Concrete is Taking a Turn to Building a Modern Society
Concrete plays a key role in building modern society—providing the very infrastructure needed to support our lifestyle and shelter and infrastructure to support our quality of life. Concrete is found all around us – it is the basic building block of our built environment. Buildings for every use incorporate concrete for their foundations, walls, columns and floors. Every modern home uses concrete for footings and basement walls and many use concrete for above ground walls and floors. Highways and bridges are built with concrete. Airports and rail systems use concrete. Our drinking water is delivered from treatment plants made with concrete through concrete pipes. The only thing used more than concrete is water.
And concrete can be sustainable. Alternate cements can be made from the wastes associated with the production of electricity from coal and steel. Concrete structures can be made durable with respect to almost every environmental exposure, and are readily remodeled. This allows the structure to serve many generations and many uses.
The Concrete Industry Today
The demand for new construction in the U.S. has helped the ready mixed concrete industry flourish over the last several decades. Concrete production has risen from 175 million cubic yards in 1975 to over 325 million cubic yards in 2014. Ready mixed concrete is one of the few building materials manufactured in close proximity to a construction site, thus minimizing the impact of transportation and contributing to the local economy. Cemstone has state-of-the-art ready mixed concrete plants strategically located throughout Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa.
Concrete is no longer a simple blend of cement, water, sand and rock. Modern concrete contains dispersants, surfactants, pozzolans and stabilizers which alter the plastic and hardened properties of the concrete. A shift to performance-based specifications is the next logical step in the evolution of the ready mixed concrete industry. Cemstone’s performance-based specifications provide details of required results such as strength and other mechanical properties along with requirements for durability and serviceability. The results are verifiable through measurement or testing to assure the product meets the desired requirements. And finally, our performance-based specifications are free of arbitrary process limitations on mixture proportions and construction methods. Cemstone’s performance-based specifications encourage innovative products and construction methods along with rigorous quality management systems that lead to superior products and satisfied customers.
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