Manufactured stone veneer provides nearly 100% return on investment


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January 25, 2018





Manufactured stone veneer provides nearly 100% return on investment 
Remodeling Magazine 


The addition of manufactured stone veneer to a home returns 97.1% of the cost in additional value, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Study. This puts MSV as the #2 most valuable project in the study. The Cost vs. Value study looks at the costs of various home remodeling projects, and compares the costs to the increase in value of the home. In addition to being ranked second overall, MSV was valued at over 100% on return in investment in 44 of the 100 local areas studied. Manufactured stone has ranked near the top for the past four years, showing that adding MSV to your home continues to be a very worthwhile investment. You can find more information here.

Columbia Products



ICON EXPO 2018: Live demonstrations on show floor

During ICON EXPO 2018 show hours, February 9-10, attendees and exhibitors will have the opportunity to see and learn about technologies, products and best practices for the construction industry.

  • MULE - Material Unit Lift Enhancer for Masonry Block
  • WS 2.10 wear liners
  • Machine Visualization on HoloLens
  • Alternative Methods to Lock Out
  • Confined Spaces
  • Update on the Walking/Working Surfaces & Fall Protection

Click here to learn about each of these demonstrations. In addition, the Product Development & Creative Concepts Forum will also be taking place on the show floor, Saturday, February 10 from 4 - 5:30 PM. Make your plans to participate and register today. 

Agendas for 2018 NCMA Annual Convention now available

Agendas for all of NCMA’s Committees that will meet at the 2018 Annual Convention are now available to download. Click here to log into you NCMA account and view agendas now. We look forward to seeing everyone in Indianapolis. 

Second Northeast Hardscape Expo registration is now open

CM northeast hardscape show

Registration is now open for the second annual Northeast Hardscape Expo organized by The New England Concrete Manufacturer Association. The Expo will be held March 14 and 15, 2018 in the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. Education, seminars and demonstrations will take place during the show hours. For more information

SMART|dynamics of Masonry v3.4 has launched!
Smart Dynamics of Masonry

Smart Dynamics

The latest issue of SMART|Dynamics of Masonry has been released. This issue highlights energy and social responsibility, and how the masonry industry is innovating to meet the evolving needs of the marketplace. Stories include changes to ASTM standards and how they impact markets, the carbon calculator developed by Canadian concrete masonry producers, and advances in masonry technology for workforce and designers. Read the latest issue online here.

The new robotics technology set to change the industry

Particle Article

Fastbrick Robotics is responding to the increased demand for housing and a shortage in skilled construction labor with a bricklaying robot. The gigantic robot Hadrian X, equipped with specialized technology, can lay a residential house from the ground up, on site, in 2 days. It’s the first end-to-end construction robot in the world, and Fastbrick CEO Mike Pivac is confident it will revolutionize the industry. Read more.

Cement & Concrete Industry Webinar: Infrastructure State of the Union

TMS Story

The North American Concrete Alliance (NACA)'s hosting for a webinar entitled “Cement & Concrete Industry: Infrastructure State of the Union” on Tuesday, February 13th, starting at 11:00AM EST. This webinar will serve as an overview of the current status of infrastructure, what NACA is working on, and how to get involved. To register please clickHERE. 

If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please feel free to contact PCA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Rachel Derby, at 202-679-8223

New lease of life for iconic spiral-shaped Frank Lloyd Wright house
New Atlas  

Wright House

An experimental spiral-shaped house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950 for his son and daughter-in-law can be found in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix, AZ. The iconic home is constructed out of naturally colored concrete block, wood-framed windows and painted, galvanized metal for the roof are the home's main building materials that remain today. In 2012, the house went under a full restoration to restore it to its former glory. Read more.




Outdoor cooking — simple, yet stylish
Concrete Masonry Designs

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor cooking areas have been one of the hottest trends in residential landscape design, thanks in no small part to the versatility of segmental retaining wall systems (SRWs). They can range from a modest firepit to a full-blown outdoor kitchen that will rival the most lavish indoor cooking areas, replete with stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops and fully plumbed sinks. Read more.

Plastic Components


Perfect for rustproofing stone veneer and stucco installations, 1/4" self-furred Ultra-Lath Plus® plastic lath is safer, easier to use than metal. It lowers installed costs, meets ASTM C1764, C1780, C1787, C1788 - and passes the multi-story fire test (NFPA 285). Available in sheets, rolls, strips – it’s unaffected by moisture/chemicals.


