NCMA | Masonry Industry Sets 2018 Codes and Standards Agenda

Masonry industry sets 2018 codes and standards agenda

Masonry Alliance

At its recent meeting, the Masonry Alliance for Codes and Standards (MACS) charted an aggressive list of objectives to tackle for industry-wide codes and standards efforts moving into 2018. Key among these goals is addressing the continued erosion of fire safety requirements in model building codes, many of which are expected to be brought forward to the International Building Code for potential incorporation. If successful, these changes would permit larger and taller buildings framed with combustible construction. 

For more information on MACS activities or the upcoming hearings to revise the International Codes, please contact Jason Thompson (

Columbia Products Made Easy



Happy holidays from NCMA

Happy Holidays

NCMA will be closed on Christmas,December 25th.
From all of us here at NCMA, we wish you and your family happy holidays! 

Impact of whirlwind legislative activity on concrete masonry industry?

Tax and Jobs Cut

The recent increase of legislative activity by Congress has big potential impacts for all individuals and corporations.  But what are those impacts for the concrete masonry industry?  Tax reform yielded some significant benefits for manufacturers – bonus depreciation, 21% C corps rates, increased Section 179 deductions, and more.  Family businesses also benefit from improvements to estate and gift tax provisions.  Read MORE about the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Meanwhile, NCMA is also monitoring opportunities associated with imminently expected appropriations legislation for federal spending in both short term and longer term continuing resolutions.  An emergency hurricane and wildfire disaster supplemental appropriation bill, HR4667, is expected to include language to incentivize more resilient construction that NCMA has supported from the Disaster Recovery Reform Act.  ReadMORE.  NCMA and partner organizations had originally hoped that tax reform would have included funding streams for infrastructure investment.  But, look for infrastructure and transportation funding to be considered next in 2019.  Read MORE. Meanwhile, moving legislation presents opportunities for a concrete masonry checkoff authorization. Stay tuned for more developments!

New ASU football coach Edwards opens ICON EXPO 2018 

ASU Coach

New ASU football coach Edwards opens ICON EXPO 2018 
Recently named the Arizona State football coach, Herman "Herm" Edwards will be 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. Click here to read Edwards’ complete bio. Make your plans today to attend ICON EXPO 2018 and come hear Edwards' inspiring words at the Featured Speaker Brunch. Registration is required.

U.S. Green Building Council adopts resilient building and design standard ‘RELi’
Perkins Will  

LEED Building

Global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will announced today that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has formally adopted RELi, the resilience consensus standard the firm helped to develop in 2012 with the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability. RELi is a prescriptive “roadmap” which is similar to the format of USGBC’s LEED rating system, that helps architects in classifying the the energy consumption and ratings of newly constructed buildings. Read more.

Alabama Pallets



Segmental retaining wall research
Concrete Masonry Designs


While the concept behind Segmental Retaining Walls (SRWs) is nothing new, in fact, gravity walls have been in existence for over 4,000 years, SRWs reflect decades of advancement with the use of manufactured concrete units and geosynthetic soil reinforcement. The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) and its membership have been leaders in developing, researching and promoting SRWs. Begun in North America SRWs are now manufactured and installed all around the world. Read more.


OSHA rule requiring electronic reporting of injuries goes into effect
Insurance Journal

OSHA Image

A new federal rule requiring certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness reports went into effect on December 15, 2017. These businesses are already required to keep records at each of their locations but now these reports must be filed electronically with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) via a new online injury tracking application on a new website.Read more.




U.S. economy ‘performing well’ as Federal Reserve hikes rates 
The Washington Post 

US economy is doing fine article

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it expects faster growth and lower unemployment next year as the U.S. economy strengthens and Congress is likely to enact sweeping tax cuts for businesses and most families. Unemployment has fallen to the lowest level since 2000, growth is picking up, and inflation remains tame. The Federal Reserve has also bumped up its expectations for growth this year and next, 2.5% up from 2.1% for 2018. Read more.

