Thirty months into a rollup plan centered on distributors of specialty materials, accessories and tools for U.S. and Canadian concrete and masonry contractors, private equity-backed Construction Supply Group has surpassed the 100-branch threshold. The Denver-based company has acquired Best Materials, a Phoenix-based ecommerce platform, plus Advantage Construction Supply and Spec-West Concrete Systems, both of California.

“We’re looking forward to drawing on the unique strengths of these three organizations as we continue to build Construction Supply Group toward our vision of serving as North America’s leading construction supply distributor,” says CEO Mitch Williams. “This is a great opportunity to further strengthen existing market positions and add capabilities to better serve our customers.”

The Best, Advantage and Spec-West deals position CSG as the number two distributor its in its class, with 60,000 stockkeeping units for 50,000-plus customers, and bring to 16 the number of local or regional businesses acquired since a late-2016 launch by Sterling Group, a Houston-based private equity firm.

Tony Semak

Charah Solutions Inc. has appointed Tony Semak, CFA, as head of Investor Relations. Reporting to Interim Chief Financial Officer Nick Jacoby, he will work with senior management in guiding all aspects of corporate messaging, while facilitating correspondence and rapport with the investor and analyst communities to ensure active communication, strong market sponsorship and fair representation of the company. Semak arrives at the fly ash and slag processor and marketer with 25-plus years of capital market experience in leading investor relations, asset management and corporate finance functions, and has served in both principal and advisory roles.

GCP Applied Technologies in Cambridge, Mass., has received the 2019 Associate Member of the Year Award from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, the top honor for a supplier member. GCP has been an Institute member for more than 40 years, and supports many initiatives through the Premier Partners program and PCI Foundation contributions.

“The 2019 PCI Associate Member Award is of particular distinction as we are being valued as an innovator and committed partner,” says GCP Global Director of Marketing Brian Miller. “The PCI Selection Committee recognized GCP’s history of commitment to new technologies, from filing for the first global patent for admixtures in the 1930s to developing admixtures for control flow concrete.”

ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has been awarded a matching grant that will accelerate a graphene-enhanced concrete research and development project, geared to early-2020 commercializing of innovative cement-based composite products. The grantor will match up to a maximum of $1 million in expenses directly related to graphite purification; graphene production and concrete additive research; and, large-scale graphene-enhanced concrete testing.

ZEN is developing a graphene-enhanced additive in collaboration with the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia-Okanogan that has the potential to increase concrete compressive strength by 40 percent. The additive has the potential to reduce the amount of portland cement required in numerous concrete applications, thereby contributing to greenhouse gas emission reductions in finished construction. In addition, graphene has the potential to make concrete more durable, resulting in infrastructure that will resist cracking related to freeze-thaw cycles and chloride-driven corrosion.

Pittsburgh-based construction material testing equipment leader Forney LP has promoted Scott Grumski from chief engineer to vice president of Platform Development. He will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s new ForneyVault technology aimed at improving productivity in construction materials testing; providing test results surety for agencies, authorities and owners; and, enabling third-party software access and integration.

Michigan-based micro rebar specialist Helix Steel has appointed Construction Innovations Co., a Malta, N.Y., as its Northeast U.S. representative. Complete with its own engineering team, led by Bob Edwards, Construction Innovations brings 45-plus years of experience in construction product sales and support, and serves architects, engineers, contractors, and distributors. Helix President Luke Pinkerton cites the firm’s expertise in specified products and qualifications given the technical nature of the Helix product in concrete.

Volvo Group North America has improved energy performance at 14 of its U.S. facilities by 17.5 percent since re-pledging the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge in 2014 to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent in 10 years.