New rule steers block, paver, veneer stone Environmental Product Declarations

Sources: UL Environmental, Northbrook, Ill.; CP staff An updated Product Category Rule (PCR) will inform new Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for block, segmental retaining wall, segmental paving, manufactured stone veneer and other manufactured concrete units. A PCR provides an established methodology for preparing EPD and conducting a life cycle analysis. Submission of declarations increasingly influences specification of products or materials…

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Concrete Masonry Unit Sales Survey tracks modest year-over-year gains

Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.; CP staff The 2020 NCMA CMU Sales Survey, reflecting data from 187 plants, shows respective 2019 increases of 1.9 percent and 0.9 percent in the U.S. and Canada against prior year figures. In 8-in. unit equivalent terms, producers shipped 1.17 billion block in the U.S. and 101.5 million block in Canada last year. 

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Oldcastle APG sites $25M South Carolina greenfield

Source: South Carolina Department of Commerce, Columbia; CP staff Oldcastle APG plans a fourth South Carolina concrete masonry production site: A greenfield plant in Ridgeway, north of Columbia and along the Interstate 77 corridor linking the state capital to Charlotte, N.C. The $25 million operation will be dedicated to Belgard hardscape units; serve trade and retail accounts; and, build to…

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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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