Building Trades chief unloads on White House policy’s effect on rank-and-file

Sources: North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

In one of the harshest assessments an organized labor official has offered on White House decisions affecting construction employment, NABTU President Sean McGarvey characterized the political nature of President Obama’s Keystone XL pipeline action as “insidiously craven.”

Read More

Construction spending levels enter fourth quarter at seven-year high

Source: Associated General Contractors of America, Washington, D.C.

Construction spending in September reached a level last seen in March 2008 and climbed at the fastest rate since early 2006, according to an AGC analysis, which also found that nonresidential project outlays declined by 0.1 percent between August and September as growing workforce shortages likely impacted the volume of work contractors were able to perform for the month.

Read More

ABC, AIA & NAHB economists underscore residential, nonresidential market health

Source: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.

“The nonresidential construction sector gained momentum over the last year and should continue to expand into 2016,” affirms ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The construction industry has benefited from increased stability stemming from low materials prices and greater certainty regarding federal budgeting and monetary policy, although a lack of appropriately skilled labor will remain a challenge for contractors. ABC predicts the nonresidential construction segment will experience 7 percent nominal growth in 2016.”

Read More

Maschmeyer Concrete, Quality Precast chiefs lead Concrete Masonry Council appointments

Sources: Office of Florida Governor Rick Scott; CP staff

Governor Rick Scott has announced five appointments—one new member, four incumbents, all for terms running through June 2018—to the Florida Concrete Masonry Education Council (FCMEC), an organization authorized by Sunshine State lawmakers and funded by a voluntary check-off program among major and independent block producers.

Read More

U.S. Concrete launches Caribbean platform, reshapes regional management

Sources: U.S. Concrete Inc., Euless, Texas; CP staff

U.S. Concrete has closed on the U.S. Virgin Islands’ principal ready mixed and aggregate source, Heavy Materials, LLC, plus the assets of peer operator Spartan Concrete Products, LLC. Their combined operations create a stronger vertically integrated platform to serve an extensive base of customers throughout the Virgin Islands and neighboring Caribbean islands.

Read More

Smoothness/roughness measurement standard advances decorative concrete

Source: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.

The proposed WK49335, Test Method for Concrete Micro Surface Texture, describes the use of a contact stylus instrument, or profilometer, and reliable data indexes to measure and quantify a slab or structure’s smoothness/roughness value. Members of ASTM Subcommittee E06.21 on Serviceability envision fast and precise surface inspection on a wide range of cement-based building materials, especially concrete flooring and decorative surfaces.

Read More

NCMA programs R-value/U-Factor calculator for block assemblies

Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.; CP staff

The latest addition to the NCMA TEK library covering concrete masonry building or hardscape unit design and construction is an Excel spreadsheet companion to documents on single- or multi-wythe wall thermal values, and Thermal Catalog for Concrete Masonry Assemblies.

Read More

Code Council considers launch of committee to facilitate taller wood buildings

Sources: International Code Council (ICC), Country Club Hills, Ill.; Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

The American Wood Council (AWC) has requested that ICC establish the Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings, which would investigate the feasibility of cross laminated timber and structural composite lumber for construction exceeding current International Building Code height limitations.

Read More