Our choices for Most Influential People in the concrete industry during 2014 reflect many of the year’s most pressing issues and developments — building information modeling, labor shortages, the rebounding construction economy, and the quality of formed concrete surfaces. Keith Wayne seemed an obvious choice, having grown his company dramatically over the past several years, at least partly by being willing to take chances on new technology. Alise Martiny also seemed to be a clear choice; I think you’ll understand why when you read about her accomplishments and vision. Mark Perniconi is driving change through the Charles Pankow Foundation. I knew Charlie Pankow and Perniconi is certainly honoring his legacy by inspiring new and better ways to build. The final choice for Most Influential might not be so obvious, but I believe that Rolf Spahr’s leadership in the formwork industry, even though controversial in some circles, is pushing our industry forward. Let me know what you think and who we’ve missed and should consider for next year.

Asphalt Versus Concrete

The battle between asphalt and concrete pavements is always amusing to me because of its ferocity. It is waged in the pages of both concrete and asphalt industry magazines and websites. The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, with serious funding from the concrete industry, shows that flexible pavements (asphalt) reduce fuel efficiency and have a higher life-cycle cost. The asphalt industry counters with extensive data about asphalt’s recyclability. A recent article in Asphalt Pavement describes how concrete’s solar reflectivity is really detrimental in reducing the heat island effect — complete with a graphic of cracked concrete pavement reflecting evil solar radiation onto people and buildings. With asphalt paving used for 94% of paved roads and 85% of parking lots, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, one would think they wouldn’t be so worried about concrete. The lady doth protest too much, me thinks!

Mike Murray of Concrete Cares.
Concrete Cares Mike Murray of Concrete Cares.

Concrete Cares

A couple of months ago I asked for nominations for this year’s Most Influential People in the concrete industry. We got several good responses, but only one for a person I’d never heard of. That was Alise Martiny, a cement mason and apprentice trainer in Kansas City, nominated by our old friend Mike Murray, formerly of Decorative Concrete Supply in Kansas. Check out our write-up about Martiny. Murray is the driving force behind the Concrete Cares effort to raise money to fight breast cancer. Check out his Pink Army at www.concretecares.com.