship; has participated as a judge the 11 competitions to date plus the association’s Driver of the Year Award program; and, has been a speaker at NRMCA Safety Courses.
In 2013, Hinkle testified before Congress on behalf of NRMCA concerning the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration Hours of Service rules. His testimony is credited with helping to secure the 30-minute break exemption that the ready mixed concrete industry currently enjoys, saving producers millions annually. He was also instrumental in developing the NRMCA and the RMC Research & Education Foundation recruitment video, “A Day in the Life of a Ready Mixed Concrete Driver.”
Separately, NRMCA Senior Director, Sustainability Initiatives, James Bogdan presented “Progress of EPD Development within the Concrete Industry” at the 16th Annual Life Cycle Assessment Conference earlier this fall in Charleston, S.C. He discussed market drivers that encourage product transparency, and efforts by NRMCA and the ready mixed industry to develop Environmental Product Declarations, specifically: progress in the second industry-wide EPD; regional benchmarks; production of specific EPDs; and, tools that allow systematic/on-demand EPDs.
The Annual Life Cycle Assessment Conference fosters networking and practical learning and insights from life cycle assessment practitioners across industry, academia, government and nongovernmental organizations, and drew 200-plus attendees this year. NRMCA also participated in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology event that aimed to explain the need to improve and manage North American life cycle inventory (LCI) data.
The World Cement Association has chartered to represent and promote the global industry, while supporting members’ commercial and legal interests. The London-based group offers four categories of membership. Corporate is for cement or clinker producers; representatives must be at chairman or chief executive level, or have top executive responsibility for the member company or its cement division.
Associate corporate memberships are for companies supporting the cement and clinker industry, including equipment manufacturers, construction product and admixture interests, plus shipping and trading companies. National and regional associations and other related industry bodies fall under affiliate membership. Individual members can be from any of the market sectors mentioned above or other cement industry stakeholders.
Members have access to the association’s comprehensive cement industry statistical data service, as well as a human resources platform that advertises job opportunities and projects. Cement producer representatives will be eligible to join the online “Cementforce” CEO forum, through which industry leaders pursue social welfare projects. WCA members will also benefit from international legal support and industrial mediation services, as well as advice on quality standards and compliance around the world.
The association aims to promote industry best practices at all levels, especially in emerging markets, with focus areas including sustainability, health and safety, plus fair trade. Members and guests are due to convene in mid-December at the Savoy in London for the WCA General Assembly. — www.worldcementassociation.org
The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association and Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) have renewed a shared commitment to the natural habitat enhancement and restoration at aggregates operations across the United States. Last month, a new memorandum of understanding was signed that outlines a desire to advance voluntary programs that allow participants to achieve their business goals as well as provide environmental benefits to local communities. WHC promotes and certifies habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education; its programs translate sustainability goals and objectives of companies into tangible and measurable on-the-ground actions.
“Eight years ago, NSSGA became the first organization to ever partner with the Council in this way,” says President Michael Johnson. “We are glad to renew this partnership as operators across the country continue to work with the Council to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to sustainable environmental practices.”
“Aggregates has the largest number of certified operations with us of any industry,” adds WHC President Margaret O’Gorman. “This industry sector has very positive outreach efforts. When you can leverage nature and biodiversity into those efforts, you’re not only helping wildlife, you’re improving the entire community.”
The American Society of Concrete Contractors Safety & Risk Management Council has recognized contractors with exemplary 2015 records. W. Burr Bennett Awards for Safety Excellence have been presented to specialty contractor Structural Preservation Systems, Columbia, Md., and general contractor, Sundt Construction, Inc., Tempe, Ariz. Entries for the CNA-backed awards are judged on three years of safety performance indicators, values and trends; self-assessment checklist of company safety practices; and, detailed descriptions of safety plans and culture.
Additional awards based on 2015 incident rate have been presented to general and specialty contractors in four categories. General contractors receiving the Outstanding Safety Achievement Award for the lowest incident rate are Walbridge, Detroit (> 500,000 work hours); Briegan Concrete Contractors, Clayton, N.C. (120,000–500,000 work hours); and, Gregory Construction Services, Columbus, Miss. (< 120,000 work hours).
Specialty contractors receiving the Outstanding Safety Achievement Award are Structural Preservation Systems, Columbia, Md. (> 200,000 work hours); Lloyd Concrete Services, Forest, Va. (70,000–200,000 work hours); and, Poppoff, Inc., Moxee, Wash. (< 70,000 work hours).
Forty-nine contractors have received awards for zero lost time due to accidents; 42 are recognized for having lowered their incident rate from the previous year. Seventy-three contractors have received certificates for achieving an incident rate below the national average. Three companies are recognized for outstanding fleet safety records: Raffin Construction Co., Chicago, 480,000 miles with zero accidents; Briegan Concrete Construction, 994,063 miles; and, Wayne Brothers, Davidson, N.C., 2,032,937 miles.
The ASCC Education, Research and Development Foundation has awarded a $5,000 scholarship to Daniel Greene, a Concrete Industry Management program student at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro. Scholarship candidates must be enrolled full time in the CIM program and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
In the wake of a recent Center for Disease Control report that showed construction is one of the most at-risk industries for suicide, the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) has established the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, with the goal of providing and disseminating information and resources. As the movement to build a zero-suicide industry grows, key industry organizations have pledged their support through joining the Alliance, starting with the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP), followed by the Associated Builders and Contractors and Associated General Contractors of America.
“We applaud these organizations for recognizing the significance of the Alliance’s mission, and appreciate their efforts to help shape the construction industry through promoting the safety and well-being of their members’ most important asset—human capital,” says CFMA President Stuart Binstock. “The organizations represent a significant portion of the construction industry … We are confident a number of other construction industry associations will soon join the Alliance.”
TURNER: TOP GREEN CONTRACTOR
Turner Construction Co., New York, continues to lead the Engineering News-Record ranking of green contractors, maintaining a post it has held since 2008. With more than $5.7 billion of sustainable construction completed in 2015, the general contracting giant delivered more than twice such work as the second firm in the magazine’s current rankings.
Turner Construction’s sustainability program emphasizes education and training, which has resulted in 1,400 staff achieving LEED accreditation, as well as diversion of more than 2 million tons of construction waste from landfills; establishment of sustainability standards for company offices and jobsites; and, greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The contractor likewise reports a growing focus on supply chain greening, reflecting what management notes is “dedication to environmental and social responsibility and the trust our clients place in us as we work to achieve sustainability goals on projects of all types and sizes.”
“With the significant changes to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system and growth of additional rating systems, the role of the general contractor in the building process continues to expand and evolve,” says Turner Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Deane. The current version of LEED calls for and rewards greater collaboration between project stake-holders beginning in the design phase, he adds, as well as ongoing testing and monitoring of building systems post-construction. Additionally, LEED v4 includes points and standards more aligned with human health and wellbeing concerns. “Market expectations and more rigorous codes and regulations mean that buildings will continue to be ever-more energy efficient, water efficient, and healthy for occupants,” Deane affirms.