Kraft Holiday Xmas



Oldcastle APG/Jewell plans to open a new plant in Burnet, Texas
Concrete Products

Jewell Oldcastle

Jewell, which is owned by Oldcastle, anticipates start up by year's end of a Burnet, Texas, packaging plant for concrete or mortar mixes and companion materials. The Burnet plant represents Oldcastle's goal to grow and supply the markets of the sectors throughout the region. The new plant will serve the central Texas markets, the 23,000-sq.-ft. facility is located on 15 acres, complete with quarry. It will be run in conjunction with several other Jewell facilities in the area, Hurst, Katy, Rosenberg and Waco, Texas. Read More.


Five questions with Randy Springer of Krete

Featured Member Randy Springer

Name: Randy Springer
Title: Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Company: Krete
City/town where you work: Vancouver, BC

How did you get into the industry?
Krete is a family business, so I’ve been familiar with chemicals and concrete for most of my life. I started working production/administration part-time for Krete in 2010 while going to Purdue University. I started full-time after graduating in 2014.

What is your favorite part of your job? 
I love having the opportunity to help people solve problems. Interacting with companies all over the world shows how different materials, processes, parameters, and obstacles can affect concrete. This means my position is always incredibly dynamic, which is very rewarding to me.

What is the best advice you ever got (work or personal)? “Maximum Effort!” - Deadpool

What do you do when you are not at work? I enjoy hiking/backcountry camping, reading, and snowboarding.

Favorite Movie? Forest Gump, 100% classic right there.


New producer member Yavapai Block Company

New Member Logo

Yavapai Block Company has been in the Smith family since 1966. Located in the north central part of Arizona at an elevation of 5,200 feet. We manufacture regular gray CMU, architectural CMU, fence CMU, pavers, and Versa-Lok retaining wall systems. We are also the largest underground pre-cast concrete manufacturer in Northern Arizona. We have many years of past NCMA membership and are happy to be re-joining NCMA now.


NCMA’s engineers respond to over 5000 technical question through calls and email each year. We offer free technical information through our staff of qualified engineers and are here to support you and your clients five days a week as issues arise. 

Solutions Center


Do I have to use flashing in a masonry assembly?

Solutions Center Logo

Yes. Flashing plays an important role in preventing moisture infiltration within a masonry assembly that can lead to leaks and essentially cause water damage. The type of flashing used varies depending upon exposure conditions, opening types, locations and wall types. For more information on flashing details see TEK 19-5A “Flashing Details For Concrete Masonry Walls”.




Are you attending World of Concrete next month? NCMA is hosting a dinner on Tuesday, January 23 at 7:30 pm and we hope you can join us. If you can attend please RSVP to Carrington Blencowe at

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

Mark Mitchell "The Wizard" to be the featured speaker at MaSS conference

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell, a sales and marketing consultant to the building materials industry, will be headlining the Masonry System Selling Conference (MaSS) in Indianapolis February 8-10, 2018. The conference is co-located with ICON EXPO 2018. Mark works with building materials companies to identify critical relationship building strategies to expand sales efforts. In addition to the book Building Materials Channel Marketing, Mark also writes numerous articles on building materials marketing. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Mark’s ideas for masonry system selling. In the meantime, you can find his most read articles of 2017 here. 

Boot Camp for production personnel at ICON EXPO 2018 

ICON Expo boot camp

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.

Something for everyone at ICON EXPO 2018

ICON Expo Logo

Education, demonstrations, networking and more....all will be happening at the ICON EXPO 2018: Machinery & Equipment Show, February 9-10, 2018, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Now is the time to start making your plans for this inaugural show dedicated to the manufactured concrete masonry and hardscape industry. The ICON EXPO 2018 brochure highlights the programs and events taking place during ICON EXPO 2018 and the NCMA Annual ConventionFebruary 6-8, 2018. Click here for a complete schedule of meetings and programs taking place during the week. Reserve your exhibit space and/or register to attend, if you have not done so already. Call us at (703) 713-1900 for more information. We can't wait to see you in Indy!

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