For Sale: Large Set of Tuf-N-Lite 9-0 with Brick Texture

Looking to add to your inventory or step into the aluminum forming market?  CFA member Starlite Leasing has this large set waiting for you.  See the pics below for 9′-0″ aluminum panels with a brick texture.  Need a good cleaning but well-seasoned and effective.

Set includes all fillers and storage frames.  6-12 hole pattern.

For more information, pricing and complete set size list, contact:

John Harle
Starlite Leasing & Weber Concrete Construction
Office:  (317) 873-9728 ext. 222
Mobile:  (317) 201-8229
Fax:  (317) 769-6482



For Sale: Trimble RTS 555 – Robotic Layout Station

We have three complete sets of the Trimble RTS 555 Total Station pictured below.  All three sets have been in use up until last month when we upgraded.  Asking price is $6,500 each.  See the photos for more details on the equipment.  Each have two batteries, a Nomad and brackets for poles.

For interest or more information, contact CFA member:

Neal Weiler
Weiler Walls, Inc.
1243 Swamp Bridge Rd
Denver, PA 17517

Email Neal or (717) 336-8877

The Risk of Not Knowing: Duty to Provide Fall Protection

Originally published in Concrete Contractor magazine.

Figure 1: OSHA’s website for Fall Protection in Residential Construction provides the complete set of regulations.

Question: Yesterday, an OSHA inspector witnessed two of our crew members standing atop the formwork, while finishing a pour. The first worker was floating the wall and the second worker was installing anchor bolts. Both of these are standard procedures for us and the workers are trained and confident working from those levels. The inspector requested a meeting with an executive from the company, which was postponed to the next day because none were available within a four-hour window.

Today, when I met with the inspector, he suggested our company may be in violation of OSHA’s fall protection regulation for residential construction. I informed the inspector that our company utilizes an Alternative Fall Protection Plan, and this plan has proven to be safe and effective over the course of many years. He requested a copy of the plan, which he will submit to his superiors for review and wants to interview our workers for their knowledge of the plan. I’m concerned that our plan, effective as it is, may not meet the OSHA requirements.

Answer: Unfortunately, today this remains a common position found throughout the concrete foundation industry. Your situation exists due to a combination of factors including:

  • Lack of thorough understanding of OSHA for the nature of your business
  • Decades of experience in the industry where alternate fall protection was approved by OSHA for residential construction
  • Limited technological development of fall protection methods for the specific task of residential concrete foundation construction
  • Reality that the work you continue to do hasn’t changed beyond slight increases in average working height, still most commonly eight to 10 feet

Today, contractors spend just as much time training and protecting their workforce through knowledge and experience as they have always provided. Protection of the workforce remains a top priority for the residential foundation company. What has been missed, however, are the changes in regulation that now require documentation of the decisions you make for fall protection systems and solutions and evidence of such application to each unique project or condition. In other words, OSHA wants to see the work you have done to take every aspect of fall protection safety into account and understand the solutions you implement fully for compliance with the complete set of regulations.

OSHA regulates in 29 CFR 1926.501 that an employer must provide fall protection. The title of this part of the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction is Duty to have fall protection.As an employer, it is your responsibility to know what constitutes the available fall protection systems and methods that are feasible for your job sites and develop a plan for implementing them. This regulations states that any worker on a walking or working surface 6 feet or more above the ground plane with an unprotected edge shall be protected by a guardrail, safety net or personal fall arrest system. Further in this section, however, residential construction is specifically addressed:

1926.501(b)(13) – “Residential construction.” Each employee engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected by guardrail systems, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system unless another provision in paragraph (b) of this section provides for an alternative fall protection measure. Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer shall develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of paragraph (k) of 1926.502.

Note: There is a presumption that it is feasible and will not create a greater hazard to implement at least one of the above-listed fall protection systems. Accordingly, the employer has the burden of establishing that it is appropriate to implement a fall protection plan which complies with 1926.502(k) for a particular workplace situation, in lieu of implementing any of those systems.

