Curing seemed to be the theme of the ACI Convention in Phoenix in October. From lengthy discussions at the Committee 302 (Slab Construction) meeting to a special two-part educational session on curing, to Committee 213’s efforts to inform the industry about internal curing. My blog that week asked whether most of you cure your slabs and, if so, how. What I thought was a relatively straight-forward question drew lots of comments both on the CC website and on our LinkedIn group page. One interesting idea I had never heard came from dpatterson who contends that “a ‘dry down’ period should be considered when water curing to avoid a rapid drying problem that could [cause] cracking.”
Another interesting session at the ACI Convention was a discussion on using Lean construction principles and scheduling techniques. We will have a feature article in the December issue on this topic. Jim Rogers from Arizona State University led the session, which included talks by Lew Laws with general contractor DPR Construction and Derek Wright from Suntec Concrete, both in Phoenix and both enthusiastic supporters. Lean relies on all members of the construction team committing to schedules at a daily huddle and then trusting one another to accomplish each day’s tasks. Lean has been proven on projects across the U.S. and shown to speed up schedules and reduce costs.
We received some interesting comments concerning when to adopt new technology. Trevor Royce wrote, “I’m an early adopter but only when the new product or system makes obvious improvements for me or my employees. Without the forward-thinking contractors of the past we wouldn’t have the innovations we’ve grown to accept as common today.” And Jack Schimpf with MMFX replied, “I think you take the leap if a product has been tested and results are positive. When we stay status quo, history has shown if you aren’t changing with the times and growing as a business, you are dying.”
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Mike Murray’s Concrete Cares campaign was in full swing across North America during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Partly through his efforts, pink ready-mix trucks are showing up at jobsites everywhere. Kyle Poff, with Kearney Concrete in Nebraska, painted his entire fleet pink. Pink shirts were for sale at the ACI Convention and many attendees sported pink heart necklaces. Learn more at www.concretecares.com.