San Antonio welcomed precast and prestressed concrete professionals for the 55th annual Precast/Pre-stressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Convention and Exhibition on Sept. 13-15. The historic Texas city was the setting for the convention's focus: Expanding Knowledge into Expanding Markets.

“This year's theme is the embodiment of the value that we can create each day for architects, engineers, and owners,” said Thomas M. McEvoy, PCI chairman. “It can serve as an inspiration for the entrepreneurial spirit that will continue to make us successful in the years ahead.”

Attendees and exhibitors at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center shared strategies for adapting and thriving in today's market and discussed the challenges of weathering the recession. Show hours were changed this year to allow at least 2.5 hours of exhibits-only time each day to reduce downtime and allow for more networking.

The PCI presented its annual Design Awards at the convention. Winners included diverse projects such as Gasson Hall at Boston College and the Navy's Aviation Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola, Fla. The SH58 Ramp A Flyover Bridge in Golden, Colo., won PCI's Harry H. Edwards Award for Industry Advancement. The bridge has the longest span of constant-depth pre-cast U-girder construction in Colorado and uses innovations and refinements that demonstrate the flexibility of this type of construction.

The PCI and the Federal Highway Administration also co-hosted the National Bridge Conference alongside the convention. The conference attracted 100 exhibitors and many attendees to its separate exhibit hall and Bridge Pavilion. This year's featured spotlight agency was the Washington State Department of Transportation.

2010 PCI Annual Convention/ Exhibition & Third International fib Congress

The next PCI Convention will join the third international fib Congress, May 29-June 2, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib - fédération internationale du béton) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the technical, economic, aesthetic, and environmental performance of concrete.

Attendees from around the world will enjoy a unique opportunity to share new ideas, experiences, and knowledge. Speakers will present keynote lectures and national reports, Technical Sessions will feature hundreds of peer-reviewed papers.

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Following are products from PCI Convention exhibitors.

Sandwich wall panels

The Nu-Wall structural composite action sandwich wall panel system incorporates the Aslan 700 Nu-Tie shear connector that develops nearly full composite action between insulated sandwich wall panels. Prefabricated foam blanks incorporate the Nu-Tie connector. Precasters can furnish energy-efficient buildings with edge-to-edge EPS or XPS insulating foam, using less concrete than traditional structural wall panels. The lighter-weight panels are easily erected and transported. The system provides strength and flexibility without thermal bridges penetrating the insulation. Hughes Brothers Inc. 800-869-0359.