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FHWA sunsets bureaucratic barriers to innovation in federal aid contracts

Transportation construction entrepreneurs can pursue research, testing and demonstrations with more confidence that viable new materials, products, methods or other intellectual property will garner a second look during future road or bridge contract lettings.

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Court shows do’s, don’ts, dares of union-organizing resistance

A legal petition involving the United Steel Workers (USW), National Labor Relations Board and an equipment manufacturer provides employers an instructive take on permissible language and tactics for confronting union representation campaigns. A U.S. Court of Appeals opinion honored an employer’s challenge of NLRB decisions surrounding a 2015 USW organizing campaign. Union-friendly decisions went hand in hand with National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) interpretations the Board made while answering to President Barack Obama.

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Google sister company’s timber dream warrants safe building practice search

The bill of goods that purveyors of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels and companion, engineered wood assemblies pitch to building design and construction interests continues to baffle. A campaign to legitimize CLT as viable for mid- to high-rise building is taking shape substantively and symbolically: Recent International Code Council hearings saw mass timber proponents look beyond an 85-ft. height threshold for local building code-sanctioned application of their products. Wood product cheerleaders, meanwhile, skirt matters like occupant safety but stress environmental or building practice milestones when presenting a mid- or high-rise structure for which mass timber is the primary load-bearing material.

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Concrete carbonation facts counter claims of investors hung up on cement plant emissions

The London-based Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) has recently approached CRH Plc, HeidelbergCement AG and LafargeHolcim Ltd. about commitments to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions no later than 2050. The call to action aligns with strategies in the United Nations Conference of Parties’ (COP 21) 2015 Paris Agreement. The 150-plus signatory countries volunteer CO2 emission reductions whereby projected global temperatures rise no more than 1.5°C over this century.

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Eagle directors take page from TXI, Trinity, Grace, Heidelberg

Pointed exchanges between Eagle Materials management and a major shareholder culminated late last month with a proposed split of the Dallas producer’s Light and Heavy Materials businesses. The latter encompasses Fairborn Cement Co., Illinois Cement Co., Central Plains Cement Co., Mountain Cement Co., Nevada Cement Co., and Texas-Lehigh Cement; GGBF slag cement processor and supplier Skyway Cement; plus, integrated concrete and aggregates operations in Texas, Kansas City and northern California.

Read more: Eagle directors take page from TXI, Trinity, Grace, Heidelberg