PRACTICAL, ATTRACTIVE SOLUTIONS

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The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Spotlights Building, Transportation Structure Design Excellence

A state-of-the-art television studio, a memorial to civil rights, and a museum for a national landmark are among the winning projects in the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s 2020 PCI Design Awards program. Judges awarded 25 projects and five honorable mentions for design excellence in building and transportation categories.

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SWEET SUCCESS

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Gate Precast turns to 3D-printed forms for ‘sugar crystal’ façade

A towering mixed-use structure with a unique façade in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood has not only changed the New York City skyline, but has shown the transformative possibilities of 3D-printed concrete formwork. Thanks to a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Gate Precast Co. was able to bring the intricate design of One South First’s “sugar crystal” exterior to life as well as provide a major step forward for architectural precast.

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PCI Foundation challenge gives new meaning to fast track stadium design

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What might a future high school football stadium look like? That was the premise of Project Precast 2020, a PCI Foundation design competition, staged alongside Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Convention and Precast Show 2020 activities last month in Fort Worth, Texas. The competition entailed five university student teams, each comprised of one architecture, one engineering and one construction management degree candidate. Teams participated under sponsorship and guidance of Sika Corp. and PCI members Clark Pacific, West Sacramento, Calif.; Consulting Engineers Group, Mt. Prospect, Ill.; Coreslab Structures; Metromont Corp., Greenville, S.C.; and, Tindall Corp., Spartanburg, S.C. The Clark Pacific team prevailed and took a $3,000 prize.

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MANUFACTURERS – APRIL 2020

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St. Louis-based Afinitas has appointed Dan Hodel as senior automation engineer, reporting to Dave Stoller, vice president of Global Engineering. He brings nearly 20 years’ experience with Johnson Gas of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; as a concrete curing division combustion engineer, he oversaw design, technical support, sales and marketing for pipe, prestressed, precast, block, paver and roof tile applications. Hodel also worked as an automation engineer for Advance Interface Solutions and process engineer for Eli Lilly.

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ORGANIZATIONS – APRIL 2020

Associated Builders and Contractors has named Matthew Abeles to the newly created role of vice president of Construction Technology and Innovation, spearheading integration of both concepts into all aspects of the group’s strategic initiatives, particularly total human health, world-class safety and workforce development. Abeles has advised and raised capital for construction technology companies, and positioned himself as a leader in the field. He co-founded BuiltWorlds in 2014, a Chicago-based media company, event producer and digital network for construction, real estate, finance and development leaders. He was responsible for outreach to established and emerging players in the construction and real estate sectors, promoting next-generation technologies and addressing influential audiences about the future of the industry.

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PRODUCERS – APRIL 2020

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Texas-based U.S. Concrete, Inc. has closed on a $142 million deal for Coram Materials Corp., significantly expanding its East Coast aggregates portfolio. “Coram’s 50 million tons of reserves, located in the quickly depleting Long Island sand market, increases the vertical integration of our New York operations, strengthens our competitive position and advances the continuation of our strategy of expanding into higher margin aggregates businesses,” says (retiring) Chairman William Sandbrook. Following successful integration of Vancouver-based Polaris Materials, acquired in 2018, he adds, U.S. Concrete continues “to seek opportunities of coupling the pull through capabilities of our large regional ready-mixed concrete operations with attractive aggregate assets.”

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Command Alkon connects with technology-seasoned investor

Thoma Bravo, a San Francisco private equity firm focused on software and technology-enabled services sectors, has announced a definitive agreement to acquire heavy building materials IT leader Command Alkon from New York-based Quilvest Capital Partners. The ownership transition stands to speed execution of a strategy to integrate inter-company supply chain operations in heavy construction via Connex, a many-to-many technology platform rolled out in 2019.

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Ready mixed producers cut carbon footprint by double digits

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Data behind a new National Ready Mixed Concrete Association life cycle assessment report for cast-in-place concrete shows how ready mixed producers, through more efficient use of portland cement, have cut the respective carbon footprints of 4,000- and 8,000-psi orders by 13 percent and 20 percent since 2014. Armed with results from a survey of 155 member producers operating 1,954 ready mixed plants, the association analyzed data on material throughput and other metrics reflecting net energy consumption in slabs or structures.

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