300 Million and $80.98

Attendees at NRMCA's joint Operations, Environmental & Safety Forum and Expo and Business Administration Conference pondered two numbers when they met in October.

First, the U.S. Census Bureau figured the population of the United States reached 300 million on Oct. 17, the last day of the event. When the nation's population reached 200 million in 1967, the ready mixed concrete industry produced one cubic yard of concrete per person per year, said Bruce Strickland, national marketing manager for admixture supplier Sika Corp.

Today, the industry produces about 1.5 yards per person. (Ready-mixed production totaled 455 million yards in 2005.) By 2040, when the Census Bureau estimates the U.S. population will reach 400 million, annual ready-mixed production will hit 600 million yards at the current 1.5 yard per capita rate. The industry must address supply shortages of cement and aggregate to meet the demands of an ever-growing nation, Strickland warned.

The second figure attendees pondered was $80.98, or the average selling price of a cubic yard of ready-mix concrete in 2005. This is a healthy $11.54 increase over 2004. The almost 8% profit as a percentage of sales compares to the prior year's 4.5%.

No matter the environment, Bill Allen, chairman of Allen Villere Partners, which presented the 2006 Industry Data Survey, warned, “If value drops, do not decrease selling price and increase market share. It does not work.”

With three-quarters of the year over, Allen said 2006 “may be even, to just a little bit better than 2005.” (Turn to page 51 for more on the economic outlook.)

More than 500 people attended the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Fall Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla. A highlight was the National Mixer Driver Championship, which consisted of a seven-part obstacle course and a written exam.

Winning first place and $2500 was Michael Hennekam of Rinker Materials. Kenneth Blair of Conco Companies won second place, and Tony Jackson of Maschmeyer Concrete won third. Visit www.nrmca.org.

New ACI Floor Document

The American Concrete Institute's (ACI) Strategic Development Council (SDC) has introduced “Guide for Concrete Slabs to Receive Moisture-Sensitive Floor Coverings.” The 42-page guide gives advice to design and construction teams that will help them avoid costly construction delays and flooring failures.

Identified as an Industry Critical Technology issue, the failure of moisture-sensitive floor coverings on concrete floors is conservatively estimated at $1 million per week. The need and urgency to provide the industry with the information and best practices available was obvious and accelerated the development of a credible, technically accurate document within ACI.