Five Cemex USA ready mixed plants in the San Francisco Bay Area have earned Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC) responsible sourcing certification following an audit of environmental, social, and governance practices by SGS, an independent, third-party registrar.

“Sustainability is a guiding principle we honor at every facility,” says Cemex USA President Ignacio Madridejos. “We are proud of these plants for becoming the first facilities in the U.S. to attain CSC certification as they demonstrate their leadership in environmental responsibility. Their achievement can inspire others in Cemex and across the industry.”

Cemex S.A.B de C.V., Portland Cement Association and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative launched the Concrete Sustainability Council in 2017 to grade building materials operations on sustainable practices throughout supply chains. CSC aims to improve concrete sector transparency and highlight concrete’s essential role in creating a sustainable construction sector by securing recognition in green procurement government policies and building rating systems. Nearly 70 plants worldwide have achieved CSC responsible sourcing certification.

“We’ve worked with industry experts and certification institutes worldwide to develop a thorough system designed to show how concrete, cement and aggregates companies are operating in an environmentally-responsible way,” says CSC Chair and Cemex Sustainable Affairs Manager Dr. Alexander Röder. “By earning this certification, these operations show they care about the environment and communities around them.”

Coralville, Iowa precast wall producer Zero Energy Systems filed a voluntary petition for legal reorganization late last month, noting the option of a such a move for companies seeking to obtain financing to complete a restructuring while continuing normal business operations. The filing stems from an ongoing dispute with a current lender’s lack of support for the company’s rapid growth, and will not affect concrete operations as management anticipates fulfilling contracted and future orders.

“Entering into this legal reorganization allows the company time to legally reorganize, finalize a corporate restructure, and become a venture capital backed firm,” says ZES CEO Scott Long. “After three years of rapid growth in Iowa, it has become obvious that the market we are in will not support a technology-based company with immediate growth needs. Therefore, we are transitioning into a new structure that will support our corporate goals.”

ZES has retained counsel and investment banking services in Silicon Valley supporting the transition, he adds, and anticipates closing on a first round of venture-backed equity capital, along with a new debt partner, over the next 60-120 days. Under the reorganization, the producer will be positioned to expand into additional U.S. markets as part of its original growth strategy.

North Carolina concrete reinforcement supplier Insteel Industries, Inc. has appointed Abney S. Boxley III to its board of directors, effective this month. He served as president and chief executive officer of Virginia ready mixed, block and aggregate producer Boxley Materials Co., ahead of its acquisition by Summit Materials. He currently serves as a director of RGC Resources, Pinnacle Financial Partners and the Carilion Clinic.

“[Ab Boxley’s] broad knowledge of the construction and building materials industry and strong financial background will be a valuable addition to our board and we look forward to his contributions,” says Insteel CEO H.O. Woltz III.

Texas-based Superior Concrete Products was honored at the ReCon Retaining Wall Systems Annual Producer’s Appreciation Event in Denver earlier this year. The production achievement award recognizes manufacturing and installing more than 100,000 square feet of ReCon Retaining Wall Blocks.

“ReCon blocks fit seamlessly into the Superior Concrete Products decorative precast concrete merchandise mix, and our considerable manufacturing capabilities made joining the ReCon team a natural expansion of our business,” says Superior Concrete CEO Todd Sternfeld. “Our ReCon business continues growing steadily, and we appreciate being named as a recipient of an award for such a high level of production.”

“Each year we recognize producers who have achieved a high level of production,” adds ReCon President Stan Hamilton. “Superior Concrete Products sold and installed more than 101,000 square feet of ReCon blocks. To put this achievement in perspective, Superior has manufactured, shipped and installed more than 18,900 ReCon Blocks … more than 750 semitruck loads of product.”

San Diego-based Eldorado Stone has received the Good Design Award for its innovative new wood plank stone veneer, Vintage Ranch. The profile captures the character and warmth of classic American barn wood in an easy-to-install panelized format, combining planks of varying height and depth to preserve the rich color tones and textures of naturally weathered oak, Douglas fir and pine. The concrete product is available in Saddlewood (shown here), Parchwood, Foxwood and Doverwood styles.

Each Vintage Ranch plank is carefully hand painted to display the patina of weather-worn boards; rustic finishing details embodying the enduring resilience of authentic wood. In addition to the Good Design Award for 2017, Vintage Ranch was recently named a This Old House Top 100 Product and Building Design & Construction Top 101 Product. The profile is available in Saddlewood (shown here), Foxwood, Parchwood and Doverwood color finishes.

Connecticut investment firm Altus Capital Partners was awarded Buyouts Magazine’s 2018 Small Market Deal of the Year for the acquisition and subsequent sale of Rocla Concrete Tie, Inc., the leading U.S. producer of prestressed concrete rail tie for Class I railroads, industrial or commuter passenger operations and transit authorities.

Altus acquired Rocla in May 2013 and subsequently partnered with management to accelerate the company’s growth by funding two add-on acquisitions, two new facilities and plant expansion. The investments allowed Rocla to further expand its customer base, product offerings and reach throughout the U.S. and Mexico. The company was sold to German-based rail infrastructure supplier Vossloh Group in January 2017.

“This award reflects our long-term investment strategy focused on manufacturing highly engineered products in North America. Our investment team engaged in a collaborative partnership with management to help them achieve the growth that was restricted under their prior owner by aggressively pursuing new plants and acquisitions,” says Altus Capital Founder and Managing Partner Russell Greenburg.

“This award is also a reflection of the quality and dedication of Rocla’s talented management team, which remains in place under Vossloh’s ownership,” adds Partner Heidi Goldstein. “We were fortunate to work with such a team, which brought to our partnership a deep understanding of the changes reshaping the rail sector and how to address them.”