51. Concrete Paving: Improved initial construction methods (such as stringless paving) and repair methods (like dowel-bar retrofit and diamond grinding) are making concrete pavements very competitive, especially on a life-cycle cost basis.
52. Pervious Concrete: Pervious has helped concrete capture a larger share of the parking lot market through its ability to reduce stormwater runoff. It can also result in snow- and ice-free surfaces. NRMCA’s marketing and installer certification programs and ACI’s 522 Specification have moved this material forward.
53. Technology Tools: Including Building Information Modeling (BIM), virtual reality, and 3D laser scans of buildings and floors. “4D and 5D modeling link BIM to schedule and costs.” — Mike Hernandez, Baker Concrete.
54. Performance-Based Concrete Specifications: Recognizing that prescriptive specifications tend to constrain innovation in concrete design and production, NRMCA established its P2P (Prescription-to-Performance) Initiative in 2002. The goal has been to promote performance-based specifications as a superior alternative to prescriptive mix design specs, and thus benefit the industry in several ways. Performance-based specifications allow ready-mix producers and contractors to develop and place economical, workable concrete mixes, while assuring designers that critical performance requirements are being met. Though it will still take time before performance specs become the general rule, the P2P Initiative has raised industry awareness and prompted many steps in the right direction. New simple and quick test methods for placeability, finishability, and durability have eliminated some contractor objections to P2P. “We’re moving closer to performance-based specifications which will help drive increased sustainability and innovation, as well as cost-effectiveness,” says Julie Garbini, RMC Foundation.
55. Front Discharge Mixers: Although more expensive, these mixers allow the driver to avoid backing onto muddy, uneven jobsites where they must depend on direction from an unknown spotter.
56. Challenging: “Concrete is the only construction material that arrives onsite perishable,” says Chris Plue, Webcor. “Unlike pipe, lumber, or wiring, those that work with concrete have
a limited amount of time to deal with the material. Every workday is like gameday.”
57. Build with Strength: Faced with mid-rise buildings being converted to wood-frame structures, NRMCA has launched the Build with Strength program to show owners and designers why concrete should be the preferred alternative. And PCA is developing an industry-wide marketing plan for concrete.
58. Worker Shortage: There are some in the industry who are working to attract new workers. Chicago’s Ozinga Brothers put out the Born to Build campaign and Jereme Montgomery produced a video called Tough as Concrete. Meanwhile Tanya Komas’ Concrete Preservation Institute is attracting new military veterans.
59. Decorative Concrete: The decorative industry has matured with some of the original players disappearing or being bought by larger companies (think Scofield, Increte, Bomanite). “I am enthused by the growth in communications among decorative concrete professionals,” says ASCC’s Todd Scharich.
60. Safety: ASCC’s newest strategic plan includes a goal to feature safety at every meeting—and most ASCC meetings these days start with a “safety moment.” Contractors are getting much more serious about safety at the very highest level. During this summer’s Concrete Executive Leadership Forum, Bill Gilbane, president of the GIlbane Companies, one of the nation’s largest construction companies, said, “Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Safety and productivity are one and the same. We just completed a 17 million man-hour job without a single lost-time accident—that’s what we were most proud of on that project.”