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Richardsville Elementary Earns Top Marks for Safety, Sustainability and Cost Savings September 2013

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Vol. 16, No. 5 President/Editor In Chief Gary L. Pittman Editorial Director Brona Stockton Managing Editor Sherry Boyd (303) 476-1336 Contributing Writers Barry Herbert Kelly Stokes Contributing Photographers Brickform L. M. Scofield Co. Chris Cooper Nathan Shands OCO Architects Joshua White Chris Phebus Art Director Lisa Gouveia Sales Manager Dennis Carter (512) 637-0371 Circulation Manager Beth Chorba (512) 637-0344 Accounting Manager Beth Chorba (512) 637-0344

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Web and Network Manager Joel Nosal (512) 637-0322 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, Inc., 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 2013 by Publications & Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without written consent from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Postmaster: Send change of address to Circulation Dept., 13552 Highway 183 N, Suite A, Austin, TX 78750 (512) 250-9023.


Concrete Homes • September 2013

From my perspective

Photovoltaic panels at work on the roof of the Richardsville School. Photography Joshua White.

The ICF schools here do not cost any more to build than traditional schools, about $225 per square foot. This is attainable technology with funds available for all people and all communities. The Kentucky Board of Education now requires new schools to be constructed using NUDURA’s Insulated Concrete Forms, unless the designers can provide a reason why they choose not to use it. The biggest bonus might be these schools also are disaster resilient. The insulated concrete forms can withstand tornadoes well in excess of the minimum design criteria required in Kentucky. Wrote Jill Lewis Smith, President of Civic Consultants Inc., Louisville, Kentucky

It’s an unusual back-to-school issue this year. The tragedy in Moore, Okla., on May 20 influenced the topics. As a child in elementary school in Oklahoma City, I often heard the emergency sirens sounding as little feet rushed to huddle in hallways much like those at Plaza Towers Elementary School. It is not a good childhood memory to recall and I shiver to think of those young ones who lost their lives. I only hope that parents will demand safer and better schools to protect our families and our future. We know that the methods it takes are available. Thank you to architect, Kenny Stanfield, and his team for supplying a wealth of information for the cover story on “Building Better Schools”. This feature covers the first net-zero energy school in the U.S and the topics of school safety and sustainability. The landmark Richardsville School project was called to my attention by Jennifer Boyce at NUDURA, who was preparing additional information for their website. Naturally, when I was planning the issue, I talked with the CEO of NUDURA who had recently visited Oklahoma. He commented: “The industry has proven that it is possible to build energy efficient schools, on time and on budget when compared to traditional methods,” said Murray Snider, President and CEO of NUDURA. “We also know that with a little bit of extra thought we can design the reinforced concrete walls to create a safe environment as well. So why would anyone consider anything less when rebuilding schools in areas where extreme weather conditions occur again and again?” In the Concrete Monthly Supplement read about how Joplin Schools are building dual-purpose safe rooms in 14 of their buildings to put safety first for students, teachers, staff and even the community. The below grade feature written by Barry Herbert this month also touches on safe rooms and other benefits of basements worth knowing about. That’s the “Beauty of Basements.” As the industry looks forward to the 6th Annual ICPSC event coming up in Georgia on September 12-15, this issue is the perfect time to share some information about the new polishing standards introduced this year by CPAA. I talked with Brad Burns about what that means. Some of the great examples are in school buildings because the advantages of concrete polishing for reducing maintenance costs, improving indoor air quality and minimizing slip-fall hazards have been well-documented in LEED™ for Schools. Enjoy the bright days of summer!

Sherry Boyd Managing Editor

September 2013 • Concrete Homes







23 THE BEAUTY OF BASEMENTS News from the cement and concrete industries

September 2013

The gymnasium shared by East Middle School and Soaring Heights Elementary in Joplin, Mo., will be built with cast-in-place concrete construction to serve as a safe room. Rendering courtesy Hollis + Miller Architects.

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23 Below Grade 27 Concrete Monthly 29 Association News

The Joplin School district has instituted a wide-reaching program that calls for 14 multi-purpose community safe rooms in schools throughout Joplin. The district developed the approach for improved storm safety with some guidance from FEMA and funding through their Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to offset part of the costs. The program includes concrete safe rooms that double as gymnasiums. Also, a new field house at the football stadium and a band / choir room are being built with reinforced concrete to double as safe rooms. When these reinforced concrete safe rooms are completed students and teachers will have immediate access to shelters strategically placed in schools

throughout the Joplin Schools system, and excess space has been allocated to provide community shelters. “Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, has been very involved in the rebuilding program, along with Dr. C.J. Huff, the superintendent,” said Mike Johnson, Director of Construction for Joplin Schools. “What we have learned is that traditional construction doesn’t cut it. There is no safe place, unless schools provide specifically designed safe rooms. We learned that safe rooms could be built to serve multiple purposes, such as gymnasiums, auditoriums and other areas that have community uses evenings and weekends.” Johnson continued, “Historical records show the areas more prone to risks, such as Joplin is. It only makes common sense to target

these areas making investments so that parents know their children are safe at school.” He added, “Here in Joplin, residents voted to raise taxes to support the rebuilding of safer schools.” The catalyst for the comprehensive safe room building initiative came from a record setting, multiple-vortex EF5 Tornado that bore down on the southern side of Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011. That Sunday evening the damage became catastrophic. The unoccupied Franklin Technology School and Joplin High School were completely destroyed. Later, school officials who reviewed the site as seen from cameras in hallways were aghast to realize the danger existJOPLIN SCHOOLS continued on page 28

