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March 2017



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concreteMONTHLY News from the cementt and d concrete industries

March 2017



departments 5 Event News 16 Business Development 18 Industry News

20 Product News Roundup 22 Concrete Monthly 24 Builder + Business Directory

Cover photo courtesy of The National Museum Szczecin by Michal Wojtarowicz

Western Specialty y Contractors Restores Alcatraz z Federall Penitentiary When the main cell house building att the historic Alcatraz Federal Penitentiaryy was constructed from 1910 to 1912, prison workers mixed saltt water from the surrounding San Francisco Bayy and brickk rubble in the concrete supportt beams. Coupled with the island’s extreme weather conditions, the large, castin-place concrete supportt beams in the original Citadel and basementt shower room areas thatt supportt the main cellblock structures began to deteriorate and fail, posing major structural damage to the historic building. The Citadel was partt off the original structure and dates back to the Civil War era. Its masonryy walls supportt the massive concrete beams carrying the load off the penitentiaryy located above. The shower room is located on the same level as the Citadel, butt is separated byy earthen fill and has walk-in access att a lower level off the structure. The general contractor on the projectt hired Western Specialtyy Contractors’ San Francisco, California, branch for the $3.6 million structural repair projectt after the original contract team defaulted on the job, pushing the projectt over a year behind schedule. Restoration workk on the structure was also required to bring the structure up to California’s seismic codes for earthquakes. Once a contractt was approved, Western crews 22

quicklyy mobilized to the jobsite to complete the job. Western’s scope off workk focused on the Citadel and shower room areas and included replacing beams and masonryy that supportt the cell house floor, installing engineered shoring, repairing the cell house structural floor, performing nonstructural patching and masonry, repairing salvageable beams to protectt them from further deterioration and installing a cathodic protection system to preventt deterioration off the metal support. All workk on the projectt would be completed att night to avoid disrupting public tours off the historic landmarkk during the day. Like anyy historic restoration project, there were challenges. One off the main challenges faced byy Western’s crews was controlling the amountt off dustt generated during the demolition process. “Dustt control was a major challenge, especiallyy considering the amountt off workk thatt was happening in such a small area with poor circulation,” said San Francisco Branch Manager Tonyy Lieder. “When Western tookk over the project, we spent approximatelyy two to three weeks justt cleaning the site and removing debris leftt byy the previous contractor. Often the dustt was so bad, each shiftt would have to stop working about

Concrete Monthly • February/March 2017

See page 22

from the editor Vol. 20, No. 2 President/Editor In Chief Gary L. Pittman, Sr. Executive Vice President of Operations Gary Pittman, Jr. • 512-637-0373

I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that this March 2017 issue you’re now reading was the 20th anniversary of the magazine. It seemed to me an auspicious time for a new editor to join the team. I’m pleased to be a part of this issue, which is both a celebration of the magazine’s past 20 years and a look towards the future of the next 20 years. In planning for this 20th anniversary issue, I queried builders, architects, leaders from industry organizations, manufacturers and designers to get their take on what they think the next 20 years of their branch of the concrete industry will look like. Not everyone I asked chose to participate, but those that did had some really intriguing things to say that help give us a picture of what the next 20 years will look like. For instance, Nicholas Nikiforuk of IntegraSpec noted that ICFs will become even more important as California’s “net zero” code changes make building with anything but ICFs a fool’s errand. Jim Ryan, a builder in Connecticut, is seeing an increasing number of design teams willing to specify ICFS on their projects, whether they are hotels, movie theaters or mid-rise apartment buildings. Turn to page 10 for our insight from these and other experts. While I’ve known about Concrete Homes + Low-Rise Construction magazine for years now, I found out while at World of Concrete 2017 that many people who are in the construction trades, and who work with concrete in particular, are not familiar with it. Even though the magazine has been around for 20 years, there were a lot of people at World of Concrete who saw our magazine and were learning about ICFs for the first time. One outstanding attraction at World of Concrete was a “home” built using ICF that was constructed in the outside exhibit space. The publishers of Concrete Decor magazine had each “room” in the open air home finished with a different application. This not only showcased the diversity of decorative concrete applications, but how ICFs can be used in a modern home setting. This definitely helped raise awareness for our industry, as thousands of people walked through this demonstration home each day. I consider this thrilling and hopeful! This magazine can, and will, continue to document an industry that has nowhere to “grow” but up.

Vanessa Salvia Managing Editor


Concrete Homes • March 2017

Managing Editor Vanessa Salvia Contributing Editor Larry Storer Contributing Writer Victoria K. Sicaras Contributing Photographers Edward Blanch Michal Wojtarowicz Art Director Lisa Gouveia • Advertising Executive Gary Pittman, Jr. (512) 637-0373 Circulation/Accounting Manager Beth Chorba (512) 637-0344 • Web and Network Manager Joel Nosal •

PUBLISHED BY Publications and Communications, Inc. 13552 Highway 183 N, Suite A Austin, TX 78750 phone (512) 250-9023 fax: (512) 331-3950

Concrete Homes + Low-Rise Construction (ISSN 152-5547) is published bimonthly by Publications & Communications, LP., Gary L. Pittman, President. Subscriptions are available for $22 per year, single copy price $4.95. Foreign subscriptions are available for $45 per year. Payment must accompany orders. Copyright 2017 by Publications & Communications, LP. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without written consent from the publisher is strictly prohibited. The technical content and opinions in this publication are those of the relevant contributors or advertisers and are not attributable to the publisher, staff, writers, sponsors, sales department or other advertisers. Postmaster: Send change of address to Circulation Dept., 13552 Highway 183 N, Suite A, Austin, TX 78750 (512) 250-9023.

events MARCH 6-8 The Academy of Blasting and Explosive Technology Rock Blasting & Overbreak Control Seminar

MARCH 7-11 CONEXPO—CON/AGG Las Vegas, Nevada

MARCH 14-18 Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association 2017 Convention Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

MARCH 14-15

GET MORE of the latest info on concrete technology and design. FIND OUT what makes concrete homes the MOST SENSIBLE and attractive HOME BUILDING alternative.


