National Concrete Masonry Association | February 2016

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February 11, 2016 

Congressional briefing focuses on resilient construction
NCMA, Portland Cement Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association cohosted a congressional briefing, "Mitigating the Rising Costs of Natural Disasters" on February 9, with Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Industry representatives, including reps from Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), and a FORTIFIED Home™ builder madepresentations about the importance of resilience construction to a number of representatives of elected Senate and House members and the role that the federal government could play in ensuring that communities are in a better position to rebound from the devastating impacts of a natural disaster.

Newsome awarded C. Dewitt Brown Leadman Award
Charles Newsome of Carolina Stalite Company in Salisbury, NC, was awarded Mason Contractors Association of America's C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award for providing exemplary leadership in advancing the masonry industry.  Newsome was presented with the award at the MCAA Annual Meeting during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/ World of Masonry in Las Vegas on Thursday, February 4, 2016. MCAA Chairman Mark Kemp presented the award saying, “Charles truly embodies, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’ It is my honor and pleasure to present the C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award to Charles Newsome.” Read more.

Martinez named 2016 Fastest Trowel for speed and craftsmanship
Jose Martinez of Stone Cold Masonry in Phoenix, AZ, won first place in MCAA's annual Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, held February 3, 2016, during their convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas.  Each mason built a wall in twenty minutes to see who would win the $8,000 grand prize. With 116 blocks installed, Martinez's wall was judged on not only speed, but craftsmanship and use of normal masonry practices and hand tools. Read more.

KMIC conference seminars for architects and engineers
Kansas Masonry Industries Council
Kansas Masonry Industries Council will present a seminar for architects and engineers on “Masonry - The Next Frontier,” Thursday, February 18, 2016, at JCCC Regnier Center. Clickhere for more information.

NCMA welcomes Prestige Stone Products
Prestige Stone Products, LLC, established in 2006, has joined NCMA as a manufactured stone veneer producer member.  Prestige is currently Mennonite-owned and operated by an Amish workforce. The company values quality craftsmanship and enduring relationships. Prestige Stone produces innovative and character-laden stone profiles and unique colors in the manufactured stone veneer industry. Visit to learn more about Prestige Stone Products. 

You can find back issues of eNews on our website. Click on “About NCMA” and then “Recent Issues” under eNews. For more information contact Mahsheed Ferdowsyan.

US Construction to Grow 6.5% in 2016
Construction starts in the United States are expected to increase 6.5% and total more than $560 billion in the coming year, according to CMD’s latest quarterly forecast report. An overall recovering economy, including wage and employment growth, increased state and federal spending on infrastructure projects and an improved investment outlook in non-residential construction are contributing to the forecast. Read more.

Manufacturing sectors with the largest net employment gains
National Association of Manufactures
It is amazing how quickly the economic narrative changed on Friday morning with the release of new jobs numbers. There had been a steady drumbeat of bad news recently, particularly in light of global weaknesses and falling commodity prices. Then, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that manufacturing employment rose by a surprisingly strong 29,000 workers in January. It marks the fourth consecutive monthly job gain and the strongest since November 2014, when manufacturing demand and production were growing more robustly than seen today. Manufacturers have added 903,000 employees since the Great Recession, for a total of 12.36 million workers in the sector. Read more.

Firm business conditions show modest improvement to end 2015
The American Institute of Architects
Business conditions at architecture firms ended 2015 on a positive note, with architecture firm billings returning to positive territory after a brief lull in November. The December AIA Architecture Billing Index (ABI) score of 50.9 indicates modest improvement in business conditions at architecture firms (any score over 50 indicates billings growth). Inquiries into new work remained strong as well. And while firms continued to report an increase in the value of new design contracts, the share of firms reporting an increase declined slightly from November. Firms also reported that their backlog of projects averaged about 5.6 months, the same as when we last asked the question at the end of the third quarter of 2015 and the highest they have been since we started collecting this information on a quarterly basis in 2011. Read more.

Featured Plants and Virtual Tours during the 2016 ICON-Xchange 
The ever-popular Virtual Plant Tour will take place Thursday, February 25, 4:00 – 6:00 pm during the 2016 ICON-Xchange at the Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, FL. This year’s Virtual Tour features four concrete masonry and paver production facilities including the Pfenning Rekers plant located in Lamportsheim, Germany; Phoenix Paver in Phoenix, AZ; Revels Brick & Block in Houston, TX; and the R.I. Lampus Company in Springdale, PA. Enjoy a beer or glass of wine and some refreshments and don’t miss out on the prize drawings, a new feature this year for producers attending the tour. You must be present to win.

Prizes include:

NCMA committee agendas are available online
The NCMA Annual Convention features active committee meetings where progress on association-sponsored programs will be reviewed. It is also an opportunity for new programs and initiatives to be discussed and to establish the best ways that NCMA can support its members and increase market share. Limited copies of committee agendas and attachments will be available onsite, in the registration area prior to the meetings and at each committee meeting. For those attendees who would like to review meeting information prior to the meetings, please use NCMA's online resources. Committee documents are posted on the NCMA website. Click here to access member login.

Get the 2016 ICON-Xchange mobile app!
Get all the meetings and events at your fingertips, including schedules, room locations and maps.  Click here to learn how to download the ICON-Xchangeand NCMA Annual Meeting Mobile App. The ICON-Xchange redemption code is v99jalbq.

Registration open for the 2016 NCMA Annual Convention!
General registration is open for the National Concrete Masonry Association’s Annual Convention taking place February 26-28, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the ICON-Xchange B2B Forum. Register by February 1st to receive substantial registration discounts. ICON-Xchange brings the focus back to the concrete hardscape and masonry community. MEET with current colleagues and associates as well as make new contacts. CONNECT in a new setting; attendees get immersed in the offerings of ICON-Xchange. LEARN what is new in the industry, best practices and how to utilize available resources. Join us for this powerful industry event!

For more information on the NCMA Annual Convention and ICON-Xchange, visit the website. For a detailed schedule of events, click here.

The official hotel for the ICON-Xchange and NCMA Annual Convention is the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort located just off Universal Boulevard, east of the Orange County Convention Center North/South expansion and just 10 minutes away from the Orlando International Airport. The ICON-Xchange group rate is $189. Space is limited so reserving rooms early is recommended. Reservations can be made by calling 866-996-6338.

Solution Center Spotlight:  FAQ 24-15 

Do manufactured concrete products sequester CO2?  Yes, but the amount will vary. See FAQ 24-15Do Manufactured Concrete Products Sequester CO2 ? for more information.

Visit the NCMA Solutions Center to have all your manufactured concrete masonry and hardscape product questions answered.



Featured NCMA member:  Mutual Materials

Mutual Materials is family-owned, dating back to 1900 when it was founded as Builders Mutual Materials following the Great Seattle Fire. Today, Mutual Materials is the largest provider of masonry and hardscape products in the Pacific Northwest. Recognized bySeattle Business magazine as a top-run family business in Washington, Mutual Materials' products are used to build beauty that lasts through community buildings, businesses, family homes, public landscapes and private outdoor living areas.

Circa early 1990s, Mutual Materials founder Daniel Houlahan.


February 2016

16 - 17
Allan Block University – Dealer
Bloomington, Minnesota/Allan Block Offices

24 – 25
ICON-Exchange B2B
Orlando, Florida/Shingle Creek Resort

26 - 28
NCMA Annual Convention
Orlando, Florida/Shingle Creek Resort

View all Industry Events here.

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ENews Editor: Randi Hertzberg | Email | (703) 713-1900 
Advertising Contact: Janis Mason | Email | (847) 234-6402
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