NRMCA’s Senior Director, National Resources, Doug O’Neill recently met with several New England ready mix producers that are seeking concrete parking lot opportunities with every project they encounter. "Most every project has a parking lot, which in New England goes asphalt," O’Neill said. He reports that these producers are requiring their sales staff on EVERY project to ask the question, "what about the parking lot? Can we give you a price on a concrete alternate?" They may get answers like:

  1. It’s too late for this one to go anything but asphalt.
  2. We can’t afford to add any additional costs to this project.
  3. We don’t know how to do concrete in this region.
  4. There is no concrete alternate for this project.

All of these responses have opportunity written all over them, O'Neill noted. The point of the exercise of asking for the opportunity to provide a price is to get the general contractors, owners and developers used to the idea of having a choice. Each opportunity provides us a way to not only communicate equivalent design, but also to get concrete numbers out there. We have many ready mix producers that have never given a legitimate price for a concrete alternate. How could a general contractor or developer know whether concrete is affordable unless it learns what the real costs are. The only way that can change is by getting out there and asking the questions and then providing answers, O'Neill added.

These producers are teaming with their trusted contractors in order to provide actual costs. By utilizing NRMCA’s Design Assistance Program, these producers are helping to educate the local design community, which for years has either been over designing concrete alternates or not providing its clients with any choice at all.

For more information on how NRMCA and your state association can assist with this effort, contact Doug O’Neill at