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MARCH 26-30 American Concrete Institute Spring Convention “Driving Concrete Technology” Detroit, Michigan

Send your event information to Vanessa Salvia

Inside G EWINCGOLGNIZRO IP IN dly REVIE Rly-SFrHienBuilding a coastal ICF home Emi S D L Fa A E O L E LEADERSHIP H R E C C S N to endure the threats of fire, ity IE IN bil me IL ina D Ho S sta F E IP E Su IC N H R Lxa gBecause l To S sin tiaDurable R en oo E Ess Ch LEARIENMCanE earthquakes and termite damage D s Is ol Building Is Essential To Sustainability A ing Es Scho Bug sta ild fitsity cause DurableBiSu nebil ina Be RESIL Whhy yBeTe To ng l izi tia en Essal HLYY &IsRe NTOR WIN THE 11> 0 2> 6> AWARD t:IDE: 1 s AWARD SHIP 201 Special Supplement: INS MONTHLY INSIDE: ABC SUCCESS STORY DER LEA e industrie LEADERSHIP WINNERS CE cial Supplemen concret ILIEN Spe 2016 PCA RES ERSARY from the cement and December November June 2016 2015 2014

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MARCH 27-29 2017 NECA Now National Electrical Contractors Association Executive Leadership Conference San Antonio, Texas


Call 1-512-637-0344 or visit our website: March 2017 • Concrete Homes



Text by Vanessa Salvia • Photography courtesy of The National Museum Szczecin by Michal Wojtarowicz



The World Architecture Festival is where the world looks to see the future of architecture. This three-day annual event was first held in Barcelona in 2008. Since 2012 it was held in Singapore, but in 2016 it was held in Berlin. Each year, around 200 projects vie for awards in nearly three dozen categories. One of these projects is awarded the World Building of the Year title. For 2016, the winning building is hardly visible from ground level. The building is mostly subterranean—it was built below a public square known as Solidarnosci Square (Solidarity). The museum’s area is 17,523 square feet (1628 square meters) and 6

Concrete Homes • March 2017

it was built entirely of precast concrete. Inside the museum, which documents the city’s recent history, the walls and ceilings are also the same precast concrete. The walls and ceiling are painted black. The town where it is located, Szczecin, experienced a lot of losses during World War II and beyond. The town has a long and varied history, starting in the 8th century. It has at times been considered part of Denmark. During the 17th to 19th century it was part of Sweden. Szczecin was part of Germany from 1871 until 1945.

The location of the square was originally the site of townhouses, but those were destroyed by bombings during World War II, and the square remained open space after that. Szczecin was a base for a lot of military activity during the pre-war and inter-war period. After World War II ended, the city was abruptly incorporated into Poland. This caused somewhat of an identity crisis in the town, although the town grew into a major industrial center. In 1970, workers in Szczecin fought prolonged battles with police during an uprising by workers across the country. Here, 16 protesters were killed. In 2005, a monument was placed at the site to honor those killed in the uprising. That monument, the Angel of Freedom, can be seen in the photo above. In more recent times, the city has become known for its vibrant architecture. In 2014, a concert hall was replaced by a new philharmonic venue designed by Estudio Barozzi Veiga. This building won the Mies van der Rohe award in 2015. March 2017 • Concrete Homes


The placement of the subterranean building was deliberate, so as not to obscure views of this concert hall. What was once a vague open space, now the roof of the museum, is a large public square of concrete, where people can walk, ride, skate, and in winter, sled. Concerts can also be held in this large and open area. Konieczny told architecture and design magazine Dezeen that the idea to “hide” the museum underground was intended to “create a background architecture.” The museum’s exhibition space is hidden underground. As visitors enter down stairs, under one of the raised edges concealed by movable concrete panels, they enter into the blackened museum, to reflect the city’s dark history. Two opposite edges of the square rise up, as if the corners were to be folded in. The square is flattened in front of the philharmonic hall and a nearby church. One elevated side houses the museum while the other is an artificial hill, which also serves to protect the square from a busy nearby street. Last year the World Building of the Year award went to The Interlace, a series of apartment blocks in Singapore stacked diagonally on top and across one another.

left: The Angel of Freedom monument below: An exhibit inside the museum


Concrete Homes • March 2017

OUR 20th ANNIVERSARY THANKS FOR READING OUR 20th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE! From the beginning of our magazine 20 years ago, the publishing and online environment has changed tremendously. While our staff combed through the archives for a copy of the first issue we produced, there was none available. At some point, these early issues got placed onto CDs. However, those CDs contained mostly photos. While I couldn’t look at the first issue and compare it to this one, a little research did reveal some other tidbits about the history of the magazine. –Vanessa Salvia

Photo by Jeff Roberts of CozRob. Courtesy of Pounds Homes.

CONCRETE HOMES + LOW-RISE CONSTRUCTION’S MOST VISITED ARTICLE Over the time period that analytics are available on our website, it turns out that an article from May 3, 2006, is the most visited article. It’s called “Customers Drive ICF Market” and it’s about the undeniable power of word of mouth that takes place when customers who live in ICF homes talk about their homes with other people. The article was written by Carole McMichael, and quotes Joel Katz, president of Katz Builders Inc. in Austin. At the time of writing, Katz had been building and remodeling stick-frame houses for 20 years. The article was about his first ICF home. It goes on to say: Will Katz be doing more ICF homes? “Yes,” he says, “You always need to add to your portfolio. The more things you can do, the more products you have to market. I imagine [the future ICF market] is going to be good. It goes back to making people aware of the product. Innovation in home building needs to be consumer-driven. If someone comes to me to do it, no problem. It is duck soup.” Here we are, 10 years into the future Katz imagined. And yes, it is good! Read our most-visited article:

FUN FACTS The other most popular content on our website is the Concrete Homes Magazine House Plan Book, followed by an article from the June/July 2002 issue called “Building Your Concrete Home: Part 1.” While that article title sounds like a how-to, it’s actually a great overview of why homebuyers and builders have increasingly chosen concrete for their home. The Concrete Homes Magazine House Plan Book was a set of CDs with popular builders’ house plans on them, for people who were looking to get a house built. We still have six of the CDs left! Read our article: Building Your Concrete Homes: Part 1 For Part 2 in this series, see the article in the August/September 2002 issue of Concrete Homes: The online Home Builder’s Directory is the third most popular thing people looked at. Nearly 86 percent of our readers access the Concrete Homes website,, from a desktop. Nearly 10 percent of you use a mobile device, and the other 4.5 percent of you like to look at the website with a tablet.

Canada 5.91% USA 78.65%




The vast majority, 78.65 percent, of our readers are in the United States, followed by Canada (5.91 percent). We’ve also had site visitors from the UK, Australia, India, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand and Germany. Most of the people who visit our website are between the ages of 25 and 34 (33.5 percent). 54.15 percent are male and 45.85 are female, a fairly even split.

54.15 % MALE 45.85% FEMALE

March 2017 • Concrete Homes


concrete experts

THE NEXT 20 YEARS To help us look forward to what the next 20 years of the cement and concrete industries might look like, we asked industry experts from many different fields to tell us their “20-year outlook.” Here’s what they told us.

