EP Henry’s Hardscaping Show back to pre-recession strengths

Source: EP Henry, Woodbury, N.J.

True to a “Keep Moving Forward” theme, this year’s Mid-Atlantic Hardscaping Trade Show (MAHTS) at the Atlantic City (N.J.) Convention Center saw sharply improved metrics against prior year figures: attendance and number of exhibitors up 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively, and many participants noting they are booked well into the season—a first for such an indicator since 2007.

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Three-plant Saint-Gobain deal adds fiber cement siding to Plycem trim business

Sources: Saint-Gobain, Paris; CP staff

Saint-Gobain anticipates a first quarter 2014 closing on the sale of its Roaring River, N.C., Terre Haute, Ind., and White City, Ore., fiber cement siding facilities to Alpharetta, Ga.-based Plycem USA Inc., which distributes fiber cement trim sourced from a Costa Rica plant.

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Environmental Product Declarations workshop dovetails ASTM C09 committee meetings

Sources: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.; CP staff

“An Introduction to Product Category Rules (PCR), Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and Other Aspects of Sustainable Process and Resilient Materials” will be held December 8 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville (Fla.) Riverfront, host venue of ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates standards development meetings.

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Global cement group guides Environmental Product Declarations for plain concrete

Sources: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Geneva; CP staff

WBCSD Cement Sustainability Initiative’s (CSI) new Product Category Rules (PCR) for unreinforced concrete offer producers a common methodology to prepare Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for their mixes. CSI membership includes all multinational companies with integrated North American operations: Argos, CRH, Cemex, GCC, Heidelberg, Holcim, Lafarge, Taiheiyo, Titan and Votorantim.

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Mexico joint venture aligns Lafarge with world’s top wealth holder

Sources: Lafarge S.A., Paris; CP staff

Lafarge will boost its cement production stake south of the border in partnership with Elementia, a consortium whose holdings include concrete pipe and fiber cement siding businesses in Mexico, plus a cement mill under construction in the country’s central region. A joint venture will span a) Lafarge plants in Vito and Tula, with combined output near 1 million metric tons; and, b) the new mill, with which Elementia was chartering Cementos Fortaleza, whose capacity slightly exceeds the sister facilities’ total.

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NRMCA set to verify Environmental Product Declarations per new LEED, IgCC versions

Source: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.

NRMCA has become an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Program Operator, a designation enabling it to help members meet new requirements in LEED v4, International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products. EPDs are third-party verified reports published by product manufacturers that provide quality assured and comparable information regarding the environmental performance of their product.

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Procurement – Leveraging value in your business

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly regarding procurement in the concrete business, as well as in cement, aggregates, concrete products and building materials. But, before we throw stones, I also witnessed first-hand annual savings of tens of millions of dollars captured by a relatively small group of coordinators/facilitators in the U.S. and well over $100 million gained on a global scale.

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