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6 Graniterock 150Many 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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

The Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association discusses the federal government’s wood building-friendly policies in the wake of recent severe weather events on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.