Author: Bronzella Cleveland

Tech Talk: Recent Changes to ASTM Standards and Code for Concrete Block

Whether you realize it or not, the concrete block you are using is stronger than it was a few years ago! The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) conducted an extensive test program of modern concrete block assemblies, and determined that the unit compressive strength properties that have been in the Code for decades were based on more variable test methods from the 1950’s through the 1980’s that led to very conservative strength values used by design engineers. The NCMA study findings were published in a report dated July 2, 2012 entitled “Recalibration of the Unit Strength Method for Verifying...

Read More

Case Study: The Mars Cheese Castle

When asked about Wisconsin, most people’s first thought is usually about cheese. However, true cheese addicts may also think about the Mars Cheese Castle. Started in 1947, the Mars Cheese Castle has served hungry travelers from around the area for over 70 years. When the Ventura and Wehrmeister families’ original building had to be demolished in order to make room for the I-94 freeway expansion, they contracted MSI General Corporation to help them design and build a new facility. Instead of a modest, castle-inspired building like the original design, the new structure would actually strive to replicate a Medieval...

Read More

Implementation of Silica Rule Postponed

On April 6, the Department of Labor issued a press release delaying implementation of the silica rule, which was set to go in place June 23 of this year. The new implementation date will be September 23. The MCAA is hopeful that between now and then, the many unclear segments of the rule will be further elaborated on and that enforcement details will be defined and released. In addition to further explaining the rule, the MCAA is hopeful for some adjustments made. In particular, there are tasks that belong in Table 1 which are not currently there. We are...

Read More

Government Affairs: The Importance of Workforce Development

The Importance Of Workforce Development Rep. Phil Roe, M.D.  As a product of a great public education system in Tennessee, and as a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, I feel very strongly that creating educational opportunities for everyone is imperative to our country’s future success. In the First District of Tennessee, I often hear from business owners, employers, administrators and students who tell me of the need for quality education and adequate training for today’s workplace. Just as a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for health care, it will not work for education and workforce training. Each state – and each region – is different. Empowering local officials – including school administrators, teachers, workforce development boards and employers in the community – is critical to creating a workforce that will be able to succeed in an increasingly specialized and highly-skilled economy. While I believe we should create pathways for anyone who wants to go to college, a four-year college degree is not for everyone. It is estimated that between 2014 and 2024, 48 percent of job openings will be jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree. I’m proud of the State of Tennessee, which recognized this reality when it created the Tennessee Promise program. This program is unique and ensures that any student from Tennessee can go...

Read More