NCMA News | July 27, 2017

Massive fire in Boston causes damages
The Boston Globe
Fire Story Image
Last week another devastating fire occurred at a Boston apartment complex, resulting in the collapse of five buildings under construction that did not have sprinkler systems in place. One of the recurring themes with these “mega” fires is the lack of prevention systems in place and the use of combustible building materials, all resulting in costing billions of dollars in damages and putting firefighters lives at risk. Read more

London fire spotlight on fire prevention, protection and education
Building Design + Construction
It has been a month since news of the tragic Grenfell Tower Fire in London shook the entire world.  While the investigation is still underway, many experts have been weighing in on how a tragedy of this magnitude could have happened, and how it can be prevented – especially since our knowledge of building materials and fire safety in general has advanced in leaps and bounds compared to 50 or 60 years ago. Read more.

SRW Best Practices: Ensuring success 
Concrete Masonry Designs
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For more than 30 years, segmental retaining walls (SRWs) have been a first-rate choice for a variety of projects because they are aesthetically pleasing, durable, flexible and structurally sound. Since their introduction in the early 1980s, the specifications, design, construction and inspection of SRW systems has evolved, creating new and improved practices to install these systems successfully. This article summarizes the recommendations from the NCMA's SRW Best Practice Guide to ensure walls are properly installed. Read more.

PCMA educating on OSHA silica compliance

With the enforcement of the new OSHA Silica Rule now beginning on September 23, 2017, some additional learning opportunities are available for masons and hardscape installers. The Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association (PCMA) is holding a two-hour seminar on August 15 to help companies understand OSHA’s new Silica Standard for Construction and the steps to take to put a plan of action in place. Read more about PCMA's program here. The Mason Contractors Association of America is also offering a variety of courses pertaining to the new standard. Click here to see these dates and seminars.

Direct Design Handbook public comment period
The Masonry Society

The Masonry Society's (TMS) Design Practices Committee has incorporated numerous revisions to the Direct Design Handbook for Masonry Structures (TMS 403) from its previous version published in 2013. As part of the review and approval process, TMS 403 is provided for public review and comment. To view the draft standard and to submit comments, click here. Comments may be submitted until September 10, 2017 using the form at the link above.

Masonry solutions are key when it comes to building more homes

Masonry solutions in new housing already contribute to over 80% of the housing market in the United Kingdom (as evidenced by National House Building Council (NHBC) statistics). Output has been increased in recent years to meet the hike in demand, and new capacity is already in place to maintain and increase it to help meet the government’s aspiration of a million new homes by 2020. Read more

OSHA programs application for Form 300A data submission
Concrete Products 
OSHA plans an August 1 launch for the Injury Tracking Application (ITA), a web-based form allowing employers to electronically submit injury and illness data from their 2016 Form 300A. The agency published a notice of proposed rulemaking in June to extend the data submission deadline to December 2017 to afford affected entities sufficient time to familiarize the electronic reporting system, and the Trump Administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements. Read more.

New construction starts climb 4% in June
For Construction Pro Image
New construction starts in June grew 4% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $679.9 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Nonresidential building increased 13% in June, strengthening after two months of lackluster activity, and the nonbuilding construction sector rose 8% with the help of elevated activity for electric utilities. However, residential building slipped 4% in June, as both sides of the housing market (single family and multifamily) retreated. Read more.

NCMA is celebrating its 100-Year Anniversary in 2018. See how the industry started in 1918 and be a part of the celebration.  Click here to see what all the excitement is about! 

Self-consolidating grout for concrete masonry
 Solution Center Image
Is self-consolidating grout poured in grout lifts? Assuming the constructed masonry has cured for a minimum of four hours, self-consolidating grout can be placed to the full pour height. For further discussion on self-consolidating grout, refer to TEK 9-2B.
NCMA Midyear Meeting highlights, companion events & more
NCMA Registration Imgage
Don't forget to register for the 2017 NCMA Midyear Meeting, being held August 21-24 in Toronto, Canada.  A complete list of meeting highlights and spouse/companion events are available on the website. There are also a few opportunities left to highlight your company with sponsorships to fit every budget during this exciting industry event. Click here to find complete details on sponsorship and marketing opportunities for the NCMA Midyear Meeting.

Exhibit at ICON EXPO 2018: Machinery & Equipment Show
NCMA Registration Imgage
Expand your business, showcase your company’s products and services in live demonstrations and network at ICON EXPO 2018, February 9-10, 2018 at the Indiana Convention Center. Give your company the opportunity to meet with the buyers looking for manufactured concrete masonry and hardscape products, services and equipment, and announce your company's latest offerings and product innovations. For more information click here.