September 2013 • Concrete Monthly

Cover photograph by Chris Phebus 4

Concrete Homes • September 2013

Concrete Monthly



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events SDC FALL CONFERENCE SEPT. 5-6, 2013, INDIANAPOLIS, IND. The Strategic Development Council (SDC) one-anda-half-day meeting will be held at The Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis, Ind. SDC Technology Forum #34 will examine issues and technologies in the infrastructure and building communities. This meeting will feature wellknown representatives from FHWA, the FAA, State DOTs, and research centers who will highlight technologies and advances in their community. On Sept. 4, SDC will host a workshop on “Establishing Standards of Care for Prepackaged Powdered Materials for Use in Construction” the day before the Technology Forum to address quality issues including: unwanted chlorides inadvertently added to the cement, contamination of product from previous use of blending equipment, large bag weight variations affecting binder to liquid ratios and cured properties, tested mechanical properties falling below specifications, segregation of product components after mixing and placement, and other issues. SDC is seeking “Technology Showcases” to highlight during future forums, allowing companies and/or individuals the opportunity to gain exposure and, potentially, assistance to address barriers and obstacles that are preventing or slowing acceptance of the technology within the concrete industry. For more information and to submit your technology for consideration, please visit and click “Introduce your Technology.” More information about the upcoming SDC meeting can be found at WHERE THE “CONCRETE POLISHING WORLD MEETS” ICPSC 2013 SEPTEMBER 12-15, 2013, DULUTH, GA. The 6th Annual International Concrete Polishing and Staining Conference is the only event dedicated solely to the concrete polishing industry. Over 18 educational seminars will cover crucial information, such as the new rules of slip-fall liability and how to avoid lawsuits. In addition, attendees will have the option to register for two different types of CPAA certifications. The exhibit floor will include over 20,000 square feet of space along with hands-on demonstration slabs. Here, manufacturers cannot only tell you, but then walk you outside and show you, in the hands-on demo area. Finally, you can discuss your findings and share your “war stories” with industry peers from around the world. Conference attendees come from over 40 countries. The ICPSC is a community of contractors, manufacturers, organizations, associations, architects, engineers, and scientists getting together to share their best information and learn from each other to create a sustainable and thriving industry. For more information and to register for the event, go to September 2013 • Concrete Homes





OERNE’S SAMUEL V. CHAMPION HIGH SCHOOL EXEMPLIFIES BEST PRACTICES IN GREEN BUILDING AND SITE PLANNING. THE 1,750 STUDENT GRADE 9-12 HIGH SCHOOL IS THE RECIPIENT OF SEVERAL AWARDS, INCLUDING THE CAUDILL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SCHOOL ARCHITECTURE: TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS/ADMINISTRATORS (TASB/TASA). SITUATED IN THE PICTURESQUE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY, SHARING A CAMPUS WITH THE CIBOLO NATURE CENTER AND A K-6 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, THE BOERNE ISD COMPLEX IS A MODEL FOR WATER HARVESTING AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE. OCO ARCHITECTS COLLABORATED WITH PFLUGER ASSOCIATES ON THE PROJECT. Local stone masonry combines with steel reinforced tilt-up concrete wall construction to meet tight budgetary constraints without abandoning vernacular Hill Country style. The white roof membrane provides a reflective surface and radiant heat barrier. Delivering comfort on the hottest days, the roof and walls have high R-values due to thicker insulation. The sustainable concrete mix incorporates a high percentage of recycled content, including fly ash. Classrooms are oriented to take advantage of natural daylight and the exterior glazing is high performance, double insulated, low-e glass. Interior finishes feature natural materials that lend character to the learning environment without additional cost. The light colored polished and waxed concrete floors withstand heavy use with minimal maintenance and serve to reflect available light to reduce energy use. Photos courtesy OCO Architects, San Antonio, Texas. Photography by Chris Cooper.


Concrete Homes • September 2013






“Warren County Public School district was very forward thinking in their goal of reducing energy costs to free up more budget dollars for education and teacher salaries,” says the lead architect, Kenny Stanfield, AIA, LEED AP, of Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects. Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects in collaboration with CMTA Engineering Consultants were able to reduce first costs for the building through several means. The compact floor plan minimized the amount of perimeter wall and reduced the HVAC load. The high bay areas for the media

center and a dual-purpose gymnasium/cafeteria were centrally positioned, eliminating attic space and relocating heat pumps to mechanical closets. Insulated Concrete form (ICF) construction allowed a shorter construction schedule. These cost savings and others allowed expenditures to be shifted to a geothermal system for heating, cooling and water heating with a much lower energy use. Actual building energy consumption for Richardsville Elementary School is measured as an annual energy use intensity (EUI) 18.2 kBTUs per square foot and the energy September 2013 • Concrete Homes


Architect: Kenny Stanfield, AIA, LEED AP, Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects, Lexington, Ky. General Contractor: RG Anderson Company, Inc., Mechanical Engineer: Mark Seibert, PE,

PROJECT TEAM LEED AP, CMTA, Inc., Prospect, Ky. Electrical Engineer and Lighting Design: Brian Baumgartle, PE, LC, LEED AP, Inc., Prospect, Ky. Energy Modeler: Kosuke Kato, PE, LEED AP, CMTA, Inc., Prospect, Ky.

generation has exceeded consumption by 26.5% since January of 2012 when the full solar energy system became operational. The renewable energy system consists of a 208 kW thin-film photovoltaic (PV) array located on the roof in February 2011, which was augmented by 140 kW crystalline PV panels that sit atop a shade structure built in the parking area. It was designed to have a 20-year life cycle. (By comparison, the average school in Kentucky consumes EUI 73 kBTUs per square foot annually.) However, the success of the renewable energy system is only a part of the story. Richardsville Elementary is built of steel reinforced monolithic concrete walls using 6-inch and 8-inch NUDURA insulated concrete forms (ICF) with an R-value of 28 – resulting in less energy use for heating and cooling. The metal roof has a 6-inch layer of polyisocyanurate insulation providing an R-34.9 rated roof. Interior walls are also ICF, providing sound attenuation of particular importance in hallways, the gymnasium and media center. By the time the Warren County Public Schools District was ready to build the new Richardsville School to replace its aging predecessor built in 1946, the school district was 8

Concrete Homes • September 2013

Structural Engineer: Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects, Lexington, Ky. NUDURA Distributor: Holdfast Technologies ICF Manufacturer: NUDURA

already committed to ICF construction. Safety became a consideration since the area had historically experienced high winds and severe storms The Warren County Public School district had made the pivotal decision to switch from traditional masonry to ICF construction and hollow core concrete plank floors. In 2005-2006, the district built Alvaton Elementary, using insulated concrete forms from NUDURA, which contain 50% recycled materials, reduced construction waste and provide sound attenuation. With each successive project, the district wanted to improve upon the sustainability and energy efficiency that they could already see. “Since our firm has been working in partnership with the school district as their architect for over 20 years, we had the advantage of looking closely at each school after it was built to understand where the greatest energy use areas are,” said Stanfield. “Looking at data the local TVA subsidiary gathered, we discovered that the kitchen used 22% of the energy demand. This allowed us to focus on improvements.” In collaboration with the school district, the team looked more closely at improvements in the kitchen. In addition

NUDURA Radius Forms are custom cut at Nudura’s plant facility to meet the design specifications, then preassembled for easier and faster installation.