Since there is currently no commercially available guardrail, safety net or personal fall arrest system that has been engineered to work with removable concrete forms, utilization of these systems is technologically infeasible and forces poured wall contractors to utilize other measures to protect their workforce.  However, these contractors may or may not be OSHA compliant, depending on whether they’ve strictly complied with the prescriptive requirements of 1926.502(k). Employers must take caution in using the terms infeasible and greater hazard. These are the key terms that must be accounted for in your research to justify the implementation of a fall protection plan. It is the employer that bares the full burden of establishing the appropriateness of implementing such a plan rather than one of the three noted systems.

Your argument for the use of an Alternate Fall Protection Plan is based on the documented history of OSHA regulation. This stems from the establishment of OSHA STD 3.1, titled “Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction”, in 1995. Here, OSHA set the acceptance of an “alternate fall protection plan” as described in subpart M in lieu of compliance using fall protection systems without any burden of responsibility for proving infeasibility or greater hazard. In 1998, STD 3.1 was replaced by STD 3-0.1A that augmented this position with specific requirements that must be addressed by the alternate fall protection, including monitoring and training. OSHA rescinded this position in 2010 under the presumption that commercially available systems had advanced in the industry to sufficiently support fall protection system implementation for all residential construction. While this may seem as though it ignores the conditions of the residential foundation contractor, what it does is maintains responsibility for each employer to actively assess their project variables against their company policies and training for fall protection.

Many contractors claim that instead of using fall protection they use an “alternate fall protection plan”. It is important to note that under the current direction, an alternate fall protection plan is a form of fall protection, but one that requires the use of knowledge to demonstrate both technological infeasibility and greater hazard to the worker for each procedure. The detail of 1926.502 (k) involves research and documentation for implementing several methods to provide protection from falls. Your plan must discuss the extent of consideration for the use of “scaffolds, ladders, or vehicle mounted work platforms” to “provide a safer working surface and thereby reduce the hazard of falling.”

When these methods of providing alternative working surfaces are exhausted through the demonstration of technological infeasibility and/or greater hazard, the employer then classifies work surfaces as controlled access zones in conformance with 1926.502(g) and implement safety monitoring systems in conformance with 1926.502 (h).

1926.502(k) “Fall protection plan” is an option for only three types of work; leading edge, precast and residential construction. As you analyze the work you are doing, both leading edge and residential construction are applicable and each implies looking at your plan from different perspectives. The person that develops the plan must be a “qualified person”. According to OSHA, this is defined as one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project. In other words, you can be professionally trained and educated or be an experienced industry person that has immersed oneself in the details of this regulation.

From this point, the rest of the fall protection plan can be developed. There are many aspects of developing such a plan that you will need to consider. These include introduction, acceptance, training, certification, infeasibility for fall protection systems, use of a combination of methods, identification of a competent person for each project site, adaptability of the plan to specific site conditions or project details and much more. In the end, OSHA expects you to not only own the responsibility for keeping your residential foundation crews safe, they want you to be able to demonstrate and prove to them that you have control of the situation and your employees understand the plans they are following. This is the method by which they can then understand that your company is actively implementing effective fall protection safety.

The Concrete Foundations Association makes available a Fall Protection Plan Development Kit to its members covering all aspects of the regulations found throughout 1926.501 and 1926.502 as well as the history of the industry impact from these OSHA regulations.

Want to know more?   Contact CFA Executive Director, Jim Baty at 866-232-9255 or by email at The Concrete Foundations Association mission is to support the cast-in-place contractor as the voice and recognized authority for the residential concrete industry.



1. Standards – 29 CFR, parts 1926.501, 1926.502 published by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, United States Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room Number N3626, Washington, D.C. 20210 | Phone 1-800-321-6742 |

2. Standards – STD 3.1, STD3.01A expired published by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, United States Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room Number N3626, Washington, D.C. 20210 | Phone 1-800-321-6742 |


The Concrete Foundations Association announces Concrete Foundations Convention 2017, consisting of both a 3-day professional pass and a 1-day opportunity to interact with the Concrete Foundations Convention in Nashville, TN on July 20, 2017. The 1-day registration is extended to the regional industry for companies wishing to expose their key workforce to a great concrete education opportunity.


