CM | eNews | March 1, 2018

Bill would kill Sandy Springs wood-frame apartments restriction
Reporter News

Apartment Fire

In 2016, the city council of Georgia’s Sandy Springs adopted a new building code requiring new apartment buildings over three stories tall or over 100,000 square feet to be constructed with steel or masonry rather than wood. This change to the original law was due to safety concerns from the mayor, city officials and residents over the rising number of “cheap” apartment buildings being constructed in Sandy Springs. Georgia House Bill 876, however, is looking to roll back the previously enacted regulations on wood. This new bill would remove locally enacted restrictions, allowing developers to construct new apartment buildings using wood. Read more.

Columbia Products



NCMA Annual Convention and ICON EXPO 2018: Machinery and Equipment Show photos


Did you miss any events from NCMA’s Annual Convention and ICON EXPO 2018? Don’t worry! We have uploaded a sampling of pictures onto our Flickr page. More photos to come next week! Click here to view the Annual Convention photos. Click here to view the photos from ICON EXPO 2018: Machinery and Equipment Show.

Tawresey named Distinguished Member of American Society of Civil Engineers
Bainbridge Island Review 

John T

John G. Tawresey of Bainbridge Island, WA was recently named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. John’s career in the masonry industry spans over 35 years as the CFO at KPFF Consulting Engineers. John Tawresey was one of the key drivers in the formation of The Masonry Society in the late 1970’s. Over the course of his career, John has served in many positions and committees at TMS, and has received their President’s Award and the Haller Award twice. Read more.

Breeze blocks are the best new thing to happen to interiors

Breeze Blocks

Popular in construction across the U.S. in the 1950’s and 1960’s, breeze blocks were incorporated into the design of mid-century structures. Today breeze blocks are making a comeback and are being used to build partition walls in homes due to their low cost, high quality, use of recycled materials and energy savings. See how these retro concrete blocks can be used in your next project. Read more.

Architecture Billings Index continues growth in 2018
For Construction Pros

Arch firms index

The beginning of 2018 started out strong for architecture firms, as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) recorded its highest January index score since 2007. The American Institute of Architects reported the January ABI score was 54.7, up from 52.8 the previous month. This reflects an increase in design services by U.S. architecture firms. Readmore.

Anchor Bolt Design Webinar


Join The Masonry Society on Thursday, March 8 (1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST) as Richard Bennett and Luke Scoggins discuss major changes to the anchor bolt design provisions in the 2016 edition of TMS 402. This webinar will also address changes in ASCE 7-16 related to a reduction in the required load increase for some seismic applications. The webinar will review general anchor bolt design, will provide practical design tips, and show examples of anchor bolt design. Click here to register. Registration closes Tuesday, March 6th. 

Albama Pallets


Erosion control and stormwater management with ACBs
Concrete Masonry Designs

Concrete Masonry Designs

With urban areas expanding, the severity of heavy rainfalls increasing, changing climates causing flooding and polluting waterways, erosion control of stormwater is a pressing concern. Runoff from heavy rains can cause severe erosion, site disruption and infrastructure damage, and also threaten the environment. Read more.

Plastic Components


Stone Veneer Trims in BROWN

Plastic Components manufactures WHITE, GRAY, TAN and DARK BROWN foundation sill screeds, casing beads, drip edges in 10 ft lengths for stone veneer applications.

No more painting with these trims! They conform to ASTM standards D1784, C1063 and D4216. And the molded in colorant eliminates chipping, loss ofcolor.


U.S. budget deficit to top $1 trillion in 2019: budget experts

US Government Affairs

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget stated that the Federal deficit will rise in 2019 to $1.12 trillion. This will be the first time since 2012 the U.S. economy will be supporting a deficit so high. The Committee also noted that a delayed implementation of some healthcare taxes further reduced the government’s projected tax revenues. If Congress fails to address these large budget deficits, they could double to $2 trillion by 2027. Read more.


