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It’s been a busy start to 2017 in this industry and certainly throughout CFA membership.  After a very productive and energy-packed World of Concrete, there have been some great developments and challenging progress made that we are proud to report on.

 

New Members

Everyone is encouraged by the growth of the Association.  When a new company joins the CFA, we begin working with them to understand a bit about their company, their market, their product and deliver an introduction to all of you who are members.  This is a way of you getting to know a new company and consider a heart-felt welcome, an extension of possible interest in what they are about or an encouragement to consider you a peer for possible networking.  A year ago in this same post-WOC issue we published our new members from the preceding year.  What better time to continue celebrating these achievements than recognizing this list, the companies that have been included to you in these announcements this past year:

Products and Services

One of the ways to interact with the CFA on a regular basis is to reach out for technology, equipment and product solutions that you may need when new challenges are met.  The CFA has updated its online tool for this at www.cfawalls.org in the Toolbox menu.  Here you will find a list of the current national supplier members organized by the product types they represent.  This is a great way to quickly find something of interest or curiosity and to support the commitment to this Association from so many great companies.  If you have trouble navigating this list, you can always contact us at headquarters or info@cfawalls.org for direction.

Taking it to Engineering

What happens when the time you spend educating yourself and proving your knowledge base conflicts with the ideas in your market?  CFA member, Tom Werling of North Texas Basements in Fort Worth, Texas is finding new ways to attack that very question.  Earlier this year during World of Concrete, Tom became one of the latest to successfully complete the ACI/CFA Certified Residential Foundation Technician Exam.  His certification credential in place, he began meeting with design professionals and builders to try and move his market forward in building technology.

“It was hard for me to believe what I was seeing when I moved to this part of the country,” states Werling.  “The residential foundations here are one of two types.  If they do not have a basement, everything is a typical post-tensioned slab-on-ground.  Now, there are always questions and difficulties with those designs and expansive soils just don’t respond the way a designer expects them to.  But the real problem is the foundations with basements.  I’m up against a market precedence that consists of a trench excavation filled with concrete and floated steel bars and then dugout in the center to reveal a basement space and a rough foundation wall.  There is no code enforcement and really, practical knowledge is set aside with this practice.”

Rather than completely tossing in the towel or joining in, Tom has decided to begin laboring on a high road.  He is using platforms like the Dallas Build Expo and other educational opportunities like an Annual Convention for the code officials in the region to deliver seminars about foundations.  His presentations range from 1-hour snapshots to 2- and 3-hr informational seminars.  What are his goals?  “I want them to see together, as a group, the way current codes are written and then engage in dialog about why these prescriptions are being followed and what can be done to bring about change,” states Werling.  “The foundations here have so much potential that is being missed and so many problems that are being created.

CFA Hotline ‘hotline@cfawalls.org

Networking is truly the key to success as a CFA member and here are some examples of topics our members find using the Hotline…

  • Keyway Forming Advice — A member asked, “Looking for advice in making an inverted keyway in a footing? The top has to be open so we can add the pvc bulb waterstop. Not to mention there is a fence of bar on either side of the keyway. See the detail for more information.” They provided an image of a typical detail to help with the visualization. Affirmation from multiple contractors on the problems that can be found trying to resolve the detail as presented resulted in a better conversation with the customer.
  • Time Keeping Solutions — A member asked, “We use QuickBooks and payroll in house, but have a time consuming process of tracking hours and cities in excel and then transferring those hours into QuickBooks. How are others handling this? Immediately experiences with a variety of products came through replies and both the member and those participating were introduced to six different options with a variety of feedback on each.
  • OSHA Gas Can Labeling — A member asked, “OSHA has been requiring that our fuel cans need to be labeled. The color of the can no longer matters. Stickers fall off and marker will just wipe off if you spill fluid on it. Do you know of any other methods to mark the cans or do you know of a brand that has them pre-labeled?” Again, multiple responses were received, some with photos showing solutions and others with links to trusted suppliers of possible solutions from members who knew this regulation from experience and the frustrations noted by the inquiring member.

The hotline has become a very useful tool for members to use and the volume of inquiries continues to increase. There are no requirements for amount of participation or even to participate. Being part of the conversation as a listener is as possible as a contributor. The key is making your participation intentional so that you can learn from your peers. The challenge actually is found in not participating because you will find opportunities to provide your input and ask your own questions.

Want to know more about the benefits of membership or becoming engaged in some of these programs?  Contact CFA Headquarters through the website, www.cfawalls.org, by calling toll-free to 866-232-1748 (CFA-WALL) or by emailing CFA’s Executive Director, James Baty to jbaty@cfawalls.org.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us