Tag Archive for 'PCA'

Portland Cement Association’s Spring Cement Outlook

Spring Cement Outlook Spring Cement Outlook2

MIT Research Points to Importance of Road Design in Fuel Consumption

PCA LogopRecently President Barak Obama announced plans to introduce a rule for higher fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks by 2016. At an appearance at a grocery distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md., President Obama charged Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to “develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks that will take us well into the next decade.”

According to the White House, heavy-duty trucks account for just four percent of highway vehicles, but are responsible for 20 percent of carbon pollution from the transportation sector. Current fuel-economy standards are aimed at reducing truck fuel use by as much as 20 percent.

Gregory M. Scott, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association, said it is time to not only look at the efficiency of cars and trucks on the road, but to look at the actual road for fuel economy and emission reductions.

“We should expand the debate beyond making more efficient cars and trucks to making more efficient infrastructure. Stiffer pavements – such as pavements made from concrete — produce less rolling resistance and better fuel economy,” Scott said.

Researchers at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub recently found that how the road is constructed could have a significant impact on the fuel economy of cars and trucks. Research models predict the use of stiffer pavements, for example, could reduce fuel use by as much as three percent, a savings that would add up to 273 million barrels of crude oil per year.

Florida International University tested MIT’s research models in real-world conditions with similar results. They studied vehicles traveling on I-95 and found that riding on rigid pavements consumes 3.2 percent less fuel than riding on flexible pavements for passenger vehicles and 4.5 percent less fuel for loaded tractor-trailers. If all Florida pavements were rigid, it could amount to an annual fuel savings of more than $2 billion for highway users.

About PC

Based in Washington D.C. with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement manufacturing companies in the United States. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.

PCA Reports: Rebuilding Right Saves Lives, Resources

PCAHigher Building Standards Aligned with Goals of Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Hurricane Sandy batters the Jersey shore; a tornado rips through Oklahoma; wildfires destroy forest in Arizona. All these major disasters have happened within the last year and caused billions in damages. In 2012 alone, 47 states received federal major disaster declarations, triggering a use of federal funds for relief efforts.

When a federal disaster is declared following an extreme event, taxpayers’ dollars are often used to help rebuild communities and cities around the country. An initiative is underway nationwide asking communities to not just rebuild, but to build back better.

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) and others in the concrete industry are urging the enactment of H.R. 2241, the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013. The bill provides a tax credit to business or home owners who rebuild in local regions that were declared federal disaster areas.

These efforts are also aligned with President Obamas recently announced

“Climate Action Plan.” The plan calls for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to convene a panel on disaster-resilience standards to develop a comprehensive, community-based resilience framework and provide guidelines for consistently safe buildings and infrastructure – products that can inform the development of private-sector standards and codes.

“By enacting higher building standards, cities and towns can successfully weather any challenge and keep friends and family safe,” Greg Scott, PCA president and CEO, said. “The nation spends billions of dollars each year for relief packages, and in this challenging economic climate, communities cannot afford to completely rebuild each time a disaster strikes. By utilizing resilient construction techniques, the built environment is protected from the increasing number and severity of natural or man-made disasters.”

Additional benefits to homeowners can also apply as, in many cases, a resilient home will also be an energy efficient one.

PCA also is supporting research at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub to help designers and builders quantify the physical resilience of residential structures as a portion of the overall systems concept of resilience. Comparing this performance against costs will facilitate communication of the cost and performance trade-offs of alternative designs.

The public can write their Member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 2241, the

Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013 by visiting

http://www.bipac.net/issue_alert.asp?g=PCA&issue=Resiliency&parent=PCA.

About PCA

Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs.

PCA Reports: Cement Consumption Will Rise or Fall Based on Timing of Resolution

Although cement consumption and overall U.S. construction activity increased significantly more than expected in 2012, these gains would be immediately erased in 2013 if the fiscal cliff is not resolved in a timely manner.

A forecast from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) expects a 7.5 percent jump in cement consumption in 2012, up 50 basis points from its summer forecast. However, the instability of the political landscape makes projecting 2013 consumption more challenging.

The “fiscal cliff” came about from dual economic objectives reflecting the need to inject fiscal stimulus into an inert economy and the need to deal with burgeoning federal debt. Packaged together as the Budget Control Act of 2011, tax increases of $400 billion coupled with $200 billion in federal spending cuts are scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2013.

If Congress resolves the fiscal cliff during its lame duck session in 2012, PCA expects the economy to continue to grow and cement consumption in 2013 to increase 6 percent. Adversely, even if Congress addresses the policies by the first quarter of 2013, this delay will cause significant economic harm and cause a 2.7 drop in cement consumption.

“Because we believe the odds for either outcome are even, we have adopted a forecasting approach that minimizes up and downside risk,” Ed Sullivan, PCA chief economist said. “Our baseline scenario blends the two possible outcomes and projects a 1.8 percent increase in cement consumption in 2013.”

Sullivan also reported that the longer Congress delays in addressing the fiscal cliff, the greater the adverse affect on economic growth and construction activity in particular. “If no action is taken by mid-2013, the country could be headed into a severe recession.”

According to the PCA report, cement consumption through September 2012 had increased 10 percent compared to last year, with 16 consecutive months of growth. Sullivan attributes this growth to the return of consumer confidence, a strong housing market, and most importantly, growth in employment.

About PCA

The Portland Cement Association, based in Skokie, Ill., represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. For additional information, visit www.cement.org.

PCA Restructuring Shifts Primary Focus to Washington, D.C.

Portland Cement Association (PCA) announced management changes designed to shift leadership to Washington, D.C., in support of a renewed emphasis on national advocacy efforts in our nation’s capitol.

“Over the past 10 years, we have debated the merits of our national association becoming more ‘DC-centric,” said PCA Chairman of the Board Aris Papadopoulos in an announcement of the changes. “The time has come to adapt to this new reality of the cement industry.”

Effective September 6, 2012, Greg Scott, PCA’s senior vice president of government affairs, is promoted to president. He will report to Brian McCarthy, PCA’s current president/CEO based in Skokie, who will remain with PCA until year-end as CEO.

On January 1, 2013, Scott will assume the position of president/CEO of PCA. Although PCA’s president/CEO will be based in Washington, D.C., the Skokie office will continue to operate as an important resource for North American and regional promotion and advocacy efforts.

“The past five years have seen unprecedented changes to the cement industry in both economic and regulatory arenas,” said Papadopoulos. “We value Brian McCarthy’s leadership through this difficult period and thank him for his service to the association and to the industry.”

About PCA

Based in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.