Energy demand is reduced by the daylighting from clerestory windows in the dual-purpose gymnasium and cafeteria. Courtesy Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects.

to using Energy Star-rated kitchen equipment, combi-ovens were installed in lieu of fryers and skillets. The combi-ovens use steam instead of grease, also eliminating the Class 1 hood requirements necessary to capture grease vapors. Reducing energy use further, windows are placed to maximize use of daylight and reduce lighting costs and light shelves are used to minimize glare. Tubular skylights, also called “light tubes”, are strategically situated. The supplementary artificial lighting is controlled by sensor systems. Motion sensors also adjust ventilation relating to room occupancy. All of this contributes to reducing energy use. Richardsville Elementary became the first all wireless school in the Warren County Public School district. First cost savings were realized by eliminating the power/data wiring infrastructure for classroom computers and removing 1,000 square feet from the floor plan that would have been allocated to the computer center. The server rooms would have consumed significant energy, and the new computer carts give teachers more mobility in using computers anywhere throughout the school. One of the unexpected benefits is involvement by both students and teachers in learning more about our environment. Richardsville Elementary school has hallway displays about Solar Power Generation, Water Conservation and Recycling that are making sustainability topics a part of every day conversations for first graders and their parents. Throughout the school, environmentally friendly finishes were specified. Polished concrete floors, a popular choice 10

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for high-traffic areas, were specified for the majority of classrooms, hallways and workspace, another first in the school district. The low-maintenance polished concrete choice provided another surprising benefit; maintenance was reduced significantly enough to eliminate a member of the custodial staff. The gymnasium floor was constructed of hardwoods recycled from the old building along with renewable bamboo. Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects is convinced of the advantages of ICF construction for many areas beyond energy efficiency and reduced operational costs. ICF performs well for long-term durability, sound attenuation, reduced waste and materials use and providing a streamlined construction schedule even during winter months. “We were told ‘you can’t do it’.” We were able to dispel the myths,” says Stanfield. “Using green design does not have to create an added cost. We can look at the advantages and data from many successful projects. The five most energy efficient schools operating in Kentucky, including the Net-Zero Richardsville School, are all ICF schools designed by our team. That should take away any fear of the unknown. There is a track record to provide showing you can achieve all those goals.” According to the architect, “With ICF there is not just one advantage, there are multiple advantages. Based on our experience, it would be hard to see a better alternative. The schools built this way are designed and constructed to withstand severe weather conditions. During storms, parents know their children are safer in an ICF school than at home.”




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September 2013 • Concrete Homes




Award-winning polished concrete at NAS Jacksonville Officer’s Club is brightened by SCOFIELD® Formula One™ Liquid Dye Concentrate in Black, Bahama Blue, Inca Gold, Beach Sand, Snow Pea with SCOFIELD® Formula One™ Lithium Densifier MP. Installed by Alternative Floors, St. Augustine, Fla. Photo courtesy L.M. Scofield Company


Concrete Homes • September 2013


decorativeconcrete Reflective, light-colored polished concrete in the library at the Samuel V Champion High School, Boerne, Texas, helps to distribute natural light and reduce energy costs. Photo courtesy OCO Architects. Photographer Chris Cooper.



URING THE PAST DECADE, POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORS HAVE BEEN WIDELY ADOPTED FOR GREEN SCHOOLS AND CHILD-CARE FACILITIES TO REDUCE MAINTENANCE COSTS, IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND ELIMINATE THE USE OF HARSH CHEMICALS FOR CLEANING. FINISHING THE CONCRETE SLAB AS A WEAR SURFACE ELIMINATES THE COST OF ADDITIONAL FLOOR COVERINGS AND IT IS A BONUS FOR SCHOOLS TO ESCAPE THE REPLACEMENT COSTS THAT WERE NECESSARY WHEN VINYL OR CARPETING WERE USED. IN THEIR PLACE, LIGHT-COLORED, HIGH REFLECTIVITY MONOCHROMATIC POLISHED FLOORS ARE OFTEN SELECTED TO MAXIMIZE DISTRIBUTION OF DAYLIGHT OR LED LIGHTING AND CONSEQUENTLY REDUCE ENERGY COSTS. WHERE BRIGHT AND APPEALING COLORS ARE ADDED, LOW-VOC, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY COLORING PRODUCTS CAN BE USED DURING THE PROCESS IN KEEPING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS. Polishing concrete is the act of changing the surface of For all these reasons concrete polishing has been accepted cured concrete by mechanical means involving multiple as an innovation in materials use that improves indoor steps in the process. Concrete polishing gained popularity air quality and has thermal mass and reflectivity to reduce for retail, restaurant and commercial facilities where food energy demands. Polished concrete has been proven to meet spills and wet clean up are frequent issues. The motivation LEED™ criteria for green building, as set by the United to reduce liability claims from slip-fall hazards has been one States Green Building Council (USGBC) and other volunfactor driving use of polished concrete. For high traffic areas, tary ratings systems. durable and dust-free concrete surfaces produced by polishNow that polished concrete floors are widely accepted, ing concrete reduces maintenance time and costs. it was only a matter of time before improvements in September 2013 • Concrete Homes