AMERICAN CONCRETE ASSOCIATION Facilitated by the ACI Foundation’s Strategic Development Council, Concrete 2029 is a strategic initiative to develop a vision and roadmap for the future of the concrete construction industry. The motivation for this endeavor is to secure the future of the concrete construction industry by getting in front of issues such as the misconstrued image of concrete, code struggles, loss of market share to other building materials, declining productivity and a shortage of workers in concrete construction. Concrete 2029 evaluates what the concrete construction industry will look like in 2029 and explores strategies for improvement. Workshops meet twice yearly to move the initiative forward. Roadmapping Workshop 2 took place on February 22, 2017, in Dallas, Texas.

NATIONAL READY MIXED CONCRETE ASSOCIATION Insulating concrete forms and other construction methods that minimize labor and cost will become the dominant form of concrete construction. Stricter energy codes, disaster resilient standards and demands for higher quality construction will make concrete construction the material of choice for buildings. Concrete will become more environmentally friendly as producers use high-performance cements with more fly ash, slag, limestone and other materials to supplement portland cement. The environmental footprint of concrete will approach zero as cement manufacturers develop new polymer cements and alternates to portland cement. At first the cost will be high, but the demand for low impact cement and concrete will grow, driving down the cost. Demand will increase for offsite construction and prefabrication in the future, along with automation. Homes and buildings will be built using 3-D printers on site, from a set of plans electronically entered. At first it will be unreinforced concrete walls, but as advances in technology progress, floors, reinforcing steel, insulation, windows, doors and finishes will be attached directly to the freshly placed concrete. Finishes will be reduced since concrete will be colored and textured and left exposed Lionel Lemay Executive Vice President of Structures and Sustainability NRMCA, 10

Concrete Homes • March 2017

ICF-FRIENDLY ARCHITECT ICF-designed homes and buildings have been a major part of our projects for the past four years. The next 20 years will include an increasing and eventually an unprecedented use of insulated concrete form construction. We are excited that this simple building element has been providing our clients with safe, economical and indestructible projects. From modern design to our medieval Scottish castle and everything in between, ICF has been the perfect exterior wall system. The future of building, as dictated by my clients and all indicators, will be for our homes and buildings to keep us safe, comfortable and healthy. With ICF and other wonderful products, the future is here! Now we can continue our focus on creative design for easy living. (See page 6 of the November 2016 issue of Concrete Homes for the Scottish castle that Leigh Overland designed using ICFs.) Leigh Overland Architect Danbury, Connecticut

concrete experts

ICF SUPPLY CO. In the last 18 years I have been involved in more residential projects than commercial. What I’ve noticed is that most of my residential clients were brave people to begin with. For example they are state troopers, firefighters and even a former Navy Seal. Some did not have dangerous careers but were nonetheless brave people just for being the owner and general contractor. In that same recent time period there have been some very impressive commercial projects completed in all areas of commercial construction. It is because of these projects and the data we keep getting regarding their energy-efficiency, maintenance requirements and air quality that new design teams are willing to specify ICFs on their projects. This is only going to continue and we will be seeing more and more ICF project in years to come. One recent trend I have seen lately is more ICF frostwalls in commercial projects. Even though one general contractor had conventional forms he wanted the ICFs because they were faster and easier for his crew to install. He then contacted the owner and engineer to get the plans changed and he was ready to get started. The way the building codes are moving to require better and more continuous insulation along with the increase in wind resistance, building with ICFs just makes good sense. I am expecting to see ICFs become standard practice in commercial construction in the years to come. (See page 6 of the November 2016 issue of Concrete Homes for the Scottish castle that Jim Ryan built using ICFs.) Jim Ryan ICF Supply Co., ICF sales, accessories and technical support for the builder West Hartford, Connecticut

NUDURA, ICF MANUFACTURER When we assess the value provided by concrete structures, the future is bright. The demand for safer, healthier and environmentally responsible construction will be the sustenance for industry growth. NUDURA is optimistic about the future of concrete construction and how advanced forming technology will play a part in greater adaptation of insulated concrete forms. ICF has helped concrete be better, create a better basement, safer above grade structures, healthier schools and more energy efficient commercial buildings. Concrete is just better when encapsulated in foam. Not only is the structure enhanced, the foam aids with proper hydration, will hold the steel in a proper structural position and creates a barrier against the detrimental effects of time. I expect the battle between wood, steel and concrete will rage throughout time, but I am confident that concrete will be the structural element that will be featured by the most discerning architects, engineers and contractors. Concrete contractors face challenges including a shrinking labor pool, increased cost of safety and the continued focus on enhanced efficiency of structures. ICF systems can help address each of these concerns. While not all concrete related structures will benefit from an ICF, all above grade spaces that are controlled for temperature or air quality should consider the benefits it offers. One thing is certain, 20 years from now there will certainly be more achievement attributed to the use of concrete. As a leader in advanced forming, NUDURA looks forward to being a critical part of this story. William Clymer U.S. Director of Sales NUDURA Inc.

*Some responses were condensed for space. March 2017 • Concrete Homes


concrete experts LOGIX, ICF MANUFACTURER By 2037 energy modeling software will finally accurately model the actual thermal performance and energy savings of ICFs. And in fact, this is closer than some would think—the ICFMA (Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association) has just completed a study whose findings will likely factor into these refined algorithms in some way in the not-too-distant future. This will propel ICFs to become the preferred method for developers, governments and designers throughout the world to construct high-performance and net-zero homes and buildings. ICFs will become the conventional method to form residential basements. And we’ll also see 100-story buildings built with ICFs. ICFs will be taught in every trade school and architectural program. Innovations in EPS will result in a typical R-value of R7/inch and typical ICF wall assemblies will offer R40. Concrete is going to get stronger, rebar may disappear and core thicknesses will get narrower. Andy Lennox Vice President of Marketing at Logix ICF Ltd. Chair of The Council Of ICF Industries

MAUI’S PREMIER ICF BUILDER The year is 2037. One of the biggest expenses in any ICF build is not the materials, but labor and wastage and environmental concerns on the disposal of excess ICF material. To drastically reduce the labor costs of cutting the blocks to fit any wall length or irregular shaped wall, and the concern that building corners are not all 90 degrees, will be the development of an ICF 3D printing machines. This ICF printer will produce exact wall lengths, curved walls or create any degree of ICF block needed. Standard ICF blocks will still be available on site but all specialty joint connections will be handle with blocks produced by this ICF 3D machine. No cutting of ICF blocks will ever be needed and this will have zero waste. Additionally, built in wall studs whether it be made of wood, composite or a poly-based material can be printed as required by the project. Higher insulation factors can be changed not necessarily by increasing the size of the ICF insulation but by additional ICF additives to make ICF block resilient to either a hot or extremely cold temperatures. (Blanch built Maui, Hawaii’s first ICF home. See page 6 of the January 2017 issue for that article.) Edward Blanch ICF Builder, Hawaii


