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North American newsbytes: from limestone shipments to concrete formwork

World Cement,

Great Lakes – limestone shipments

According to the Lake Carriers’ Association, shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes grew by 2.3% y/y in September 2014. Approximately 3.54 million t was shipped this September, compared to just under 3.46 million t in the same month last year. /p>

In the first nine months of 2014, shipments totalled 19.32 million t, down 3% on the 19.93 million t of limestone cargo shipped on the Great Lakes in January – September 2013. Severe ice conditions earlier this year impacted shipment volumes. However, the gap between accumulated shipments this year and last year is gradually narrowing.

Canada – housing

In September, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts reached 197 343 units, an improvement on August’s 196 283 units. Overall, urban starts totalled 177 019 in September 2013, up from 176 234 in August 2014. The data, which has been released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), indicates that the SAAR of rural housing starts came in at 20 324 units during the month.

According to the CMHC, the trend measure of housing starts was 197 747 units, which compares to 191 095 in August. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of monthly SAAR housing starts.

“The increase in the trend reflects stronger starts activity since April, largely concentrated in multi-unit dwellings including condominiums,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “However, the currently elevated level of condominium units under construction supports our view that condominium starts should trend lower over the coming months.”

American Concrete Institute – honours and publications

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has announced that it will honour Professor James K. Wight by holding a three-part symposium and reception at the ACI Fall 2014 Convention in Washington D.C.

Professor Wight was ACI President between 2012 and 2013. He has chaired and served on a number of ACI committees, such as 318 Structural Concrete Building Code, 352 Joints and Connections in Monolithic Concrete Structures, Technical Activities Committee, and International Organisation for Standardisation Technical Committee 71 Advisory Committee. In addition, he is actively involved on the International Advisory Committee and the 318 International Workshop Committee for Structural Concrete in the Americas and Beyond.

The sessions will focus on the behaviour and structural applications of fiber reinforced concrete. These, along with the reception, will be an opportunity to celebrate Wight’s accomplishments and the contribution he has made to the ACI.

In other news, the ACI has published the eighth edition of its Formwork for Concrete manual. This comprises updated information on current standards and practices, as well as new developments in terms of technology and practices. This edition has been written by David W. Johnston, Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Professor Emeritus, at North Carolina State University, and member of ACI Technical Committee 347, Formwork for Concrete. The manual has been completely printed in colour for the first time, and includes around 500 new colour photographs.

“The new eighth edition marks the 50th year in print of this iconic manual,” said author David Johnston. “Revising and bringing one of ACI’s best-selling documents up to date included reference to the latest design and construction standards for guidance of the formwork designer and contractor. Expanded coverage of design methods, products, and both revised and new worked examples, will ensure that Formwork for Concretewill continue to be the most respected reference in the concrete formwork industry and an excellent teaching resource in the classrooms.”

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