Creating a feeling of antiquity is achieved in an upscale restaurant using white Contrazzo polishable overlay combined with grey granite chips polished to a 3,000 grit. Accent bands of terracotta add interest. A two-part expoxy, SPD Protector is used to reduce maintenance and assure long-term performance. Photo courtesy Brickform.

construction specifications and the terminology of polishing concrete would evolve to help architects, property owners and contractors communicate about the final appearance and performance criteria. During 2013, the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) released standards and specifications for the steps and defining terms like grinding, honing, friction rubbing and burnishing. CPAA established standards for specifying Finished Gloss as Levels 1 through 4, with each having varying degrees of sheen and clarity. Add to that the different classes of aggregate exposure that can create a variety of appearances. For many years, specular gloss, the appearance of light reflection alone, has been the accepted method for gauging a quality floor. The finished gloss levels identified by the CPAA incorporate specular gloss along with “distinction of image” (clarity). The clarity of reflections identified by distinction of image is not as easily manipulated as specular gloss. The new Finished Gloss levels will help architects and designers specify higher quality. Some of the CPAA’s specification also reinforces what 14

Concrete Homes • September 2013

manufacturers have been saying for the past decade. Ideally a 4000-psi floor with a flatness of 50 provides the best surface for polishing. The floor should be prepared and cured in accordance with ACI 302.1R-4.The floors should be cleaned and protected from damage prior to polishing. Due to the work of CPAA, information on the way of looking at and understanding the appearance and the abrasionresistance of concrete can be measured, quantified and more importantly specified. The details can be found on the CPAA website: This summer CPAA announced an educational collaboration with the International Concrete Polishing & Staining Conference (ICSPC). In September CPAA will offer courses for Tradesman Certificate and Craftsman Level 1 Certification Classes at the ICPSC event. The Tradesman Certificate is an introductory course with classroom education providing a foundational understanding of the process of polishing, tooling and products types. The Craftsman Level 1 course combines hands-on training with the classroom education that prepares contractors to do problem


A European schoolroom oor is polished to an 800-grit honed finish. The colored Contrazzo polishable overlay system combined with locally supplied aggregates replicates the appearance of terrazzo for a fraction of the cost. Photo courtesy Brickform.

solving on the job site. To find more information, and register visit: According to Brad Burns, Executive director of the CPAA, since each project offers many variables, the process concrete polishing is far from simple. The goal however is easy to explain. The customer wants consistent and reliable results. Developing standards, specifications and training ultimately will improve consumer confidence in the reliability and dependability of the contractors who perform the work. There is no doubt the benefits of polished concrete have already been proven in the most demanding environments. For more information contact Brad Burns or (443) 249-7919. top Polishing can be used to expose multicolored aggregates. The white Contrazzo polishable overlay features red marble, 3/8 inch large aggregates. Photo courtesy Brickform. bottom A Level 4, highly polished oor refurbishment at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Installed by Premier Concrete, Wilton, N.H. Photo courtesy L.M. Scofield Company. September 2013 • Concrete Homes



To withstand high traffic in a public attraction, Texas Bomanite polished over 30,000 square feet of concrete in the Perot Museum of Science and Nature, Dallas, Texas. Designer: Thom Mayne of mOrphosis Architects, Culver City, Calif, General Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction. Photo courtesy Nathan Shands. 16

Concrete Homes • September 2013

productnews “This exceeds the minimums in even the newest energy code standards,” Andrew Hobbs said. “With energy codes changing every year, I saw a need for a greener, more efficient product. The new green is doing more with less!” Hobbs is so passionate about the product that to prove

EDCO Introduces A New Slide-On Floor Grinding System for Faster Assembly The Next generation of EDCO’s popular Concrete Floor Grinder is here. Replacing the wooden wedge system of installing grinder accessories with a Slide-On System for faster assembly. No tools required. The profitable Dyma-Serts & PCDyma-Serts accessories slide onto the new grinders using only new holding cases. New accessories are also available. These new grinders are available with gas and electric power options. Allowing users to adjust the grinder’s height, EDCO has also invented an exclusive leveling system. Visit:

the ease and speed of installation, he devised the side-byside test of the Hobbs VICF and traditional ICF block-type construction. During the demonstration shown on the website, the Hobbs Building System used 50 percent less labor. Hobbs VICF is gaining popularity in residential and light commercial construction. For more information, visit or call (866) 904-9255.

Thermo Scientific Omni FTIR Multi Gas CEMS Monitors Emissions Hobbs Vertical ICF Wall System Receives Patent Hobbs Building Systems has received a U.S. patent for the Hobbs Vertical ICF Wall System (VICF). Named after its inventor and company president Andrew Hobbs, the Hobbs VICF is sold in 20 distribution centers across North America. It is offered in both contoured and flat wall types. According to Hobbs, the flagship, contoured design referred to as a “post & beam” requires 40% less concrete than block-type ICF construction without compromising structural strength. It exceeds R-33 rating, and the panel thickness can be increased to achieve an even higher R-value where required.

Plant managers and engineers at industrial source facilities, including utilities, industrial boilers and cement kilns, can measure stack gases with precision and reliability, enabling users to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) maximum achievable control technology (MACT) emissions monitoring standards. The Thermo Scientific Omni FTIR Multi Gas continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) employs Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) technology, which enables a user to simultaneously analyze multiple stack gases, including hydrogen chloride (HCl). It uses an advanced software platform to achieve precise and stable analysis of complex gas spectra found in demanding industrial applications. Get more information here September 2013 • Concrete Homes





FTER DECADES OF RESEARCH INTO INSULATING CONCRETE FORMS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY, MIKE AND PHYLLIS BARTER FINALLY ARE ENJOYING THE FRUIT OF THEIR LABORS, A NET-ZERO HOME THAT PAYS FOR ITSELF. THE BARTERS ARE LIVING THEIR DREAM IN THEIR 3,658-SQUARE-FOOT ICF HOUSE, SITUATED ON FIVE ACRES WITH DRAMATIC VIEWS OF THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS. Mike often said, “When I retire, I’m not paying energy bills!” During the decades he worked for nuclear power plants, he dreamed of living in a net-zero energy house that would produce as much energy as it uses and more. The Barters spent four years searching for the perfect property with a good southern exposure suitable for a bank of solar panels. As soon as the Barters purchased their five-acre lot, Mike began installing a 5-kilowatt photovoltaic system. Comprised of 20 solar panels, the system generates 240-volt AC power that is sold to TVA, their local electric company. The cost of their electricity usage is subtracted from the power that the solar panels generate. Once their solar hot water heater was 18