Concrete Homes • March 2017

NUDURA, ICF MANUFACTURER As building and energy codes get more stringent, it is becoming harder and harder for wood frame and brick and block structures to adapt and compete. The ICF industry has confirmed that when you combine the resiliency of reinforced concrete with the efficiency of insulated concrete forms we have a recipe for the best buildings on the planet. The performance data of an ICF ironically has been one of our biggest stumbling blocks. Our lack of good tracking methods combined with the real performance has created a too-good-to-be true story. Fortunately through our persistence and partnerships with the professional design communities we now have enough hard data that even the biggest skeptics cannot deny. Through the collaborative efforts of the Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) we have managed to raise the bar to a new level. By pooling our data and resources we have produced hard data that backs the results recorded by countless consumers and design professionals over the last 30 years or so. As we move into the next 20 years I expect there will be a few more learning curves but if we take what we have learned from the past 20 and focus hard on expanding the pool of trained installers, our biggest problem will be where to build our new facilities. Murray Snider President & CEO NUDURA Inc. A Founding Member & former Vice Chair of the ICFMA

concrete experts CONCRETE DECOR MAGAZINE As the publisher of Concrete Decor for the past 17 years, I know that decorative concrete is bright and beautiful, incredibly durable, environmentally friendly and LEED approved. When it is combined with ICFs, it has success etched all over it. To demonstrate this to people who weren’t familiar with either, we created a demonstration “home” using Fox Blocks outdoors at World of Concrete 2017. Finishes and applications were applied to the ICF “walls,” including GigaCrete’s PlasterMax, a next-generation architectural coating that can be applied directly over ICF blocks on interior walls. Our live demonstrations ensured that a new group of builders and homebuyers saw firsthand just how decorative concrete and ICFs can work together. During the last 30 years, the level of quality and workmanship in the concrete industry has grown noticeably stronger. Decorative concrete is an American-born industry that’s continually growing, so getting it right industry-wise here at home creates a recipe for success wherever the world wants us.. Bent Mikkelsen Publisher of Concrete Decor Magazine Founder of the Concrete Decor RoadShow and Producer of the Concrete Decor Show

INTEGRASPEC, ICF MANUFACTURER The ICF industry has progressed consistently over the past 20 years. Building with ICF material solves envelope issues that building with conventional materials created. You can get the air barrier, vapor barrier, insulation, studs and concrete reinforced structure all in one assembly. The true observation of thermal performance is a thermal image camera. An ICF building photographs blue, implying no heat loss or heat gain. A wood structure looks like mustard and ketchup because it is leaking heat everywhere. What does the next 20 years bring? IntegraSpec was involved with the new code changes in California coming up in 2020 where all new residential structures are to be “net zero.” We have been doing this now for the last 10 years. ICF buildings reduce the carbon footprint, reduce energy consumption and provide a sustainable structure that is fire proof, earthquake proof, hurricane proof, tornado proof, termite proof and will last thousands of years. This industry is at the ground level of its opportunity. At the same time, there is a history of projects that prove this technology works and will continue to succeed. The ICF industry will need a lot of new installers to help with the demand that is created. The only limitation is your imagination. Nicholas Nikiforuk North America ICF Specialist IntegraSpec Executive and Distribution Manager

Concrete Decor magazine sponsored a demonstration ICF home built with “rooms” that people could walk through at World of Concrete. Each room featured a different finish or application that could be used in a real home.

March 2017 • Concrete Homes



The Village at Mountain Shadows, Paradise Valley, Arizona. Photo courtesy of Fox Blocks

FOX BLOCKS ICFS COLLECTS 9 AWARDS AT WORLD OF CONCRETE Fox Blocks received nine awards for innovation and efficiency at the 2017 International ICF Builder Awards in Las Vegas, held during World of Concrete. Fox Blocks was honored with five “Best in Show” awards in the categories of hospitality, light commercial, development, multifamily and small residential. Following is a list of the award-winning projects: • Holiday Inn Express, Louisville, Kentucky – Best In Show Hospitality • Coca-Cola Pavilion, Lake Buena Vista, Florida – Best In Show Light Commercial • The Village at Mountain Shadows, Paradise Valley, Arizona – Best In Show Development • Graymoor Friary, Garrison, New York – Best In Show Multifamily • Howells Residence, Fountain Hills, Arizona – Best In Show Small Residential Fox Blocks also received four first runner-up awards the use of ICFs in the categories of heavy commercial, education, multifamily and large residential. Those winners were: • San Francisco de Asis Church, Flagstaff, Arizona – first runner-up Heavy Commercial • West High School, West, Texas – first runner-up Education • Frost Street Apartments, Brooklyn, New York – first runner-up Multifamily • Kuebitz Residence, Poway, California – first runner-up Large Residential ICF MARKET TO EXCEED $970 MILLION BY 2024 According to a new research report by Global Market Insights Inc., rising consumer preference for energy effective buildings accompanied by the need to reduce operating expenses are leading to large growth in the ICF market. Policies such as energy saving programs in the U.S and Canada, and new building codes by the European Union will fuel insulated concrete forms industry growth. 14

Concrete Homes • March 2017

U.S. insulated concrete form market share dominates regional demand, with residential applications alone valued at more than $100 million in 2015. Demand is primarily driven by the need to sustainable construction to save energy. Close to 80 percent of ICFs are used in below-grade applications for residential applications, with revenue poised to approach $500 million by 2024. Industrial and infrastructure applications should see more than 7 percent growth. Key ICF market features include technology access, cost reduction, energy conservation and strong insulation performance. Polystyrene foam was the leading product segment with more than 60 percent of total insulated concrete form market revenue in 2015. Fire and thermal resistance and durability are expected to drive the polystyrene foam demand. U.S. HOUSE APPROVES CONCRETE MASONRY PRODUCTS PROMOTION ACT The U.S. House of Representatives approved HR 985, the Concrete Masonry Products, Research, Education and Promotion Act of 2015 by a vote of 355 to 38. The legislation provides authorization for the concrete masonry industry to pursue the creation of an industry-wide commodity check-off program. Such programs have successfully enabled other industries to pool resources to support market development efforts related to the commodity products that they produce. Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) sponsored the bill and were successful in compiling an impressive co-sponsor list of 247 House representatives that was balanced with nearly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The co-sponsor list was indicative of active grassroots effort on behalf of the concrete masonry industry, which has small manufacturing plants in every state in the country and in most congressional district. READY-MIX PLANTS PREVENT WEAR AND DOWNTIME WITH DEFLECTION ELBOWS Customers of Concrete Plants Inc., a supplier to ready-mix and precast concrete plants, had been resigned to abrasive materials wearing through elbows on pneumatic conveying lines. But that changed when CPI started specifying HammerTek deflection elbows that prevent abrasive materials from impacting the elbow wall. According to Emil Garlewicz, vice president and sales representative for CPI’s New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware territories, “The improvements virtually eliminate worn elbows, related downtime and recurring elbow maintenance costs for CPI’s customers.” Unlike conventional sweep elbows and plugged-tee elbows, HammerTek’s Smart Elbow features a chamber that protrudes partially beyond the intended 90- or 45-degree flow path of material, causing a sphere of material-in-air to rotate in the same direction as the air stream that powers it, gently deflect-

