Appellate Court rejects challenge to union-tailored ‘ambush’ election rule


The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision rejecting an Associated Builders & Contractors challenge to the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial “ambush” election final rule. ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin of Littler Mendelson P.C. in Washington, D.C., argued the case on behalf of ABC of Texas, the Central Texas Chapter of ABC, and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Texas earlier this year in New Orleans.

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Guardsman case offers Laborers local reemployment rights reminder

The U.S. Justice Department has reached a settlement with Laborers Local 1149 in Wheeling, W.V., resolving claims the union violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) by failing to reinstate U.S. Army National Guardsman Elliot Ferrell as an apprentice laborer after his return from three months of basic training. As a result, Ferrell was ineligible to continue to receive job referrals through the union’s hiring hall.

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Foundation groups inject rheology into revised tremie concrete practice

The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and European Federation of Foundation Contractors (EFFC) have released a free download of their recent Best Practice Guide to Tremie Concrete for Deep Foundations. The publication stems from initial efforts of the joint DFI and EFFC Concrete Task Group, established in 2014 to study common problems in drilled shafts and diaphragm walls constructed using tremie methods.

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MIT researchers: Marine species suggest blueprints for better concrete structures

In a project funded by outside parties and independent of the Concrete Sustainability Hub, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers are seeking to redesign concrete by following nature’s blueprints, contrasting cement paste with the structure and properties of bones, shells, and deep sea sponges. As they observe in the current Construction and Building Materials paper, “Roadmap across the mesoscale for durable and sustainable cement paste—A bioinspired approach,”such biological materials are exceptionally strong and durable, thanks in part to their precise assembly of structures at multiple length scales, from the molecular to the macro, or visible, level.

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Report shows industrial sector prioritizes sustainability in design and operations

U.S. Green Building Council’s new LEED in Motion: Industrial Facilities report highlights the collaborative efforts across the manufacturing sector to design and implement LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and prioritize environmental stewardship. Currently, there are more than 1,755 LEED-certified industrial facilities worldwide totaling more than 496 million square feet and an additional 2,710 projects registered totaling nearly 737 million square feet.

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Hardscape North America Awards call for entries deadline nears

Sources: Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, Chantilly, Va.; CP staff

ICPI is accepting through August 15 entries for the 2016 Hardscape NA Awards, recognizing concrete and clay paver, plus segmental retaining wall unit projects in 15 residential or commercial categories.

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NPCA, CPCI team on education, sustainability, marketing efforts

Sources: National Precast Concrete Association, Carmel, Ind.; CP staff

A memorandum of understanding will enable NPCA and Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute to broaden their information sharing and collaborate across a number of important areas of common interests, including education, sustainability and marketing to the specifying community.

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LafargeHolcim spreads Ductal UHPC to thin cladding, rainscreen applications

Lafarge Holcim

Sources: Lafarge North America, Chicago; CP staff

LafargeHolcim has teamed with South Bend, Ind.-based Shaffner Heaney Associates to extend Ductal ultra-high performance concrete—with 18,000 psi design and 25,000 psi ultimate strengths—to the thin cladding and rainscreen market. Long the domain of metal panels and, more recently, fiber cement, rainscreen cladding systems typically comprise galvanized bracket- or channel-mounted 0.5- to 1-in. thick panels, insulation and water barrier.

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