Concrete Homes • September 2013

installed this summer, it tipped the balance in their favor and they now owe nothing to TVA each month. By next winter, they anticipate a credit of $400 to $500 on their electricity bill, which means that the initial purchase cost for the solar panels will be recovered in 5.8 years. Beyond energy efficiency, the Barters had other reasons for choosing insulating concrete form (ICF) construction for the safety and durability of their own home. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, the Barters wanted to help people rebuild safer, sturdier homes. “When Katrina hit the Biloxi coastline, there was about a three-mile stretch where the only home left had been started using ICF,” says Phyllis. “The only damage was to the windows.” The Barters both became certified ICF installers and purchased an IntegraSpec distributorship, a venture they had been considering since they learned about insulating concrete forms in 1995. They soon built seventeen homes along the coast, providing forms, training, and advice for property owners.

Providing energy self-sufficiency, the 5-kilowatt system is comprised of 20 solar panels that generate 240-volt AC power.

GETTING STARTED With six years of experience in ICF construction, the Barters designed their home themselves. Phyllis produced the layout and primary drawings. Mike used his background in mechanical engineering to make sure it was structurally sound in every detail. While Mike was setting up the solar panel system, Phyllis began digging out for the foundation with their tractor to save on labor costs. At first, they lived onsite in their RV while building the home, then moved into the basement during the summer months because it was cool. When the Barters started laying the forms, they realized something was wrong with Mike’s health. After a trip to the emergency room they learned that he required heart bypass surgeries and would need six weeks for recovery right in the middle of constructing their dream home. Not wanting him to get discouraged, Phyllis continued the project with a little help from friends and neighbors. “At 61-years old, I put up 60% of the walls myself,” she says with well-earned pride.

ICF SIMPLICITY & RELIABILITY IntegraSpec’s forms are flat, expanded polystyrene (EPS) rectangles that are lightweight and lock together using a patented design. “One of our neighbors’ sons, who was fourteen, came over and helped lay the forms,” shares Phyllis. “It says a lot about the simplicity of the process.” In addition to help from family and neighbors, a contractor and prospective homeowner were sent by a local distributor to be trained in the process onsite. “With a little bit of training, IntegraSpec is like putting together Lego blocks. You have an outside wall and an inside wall and you slide this web down and you create a block,” she says. “For someone that’s got any common sense, it’s not that difficult to put up.” The ready-mix concrete truck came out three times to pour each of the different levels. The Barters boast that they didn’t have a single blowout during the whole process, a feat their concrete supplier had never seen before in any other ICF project he had poured. Mike Barter attributes avoiding blowouts to the design of the IntegraSpec system combined with their own knowledge of bracing the stress points. The September 2013 • Concrete Homes


The cathedral ceilings on the second floor are topped by sixteen Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) made of eight-inch insulated foam sandwiched between layers of OSB.

grooving in the polystyrene surface is designed to adhere to the concrete and perform well during concrete curing. ENERGY EFFICIENCY The three-level home has a footprint of 1800 square feet. In addition to constructing the exterior walls, ICF was used to form the footer, reducing the temperature of the basement floor. One section of the basement, “The Hot Room,” houses the solar hot water system, which has a 4.2-year pay back to recoup costs. Water is heated and stored in three 55-gallon barrels, contained in a box insulated with two-inch foam within the ICF-walled room. Water is circulated through a solar-powered coil system, providing their hot water needs, as well as general heating for the home. Seven low-E windows on the south side provide energy savings in the winter by warming their main living area. “It took a while to find heating contractors who could work with a well-insulated house and to implement new ideas, which Webb Plumbing and Heating did nicely,” says Phyllis. “Our main advice is dealing with subcontrac20

Concrete Homes • September 2013

tors – the heating, plumbing, and electrical,” explains Phyllis. “Those are the ones that are really important for ICF. You have to make sure you get someone who knows what they’re doing so they don’t oversize the unit.” Since the airtight building envelope of an ICF home reduces heat loss, it has different requirements than traditional buildings. By standard home calculations, the Barters’ home would require two units, but a single two-cycle unit, three zone system has served their needs perfectly. “If it gets really cold outside, it goes to the higher speed, which has not happened yet, taking more voltage,” Mike explains, “but it’s operating less expensively because it operates at the low-speed cycle.” After living in the house for the past year, the Barters have found that it doesn’t require heating or cooling until the late afternoon and turns off by 8 p.m. “It’s a pleasure not hearing the heat pump kicking on and off,” says Mike. HOME SAFETY & SELF-SUFFICIENCY Recent years have seen a rise in tornado destruction in their area. With steel-reinforced ICF walls that are covered

in Hardie Board lap siding, the Barters aren’t worried. The basement also houses a cold storage room designed to double as a storm shelter. It remains a consistent 59 degrees yearround and gives them peace of mind. After completing the house, Mike and Phyllis moved on to designing and building an ICF greenhouse with a homegrown approach to geothermal heating and cooling. The greenhouse, along with the chickens they already keep in a traditional coop, are all part of the Barters’ dream of

self-sufficiency and long-term sustainability. More than a decade after first discovering ICF, Mike and Phyllis have finally created a comfortable, durable, and safe home. Well-insulated walls and renewable energy from their solar panel systems give them the independence and peace of mind they’ve always dreamed of for their retirement years. Now that the house is complete, the Barters are enjoying the mesmerizing mountain views and a reduced cost of living thanks to their Net-Zero Energy home. But it’s a safe bet that future years will find them training others to build ICF homes, a dream that has become their passion. Kelly Stokes is a freelance writer based in Austin,

Texas. She specializes in writing about architecture, construction and interior design. Kelly is passionate about green building, recycling, and sustainability. Contact:

An area of the basement doubles as a safe room.



