Eagle Materials earns last laugh on Monday morning quarterback

Two years ago we saw Dallas-based Eagle Materials Inc., slightly reeling from a fracking sand production play, heed an activist investor’s proposal for a Light Materials (wallboard, paperboard) and Heavy Materials (cement, aggregates, concrete) business split. The action had the aura of an opportunistic New Yorker swaggering into Texas to shed light on running a construction materials business.  Eagle Materials…

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Precast Show and World of Concrete: Productive industry exercises resume

The fluidity of public health and travel advisories from the White House to state houses to city halls forced Precast Show and World of Concrete organizers to promote their postponed events with pending labels. Backed with Operation Warp Speed vaccine development dividends, sound minded authorities have enabled the National Precast Concrete Association and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute to stage the Precast…

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Consensus inconveniences irk climate crowd

Increasing awareness of residential and commercial buildings’ contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions levels, mainly through electricity or direct fossil fuel consumption, is leading to more scrutiny of wall and roof system energy efficiency. The International Code Council Board of Directors has responded with “Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a…

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Quikrete’s biggest, best bet yet: Forterra

Quikrete Holdings Inc. continues one of the most impressive deal making streaks to date for a private North American construction materials player. After making a name in hardware stores and lumberyards, then evolving plant footprint and stockkeeping unit offerings for big box home improvement retailing, the producer has reached deep into engineered or specified construction.

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Cemex elections highlight unions’ dubious case for mail-in balloting

Members of prospective bargaining units at essential Alabama and Florida businesses are scheduled to vote this month on union representation. Despite safety team success in containing Covid-19 infection and spread throughout the target employers’ operations, National Labor Relations Board regional offices are allowing workers in both elections to cast ballots by mail versus the standard in-person, manual method. The former…

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Consequential deals cap a year that couldn’t end fast enough

As we closed our 2020 work schedule producing this issue, a slew of post-Thanksgiving developments quickly sealed December as the most consequential month of a year we are pleased to see in the rearview mirror. While absent CRH, HeidelbergCement, LafargeHolcim, Martin Marietta, Summit Materials, Vulcan Materials and other deal catalysts or newsmakers of the past decade, the developments warrant cement,…

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Pacific Steel v. CMC reveals rebar market disruption and greening

Cement and cementitious materials producers are helping concrete customers improve carbon dioxide emissions reduction track records and or embodied carbon metrics. Additional improvements are in the offing for structural concrete as reinforcing steel top guns log CO2 cuts on trend lines sharper than their portland cement counterparts. Since the percentage of rebar in a column cross section can approach that…

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Resilient-construction investments warrant first, life cycle cost sharing

Without referencing specific materials, a new National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) report offers proposals that could reveal how portland cement-based products outshine alternatives in building and infrastructure. A Roadmap to Resilience Incentivization builds an economic and stakeholder equity case for robust construction methods, informed by a prior NIBS report’s compelling payback math—$1 invested equals $5 saved—for building above code…

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Market forces best regulators for aligning cement and concrete with Paris Accord

Associated Builders & Contractors officials emphasize regulatory reform in their endorsement of President Trump for a second term. Nowhere is their praise more warranted—and substance of their observations better validated—than in his June 2017 withdrawal from the Paris Accord. Recall how that faux treaty, finalized in December 2015 under the United Nations Conference of Parties, held signatories to voluntary greenhouse…

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