January 2005 Table of Contents

Editorial Comment Concrete steroids

We have the equivalent of steroids for concrete—various performance-enhancing admixtures—and their use too is restricted. When the long term impacts aren't entirely clear to the specifier, they begin to add in prescriptive requirements. A specification becomes much more complicated when it includes a mix of performance-based requirements (this level of strength, that level of durability) and prescriptive requirements (this much cement, vibrate for exactly this long). Read more

News and Events News & Events

A comment on tolerance specs, the Tilt-Up construction and engineering manual, a revised Tilt-Up wind bracing guideline and more for January's News & Events Read more

Delamination: The Sometime Curse of Entrained Air Features Delamination: The Sometime Curse of Entrained Air

Air entrainment in concrete was discovered accidentally about 70 years ago. Since then, entrained air has provided many blessings to concrete such as increased workability at lower water-cement ratios and reduced bleeding. And there is its primary function: maximizing the resistance of hardened concrete to damage from cyclic freezing and deicing chemicals. Read more

Paving Without String Features Paving Without String

For years, paving equipment manufacturers have been telling us that stringless paving technology is close at hand. But freeing paving machines from the string lines that guide them has been much more difficult than expected. All of the paving equipment manufacturers are working hard to develop this technology. Contractors, too, are anxious to move into this new realm. Setting up and checking string lines is expensive, especially with the current emphasis on smooth-riding pavements. Early attempts to introduce stringless pavers produced poor results, so equipment manufacturers have been careful not to market equipment that isn't fully up to the task. Read more

Go Ahead, Take the LEED Features Go Ahead, Take the LEED

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program is putting a new spin on marketing in the building design and construction industries. Through its associated Green Building Rating System, claims of environmental responsibility made by designers, builders, and owners can now be substantiated. And with a certified track record of success, construction professionals can market their environmental expertise to grow market share. Read more

Developing a Winning Team Features Developing a Winning Team

One of our greatest challenges as an industry is the development of our people. The issue is directly tied to employee morale, retention, and even our end-product. As such, the development of training programs that allow individuals to discover their skills and interests is crucial to creating a successful environment within a company. Educational programs demonstrate the commitment you are making to your team and ensure that your organization is staffed with people who fit well into your company's culture and goals, both today and tomorrow. And, when education is successfully matched to a person's knowledge, skill, and attitude, leadership skills result. Read more

Doing Accurate Layout Work Features Doing Accurate Layout Work

Van and Lawrence Smith founded Smith Bros. Concrete Contractors, Walden, N.Y., in 1975. They bought a truck for $300 and had to borrow $3 for gas to drive it home. For the first several years they installed block and brick masonry but gradually shifted their emphasis to poured foundations for residential homes. Van says that 5 years ago there was one computer in their office, and staff took turns using it. But he sensed the increasing importance of office computers and later placed a computer on every desk. Read more

A New Water Standard for Concrete Features A New Water Standard for Concrete

Changes in concrete and construction sometimes come at a glacial pace. But such changes also tend to be significant. One such change occurred at the semi-annual ASTM meeting in June. After 8 years of development and more than 20 years of existing as a part of another standard specification, a new document was created: ASTM C 1602/C 1602M-04, “Standard Specification for Mixing Water Used in the Production of Hydraulic Cement Concrete.” Read more

Putting SCC to the Test Features Putting SCC to the Test

In 1999, Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to design and construct modifications to the 1950s' era Folsom Dam near Sacramento, Calif., to increase the hydraulic performance of the existing outlets. A study of alternatives led the COE to decide to enlarge eight gates and add two new gates as the most cost-effective design. This approach would reduce the risk to this heavily populated area from one chance in 100 of flooding in any given year to one chance in 130. Read more

Minimizing Risks When Lifting and Bracing Features Minimizing Risks When Lifting and Bracing

Every site-cast tilt-up concrete construction project requires hard work and planning before the building can be erected. Watching the enormous concrete panels being lifted and set into place is an awe-inspiring event that occurs only with careful planning, hours of training and experience, and a thorough knowledge of today's lifting and bracing equipment. By taking the time to properly prepare for lift day, you can minimize time wasted during the erection operation and ensure a smooth, safe process. Knowledge of today's equipment and its capabilities will allow you to maximize panel size and construction efficiency. Read more

Features Finishing Lightweight Air-Entrained Concrete

Lightweight-aggregate, air-entrained concrete is increasingly used to cast interior, above-grade floors. There are two principal reasons for its use: cost savings and fire resistance. According to John Ries, executive director of the Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate Institute (ESCSI), Salt Lake City, lightweight concrete floors are typically 25% to 35% lighter than regular concrete aggregate mixes, so there can be considerable cost savings realized by designing longer span floors with lighter structural members. Lightweight concrete slabs can also be significantly thinner than ordinary aggregate mixes and still achieve equivalent fire ratings. Read more

Specifying Concrete for Performance Features Specifying Concrete for Performance

Concrete is both marvelously simple and marvelously complex. Mix appropriate amounts of portland cement, aggregates, and water, and you have one of the world's most versatile and durable construction materials. On the other hand, if you vary the proportions or the character of any of the components, you may find it to be a far different material, either before it has begun to harden or as it matures. Add any of a number of admixtures or supplementary cementitious materials, and again you alter the nature of the concrete. Read more

