Over the holidays, I was in a bookstore and picked up a book on odd things in the English language—there’s plenty of them, like if it’s one mouse and two mice, why isn’t it one house and two hice? I was stopped by the chapter on acronyms, what they called initialisms. It just so happens that the longest initialism, the one that holds the Guinness Book record, is 56 letters: NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT. This apparently is a Russian Soviet-era term for the laboratory for shuttering (formwork) and reinforcing of concrete and ferrocement. Leave it to a bunch of engineers to come up with that one!

Polishing Progress

For the first few years of its growing popularity, polished concrete suffered from a lack of standards and even definitions. No one could even say definitively what constituted polished concrete. That is beginning to change. A few weeks ago, the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) announced that it would now be managed by Creative Association Management (CAM), a subsidiary of the American Concrete Institute. CAM is now doing an excellent job managing several concrete-related associations, including the International Concrete Repair Institute, the Post-Tensioning Institute, and the American Shotcrete Association. Nate Mohler, who had been working on ACI’s educational programs, will be the CPAA point person for CAM. But CPAA is not alone in this game; the Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association has been getting involved with polishing and recently issued a new standard on measuring surface texture, which is a great addition to the business.

And there’s also the International Concrete Polishing & Staining Conference, which is developing information on polishing to supplement what’s discussed at the conference. (Full disclosure: Concrete Surfaces has sponsored the ICPSC for the past several years.) For the concrete polishing contractor, this is all good news. More knowledge will equal more and better projects. Hopefully, these groups cooperate and find their own segments of the business.

The American Concrete Institute’s logo has remained sacrosanct for the past 50 years, until a new generation of leaders, including current president Anne Ellis, decided it was time for a change. The new logo debuted at the World of Concrete in January with much fanfare—there was even a version in pervious concrete at Pervious Concrete Live. I like the new logo a lot and think it elegantly portrays ACI’s new vision of its future.