industry news ing incoming material around the bend. “The difference is in the elbow’s anatomy,” Garlewicz explains. “Incoming material bounces off the rotating material rather than impacting the elbow wall and creating a wear point.” Tom Tower, owner of ready mix plant Action Supply in The teardrop-shaped vortex chamber of the short radius elbow Seaville, New Jersey, provides protrudes partially beyond the concrete for general construc90-degree flow path, causing a tion, bridge work and specialty sphere of material-in-air to rotate in the same direction as the air stream, concrete work. Tower says he gently deflecting incoming material originally welded patches on around the bend. worn-through sweep elbows and on new replacement elbows before swapping out worn, leaking ones. “The best we would get from an original ell would be two, maybe three years if the elbow was reinforced with patches before we installed it,” he says. “Either way, we were going to be shut down for at least a half-day to a day to make the replacement or repair.” Tower installed his first Smart Elbow deflection elbow in 2001 and it is still in operation today. He has subsequently replaced five additional sweep elbows with deflection elbows at three plant locations to handle about 150 tons of cement powder per plant per day, as well as fine slag. Collectively, he says eliminating elbow repair and replacements at those plants has saved two weeks of downtime since the conversion. (800) 505-9665 WORLD’S TALLEST TILT-UP PANEL ERECTED IN FLORIDA The world’s tallest tilt-up panels were erected over the winter at the Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus near Miami. The panels stood 111 feet, 9 inches tall and were constructed as part of a nine-story, 600-bed dormitory. The 16 panels formed the living rooms within the dormitory. Each panel measured 13 feet, 2 inches wide, 16 inches thick and weighed 134,000 to 146,000 pounds. Two years ago, Woodland Construction Co. of Jupiter, Florida, approached the tilt-up engineering team of Meadow Burke with a nine-story concept panel. While the weight of each nine-story panel was not a huge concern, the height of the panel presented several lifting challenges. Designers had to develop a plan, including using 16 lift inserts which were cast into the face of the panel and anchored with Meadow Burke’s Super-Lift III Face and Edge Lift Anchors and Clutch System. The inserts were placed in a combination of eight rows and two columns to be able to lift and rotate the panel. Super-Lift III Edge lift inserts were used for final setting with the panels in a plumb position.

Three additional types of panels divided into four, three and two stories attached to the structural steel building in a stacked arrangement on top of each other. The four-story panels were at the bottom, the three-story panels in the middle and the twostory panels were at the top. The final construction used the 16 nine-story panels along with106 additional panels. The final lifting design used an eight-high by two-wide rigging pattern. During lifting, the contractor had to transfer the load to additional plumb-setting lift inserts near the top of the panel. Bracing the lifted panels was not required since the setting of the panel was completed after all the floors had been placed. The panels were designed for 185 mph wind loads. The project now holds the record for the world’s tallest tilt-up panel as recorded by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association. VIRGINIA MAN IS “MOST INFLUENTIAL IN CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION” A Rustburg, Virginia, business owner is being recognized as one of the top people nationally in his industry. Steve Lloyd has been named one of 2017’s “Most Influential People in Concrete Construction” by World of Concrete. He’s featured on the January cover of Concrete Construction magazine Lloyd owns Lloyd Concrete Services in Campbell County. His team was recently hired to perform work at the Kennedy Space Center. Lloyd was formally recognized at World of Concrete 2017. ASCC OFFICERS ELECTED FOR 2017 Chris Plue, Webcor Concrete, San Francisco, California, has been elected president of the American Society of Concrete Contractors for 2017-2018. Anthony DeCarlo, Cincinnati, Ohio; Chris Forster, Tustin, California and Mario Garza, Southville, Michigan, were re-elected vice-presidents. Rocky Geans, Mishawaka, Indiana, was elected as a vice-president. Keith Wayne, Kannapolis, North Carolina, was re-elected treasurer. Tim Manherz, Houston, Texas, was elected as a director and Bill Bramscreiber, Glendora, California, and Steve Lloyd, Rustburg, Vrginia, were re-elected directors. The Concrete Polishing Council elected Chad Gill, Midlothian, Virginia, president and Shawn Halverson, Temecula, California, secretary. Elected directors were Ray Bowman, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Jennifer Faller, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania; Bruce Ferrell, Lawrence, Kansas; Roy Harvey, Kansas City, Kansas; Jonathon Jones, Patterson, Pennsylvania; Ryan Lakebrink, Washington, Missouri; Steve Lloyd, Rustburg, Virginia; Zachary Matson, Archdale, North Carolina; Scott Metzger, Concord, New Hampshire; Mike Payne, Wildomar, California; Deke Rife, Provo, Utah; and Michael Trotta, Charlotte, North Carolina. (866) 788-2722 March 2017 • Concrete Homes



ENGAGING MILLENNIAL EMPLOYEES By Victoria K. Sicaras The makeup of the workforce is changing all around you, with millennials expected to comprise 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020 and as much as 75 percent by 2025, according to “How to Engage Millennials in the Workplace,” by Training Industry. There’s no time like the present to start to thinking about how this is affecting your company. Generation gaps are normal, but adapting to this new generation of workers brings workplace demands that differ from previous generations. With that in mind, let me suggest how to ensure your business continues to thrive by recognizing how your millennial employees work. WHY AGE MATTERS I am a “Gen Xer,” and I prefer having my own office, with four walls, as opposed to shared office space. I am also most comfortable with shooting off messages by email rather than picking up the phone. The majority of my bosses, however, belonged to the baby boomer generation, which meant they would rather communicate by phone, if not face-to-face. Younger employees prefer collaborative, and often high-tech, team environments. On the construction site, you might enable your younger project managers or employees to walk around with an iPad and a phone with Skype installed. This way they can take photos or videos and talk with someone in real time while viewing the work site. Texting is a convenient way for younger employees to communicate without having to stop working to make, or take, a phone call. If you have an employee who likes to communicate this way, give it a try. If you see a younger employee on their phone, don’t automatically assume they are “wasting time.” They could be utilizing technology in a very important and efficient way. If 16

Concrete Homes • March 2017

you are not sure, invite them to a meeting and find out how they prefer to communicate and why. While the construction site is a less flexible and freeform work environment than an office, you may have office managers or office staff who fit this millennial mold. Read on to learn how these people can best integrate into your office working environment. REACHING MILLENNIALS Now since baby boomers are retiring and millennials are entering management positions, internal communication professionals are finding that they must adjust how they communicate if they want to engage this new(er) audience. A recent article in Public Relations Journal (“Emerging Issues in Internal Communications: Generational Shifts, Internal Social Media & Engagement.”), published by the Public Relations Society of America, identifies four ways to tweak corporate communications to better reach millennial employees:

Keep emails short According to the report, millennials dislike long emails as a form of internal communication and will most likely delete them before reading.

