Building a Better World With Concrete

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by William C. Holden

The start of a new year and a new decade seems like a good time to take stock. Looking back over a long career in concrete, there’s a lot to consider. This is the industry that has literally built the modern world. It’s also the industry often blamed for it. But as our long history proves, no one stands more ready to face the challenges of the future than we do.

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Clarifying the Concrete Pipe Industry’s Views on “Open Competition” Legislation

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by Jeffrey A. Hite

Concrete Products’ November editorial concerning the Federal Highway Administration’s withdrawal of the patented and proprietary products rule may have unintentionally conflated the concrete pipe industry’s position on the repeal of that rule and the ever-present threat to our industry from so-called “open competition” legislation. For the sake of clarity, this letter elaborates on the position of the American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA) on “open competition” legislation.

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ACI 318-19 brings new provisions for alternative cements and aggregates

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There’s a newly released version of the American Concrete Institute’s ACI 318: “Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete,” the document that governs design and construction of structural concrete. While the document is primarily used by engineers and building officials, it incorporates provisions that address materials advancements and applications that have been making inroads in the marketplace. Therefore, it will have an impact on concrete producers.

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Six Sigma Concrete: A new standard for high quality

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Systems and ideologies, such as the three sigma rule or lean six sigma, are used by companies to improve the quality and efficiency of their product manufacturing while minimizing defects and waste. Usage of the word “sigma” traces back to the mathematical concept of standard deviation (σ), and it is a way to define outliers or, in manufacturing categories, defects. The implementation of these “sigma methodologies” evokes a sense of quality and excellence, and therefore combining the word “sigma” and concrete is a creative way to represent high quality concrete. Furthermore, there are six specific attributes of concrete, all starting with the letter “S”, that directly contribute to high quality.

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California surprise: Public works ready-mix delivery subject to prevailing wage

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Many of us in the California construction industry spent time this fall with one eye on the capital, Sacramento, hoping our legislators would at long last address the state’s crumbling highways, roads and bridges. Editorial boards, local agencies, citizen groups and construction industry and union leaders alike pressed for additional funding to improve our infrastructure.

 
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The Impending Texas Cement Apocalypse

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Industry projections reveal that by 2018, the demand for cement in Texas will exceed the supply for the first time. At about the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to reduce the ozone standard from 75 ppb to 65 or 70 ppb. As a result, all or portions of Central Texas are expected to be designated as a “non-attainment area” for ozone, making construction of additional capacity significantly more expensive. Here are a few thoughts for cement interests that want to expand their facilities or build new plants in this impending new regulatory environment.

 
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Revised ACI 318 Code streamlines concrete mix, performance references

The American Concrete Institute’s just-released ACI 318-14, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete consolidates concrete mixture-specific references from 318-11 Chapters 3 (Materials), 4 (Durability) and 5 (Strength and Construction Issues) into new Chapters 19 (Concrete: Design and Durability Requirements) and 26 (Construction Documents and Inspection). The reorganization of these sections permitted an evaluation and elimination of some Code provisions related to concrete mixtures and construction when better addressed in other referenced standards.

 
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American Concrete Institute’s ACI 318-14: A modern, accessible code platform

The contemporary use of structural concrete is a complex endeavor, requiring the skills, training, insights and experience of a broad range of professionals. These include designers, engineers, construction specifiers, insurers and code officials, as well as the general contractors, subcontractors and construction personnel.

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