Benjamin Franklin once said, "Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn." There have been lots of  lessons for the concrete industry in 2014 and we've tried to absorb them all. Here's a look at some of the things the year has taught us.

1. The use of concrete goes back to ancient times, and this old dog CAN learn some new tricks. From 3D printing and countless research projects on sustainable concrete to increasing use of mobile technology, the industry is definitely still changing. What will it look like a year from now?

2. Safety is still most important. While, compare with 2013, U.S. Bureau of Labor data shows a decrease in the overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work to recuperate (per 10,000 full-time worker), falls remain the No. 1 danger.

3. Great work can still impress. Here's a look at some of the project highlights from this year.

4. Big business is a relative term. In 2014 we saw U.S. Concrete announce several acquisitions, the most recent being the ready-mixed concrete assets and property of Diamond Concrete, Inc. on Staten Island, N.Y., and the merger of Lafarge and Holcim, which was made public in April.

5. There are larger forces at play. Concrete is one of the most ubiquitous materials on earth, but even the strongest concrete is not immune to global factors such as climate change.