Use internal social media These social networking communication channels allow employees to collaborate, share content and comment. Popular platforms include SharePoint, Yammer, Jive and Slack.

Focus on core values Millennials are not known for company loyalty. The report’s author found that many companies are reinforcing their core values in recruitment campaigns, new-employee orientation

businessdevelopment and awards programs as a way to increase engagement and commitment in an often fickle employee segment.

Measure employee engagement Don’t just change communication styles and hope for the best. Many companies conduct regular surveys to gauge employee satisfaction with the company, work environment and core values. The surveys help companies refine communication strategies and reduce employee turnover. Additionally, “How to Engage Millennials in the Workplace” provides suggestions to help integrate this generation:

Team building Managers should devote a portion of their time to teambuilding initiatives and encouraging socializing inside and outside of work. Urge employees to join in on social media as well as participate in company activities, such as a corporate softball team. It can turn your workplace into a tight-knit community.

Social consciousness Talk about your company’s efforts to improve the community it serves and/or resides in. Millennials are more likely to join your company and stay involved if your business has a reputation for social responsibility. Providing opportunities for volunteering or donating to a worthy cause can keep employees engaged.

Flexiblility Freedom to work how they want is critical. Employers may find that they will get the most productivity out of their millennial employees by giving them the freedom to work remotely when possible and by creating a casual office environment. The Constructive Communication, Inc. team has helped many associations and organizations identify the best means of communicating with different generations, including designing specialized programs to attract and retain millennial employees, members and customers. If you need assistance reaching out to and creating more dialogue with your employees, Constructive Communication, Inc. can help. Victoria K. Sicaras is an architecture, engineering and construction editorial specialist with Constructive Communication Inc., a recognized leader in marketing strategy, public relations, social media, graphic design and communications tactics for AEC and other technical industries. She has more than 12 years of experience writing for the construction industry and is a former editor of Concrete Surfaces magazine and former managing editor of Public Works magazine.




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productnewsroundup BuildBlock Offers Third BuildBuck Mold In 2016, BuildBlock rolled out its new BuildBuck all foam bucking system, BuildBlock Hardwall products, BuildRadius line of ICF blocks and the company’s new BuildShield Termite and Firewall products. The addition of these five new products to BuildBlock’s line of other fine quality ICF products enlarges the solutions the company has been able to offer. BuildBlock says its customers had been asking for solutions like this and the company responded to the demand. These are now available in limited locations. The company has also received its third Buck mold that will now allow it to provide 6- and 8-inch BuildBuck products throughout the United States and Canada and 4-inch in the central United States. (405) 840-3386

CTS Cement Introduces Rapid Set DOT Concrete Mix Rapid Set DOT Concrete Mix is a high-performance, polymermodified and fiber-reinforced concrete repair material that sets fast to achieve structural strength within two hours. Durable in wet environments, it is a blend of Rapid Set hydraulic cement, high-performance additives, fibers and quality aggregates. The product is non-metallic and no chlorides are added. Formulated for long life in critical applications, DOT Concrete Mix is recommended whenever fast strength gain, high durability and low shrinkage are desired. Applications include general and structural concrete, highway and joint repair as well as construction of pavements and bridges, airport pavements, marine pilings, parking decks and ramps, sidewalks and steps, footings and formed work. “The performance characters engineered into DOT Concrete Mix, integral corrosion inhibitor, fiber reinforcement, and other high performance additives provides the most durable, versatile and easy to use product on the market,” said Grant Kao, director of product development with CTS Cement Manufacturing Corp. “DOT Concrete Mix is designed to resist the harshest freeze thaw environments and protects against corrosion brought on by deicing salts used commonly by DOTs around the country.” 18

Concrete Homes • March 2017

Other advantages include the ability to achieve compressive strengths of 4,500 psi (31 MPa) in 24 hours and 6,500 psi (44.8 MPa) in 28 days. Just mix DOT Concrete Mix with water to produce a workable, quality concrete repair material that is ready for traffic and loading in two hours. Using DOT Concrete Mix also reduces the project’s carbon footprint and lowers its environmental impact, as the production of Rapid Set Cement emits far less carbon dioxide than portland cement. DOT Concrete Mix has been specially formulated to match the color of typical portland cement concrete. One 60-pound bag yields approximately 0.42 cubic feet.

New Pavestone SplitRock Stackable System The new SplitRock line features natural, split-faced blocks in a six-piece system that make it ideal for constructing a variety of popular outdoor living features. It is a dry-stack system that does not require mortar between blocks, so even complex projects like outdoor kitchens and fireplaces can be completed quickly with minimal labor, skill or material. The repeatable process with SplitRock also assures a highquality finished project without concern for undesirable call backs. Quikrete Polyurethane Construction Adhesive can be applied between the blocks to strengthen the finished project. Pavestone SplitRock blocks are available nationwide in five colors with the kits starting at approximately $250.

New Tremron Park Plaza 12x24 Slab Pavers and Porcelain Pavers New 12x24 slab pavers are an extension to the Tremron Park Plaza line. The new pavers are available in 13 colors and nine patterns offering endless landscape design possibilities especially in combination with other style Park Plaza slab pavers. The 2/38inch thick paver is appropriate for patios, pool decks, pathways and other pedestrian foot traffic while the 4-inch paver can accommodate light vehicular traffic. The new line of Tremron monolithic 20 mm porcelain pavers have a non-slip surface for a balance of beauty and function. Use them on pool decks, patios, pathways, pedestrian malls and other areas where safety, durability and wear resistance is key. The 24-inch square slab pavers can each withstand one-ton of pressure, and are easy to install over a variety of surfaces, making them optimal for both residential and commercial applications. The porcelain pavers are available in Sunrock beige, Seastone sand, Brave grey, Mark chrome and Mark pearl.

product newsroundup Case Debuts Largest Ever SV340 Skid Steer Case Construction Equipment announced its newest and largest-ever skid steer, the 3,400-rated operating capacity SV340. The vertical-lift SV340 is a beefed up counterpart to the SV300, offering the same footprint as the latter, but with greater capabilities for running attachments that require high-flow attachments, such as cold planers, tree spades and stump grinders. By using the same footprint as the SV300, the newer unit can get into and maneuver around the same confined spaces as the other machine. The SV340 is compatible with more than 250 attachments, including Case sectional snow pushes, buckets, forks, brooms and more. The machine has a stronger lift arm, H-link and upper chassis in addition to offering optional high-flow (38.7 gpm at 3,450 psi) and enhanced high flow (35 gpm at 4,000 psi auxiliary hydraulics. The SV340’s manifold valves, gear pump and auxiliary loader circuit provide additional power and performance. Also adding to the machine’s stoutness is its heavy duty 14 x 17.5 tires and additional counterweights, which add stability and lifting capability. The machine uses a 90-horsepower FPT engine with Selective Catalytic Reduction technology, which eliminates the need for a diesel particulate filter.

