Microsoft founder ties concrete to a halving of world’s extreme poverty rate

Sources: CP staff; Bill Gates’ gatesnotes blog

In “Have You Hugged a Concrete Pillar Today?,”  Microsoft founder Bill Gates takes stock of Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, the latest work from his favorite author: “[Vaclav Smil] argues that the most important man-made material is concrete, both in terms of the amount we produce each year and the total mass we’ve laid down.”

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Unistress lands $70M precast bridge deck panel contract from Tappan Zee JV

Sources: Unistress Corp., Pittsfield, Mass.; Tappan Zee Constructors LLC, Tarrytown, N.Y.; CP staff

Unistress will invest $6 million in capacity upgrades and add 100-plus production staff to support the largest contract in its 46-year history: 6,000 precast panels, typically 40- x 12-ft., for the New NY Bridge. Upon scheduled 2018 opening, the 3.1-mile, $3.9-billion Hudson River crossing will replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, linking Westchester and Rockland, N.Y., counties and nearing its 60th year in service.

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Lafarge, Oldcastle, NPCA and PCI advance Precast Product Category Rule

Sources: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.; National Precast Concrete Association, Carmel, Ind.; CP staff

To support development of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) catering to contracts for green building certification candidate projects—especially those targeting the recently released LEED v4— precasters and allied groups are finalizing a North American Precast Concrete Category Rule (PCR) through program operator ASTM International.

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OSHA web tool promotes plant, site accident prevention

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Timed with the recent American Society of Safety Engineers conference in Orlando, OSHA released an interactive training tool to help identify common hazards in construction and manufacturing workplaces. Users will learn hazard identification skills, plus abatement and control.

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ACI Foundation opens fellowship, scholarship applications

Source: ACI Foundation, Farmington Hills, Mich.

The American Concrete Institute’s ACI Foundation is accepting through October 15 applications for 10 undergraduate fellowships, plus one undergraduate and eight graduate scholarships during the 2015-2016 academic year. ACI Foundation Fellowships range from $7,000 to $10,000, and are awarded to high-potential undergraduate and graduate students who are studying engineering, construction management, or other related fields of study in the area of concrete.

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