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September 2013 • Concrete Homes


pcainsights UPDATE ON RESILIENT CONSTRUCTION LEGISLATION On June 4, Congressman Mario DiazBalart (R-FL) introduced H.R. 2241, the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013, with Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) serving as an original co-sponsor. The act provides a tax credit to the owners of buildings or homes rebuilt using resilient construction techniques following federal disaster declarations. Similar legislation was introduced in the 112th Congress. PCA continues to engage with a broad coalition to gain support for this effort, in hopes of getting H.R. 2241 passed in the 113th Congress. Not only have the Leading Builders of America endorsed the effort, but also the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America has also recently joined in support of the effort. More information on Resilient Construction Legislation is available at: bipac. net/page.asp?g=pca&content=issues PCA PARTICIPATES IN MANUFACTURING SUMMIT WITH EPA On June 20, PCA staff attended a coalition event held at EPA’s Washington, DC, headquarters and sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The event, part of NAM’s fly-in campaign, provided an opportunity for industry briefings by EPA assistant administrators on various

Photo courtesy Cement Council of Texas. 22

Concrete Homes • September 2013

water and air policies. EPA reported that the draft guidance on navigable waters is still at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and that no timetable has been set for OMB release. The agency also noted that a potential rulemaking is being considered but did not provide details on the impact a rulemaking may have on the pending draft guidance. PCA staff has monitored this draft guidance process since its 2011 comment period and subsequent delivery to OMB. The agency also provided generic updates on the December 2012 PM 2.5 NAAQS final rule state implementation process and the ozone schedule, which is not expected to have proposed ozone NAAQS rule announcement until 2014. CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY On June 25, President Obama announced a new climate change policy that includes a series of executive actions designed to cut carbon pollution in America; prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change; and lead international efforts to combat global climate change and prepare for its impacts. In light of the June 25 announcement, PCA has reached out to the White House to explore opportunities for cooperative action in such areas as resiliency standards for building construction and innovative infrastructure solutions to address the effects of certain natural disasters. View a copy of PCA’s letter to the White House Contact Greg Scott or Andy O’Hare

ria, Texas, may prove to be the gateway project for RCC in the booming Eagle Ford Shale region. A June open house at Pioneer Natural Resources, organized by the Cement Council of Texas, attracted 70 attendees representing public agencies, consulting engineers, private facility owners, and contractors. Rollcon LLC, the RCC contractor, showcased the pavement process, from pug mill mixing, to high-density paver placement, to compaction and curing. The Texas legislature recently appropriated $450 million for reconstruction of state and local roads that have been destroyed by oil and gas activity, and local stakeholders are seeking a durable, long-term pavement solution, like RCC. The Pioneer facility is a pipe fabrication/supply yard servicing the Eagle Ford Shale Play in south Texas. The attendees were principally interested in RCC to build similar private facilities, or to remediate state and local roads that have been destroyed by oil and gas activity. In a panel discussion, facility owner Pioneer noted that RCC offered lower initial cost and maintenance than the planned unsurfaced aggregate base for material storage/handling areas, and asphalt pavement for employee parking. The elimination of dust control was a huge motivator, and RCC could also take advantage of local aggregate supplies. The general contractor, Weaver & Jacobs, expressed surprise that construction of the concrete is taking considerably less time than the original pavement choices.

RCC OPEN HOUSE PROMOTES RCC FOR OIL SHALE PAVEMENTS A 60-acre rollercompacted concrete (RCC) pavement, being built for an oil and gas exploration firm in Victo-

ABOUT PCA Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at





HILE WE GENERALLY THINK OF HOMES WHEN WE DISCUSS BASEMENTS, THE SAME ADVANTAGES AND CONSIDERATIONS CAN BE APPLIED TO OFFICE BUILDINGS, APARTMENTS AND MOST OTHER TYPES OF BUILDINGS. In certain parts of the country basements are typical. In northern states where foundations are required to extend below a predetermined frost line, much of the wall required for a basement is already mandated. The farther south you live, the shallower the frost line is, and so it becomes less economical to build below ground – unless you look at the big picture. In this article I’ll attempt to briefly illustrate three fairly well known advantages of basements, plus one that most people might not consider. 1. Safety from storms. Most of the readers of this magazine either live in a concrete home, would like to live in a concrete home, or have at least considered living in one. A concrete

Courtesy of Diamond D Concrete

home, of course, is the ideal protection against storms. Unfortunately most Americans still live in wood frame dwellings. For those families, the thought of having a basement to get into during severe weather, such as a tornado, is a real comfort. Any corner of a concrete basement is much safer than anything upstairs in a wood frame house. A safe room within a basement multiplies that protection many times over. These rooms are often built under the front porch area, which in many cases already has four walls. Too often these areas are merely filled with dirt and capped off with a concrete slab creating an unusable space. A more efficient means of utilizing this area is to place a door opening in the wall separating the porch from the basement and constructing a suspended concrete slab over the porch area. This creates an almost impenetrable safe room for people, documents, and pictures. It also doubles as a great place to store food that needs to be in a cool place. 2. Economical living space. Although a basement foundaSeptember 2013 • Concrete Homes