New Bosch Battery Sets Global Standard for Power and Runtime The Bosch Core18V Battery employs advanced Lithium-ion technology to deliver 80 percent more power than previous generation Bosch batteries. Next-generation, high-powered Bosch Core18V cells are laser-welded and rail-connected for high efficiency. Similar competitive batteries weigh up to 24 percent more and are up to 35 percent larger. The Bosch Core18V Battery offers optimized cell technology and an improved power connector within the 10 high-density cells that ensure lower internal resistance. That means higher currents can be drawn from the cells over a longer period of time. The Bosch Core18V Battery delivers up to 20 percent longer runtime than previous-generation Bosch 6.0 Ah batteries and up to 50 percent longer than 5.0 Ah cells in extreme applications. “Bosch looks at battery power from the user perspective,” said Theron Sherrod, Robert Bosch Tool Corp. product manager. “What do users want? They want greater power and more runtime in a compact size, which is what Core18V is all about. Core18V represents a big piece of the Bosch effort to build end-to-end product systems that offer superior performance, no matter what the job is. Based on increased power and runtime, plus backward compatibility across the full power tool lineup, we feel this is a step beyond battery power systems that are currently available.” The battery housing of Bosch CORE18V is designed to transfer more heat to the outer surface, resulting in up to 35 percent better

cooling effect than previous CoolPack batteries. The CoolPack 2.0 system employs advanced design to keep the battery cooler for better runtime and longer life; updated CoolPack technology provides up to 135 percent longer battery life than batteries that don’t have CoolPack technology. In addition, this technology combined with reduced resistance and higher efficiency means that the battery is less likely to overheat during high-load applications. Bosch CORE18V batteries provide 100 percent compatibility with all 18-volt Bosch Lithium-ion tools and chargers. Bosch is developing high-power tools to take full advantage of CORE battery technology. (877) 267-2499 (additional tips and video)

Makita Announces New Cordless Rear-Handle Circular Saw At World of Concrete 2017, Makita announced the new 18V X2 LXT Lithium Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless Rear Handle 7-1/4-inch Circular Saw, model XSR01Z. It is the world’s first cordless rear-handle 7-1/4-inch circular saw powered by two 18V lithium-ion batteries. The new saw will be available spring 2017. “For users of corded blade-left rear-handle saws, the new XSR01Z offers true freedom from the cord for formwork, framing and more,” said Andrew Camp, Makita’s product manager. “The XSR01Z cuts faster than both corded and leading brushless cordless saws when cutting 2x10 SPF. In early testing this cordless saw put up big numbers in run-time tests with up to 558 cross cuts of 2x4 SPF and up to 291 cross cuts of 2x10 SPF with two fully-charged 18V LXT 5.0 amp-hour batteries. Another key point of difference is capacity: With a full 2-9/16-inch maximum cutting depth the XSR01Z cuts 3x lumber in a single pass, an application that leading saws the category can’t do.” Makita announced the release with a Facebook Live broadcast on the Makita Facebook Page (@MakitaTools) that is archived for additional viewing. (800) 462-5482

March 2017 • Concrete Homes


productnewsroundup low Drill Bit, in both SDS+ & SDS Max formats. The Hollow Drill Bit connects directly to the Dewalt Airlock System, forming a secure, locking connection between the drill bit and a Dewalt dust extractor. Dewalt recently launched Dewalt Anchors, Engineered by Powers. This launch provides a full system for an entire project, from the design phase through construction and completion. Included in the line are Cast-In-Place Anchors, Woodknocker II+ anchors, Bang-It anchors, Dewalt Deck Insert anchors, Post-Installation Anchors, Screw-Bolt anchors, Hangermate anchors and Adhesive Anchoring Solutions.

Dewalt Announces New Concrete Tools, Accessories and Anchoring Solutions Dewalt debuted 15 new grinders and nine new rotary and demolition hammers at World of Concrete 2017. All new grinders are made in the USA and feature multiple size options and trigger types. The new rotary hammers include the 1-9/16-inch SDS 60V Max Combination Hammer, offering fast and efficient drilling in hard concrete. The constant speed control allows the tool to maintain RPM. It features three-mode operation for rotary hammer drilling, chipping and drill-only as well as the Dewalt E-Clutch system which senses the motion of the tool and reduces the motor torque to a manageable level if necessary. The unitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brushless motor provides power and long runtime in demanding applications and as part of the Dewalt Flexvolt System, the 1-9/16-inch SDS Max 60V Max Combination Hammer comes kitted with the new Dewalt 9.0Ah Flexvolt Battery. Dewalt also announced the DustX Adhesive Installation System. Accessories featured at the show included the new Hol-


Concrete Homes â&#x20AC;˘ March 2017

Cart-Away Loading Conveyor Adds Concrete Versatility Creating ready-mixed concrete is more than just finding a concrete mixer and making it spin. Filling the mixing drum with aggregates and cement is an important first step, and often the biggest challenge. In a move to make filling a concrete mixer easier, Cart-Away Concrete Systems has introduced a multi-use material loading conveyor. This unique filling tool can be configured to reduce mixing hassles and for added versatility in concrete mixing. In the TopLoader configuration the conveying system mounts above the 1.75-cubic yard Cart-Away mixing drum. With a conveyor on top, the tractor operator can drop dry materials onto the moving conveyor belt. The materials then move through a unique diverter into the mixing drum. Measuring the materials can be done volumetrically or with the optional weigh-batch system using scales. Adding this TopLoader conveyor above a concrete mixer creates an all-in-one concrete batching unit that is compact, simple to operate and can be used anywhere. This loading conveyor can also be configured on legs for other mixer filling duties. A leg kit turns the conveyor into a portable material loader for a Cart-Away concrete mixing trailer. Thousands of these mid-sized mixers on wheels deliver ready-mix in communities around the country. Now, with a tractor and

product newsroundup this mini belt loading conveyor, an operator has a simple way to put materials into the mixing drum for delivery. Using a more compact loading system allows mixing trailer owners the versatility of moving quickly between job locations.

surface grippers and a tilt indicator. The non-magnetic digital levels range in price from $99 to $199, while the magnetic digital levels are $129 or $199.

