Decorative concrete is an interesting and evolving industry — if one can even call it that. In some cases it seems more like a craft, and the results have been wildly variable, with some projects perfect and others disasters--a situation that doesn’t inspire confidence among architects and specifiers. To counter that impression, the ASCC Decorative Concrete Council (DCC) is considering creation of a certification program for decorative concrete construction companies. The idea is to bring professionalism to decorative concrete so that architects will have confidence that the reality of a project will align with the vision. A second objective is to elevate the DCC’s status in the decorative concrete industry — something that would also serve to elevate decorative concrete’s image. I think this program could be a milestone in the history of decorative concrete, elevating it from its artsy-craftsy roots to a professional segment of the construction industry. If you have thoughts or comments on this program, send them to Todd Scharich, DCC director, at

Master Spec

Most specifications for concrete projects reference ACI 301, Specifications for Structural Concrete. At the recent ACI convention, Committee 301 spent many hours responding to all of the public comments on the newest version of ACI 301 and it should be hitting the street very soon. Although it takes a while for a new version to find its way into contract documents, contractors will want to get the 2015 issue into their specs as soon as possible since the committee spent a lot of time making it more contractor-friendly and eliminating conflicting provisions. We’ll keep you informed!

Triad Awards

Once again, Concrete Construction, The Concrete Producer, and Public Works are banding together to select the best public concrete projects in North America based on innovation, sustainability, and leadership. Two years ago we selected the new Stan Musial Bridge across the Mississippi River near St. Louis. Last year it was Peña Boulevard out to Denver International Airport that used portland-limestone cement in the mix and in-place rubblization to create a great replacement pavement. What will it be this year? We’re accepting nominations for a couple of more weeks, so let us know if there’s a project you think would fit.

Be Safe out There

Jim Rogers is back this month with a Safety First column. We have been running safety columns from Jim for about two years. He has great insight into the safety issues that are boiling up on jobsites, having run the Western OSHA Education Center at Arizona State University. Jim is on his own now, consulting on safety and construction management so he’s gaining even more insight into real-world safety issues — for real world, check out the photos.