World of Concrete takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center from today till February 5, where more than 1,500 exhibitors and 60,000 professionals are projected to descend.
Quikcrete, a producer of pre-blended packaged concrete in North American, anticipates several trends that will influence the way manufacturers, contractors, specifiers, dealers, distributors and architects approach building, repair, restoration and remodeling with concrete and other cementitous materials
The desire to increase jobsite efficiency, consistency and quality while reducing material and labor costs remains a priority. Few other building materials can help keep a project on schedule and on budget like pre-mixed concrete, which is why Quikcrete is constantly innovating new products that set and gain strength quickly, the company says.
Another key issue driving the need for fast-setting, high-early strength concrete is an aging transportation infrastructure littered with deteriorated roadways, bridges and tunnels. As a result, hundreds of billions of federal and state dollars are being allocated to rehabilitate the country’s transportation infrastructure.
Beyond the cost, the challenge of restoring unsafe roadways, bridges and tunnels is minimizing traffic disruptions during the process. Quikcrete worked with state Departments of Transportation, nationwide, to develop specific concrete repair products.
Green building remains a construction focus with billions of square feet of office space US Green Building Council LEED certified in 2015. While concrete and mortars may not seem like obvious contributors to environmentally-friendly building, advances in manufacturing technology highlighted by the use of post-consumable materials like recycled concrete aggregates and slag cement can contribute to LEED certification. Slag cement, a by-product of iron ore transformed from iron during the molten process in a blast furnace, reduces landfill waste, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, concrete companies can serve as good stewards of the environment.
Similar to misperceptions about its environmentally-friendly viability, concrete’s aesthetic versatility is becoming more prevalent among contractors.
In addition to using concrete to fulfill the structural requirements of a project, many interior and exterior designs call for the visual appearance of concrete surfaces to be elevated. Stamping, polishing, etching and painting are well-represented in the concrete décor community, but staining may be the most permanent way to transform an ordinary concrete slab into beautiful surface these days. “Unlike many common film-forming stains that easily peel, flake and fad over time, our Quikcrete Translucent Stains absorb into the pores of concrete and chemically bond for lasting beauty.”
The concrete industry is also benefitting from advanced technology beyond new product development and quality-control. Recently, Quikcrete launched a new mobile app so contractors can easily access the project and product information they need from anywhere.