OSHA financial penalties have gone up again


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) penalty structure has increased 2% as of January 2nd of this year. OSHA penalties have gone up 85% since 2016. According to OSHA, civil penalties are used as a tool to influence behavior of “bad employers”. This latest increase was authorized by Congress in 2016 so penalties keep pace with the Consumer Price Index.  Read more.


Trump's economic scorecard: One year since inauguration


Since becoming President last year Trump’s economy has seen the stock market boom, GDP growth improvement and unemployment is at a 17-year low. President Trump also inherited an economy that was on a good trajectory with solid job growth and low unemployment. The biggest economic questions going forward are how much growth will tax reform generate, and what will Trump do with various trade agreements such as NAFTA? Read more.


NCMA is celebrating our 100-Year Anniversary in 2018. Take a trip down memory lane to see more about the rich history of NCMA.

Staff On the Go...

NCMA President Bob Thomas, Vice President of Business Development Nick Lang, and Manager of Membership Development Carrington Blencowe are in Las Vegas for World of Concrete.

Solutions Center


What is the difference between R-values and U-factors?

Solutions Center Logo

R-value is the thermal resistance of a material such as masonry, and the U-factor is the thermal transmittance value of masonry and other material. Both values are used to estimate heat flow under steady state conditions, and in conjunction with other factors (thermal mass, climate, etc.), is used to determine the thermal performance of a building envelope. For more information on R-value and U-factors see TEK 6-2C R-values and U-factors of Single Wythe Concrete Masonry Walls.



Herm Edwards opens ICON EXPO 2018  


Make your plans today to hear the new Arizona State Football Coach, Herman "Herm" Edwards. Ewards is the keynote speaker at the opening brunch of the ICON EXPO 2018: Machinery and Equipment Show on February 9, 2018, at 9:00 AM at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Edwards’ experience as an ESPN analyst and NFL coach will motivate and energize the audience about building relationships and striving for goals. Make your plans today to attend ICON EXPO 2018 and come hear Edwards' inspiring words at the Featured Speaker Brunch. Registration is required.

NCMA Annual Convention Spouse/Companion Program


NCMA has designed a program just for spouses! We can't wait to see you Indianapolis for the NCMA Annual Convention and the ICON EXPO: Machinery & Equipment Show, February 6-10. Your Spouse/Companion Registrationpackage includes the following events and so much more....

  • Welcome to Indianapolis Breakfast and Book Talk - Wednesday, February 7 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am Start your day by joining other registered spouses/companions for breakfast and a book talk about Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow.
  • Indianapolis Arts Center - Wednesday, February 7 | 12:15 pm – 4:00 pm Join spouses and companions in one of two hands-on demonstrations. You will create your very own glass-blowing or ceramics work of art.
  • Optional Spouse/Companion Tour — Restaurant Tastings and Musical Experience - Thursday, February 8 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Excite your senses with an afternoon of restaurant tastings combined with a unique experience at Indy’s original Rhythm Discovery Center. $115 per person/register online.

Check out all the exciting events taking place at ICON EXPO 2018 at or view the ICON EXPO 2018 Brochure. If you have any questions please call us at (703)713-1900.

Boot Camp for production personnel at ICON EXPO 2018 


  • Bring your production team to ICON EXPO 2018 for the the annual Boot Camp developed for production personnel. Boot Camp for Production Personnel will be held on Friday, February 9, 2018, 7:00 am - 5:00 pm, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Boot Camp will present information to increase employees' production and sales knowledge, consisting of three sessions.
  • Overview of the industry
  • Overview of information to produce a high quality product, with topics including density; unit dimensions; batching and proper mix sequence.
  • Safety-related training sessions covering Alternative Methods to Lock Out Tag Out, Confined Space Rules and an update on the OSHA Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards. These sessions will take place in the Demonstration Area on the ICON EXPO show floor. Click here to see more and to register for this course. Clickhere for more information.

New premier education event at ICON EXPO 2018

MaSS logo

The Masonry System Selling Education Conference (MaSS) is a premier event designed to bring together experienced masonry sales personnel and regional promotional executives and to furnish essential tools to promote and sell concrete masonry as a system. A combination of inspirational general sessions featuring building product business analyst and strategist Mark Mitchell, targeted breakouts on competing building systems and networking opportunities will foster shared marketing and promotion insights to help reframe your team’s strategy . The conference, scheduled February 8-10, 2018 is being held during ICON EXPO 2018 in Indianapolis, IN. Conference includes access to the tradeshow at no additional charge. For more information or to register click