Concrete masonry sales pace cement consumption trend line

Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.; CP staff

Year-over-year concrete masonry unit sales for 2017 increased 2.6 percent in the U.S. and 1.9 percent in Canada, according to gray or architectural block and masonry veneer data collected from 44 producers operating 210 plants, and analyzed in the inaugural National Concrete Masonry Association CMU Sales Survey.

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Life cycle-attuned Institute updates Impact Estimator for Buildings

Sources: Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, Ottawa; CP staff

The Athena Institute includes updates for concrete masonry and ready mixed concrete in the just-released version 5.4 whole-building life cycle assessment (LCA) software tool, Impact Estimator for Buildings. The software models any building type at any point in the design stage and eases side by side comparison of material specifications and methods. It also helps users reduce projects’ environmental impact, earn the LCA credit in LEED green building rating system, or report embodied carbon.

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NCMA Young Professionals compel new branding, logo, messaging

Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herdon, Va.; CP staff

The just-launched www.ncma.org site exhibits an evolved NCMA brand identity, with new logos, colors and core messaging. A rebranding effort announced at the association’s 2019 convention in Orlando was facilitated by the NCMA Young Professionals Group. Born over the course of several YPG meetings and gatherings, it centered on the belief that a new brand identity, coupled with a revamped and user-friendly website, will allow the association to communicate better with all audiences, from concrete masonry producers and sales personnel to architects and designers.

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Boral block business brings Quikrete Texas heft

Sources: Boral Ltd., Sydney; CP staff

Boral has announced an agreement to sell its Texas concrete masonry operations to Atlanta-based Quikrete Holdings Inc., anticipating a mid-November closing for the $156 million deal. Boral inherited the block production assets with the May 2017 Headwaters Inc. takeover, and has recently moved to streamline its portfolio around building products and fly ash businesses in North America; the USG Boral gypsum-based wall and ceilings joint venture; and, construction materials production in Australia.

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Law authorizes Concrete Masonry Check-Off referendum

Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.; CP staff

The Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education and Promotion Act, providing Congressional authorization for concrete block and brick stakeholders to pursue an industry-wide referendum on a national commodity check-off program supporting industry initiatives, was signed into law October 5 as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018.

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Arizona concrete masonry producers institute 2¢/block check off

Sources: Arizona Masonry Guild Inc., Phoenix; CP staff

Seven of the nine concrete masonry producers serving Arizona have begun voluntary participation in a program funding education, promotion, workforce development, advocacy and building code activities—all geared to increasing block demand. The check off program entails a 2-cent per block collection and is administered under strict confidence by a third party, fully independent of the Arizona Masonry Guild.

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NCMA Foundation opens building, hardscape unit design competition

Source: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.

The NCMA Education and Research Foundation’s 2018 Unit Design Competition exposes students in college or university design and construction programs to concrete masonry and hardscape products. Individual school teams begin in local competitions, proposing an innovative design for a concrete masonry or hardscape unit that can be produced on current equipment. First place teams from the local rounds qualify for the national competition, the top three teams from which will be invited to present their unit design at the NCMA Midyear Meeting, July 31-August 3 in Chicago. Additional information on the competition and entry submissions can be obtained here.

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NCMA set for ICON Expo 2018: Machiney & Equipment Show

Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.; CP staff

NCMA is finalizing the agenda for the International Concrete Exposition: Machinery & Equipment Show, whose inaugural staging is set for February 9-10 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. True to the ICON Expo 2018 theme, the small-scale exhibit component built into event’s schedule since 2015 will be replaced by a larger trade show, complete with plant components and machinery—and 16 hours of booth time between Friday and Saturday. ICON Expo 2018 will be held in conjunction with NCMA Annual Convention, February 6-8, and the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s Annual Meeting, February 11-14.

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Genest Concrete’s Comfort Block warmly received at NAHB show

Sources: CP staff; National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.; Genest Concrete, Sanford, Me.

An insulated concrete masonry wall system, with block placed on adhesive or thin set mortar, was among Best of IBS Awards/Most Innovative Building Products category finalists spotlighted during the NAHB’s International Builders’ Show. Developed by Maine building and hardscape unit producer Genest Concrete, Comfort Block is offered in two- and four-piece versions, CB-8 and CB-16, for 8- or 16-in. thick walls.

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