Rebar suppliers see slow recovery from 40 percent shipment drop

Source: Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Schaumburg, Ill.

Prior to the Transportation Construction Coalition’s 2011 Legislative Fly-In and (separately organized) Rally for Roads, May 24–25 in Washington, D.C. (companion item), CRSI surveyed rebar producers on near-term market conditions, the results supporting a TCC-targeted six-year, $500 billion highway and transit bill

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EPA: Review continues on 450,000-plus coal ash disposal rule comments

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

EPA staff is poring over reams of responses submitted during the June–November 2010 public comment period for a proposed rule on coal ash disposal and handling. “The target date for release of a final rule will be determined, pending a full evaluation of all the information and comments received on the proposal,” the agency notes in mid-May update.

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Duke researchers confirm cement industry’s energy thrift

Source: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

An Environmental Protection Agency-commissioned survey finds energy intensity in cement production dropped 13 percent from 1997–2007. Duke University researchers compared producer-collected energy usage data against Department of Commerce figures, confirming a 1 percent-plus improvement trend per year to factor into EPA’s cement industry energy curve. The power savings equate to a reduction of almost 1.5 million metric tons of energy-related carbon.

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EPA helps bring permeable pavers to streets of San Francisco

Sources: Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff

By Don Marsh

EPA’s latest endorsement of pervious or permeable concrete pavements is reflected in a $492,000 grant funding nearly a third of San Francisco’s Newcomb Model Block Streetscape Improvement Project. Mayor Edwin Lee and EPA Pacific Southwest Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld staged a mid-May groundbreaking at the site, where removal of old concrete and asphalt will make room for 13,000 square feet of pervious concrete pavers in roadway parking lanes and sidewalk landscape strips.

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Paving stone-actuated energy collection garners green grant

Source: University of New Hampshire, Hudson; Therma-Hexx LLC, Exeter, N.H.

The developer of ThermaPaver, a heat exchanger nested beneath ground- or pedestal-mounted concrete paving stones, is one of six University of New Hampshire Green Launching Pad grant recipients. The technology can transfer pavers’ solar-generated heat to a home water tank or swimming pool; in the winter, the process can be reversed to melt snow and ice. ThermaPaver can also source heat from or convey it to geothermal systems.

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Spancrete Group names Antoniewicz president

Source: Spancrete Group, Inc., Waukesha, Wis.

Alan Antoniewicz has been promoted to president following an 18-month tour of duty as Spancrete vice president and chief operating officer, retaining the latter title. He is credited with a) providing the company clear direction and refocusing it around the core strengths of precast production and construction, plus hollowcore machinery solutions; and, b) instituting strategic business methods, solid quality improvements and increased efficiencies at all plants, plus taking steps to improve sales and engineering efforts.

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AEC pros tie prefabricated methods to job productivity, economy, waste reduction

Source: McGraw-Hill Construction, New York City

A McGraw-Hill Construction survey of architecture, engineering and contracting professionals indicates the traction prefabricated building superstructures, exterior walls, floors, roofing and other components enjoy against site-cast or assembled alternatives. Of 800-plus respondents to a survey detailed in the latest SmartMarket Report, “Prefabrication and Modularization: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry,” two thirds link prefabricated systems and components to improved project schedules and economy, while 77 percent credit such methods with reduced construction site waste—a key component in the rising adoption of green building.

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BIM-navigating Trimble commences friendly Tekla tender

Source: Trimble Navigation Ltd., Sunnyvale, Calif.

A proposed integration of Tekla Building Information Modeling technology with Trimble construction estimating, project management and BIM-to-field platforms will afford contractors a compelling set of productivity solutions and dedicated workflows. Trimble Navigation reports that its subsidiary, Trimble Finland Oy, will effect a May 19–June 17 tender offer for the outstanding shares of Tekla Corp., based in Finland with North American headquarters in Atlanta. The transaction is valued at about $450 million.

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NRMCA: Industry holds firm on sustainability goals in the face of economic challenges

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

The NRMCA 2011 Sustainability Report details how the industry has invested millions in research, new education and training programs, new personnel and plant certifications, and codes and standards advocacy to establish concrete as the sustainable material of choice for building and infrastructure projects and lower its environmental footprint. Against the worst economic downturn in its history and unprecedented regulatory changes, the report notes, the industry re-dedicated to upholding principles of set in 2009 with the NRMCA Sustainability Initiatives.

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