Empire Level Introduces Industry’s First Auto-Calibrated Digital Level Empire Level released the new e105 Series True Blue Digital Box Levels, providing high-precision accuracy. The new levels are the first auto-calibrated digital levels on the market. “Whether the user is double checking that an angle is within code before an inspection, or using the audible indication for hands-free operation, a digital level is in almost every professional’s arsenal of tools because of their incredible versatility and accuracy,” said Rick Gray, Empire Level’s senior vice president and general manager. “With inspector grade features such as an IP65 Rating, multiple measuring display options, inspect mode and the industry’s first auto-calibrated set-up, these new digital levels represent the very best in high-performing layout solutions from Empire, wearing the True Blue badge of honor.” The new e105 Series’ auto-calibrated feature immediately provides a clear and precise digital readout. Empire’s auto-calibration guarantees accuracy and efficiency. By comparison, existing digital levels require manual calibration, which is both a complicated and counter-productive process that can include a large margin of error if not completed properly. In addition, with seven measuring display modes, the new digital levels provides measurements in degree-tenths, degreehundredths, mm/M or percentage, and the option to take rough-in mode measurements in degrees, in/ft. fractions or in/ ft. decimals. The Inspect mode allows for repeat inspection-grade measurements, an option that is ideal for code-specific applications such as ADA ramps or entrances. Available in magnetic and non-magnetic, each new digital level features an audio indicator that outputs a continuous tone when in level, dual backlit displays, and a hold function that allows the user to lock measurements in position for verification. Each also includes an overhead inverted display, top read digital display,

Kenworth Featured New T880S Mixers at World of Concrete Two new Kenworth T880S set-forward front axle mixers were showcased at World of Concrete. Kenworth’s booth featured a 5-axle Kenworth T880S mixer with a 2017 Paccar MX-11 430-hp engine with 1,650 lb-ft of torque, Allison 4700 RDS 7-speed automatic transmission, 20,000-pound front axle and suspension, 46,000-pound rear axle and suspension. The 4-axle Kenworth T880S mixer is equipped with a 2017 Paccar MX-13 405-hp engine with 1,450 lb-ft of torque, Allison 4500 RDS 6-speed automatic transmission, 20,000-pound front axle and suspension, and 46,000-pound rear axle and suspension. The T880S has a 114-inch BBC and best-in-class 28-inch bumper setting. The weight rating for the set-forward front axle on the T880S ranges from 14,600 pounds to 22,800 pounds. Contractors can also choose single, tandem or tridem drive axles, and a wide variety of factory-installed lift axles, to meet their jobsite requirements. The T880S provides clear back-of-cab options that make it easy to configure truck bodies, handle extreme loads and make it easier for body upfitting. The T880S is standard with the 12.9-liter Paccar MX-13 engine, which provides up to 510-hp and 1,850 lb-ft of torque. For weightsensitive applications, the 10.8-liter Paccar MX-11 engine saves 400 pounds compared to a 13-liter engine, offers an impressive power to weight ratio, and low fuel consumption. The Paccar MX-11 with up to 430-hp and 1,650 lb-ft of torque is well-suited for ready-mix trucks. March 2017 • Concrete Homes


concreteMONTHLY News from the cement and concrete industries

March 2017

Western Specialty Contractors Restores Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary When the main cell house building at the historic Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was constructed from 1910 to 1912, prison workers mixed salt water from the surrounding San Francisco Bay and brick rubble in the concrete support beams. Coupled with the island’s extreme weather conditions, the large, castin-place concrete support beams in the original Citadel and basement shower room areas that support the main cellblock structures began to deteriorate and fail, posing major structural damage to the historic building. The Citadel was part of the original structure and dates back to the Civil War era. Its masonry walls support the massive concrete beams carrying the load of the penitentiary located above. The shower room is located on the same level as the Citadel, but is separated by earthen fill and has walk-in access at a lower level of the structure. The general contractor on the project hired Western Specialty Contractors’ San Francisco, California, branch for the $3.6 million structural repair project after the original contract team defaulted on the job, pushing the project over a year behind schedule. Restoration work on the structure was also required to bring the structure up to California’s seismic codes for earthquakes. Once a contract was approved, Western crews 22

Concrete Monthly • March 2017

quickly mobilized to the jobsite to complete the job. Western’s scope of work focused on the Citadel and shower room areas and included replacing beams and masonry that support the cell house floor, installing engineered shoring, repairing the cell house structural floor, performing nonstructural patching and masonry, repairing salvageable beams to protect them from further deterioration and installing a cathodic protection system to prevent deterioration of the metal support. All work on the project would be completed at night to avoid disrupting public tours of the historic landmark during the day. Like any historic restoration project, there were challenges. One of the main challenges faced by Western’s crews was controlling the amount of dust generated during the demolition process. “Dust control was a major challenge, especially considering the amount of work that was happening in such a small area with poor circulation,” said San Francisco Branch Manager Tony Lieder. “When Western took over the project, we spent approximately two to three weeks just cleaning the site and removing debris left by the previous contractor. Often the dust was so bad, each shift would have to stop working about

concretemonthly an hour early every night just to clean up. One of our first tasks was to find a way to engineer out this issue and increase productivity.” Western crews found a two-tier solution for controlling the dust—creating mini-containment zones and using large, customized air scrubbers. “When performing demo, we created mini-containment zones in each location, as well as used localized air scrubbers and vacuum attachments for our equipment when appropriate. For the main work areas outside the containment areas, we obtained several large, customized air scrubbers that had a much greater capacity than what was commercially available. The improvements in the dust control were dramatic.” Another challenge on the project was transporting materials to and from the island. The only available transportation option was a barge. “Our materials had to be light enough for our on-site forklift to handle and we commonly had to break down pallets of material in order to lighten the loads or partially fill dumpsters when returning debris,” Lieder said. “Loading and unloading the barge also depended on the schedule of the tides. If the tide was too low, we couldn’t load or unload equipment. If we ever had equipment breakdowns, we would have to scramble during the day to get everything resolved and back to the boat that night. “ Despite the challenges, Western crews were able to successfully complete the project within nine months. CM Photos courtesy of Western Specialty Contractors

March 2017 • Concrete Monthly


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19 Storey Apartment

At NUDURA, size does matter. NUDURA standard forms feature ™ ®

DURAMAX Technology , the largest standard ICF block in the industry, allowing the placement of 12 square feet of wall area in one building ™ ®

step. Our DURAMAX Technology results in faster installation times, less ™ ®

waste and a reduced amount of seams. Building Has Evolved at NUDURA, allowing builders & contractors to save time on labour, which is money, with the biggest block on the market. Visit NUDURA at IBS Booth S1420 and more about Register for a one day2017, training course to learn WOC 2017, Booth N2021 installing NUDURA ICFs for your next project: | 1-866-468-6299 | 1-866-468-6299

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Concrete Homes  

March 2017

Concrete Homes  

March 2017

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