Although most of the recent media coverage is focused on the negative trends in the housing market, there is one residential industry segment that the long-term economic outlook favors: concrete.

Despite all the recent reports of doom and gloom in the housing market, Ed Sullivan, chief economist for the Portland Cement Association, saw the concrete industry poised for profit at the International Builders' Show “Connect With Concrete” Luncheon this past February.

More than 200 guests interested in exploring residential concrete options dined during this first-ever lunch provided by the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Concrete Home Building Council (CHBC), the premier resource for the cement-based building materials industry for residential, light commercial, and multifamily construction.

Attendees listened as Sullivan projected a significant percentage gain in concrete housing starts in 2010. He added that the basic green advantages of concrete contribute to the growth of the industry.

So what does this mean for builders, realtors, and others in the industry? Diversify your business by incorporating and learning about one of the fastest-growing sectors in the housing industry. Concrete offers cost-effective solutions while being efficient, versatile, and environmentally friendly.

The 2008 NAHB's annual Concrete Technologies Tour in Charlotte, N.C., June 1–3 is just the place to start.

This one-of-a-kind tour helps attendees understand the differences in concrete production and building trends, while developing a working knowledge of various types of cement-based materials and implementing these current trends into their own business.

The behind-the-scenes event features tours of cement-based manufacturing facilities, such as 2008 tour stops Cemex and Superior Walls, while demonstrating the various building materials. Not to mention that attendees participate in the numerous networking opportunities at the tour Welcome Reception, golf tournament, and banquet dinner.

All walks of the building industry have been found at past tours including builders, realtors, new home sales and marketing professionals, architects, designers, multifamily builders and developers, building materials suppliers and consultants, and associates to the home building industry including banks and mortgage brokers.

So if you're in the residential industry, the 2008 Concrete Technology Tour is the place to be.

As Gary and Jan Sotebeer, participants in the 2007 Concrete Technology Tour in Minneapolis, enthusiastically stated, “Everything about this [concrete] home is so superior that I simply can't say enough about it,” Sotebeer, an advertising and marketing executive told the group. “If you build these kinds of homes, you are sitting on a gold mine.”

2008 Concrete Technologies Tour

June 1–3, 2008

Hilton Charlotte University Place, Charlotte, N.C.


Kate Driscoll is Senior Program Manager, Concrete Home Building Council, National Association of Home Builders