Each year at the World of Concrete we sponsor a luncheon that includes a panel session to discuss new (and sometimes controversial) developments in concrete slabs and pavements. For the 2014 edition, we will focus on some of the joint-free and curl-free slabs that are now being constructed. To get a floor that has no joints, or greatly increased joint spacing, several methods are being used, from macrofibers to steel fibers to shrinkage-compensating cement. This session will be a great learning experience and could generate some lively discussion. Speakers will include Nigel Parkes, Greg Scurto, Steve Lloyd, Greg Fricks, and Bruce Suprenant. Stay tuned for more details.

TCA Convention

Speaking of tilt-up, don’t miss the Tilt-Up Concrete Association’s annual convention in Houston, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. They have just announced the keynote speaker as Stephen L. Klineberg, professor of sociology at Rice University. “As the event moves around the country, we feel it is also important for there to be content relevant to the host market/region,” said Mitch Bloomquist, managing director of TCA. “Klineberg’s presentation will give attendees context for what is happening in Houston, arguably the hottest tilt-up market in the world right now. He will tell the fascinating story of Houston and address how trends observed there relate to national trends impacting our lives.”

Slab Mixes

Successful concrete slabs—“worthy concrete slabs,” as Ed Finkel calls them—start with a couple of basic requirements: low-shrinkage concrete and a 15-mil vapor barrier. Sounds simple, and perhaps it is, but then why is it so often done wrong? On page 31, Finkel guides us through his low-shrinkage concept that is not really radical: well-graded aggregates, low-water/paste content, and the principle that there’s seldom a need to focus on compressive strength for an industrial concrete slab. Finkel is a veteran of the slab wars, having served on ACI Committees 302 and 360 for many years. I think you’ll find his clarity inspiring.


The Warren Theater was built to be tornado-proof and reopened just eight days after an EF-5 tornado destroyed most of the area around it on May 20, 2013, in Moore, Okla.
Shane Bevel The Warren Theater was built to be tornado-proof and reopened just eight days after an EF-5 tornado destroyed most of the area around it on May 20, 2013, in Moore, Okla.

Resilient Concrete

Should buildings in potential disaster areas be required to be designed and constructed to withstand tornadoes, hurricanes, storm surge, wildfires, and earthquakes? We already do this in seismically active and hurricane areas so why not expand the building codes to cover other potential disasters? The industry is promoting this with the creation of BuildStronger.org to encourage Congress to act. More concrete would contribute—just look at the Warren Theatre in Moore, Okla., that was back showing movies within a week after a direct hit by an EF-5 tornado earlier this year. This tilt-up building includes a concrete roof deck and served as a storm shelter for local residents during the storm. Watch for more information in a 2014 World of Concrete luncheon on resilient design.