Concrete Las Vegas Features Concrete Las Vegas

Concrete seems to be made for the desert Southwest. Add a little color to it, and it looks as if it were cut from the baked hardpan ground. Las Vegas architects and builders love concrete—its strength, its look, and its durability. To celebrate the World of Concrete's return to Vegas, here is a cross section of some projects and methods of construction used in Vegas and the western United States. Read more

The Business of Concrete Contracting The Core Elements of Value

To learn how a construction company is performing, the first place most people look is the financial statements. But the real measure of management effectiveness is whether it creates or destroys value. Some might say “sell more, work faster, be safer, and you will be successful.” But a company can sell a lot, work hard, have a great safety program, and still go out of business. The reality is that financial statements alone do not tell the whole story. Creating value means improving performance in the core elements of value. Read more

Reader Response Placing welded wire

We were surprised at the letter from Mr. Leon Burch in your October issue suggesting that American contractors have trouble placing welded wire at the correct level in concrete. For over 15 years, New Zealand concrete layers have been using a simple plastic bar chair, available in various sizes, which allows the welded wire reinforcement to be placed one third down from the concrete slab surface. Read more

Hime & Erlin On Concrete ‘Analytics’ in Solving Problems—Truly Synergism in Action

Bill Hime reports that in the early 1950s, at the Research and Development Laboratories of the Portland Cement Association, the analytical chemists were separated from the petrographers, and each worked in near isolation. Read more

Decorative Concrete Decorative Concrete MIP Entries

How to get that wet look for your decorative concrete, create a beautiful tilt-up, find maintenance-free deck coating and more decorative concrete tips. Read more

High production stamping Decorative Concrete High production stamping

Recently, the city of Muskegon, Mich., decided to reclaim land that was once used to manufacture Sherman tanks during World War II. Its goal was to build a tourist area called Edison Landing, bordering on Muskegon Lake, which flows into Lake Michigan. This involved building Terrace Street, with a driving circle at the end as the entrance to the project. The original plan called for concrete unit pavers for the construction, but it was later changed to decorative stamped concrete. Read more

Concrete Basics Concrete Basics: Safety

The new Concrete Basics department will focus on the basic building blocks of concrete construction that everyone onsite needs to know. While there are many things important to concrete construction, such as quality work and making a profit, safety must always be the No. 1 priority. For that reason, we are starting with safety to emphasize its importance as critical to a successful project. Read more

World's Most Extensive Concrete Bridge Repairs Products Solving Problems World's Most Extensive Concrete Bridge Repairs

The use of brackish water in the original concrete mix has led to extensive and complex concrete repairs to Sweden's combined Svinö and Öland Bridge. Read more

Products Solving Problems Father and Sons Install Fabric Formwork

Danny Epp and his two sons, Ryan and Brandon, recently formed and poured the footings for their new home in Tsawwassen, B.C., Canada, using the Fastfoot forming membrane. Read more

Taking the Big Box Stores to a New Aesthetic Level Products Solving Problems Taking the Big Box Stores to a New Aesthetic Level

Wal-Mart has specified Solomon Colors as a supplier for a custom liquid color for its integrally colored concrete flooring in new store installations around the country. Read more

Mast-Climbing Work Platforms Products Solving Problems Mast-Climbing Work Platforms

Kenosha, Wisconsin-based Riley Construction had several years ago purchased mast-climbing work platforms from Bracing Systems, Inc., for its masonry division. Read more

The Case of the Disappearing Diamond Products Solving Problems The Case of the Disappearing Diamond

When a new $800 diamond concrete cutting saw disappeared from a Kaikor Construction jobsite, then mysteriously reappeared 3 weeks later, not a single worker could (or would) own up to the loss. Read more

Problem Clinic Cutting a Prestressed Precast Floor

We are installing a lift in a church that has a prestressed, precast concrete elevated floor. Concern has been expressed about cutting an opening in the floor to install a lift. Can a precast hollow-core concrete floor be cut? Any instructions to make thi Read more

Problem Clinic Basement Wall Cracks

How much shrinkage and cracking is acceptable in a poured concrete basement wall? Our basement is below grade on three sides, with the fourth side about 14 feet above the ground. The walls have both vertical cracks and cracks on the diagonal. There is als Read more

Problem Clinic Standardized Tests for SCC

We are thinking about proposing the use of self-consolidating concrete on an upcoming project, but one challenge we face is coming up with acceptance criteria everybody feels comfortable with. What’s going on with the development of standardized tests for Read more

Scurto Cement Construction Contractor to Watch Scurto Cement Construction

I grew up in the industry. At 11 years old I began sorting the mail for another company, and from there I went into estimating, and educated myself along the way. Now my brother Dave, my cousin Sam, and I have our own family business. We work well together as a family. Read more

Other Articles
Product Update Place Your Bets

Every year Hanley Wood's Most Innovative Products contest gets better. Now in its third year, the contest again includes the Experts' Choice and Attendees' Choice awards, highlighting the products that save you time and money. Everyone at the World of Con Read more

Project of the Month Wonders of Africa, Evanston, Illinois

Just north of Chicago, the continent of Africa suddenly took form in a small Evanston playlot for tots. Renaissance Decorative Concrete of Libertyville, Ill., was called on to frame, place, stamp, sandblast, and color the 40×37-foot concrete map. Read more

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