Survey data shows construction activity returning to pre-coronavirus levels

The National Concrete Masonry Association's Weekly eNews
Thursday, June 25, 2020



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Survey data shows construction activity returning to pre-coronavirus levels

A new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that construction activity is returning to pre-coronavirus levels in many parts of the country and some firms are adding workers. The new economic data, however, also shows some future projects are being canceled and many others are being delayed by supply chain issues and labor shortages, underscoring the need for additional federal recovery measures, association officials noted. Read more.












2019 Annual Report available

The accomplishments of NCMA and the manufactured concrete products industry in 2019 are summarized in the Annual Report. The report is organized around the focus areas of NCMA’s strategic plan and includes updates, metrics and highlights from a productive year. The report also includes an update on NCMA Foundation activities for 2019. Read the report here.





Final Survey Results – Impact of COVID-19 on NCMA members

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCMA has been surveying members on impacts. A final survey, conducted in June, indicate that many are on the road to recovery. For the June survey, 40% of respondents expressed no concern, up from 28% in April and 24% in March. As of June, no responding companies expressed major concerns for viability, a slight decrease from 4% in April and nearly 10% in March. This indicates that as the economy reopens, confidence in long term viability has increased. Read more.





Homebuilders see strongest May sales in over a decade, but they have a big problem

Sales of newly built homes jumped far more than expected, up nearly 13% annually, according to the U.S. Census. After slowing dramatically in March, as the coronavirus shut down the economy, they posted the strongest May pace since 2007, a recovery that surprised even the builders themselves. But housing starts were not nearly as strong, and builders are struggling to meet this new demand. A telling point in the data: The biggest sales jump came in homes not yet started. That caused the supply of homes for sale that were under construction to drop 15% compared with a year ago. Read more.





Call for research proposals in support of improved disaster resilience

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are now calling for research proposals in support of improved disaster resilience. NIST and NSF plan to award a total of $3.1 million for scientific and engineering research into disaster-related phenomena that can significantly improve our nation’s defenses against natural hazards. The agencies will co-manage the Disaster Resilience Research Grants (DRRG) program and intend to make 8-12 awards of up to $400,000 each. To apply, submit a letter of intent by Aug. 14, 2020. The deadline for full proposals is Sept. 15, 2020. NSF and NIST will host an informational webcast on Aug. 3, 2020. Read more.





SRW Installer Certification available online

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on in-person education, NCMA is now offering the Segmental Retaining Wall Basic Installer education course and certification examination online. The course includes video/audio and quizzes throughout to help increase understanding of important concepts in the online environment. Students can complete the course at their own pace and there's no need to travel, making the learning opportunity much more convenient and cost-effective. Learn more and register for the course at NCMA EDU Online.













IRS provides updated FAQs on employee retention tax credit

The IRS has issued updated FAQs for the employee retention tax credit, the temporary refundable payroll tax credit for eligible employers affected by COVID-19. The updated FAQs relate to the tax credit’s governmental order test and can be found here and here.







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 of color.











Did you know...

NCMA's TEK Solutions Center contains all of NCMA's technical resources free to designers. Members can have these resources branded with their company information to provide to their customers. Check out the TEK Solutions Center here. Interested in a subscription for branding? Contact Nick Lang.







Achieve a Better Finish With New BackerBead® With E-Flange™


New BackerBead with E-Flange from ClarkDietrich provides 80% greater embedment with mortar and stucco than standard flat flange profiles, which can reduce chances of cracking and improve the long-term performance of the cladding. A factory-applied backer rod makes caulking easy, reducing labor and material costs. Learn more today.











How do I determine the fire rating of concrete masonry assemblies?

Concrete masonry fire ratings can be determined by calculation using the procedures in the ACI/TMS 216.1 standard. Find out the details in NCMA TEK 7-01C.










Family Business/Small Business Forum addresses the bottom line

Two powerful speakers will be addressing the Family Business/Small Business Forum on Wednesday, August 5, 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET. Michael Higgins, manager of design and delivery, financial literacy for Mindful Finance specializes in teaching finance to non-financial managers and team members. By building financial confidence and competency with employees, team members will see how their decisions directly impact the bottom line. Find out more about him here. Kent Waide, client services manager at Advantage Kentucky Alliance -- Part of the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) National Network will discuss the availability of tools, technology and training for the concrete masonry industry through MEP. Find out more here.


Click here to learn more about what’s happening at NCMA’s Midyear Event.








Online Education and Webinars

NCMA had a very successful, interactive webinar on June 24th Ask the Experts about Masonry. Unfortunately, because of a technical glitch in our notification system, some registrants were misinformed about the time. Our apologies if you missed out, but you can access a recorded version of the session here.


Join us on Wednesday, July 8 at 1pm eastern time for a Manufactured Stone Veneer Overview webinar. The free event will be hosted by Nick Lang, P.E., NCMA VP of Business Development and will review key components of adhered manufactured stone veneer systems, minimum building code requirements, and ASTM standards. Register here.


Check out the details of all live and recorded webinars here.






NCMA Committee Meetings

With the NCMA Midyear Event going virtual, NCMA's committees and subcommittees are meeting via conference calls in the upcoming month ahead of the meeting. If you are a committee member and haven't received information about conference calls, contact your staff liaison.








It's easy to advertise in eNews

If you're looking for an opportunity to get your company's name out there, and have all the big decision makers in the industry notice it, then consider advertising in the weekly eNewsletter you're reading right now -- eNews. It's easy, cost-effective, and there are a number of options and packages to choose from. All you have to do is contact Janis Mason at (847) 234-6402, or by email,




























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