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tion does cost more than a house built on a slab or crawlspace, the additional space gained is difficult to match with any other type of cost/square footage ratio. The same roof that covers the lower level also covers the first and second story of the house. The footprint of the house remains the same whether a basement is included or not so there is no additional lot cost. The extra space can be finished off and used as a family room, a recreation room, an apartment for aging parents or almost grown children, an exercise room or just extra bedrooms. If the entire lower level – or terrace level – is finished off, several or all of the above rooms can be incorporated into the floor plan. It is not necessary to finish the entire lower level immediately. It can instead wait until the need arises or until money is available. 3. Extra Storage. Sometimes you need extra storage in addition to extra livable space. Utilizing the basement or lower level for that storage space is very economical. An added benefit to creating this extra space for storage is that you may actually be able to use your garage for its original purpose. 4. Energy Efficiency. The least recognized reason for a basement is possibly the best one. Mike Hancock of Basement Contractors Inc. based in Edmond, Oklahoma, is a registered mechanical engineer. He has given several seminars at the Concrete Foundation Association’s annual summer meetings regarding concrete homes and the peculiarities of heating and cooling them. In addition to being a registered engineer, Hancock is a poured wall contractor specializing in concrete homes and basements, not only is he considered an expert by his peers, he practices what he preaches. He has constructed several concrete homes and commercial buildings, plus hundreds of basements. “A basement which is sunk down

belowgrade into the ground acts like a big heat sink,” Hancock states. “In order to fully utilize this phenomenon, HVAC systems should be designed to circulate cool air from the basement into the upper floors during the summer months. The circulation of conditioned air helps stabilize the humidity in the basement. During the winter months, the lower level costs little or nothing to heat.” Basements are naturally cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter because of the constant ground temperature. Hancock believes this occurrence should be taken advantage of by circulating cool basement air into the upper floors during warm periods. Then, during winter months, the lower level is heated for practically nothing. In fact many homeowners in the north – where winters are extreme – don’t heat their basements at all, when they use them for storage only. A relatively comfortable temperature is maintained during some of the coldest months because of the warmth emanating from the ground. Boman Kemp, a manufacturer of egress windows and egress wells for the foundation industry has done extensive research into utilizing the constant temperature of the ground to help cool homes. With their Liv-Space™ system they suggest installing the ductwork and the furnace under the basement floor slab to capture even more of the cool ground temperature. The cool air is then circulated to the upper floors by means of vertical ductwork. It should go with out saying that every precaution should be taken to ensure no ground water would leach into the system. You can find out more on the Liv-Space™ design at When building any structure utilizing this method of heating and cooling, it is important to have someone who understands this process design the HVAC system. In the event that a home is also built of concrete and has increased insulating efficiency, it is necessary to downsize the HVAC

unit. The designer/installer must be knowledgeable of this fact. Whole house ventilation systems are available, and are considered by many to be a good idea for any new construction. In any home or office building, indoor air quality is of upmost importance. Our ancestors didn’t need to worry as much about indoor air quality because air was constantly leaking in and around windows and doors. Most homes and offices built today – especially those utilizing concrete construction – are extremely airtight. While this makes the structure much more energy efficient, it also makes it difficult for the structure to breathe. This article by no means details all of the many advantages of lower level living, but it hopefully will start you thinking more about the advantages of basements. Whenever I drive through a subdivision and see houses being constructed on concrete slabs, I am amazed that people would not recognize the

many benefits of building their home on a basement. Barry Herbert is a

46-year veteran of the concrete industry. He is CEO of Herbert Construction Co., which works throughout the Southeast from its corporate headquarters in Atlanta. Barry is a member of ACI 332 Residential Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and is Past President of the Concrete Foundation Association (CFA), a CFA Certified Concrete Technician. In 2009, he was presented with CFA’s coveted Robert D. Sawyer Distinguished Service award for his contributions to the concrete foundation industry. Herbert Construction Co. is the 2011 winner of the CFA’s Project of the Year for Concrete homes and a 2012 Project of the year winner for basements.

Cool air is circulated from the basement to upper levels during warm weather; warm air is circulated to upper levels during cool weather. September 2013 • Concrete Homes


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New Steel Bottom Trailer Sets New Standards American Carrier equipment announced that its new, ultra-high-tensile-strength steel bottom dump trailer is now delivering to customers in the western United States. At 9,680 lbs., the new super-steel belly dump is 30 percent lighter, handles better, discharges cleaner and pays for itself with extra load capacity. The all-steel, tandem-axle, semi-bottom-dump trailer is the culmination of a two-year research, development and field-testing program aimed at producing a tough, lightweight, super breed of trailer for severe-duty applications. The new trailer is 30 percent lighter, has 300 percent greater structural integrity and accommodates 12.5 percent greater load capacity than competitive offerings. Visit: AmericanCarrierEquipment. com/Site. 26

Concrete Homes • September 2013

News from the cement and concrete industries

September 2013

The gymnasium shared by East Middle School and Soaring Heights Elementary in Joplin, Mo., will be built with cast-in-place concrete construction to serve as a safe room. Rendering courtesy Hollis + Miller Architects.


The Joplin School district has instituted a wide-reaching program that calls for 14 multi-purpose community safe rooms in schools throughout Joplin. The district developed the approach for improved storm safety with some guidance from FEMA and funding through their Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to offset part of the costs. The program includes concrete safe rooms that double as gymnasiums. Also, a new field house at the football stadium and a band / choir room are being built with reinforced concrete to double as safe rooms. When these reinforced concrete safe rooms are completed students and teachers will have immediate access to shelters strategically placed in schools

throughout the Joplin Schools system, and excess space has been allocated to provide community shelters. “Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, has been very involved in the rebuilding program, along with Dr. C.J. Huff, the superintendent,” said Mike Johnson, Director of Construction for Joplin Schools. “What we have learned is that traditional construction doesn’t cut it. There is no safe place, unless schools provide specifically designed safe rooms. We learned that safe rooms could be built to serve multiple purposes, such as gymnasiums, auditoriums and other areas that have community uses evenings and weekends.” Johnson continued, “Historical records show the areas more prone to risks, such as Joplin is. It only makes common sense to target

these areas making investments so that parents know their children are safe at school.” He added, “Here in Joplin, residents voted to raise taxes to support the rebuilding of safer schools.” The catalyst for the comprehensive safe room building initiative came from a record setting, multiple-vortex EF5 Tornado that bore down on the southern side of Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011. That Sunday evening the damage became catastrophic. The unoccupied Franklin Technology School and Joplin High School were completely destroyed. Later, school officials who reviewed the site as seen from cameras in hallways were aghast to realize the danger existJOPLIN SCHOOLS continued on page 28

