Northwestern University wall rides wave of creativity to PCI Building Award

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The winning project of the Precast/Prestressed Institute’s 2019 Building Awards – Custom Solution entailed a unique setting on the western edge of Lake Michigan in Evanston, Ill. Chicago architect Perkins + Will was faced with the challenge of keeping the foundation of the new Ryan Fieldhouse & Walter Athletics Center at Northwestern University from being damaged by waves and ice rubble. The solution: a design-build precast concrete coastal wall made up of 109 5-ft. wide segments of varying heights and tapers arranged in two planes to replicate the appearance of a wave.

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Silo inventory on the cloud


Company has released a major upgrade of the SiloWeigh.Net inventory management and control system, which monitors the weight of material in silos or vessels located across an unlimited area. Among major benefits: users do not run out of material; vessels are not overfilled, curtailing costs associated with dust filter damage and environmental impact; delivery volumes are verified and fraud prevented; and, delivery schedule savings.

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Compact telehandler, forklift

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The Gehl RS4-14 is presented as a highly versatile machine that excels in loader, telescopic handler and industrial forklift applications. At just under 60 inches wide and 75 inches tall, it is the company’s most compact model, yet maintains a full-size cab. It boasts a 4,400-lb. maximum lift capacity, 14-ft. 3-in. lift height, and 9-ft. outreach. The RS4-14 has four-wheel drive, three steering modes and a 10-ft. 1-in. turning radius, and can work on uneven terrain and in confined spaces.

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Elematic focuses like a laser on hollow core opening and cut efficiency

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Engineered with an eye to accuracy, speed and cost savings in precast concrete hollow core production, the new automatic Elematic E9 plotter features a practical touch screen for fast, accurate marking of slab openings, reservations and other cuts. The equipment marks cutting lines, rectangles and circles; identification texts and codes on the slab surface; and, places for dividers or fittings on an empty bed surface.

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Redi-Rock optimizes block design for taller, tighter footprint walls

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The Redi-Rock retaining wall system is moving up with the release of XL Hollow-Core blocks, designed at 36 in. high—twice standard units’ height—in 52-, 72- or 96-in. widths. “This is the most significant innovation we’ve made to the system since the release of the Positive Connection blocks in 2011,” says Redi-Rock International President Jacob Manthei.

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TRB 2019: Nanotechnology boosts performance of cementitious grouts


Precast concrete products were on the agenda of the 99th annual Transportation Research Board meeting in January in Washington, D.C. Over 12,000 delegates heard presentations in 800-plus sessions addressing multimodal transportation policy and construction practice, including materials and design involving precast/prestressed products. Concrete Products was there and we present this report on new research in precast structures and methods. We will look at TRB 2019 research in cast-in-place concrete later this year. The 100th meeting of TRB will take place January 12-16, 2020. For more information, visit

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