Home prices surge 6.3% in December amid critical housing shortage


U.S. home prices increased 6.3 percent when compared to data from December 2016. The index measured the nation's 20 largest metropolitan markets and rose 6.3 percent year over year, a slight decline from the 6.4 percent annual gain in November. This data signals a boom in home prices and values. Inventory in the market continues to be limited for new homeowners looking to buy in the top 20 real estate locations. Read more.


Taking a look back on 100 years

100 Years

Exactly 100 years ago this Tuesday, a small group of industry leaders met in Chicago vowing to improve the quality of early concrete products. On March 6, 1918, the formally established the ‘Concrete Products Association’, what we consider the direct ancestor to NCMA. Click here to learn more. Don't forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel! View all the videos here


Staff On the Go

Nick Lang, VP of Business Development is at Penn State University today for the PHRC conference. Carrington Blencowe, Manager of Membership will travel to Salisbury, NC for the YPG workshop on Tuesday March 6 and 7. Brian Roye, Structural Engineering Projects Manager is is traveling to San Francisco for the ASCE 7 Seismic Subcommittee meeting March 1 and 2. 


Ryan Shaver joins North Carolina Mason Contractors Association
North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association

Johns Face

The North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association has hired Ryan Shaver to fill the newly created position of Workforce Development & Training Coordinator. Ryan was a national masonry champion in high school, a successful journeyman mason and later managed his own masonry company. Most recently, Ryan worked with Johnson Concrete Products/Carolina Stalite. In his new role, Ryan will serve as an ombudsman for masonry training, especially within public education. Read the full media release here. 

Solutions Center


Does the density of CMU affect the properties of a CMU assembly?

Solutions Center Logo

Yes. The density of CMU can affect some of the properties of CMU assemblies such as sound, energy efficiency, and fire resistance. It can also have impact on productivity and the design of CMU assemblies. Strength and structural capacity of CMU and assemblies are not dependent on density. For more information on the density of CMU and its impact, seeTEK 2-6 Density-Related Properties of Concrete Masonry Assemblies.



Last chance to register for YPG Workshop

YPG Logo

The NCMA YPG workshop will include a day and half of networking with your peers March 6 and 7, 2018. Learn more about NCMA, the industry, and where we see it headed in the future. The workshop will include a lightweight aggregate plant tour, a panel discussion with NCMA YPG’s about their involvement with NCMA, and guest speaker Karen Shearer Dunn who will discuss cross generational communication in the workplace. There is still time to register! Find out more details here. Register today

Basic Block and Hardscape Products Sales Course March 21-22 Chicago, IL

Classroom Picture

NCMA’s popular Basic Block and Hardscape Products Sales Course will be held March 21– 22, 2018 at the Aloft Chicago O’Hare Hotel, Rosemont, IL. The course is designed for sales professionals who have been in the concrete masonry industry for less than three years. The curriculum will focus on relationship building as well as technical information and marketing strategies vital to advancing students’ knowledge of the concrete masonry and hardscape markets. Click herefor course flyer. Click here for the course syllabus. Tuition is $575 for NCMA members/$975 for non-member participants. Discounts available for three or more registrants from the same company (Discount for NCMA members only). For more information please contact Clare Ramminger, Director, Programs and Member Services Email: Phone:(703) 713-1900.

Wizard Block-Making machine being auctioned at NCMA Midyear Meeting 

Concrete Block

In celebration of NCMA’s 100-Year Anniversary celebration, the association is auctioning off a bit of history. A Wizard Block-Making machine, generously donated by the International Masonry Institute, will go to the highest bidder during the NCMA Midyear Meeting being held July 29 – August 3, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois. In the early 1900s, the Wizard retailed for $57.50 and was advertised to the general consumer, who “could save a lot of money on building a new home if he made his own blocks.“ Today, this machine is fully operational and priceless! More details about the auction to come. 

Enter now for 2017 NCMA/ICPI Safety Awards Program

Construction Workers

The online form for submitting NCMA/ICPI Safety Awards entries is now open. This program recognizes safety-conscious association members. There is no cost for entry! (Winners have the choice to purchase plaques to commemorate their achievements.) Click here for more information on the program. Click here to go directly to the entry form.  Enter right away – online submission closes March 7, 2018.