September 2013 • Concrete Monthly


Concrete Monthly


Concrete Monthly

JOPLIN SCHOOLS continued from page 27

ing conditions might have presented to their students if the tornado had hit during school hours. Cameras showed dangerous projectiles hurled by the wind force of over 200 mph, even before the EF5 tornado ultimately caused the walls of hallways to collapse. Up until this review, hallways were considered to be safe shelters for students and staff. There are two types of FEMA funding for safe room construction. Joplin’s new construction includes both the 404 and 406 funding sources for safe rooms. Existing facilities qualify for building additions of community safe rooms under the 404-funding stream. Since safe rooms become dual-purpose, usable space in the building, FEMA funding can be used toward the construction, but not finishes and furnishings. Additionally, this funding requires a 25% match. The Joplin Schools reports that the completed shelters will be covered 50% by FEMA and 50% by the district through school bonds. “Joplin East Middle School and Elementary No.2 are designed as a conjoined building housing approximately 1500 students,” said John Brown, Partner, Hollis + Miller Architects, who leads the project. “Centralized areas are considered best for high wind shelters and ultimately the elementary gymnasium, middle school music room and shared community rooms have been selected to collectively house the student and staff population of both schools. The shelters were partially funded by FEMA with the use of castin-place concrete walls and roofs. They are designed per FEMA 361, which includes provisions for a three-second wind burst of up to 250 MPH.” It is the goal of Joplin Schools to ensure that a 24-hour community safe room is available for every school neighborhood. The planned community safe rooms are being built to hold residents within a five-minute walking distance. The doors can be unlocked when a tor28

Concrete Monthly • September 2013

nado siren is issued using a reverse 911 calling system. When it is opened to the community, a group of community members who live near the school will be trained to manage the shelter. Joplin Schools are in the midst of an aggressive rebuilding program permitting a program that exceeds minimum building requirements and sets new standards for building safer schools. Two new school complexes will be completed before the end of 2013. Nine other safe room additions are slated at existing schools for completion by May 2014. The new 504,000-square-foot complex that makes up the Franklin Technology School and Joplin High School is due to open in August 2014, and Studies at two historic school buildings are underway to add safe room additions as soon as their specific restrictions can be addressed. “Building codes are intended to keep people and property safe, but they only provide minimum requirements for construction,” says Donn Thompson, the Portland Cement Association’s director of market strategy and positioning. “By using proven concrete technology and building to a higher standard, we can create more resilient, more robust structures that can stand up to strong winds, fires, storm surge and other punishing forces with little or no damage.” Thompson concludes, “Recent, extreme weather events demonstrate that devastation to homes and other buildings has gotten too great to ignore.” CM

Below grade safe room interior showing Lite-Deck ICF System roof braced during concrete curing. Photo courtesy Basement Contractors, Edmond, Okla.

CORWIN ELECTED TCA PRESIDENT The TiltUp Concrete Association (TCA) has announced Kimberly Corwin, President & Chief OperKimberly Corwin ating Officer (COO) of A.H. Harris & Sons, as President on the TCA Board of Directors. Corwin has more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry and has been a member of the TCA for 16 years. She is past chair of the TCA Promotions Committee, an active member of the TCA Meetings & Education Committee and past chair of the TCA Global Associates Council. Corwin is also a member of the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI). In 2003, Corwin joined A.H. Harris, where she has been promoting the growth of tilt-up construction in the northeast region through numerous educational events and A/E presentations, as well as advancing the use of welded rebar cages. During her tenure at A.H. Harris, she has implemented many new customer focused initiatives, vendor development programs and an internal education forum. In 2011, Corwin assumed the role of President of A.H. Harris & Sons, Inc. SENATE CONFIRMS FOXX AS SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION The Senate voted in June to confirm Anthony Foxx by a vote of 100-0. Foxx serves as the mayor of Charlotte, N.C. and


CTLGROUP APPOINTS TONYAN INTERIM PRESIDENT/CEO PCA’s subsidiary CTLGroup, an expert engineering and materials science firm located in Skokie, Illinois, announced that Timothy Tonyan, Ph.D., vice president and group manager of CTLGroup’s materials consulting practice, will serve as CTLGroup’s Interim President and

Chief Executive Officer effective as of June 14, 2013. Dr. Tonyan has more than 20 years of experience in consulting and research of building materials, cement and gypsum-based composite materials, and building systems performance. He is a named inventor on 17 patents related to cement and gypsum-based materials and building systems. Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Tonyan directed materials and building systems research laboratories for a multi-national building materials manufacturer and has consulted extensively in construction project management. Dr. Tonyan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in building construction from Georgia Institute of Technology as well as a Master of Science and doctorate in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

BLOOMQUIST APPOINTED MANAGING DIRECTOR OF TCA The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) announces the promotion of Mitch Bloomquist from Project Manager to Managing Director. Bloomquist began his tenure with the TCA in August of 2010 when he joined Sauter Baty Associates, the management firm contracted with the Association. He has taken on the responsibility of TCA’s Annual Convention and for the evolution of both TCA’s primary brands, the website, and TILTUP TODAY magazine. Ed Sauter remains as Executive Director, with responsibilities for general oversight, financial and strategic planning. Bloomquist will manage day-to-day operations of the Association. Visit CM Read more at:

September 2013 • Concrete Monthly


Concrete Monthly

is known for expanding multimodal transportation during his term. At 42, he is also the youngest member of President Obama’s cabinet. During his confirmation hearing, he noted safety would be his top priority, while also prioritizing the efficiency and performance of our nation’s transportation system. His start date to replace Secretary LaHood has not yet been announced, as he still needs to resign as mayor.

Concrete Monthly



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UNCOVER WHAT’S NEW Get the ultimate up-close look at the future of construction. CONEXPO-CON/AGG represents an immense unveiling of all the newest equipment, technology and product breakthroughs in construction. From earthshaking big iron to groundbreaking innovations you don’t even know exist, it’s all assembled in one place to help you work smarter.

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March 4-8, 2014 | Las Vegas conVention center | Las Vegas, Usa

Co-located with 2 014 ®