The National Precast Concrete Association is promoting the inaugural Precast Days as an event where producer members can provide engineers, specifiers, students, professors, and the community at large with a personal, up-close look at their operations. NPCA has set up a portal,, through which members can choose a plant tour date during the last two weeks of October. The NPCA Board has approved funding to provide national marketing support for the event, including an extensive campaign in business-to-business publications, along with promotion in social media channels.

Beyond plant tours, NPCA bills Precast Days as an opportunity for members “to shine a light on precast as the construction material of choice that makes your company stand out among the rest. Invite suppliers, make presentations, conduct product demonstrations, set up interviews with local vocational school students, invite the local Boy and Girl Scout troops … the options are endless. Focus on local promotion and let NPCA handle registration and national promotion for you.” Additional information on the 2019 Precast Days can be obtained from NPCA’s Ashley Benson, 800/366-7731; [email protected].

Separately, Chris Frederick has joined the association as director of Specifications & Regulatory Services, serving a vital role in outreach to specifiers and agencies and promoting the NPCA Plant Certification Program. He arrived after 10 years as an Illinois and Indiana territory manager for a major building products supply company. NPCA has also announced the promotion of Kirk Stelsel, a nine-year communications team member, to director of Communications and Public Affairs.


Michael Ayers

Michael Ayers, Ph.D., has been named Illinois Chapter–American Concrete Pavement Association executive director. A veteran concrete pavement engineer, he previously served ACPA National in various roles, providing technical service and support with highway pavement technology, as well as education & training. Prior to that, he held senior technical management posts with ARA (then, ERES Consultants) and, following a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tenure, was associate professor of Civil Engineering at Oklahoma State University.

The Concrete Polishing Council, a specialty council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, St. Louis, has relaunched Tradesman and Craftsman certifications, which were begun by CPC predecessor, the Concrete Polishing Association of America. A certified Tradesman requires knowledge on the proper procedure to polish concrete but lacks sufficient work experience to qualify as a Craftsman. Craftsman certification is open to those who have achieved Tradesman certification and have a minimum of 4,500 hours of work experience in surface preparation, grinding, edging, chemical application, honing, polishing and polishing equipment maintenance. Information on both programs, including exam materials and schedules, can be obtained at

The U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C., is soliciting feedback and concepts for the next version of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the 20-year-old green building rating program whose most recent update was released in April. The standard is revised through a continuous improvement process, USGBC challenging the building sector to be more resource efficient and sustainable with each new version.

LEED v4.1 emphasizes the human experience and pushes project teams to create spaces that reduce carbon emissions, energy, water use and waste, while also improving the health and well-being of the people who live, work, learn and play in certified buildings, cities and communities. “With LEED v4.1 we have fundamentally transformed our rating system development process,” says USGBC CEO Mahesh Ramanujam. “It has allowed us to become more agile and adaptable to incorporate real time feedback so that we can realistically raise the bar on the marketplace.”

The trajectory of LEED is to support city-, investor-, building owner-driven change and other market forces by continuing to improve performance throughout the lifecycle of buildings, advance net zero and net positive practices, and reward leaders who enable building owners and local government agencies to track progress toward environmental, social and governance goals. “Imagine a rating system adaptive and responsive to the ever-changing world around us. This is what we are working toward with LEED,” affirms USGBC Senior Vice President Melissa Baker. “We are exploring how we can strengthen LEED v4.1 and also plan what’s next for the rating system. We are working to ensure that LEED remains a global leadership standard.”

Green building rating system stakeholders can join Council members and staff at the “Future of LEED” education session, scheduled during the 2019 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, November 19-22 in Atlanta. Session leaders will review market feedback and provide updates on performance-based outcomes, transparency and continuous improvement to future versions of LEED. —

The International Code Council, Itasca, Ill., has acquired NTA, a provider of testing, product certification, inspection, engineering, off-site construction plan review, and code evaluation services for residential and commercial builders, public officials, plus manufacturers and suppliers throughout the industry. NTA has offices and a testing laboratory in Nappanee, Ind., and will soon break ground on a new testing campus in Bryan, Texas.

“NTA will bring exceptional testing capabilities to our suite of services,” says ICC CEO Dominic Sims. “This acquisition helps us to better fulfill our building safety mission and serve members and clients.” The firm maintains one of the largest manufacturing inspection workforces in the market, he adds, and its inspection professionals currently hold hundreds of Code Council certifications. A network of auditors enables NTA to provide review and inspection of in-plant procedures, ensuring consistent quality of products for code compliance.

“We are a global leader in technical evaluations of building products,” notes ICC Evaluation Service President Shanin Moinian, P.E. “The addition of NTA to the family of solutions will allow us to further streamline the time-to-market for product manufacturers by offering testing services in house.”

Construction, engineering, land surveying and 3D imaging specialist Cardinal Survey and Design of Williamsburg, Va., has expanded into one of the industry’s fastest growing segments through a merger with Richmond, Va.-based Pro-Inspections Inc., which offers private or public market customers concrete strength testing plus structural engineering and evaluation services.

“Cardinal Survey is committed to expanding its capabilities, both internally and through strategic mergers,” says President George Cunha. “Pro-Inspections will enable us to offer an even wider range of services, making us a more valuable supplier.”

Pro-Inspections founder Charles Toney will continue in his current role as chief engineer, overseeing operations at Cardinal Survey’s newest location and building on a foundation he and his team have created over the past 17 years.