ORGANIZATIONS – November 2021

More than 200 people attended the Ultra-High-Performance Concrete Workshop as part of 2021 PCI Committee Days.

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute bestowed honors to members who have made significant contributions to the precast concrete industry at its 2021 PCI Committee Days conference in Rosemont, Ill.

“The awards exemplify PCI’s foundation as a technical institute, honoring engineering excellence in practice and in PCI Journal articles, and displaying the commitment to our quality programs,” says President and CEO Bob Risser, P.E. “The awards also look to the future of PCI and the industry by acknowledging emerging leaders and recognizing our commitment to the next generation of designers and educators.” 

Educator of the Year awards were presented to David Garber, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University, as well as director of Workforce Development for the school’s Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center; and, Matthew Shea, clinical teaching assistant professor of architecture in the area of architectural design at the College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado, Denver. 

Knife River Prestress Engineering Director Dusty Andrews, PE, received the Irwin J. Speyer Young Professional Award, recognizing a PCI member who serves on at least one committee and is a registered professional engineer or structural engineer for less than 15 years. Ned Cleland, PhD, PE, received the Norman L. Scott Professional Engineer Award, recognizing an engineer who exhibits the personal and professional character equal to the precast concrete icon for which the award is named. Cleland is founder and president of Blue Ridge Design Inc., a specialty structural engineering firm in Winchester, Va. He was named a PCI Fellow in 2001 and received the PCI Medal of Honor in 2019.

Members of the PCI Girder Stability Subcommittee, who authored the User Manual for Calculating the Lateral Stability of Precast, Prestressed Concrete Bridge Girders, received the 2021 Leslie D. Martin Certificate of Merit Award, recognizing a PCI-published document judged to be technically outstanding and worthy of special commendation.

Carl L. Harris, president of an eponymous PCI-certified erector and contracting firm based in Wichita, Kan., received the T. Henry Clark Award, recognizing a person, group, or firm that has delivered a resource that improves the quality of precast concrete products or processes. Harris has been involved in PCI since 1999 and played a crucial role in PCI quality assurance and certification programs.

The Emerging Leaders Committee of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, St. Louis, presented its fourth Gaining Strength Award to Zach VanBemden, a project manager for Kent Companies, Grand Rapids, Mich., at the ASCC Annual Conference. The award was established to acknowledge member companies’ up and coming individuals aged 40 or under who go above and beyond to promote and professionally represent the concrete industry. Candidates are judged based on letters of recommendation and acknowledgement from industry organizations, with emphasis on participation, commitment, safety awareness, role modeling, plus personal skills and knowledge.

“Zach excels at planning for safety, schedule, budget, and manpower, working in tandem with executives and field leadership,” says Kent Cos. President Jeff VanderLaan. “He is an advocate for safety and holds the entire team accountable. Zach has mastered project delivery from pre-construction through contract closeout. He is well respected among colleagues as he trains and coaches junior project coordinators.” 

The American Concrete Institute has formed a new committee whose mission is to develop and maintain code requirements for concrete pools, spas, and other recreational watershapes. ACI Committee 322, Concrete Pool and Watershape Code, hosted its inaugural meeting last month as part of the ACI Fall Convention. 

Under Chairman and American Shotcrete Association Executive Director Charles Hanskat, Committee 322 will work in direct response to an expressed industry need for code requirements that specifically address crack control, watertightness, and continuous exposure to water with wetting and drying that are essential to long term pool durability and serviceability. 

Although there is an established code for concrete liquid-containing structures, there has been much discussion that ACI 350 is not geared towards pools and has too high a requirement for the pool industry. “Existing industry codes cover a massive scope of all liquid-containing structures in water, wastewater and industrial process applications, and this new code requirement will directly address the structural design of concrete pools,” notes Hanskat.

The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) received a 2021 Indiana Department of Environmental Management Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in the Pollution Prevention category at the 24th Annual Indiana Pollution Prevention Conference. The award recognizes ISA for its work in developing PoreShield SME-PS, a soy-based concrete durability enhancer promoted for benefitting the environment and Indiana economy.

ISA developed PoreShield in partnership with the Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Research and field trials demonstrate that a single application of PoreShield lasts 10 or more years and extends the service life of concrete five-to-nine times longer, compared to untreated.

“This recognition represents more than 10 years of hard work, innovation and partnership to advance a sustainable solution for costly concrete joint deterioration,” says ISA consultant Julie Ohmen. In addition to offering long-lasting concrete protection, she adds, PoreShield prevents pollution through its non-toxic and hazard-free product profile. The concrete durability enhancer replaces traditional concrete protectors and sealants, reducing volatile organic compound content by 90 percent and eliminating the need for harmful solvents. As a non-toxic product, PoreShield is safe for workers and requires no personal protective equipment while applying. 

Stakeholders and benefactors are chartering the Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) Educational Foundation for Veterans with a mission to train military veterans for work in heavy construction. The organization will be headquartered in the same facility as the LICA national office in Lisle, Ill., and have a board consisting of experienced industry professionals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a higher-than-average job growth of 10 percent for construction equipment operators through 2028. The LICA Foundation aims to help address this growing need for skilled labor within the construction industry while providing opportunities for military veterans seeking work. “The goal is to establish a nationwide training program that will become a part of construction culture,” affirms LICA CEO Jerry Biuso Sr. “Members come to me all the time and tell me they can’t get adequate help. It occurred to me that this was a good way to help vets get decent jobs and make a living.”

The Foundation will work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to identify program candidates. Curriculum will involve in-class training sessions at regional campus locations, yet to be determined. Participants will initially work on simulators to learn the basics of heavy equipment operation before moving to field training, which will be provided by LICA contractors, equipment dealers and subcontractors. The coursework will also include training on policies and procedures for working on a job site; an introduction to global positioning systems; plus, safety, first aid and OSHA procedures. 

ConstructConnect, a leading provider of commercial preconstruction information and technology solutions, has added Deltek Specpoint to its lineup of software and data offerings for building product manufacturers. Specpoint is a cloud-based solution where architects, product manufacturers, and engineers collaborate throughout the project lifecycle to efficiently develop construction specifications. The new home of the American Institute of Architects’ MasterSpec, Specpoint lets manufacturers and suppliers get their products or materials in front of architects, engineers and specifiers to increase brand awareness, differentiate from competitors, and improve their specification rates.

“Today’s construction industry is turning toward technology to tackle a greater need for improved collaboration and communication among all stakeholders. In an ever-evolving, fast-paced landscape, partnering with Deltek to offer Specpoint will further empower the building product manufacturing segment to easily reach design professionals with the right information during the specification process,” says ConstructConnect CEO Matt Strazza. 

“The AIA MasterSpec is the industry standard for specifications and we’re excited to take specification management into the digital age with this new technology, making spec writing easier, more collaborative and more accurate,” adds Deltek Chief Product Officer Warren Linscott. “Specpoint will remove silos between designers and building product manufacturers, moves away from digitally static Word documents, and leverages intelligent design and automation to improve the way specifications are delivered and leveraged in the built environment.”

During the critical research and product selection phase of specification, building product manufacturers can promote their products within Specpoint to design professionals. This allows manufacturers to have their products inserted into a project’s specifications as they are being created with Specpoint’s simple, one-click specification writing automation. This also saves architects, engineers, and specifiers valuable time and effort when creating specifications.

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