BIM and me

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is gaining a toehold across the construction industry, and concrete construction is no different. To keep up, you might find The BIM Blog interesting ( This British blog is fun and you’ll find that building design and construction is international these days. We will be reporting on how BIM is being used in the field in our October issue. Accurate as-built “drawings,” actually the BIM itself, is something you’re going to have to start providing to owners soon.

Davis Turner  

Instant integration

Over the past decade or so, large companies in the ready-mixed concrete industry have purchased many small producers while also seeing an increasing demand for more sustainable and higher performing mixes. These large producers have found themselves with incompatible data from their many new plants while trying to make more data-driven decisions. Beverly Hills, Calif.-based iCrete developed software that allows producers to make this transition—getting consistent and reliable data from all of their plants, regardless of the batch control software being used. “The industry is increasingly dominated by larger producers with fragmented operations and legacy systems built through acquisition,” says Bernie Benson, CEO of iCrete. “iCrete’s industry-specific solutions allow producers to meet their goals and objectives affordably, securely, and with minimal disruption to operations.”

QR codes

You’ve probably started seeing these little choppy squares on advertisements that say something like, “Scan here for a video.” Microsoft also makes a version of this called Mobi Tags. Basically these graphics are two-dimensional bar codes. To use it, first download a bar code reader to your smart phone and scan the QR code. Then the program will take you to a website. QR codes can be used to take you to locations for submittals, BIMs, or product information. It takes a little practice to get the scan right, but it’s simpler than keying in a long URL. For more information, check out a primer on (

App of the Month

Pavement Joint Noise Estimator

Smartphones and their apps are changing our lives and how we conduct business in the concrete construction industry. Apps eliminate the need for writing utensils, documents, reference manuals, and calculators on the jobsite; saving time and money. Many apps are compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, as well as the Android platform, with a number becoming available for Blackberry devices. This month, we review the American Concrete Pavement Association’s Pavement Joint zoise Estimator, $4.99. This iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad compatible app helps you quickly determine pavement characteristics and the tire-pavement noise level. Simply enter data about the joint spacing (interval), width and depth, vehicle speed, and average noise-level associated with one of five pavement texturing methods. The app displays three outputs: the increase in tire-pavement noise due to joint configuration; the total tire-pavement noise level; and the total tire-pavement noise from 50 feet away.

Lindsay Woodward