Transportation will be provided to the Tennessee Concrete Association, where training seminars on ICF wall forming and micro rebar will be presented. Product training is accompanied with lunch, and beer is provided by AutoCar.


Foundation Fundamentals: The day will begin with four- hours from Brent Anderson, a leading engineer and educator on residential concrete design, construction and performance, covering topics from soils to concrete, waterproofing to backfilling.


Offered as a separate registration, is an opportunity to sit for the ACI/CFA Residential Foundation Certification Exam, which will take place at the Tennessee Concrete Association directly after lunch.


Transportation will be provided back to the hotel to end your evening at our featured Kick-Off Bash. Join us for happy hour with exhibitors and the latest products and technology in the industry, followed by dinner and live entertainment by JD Shelburne.

1-day Registration is $285, all inclusive. Must register online by July 10, 2017. Register under the Concrete Foundations Convention registration at Concrete Foundations Convention 2017.


Nashville’s many anniversaries, new restaurant openings and hotels made it a shoe-in for Travel+Leisure’s list of the 50 best Places to Travel in 2017. It’s a city that resonates with life and vibrates to the beat of every kind of song. It’s a town that harvests American music, Southern hospitality, unbelievable cuisine, a boundless spectrum of nightlife, and now, the 2017 Concrete Foundations Convention.

“Best Places to Go in 2017” – Frommer’s Travel Guide
“Best Places to Travel in 2017” – Travel+Leisure
“Where to Go in 2017” – Afar Travel Magazine

Register Online

The CFA has a block of rooms reserved at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville from Thursday, July 20 – Saturday, July 22. Rooms are filling up quickly, reserve yours today!

Reserve Your Room

Visit and submit your registration online. Space is limited, register today! All registrations must be completed online, register by July 10, 2017.

Attend, Learn & Network

Join the CFA and industry leaders in Nashville for three days of education, networking, new products and technology, awards, certification, entertainment and much more!

Register to Attend

Location Information

Sheraton Nashville Downtown
623 Union Street
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 259-2000

The CFA has a block of rooms reserved with a special rate of just $239 a night.
Please note this updated accommodation information.

Reserve Your Room

Presentation Schedule

This year’s event features numerous opportunities to accelerate your business into key areas for profitability, control and excellence. Click each presentation title below for more information.

Download Event Schedule

2017 Projects of the Year | Non-Wall Structural Element

Non-Wall Structural Element
Burnett Residence Site Walls
SCW Footings & Foundations
Salt Lake City, Utah

The category for non-wall structural element was created to honor the many projects where contractors are asked to deliver a concrete structure other than the typical load-bearing foundation wall. In other words, any element that is not a simply supported structural member is considered. The Burnett Residence in Salt Lake City, Utah is one such project consisting of retaining wall requirements that challenged the team at SCW.

Technically, the walls were challenging due to a dozen different footing sizes and reinforcement schedules. Retaining walls complicate the construction of concrete walls significantly with the footing and tie requirements. Some of the footings for these walls were 15 ft. wide and 16 in. thick. Multiple J-bar schedules, continuous bar in every section and cross bars tying footings into tiered walls were the result of the load on the walls and the seismic category assignment for the region. Many of the footings also had 36 in. deep keys under the footing for hillside stability. “Without a doubt, the footings on this project were the most challenging part,” stated John Graber of SCW. “There were some footings that required helical pier connections. While we did not install the helical piers themselves, working around them and tying rebar into them is difficult. The footing connecting the piers included 8 ft. long square ties at 8 in. on center and complex, double matt J-bar to tie into the wall.”

If the challenge of the footings were not enough, these yard walls had architectural requirements as well. Two areas on the property had tiered, radius, sloped walls and the owners requested a plywood finish including cone ties and chamfer. “Getting an architectural ply finish looking perfect is a difficult task as it is,” stated Graber. “When you throw in the walls being tiered, only 3 ft. apart from each other, sloped and radius, it makes for zero error tolerance. The level of detail and accuracy we accomplished rivals even the highest commercial standards.”

Project Statistics:

Over 1,100 lin.ft. of site/yard wall
Over 1,300 yd3 of concrete
Over 5,000 lin. ft. of reinforcement
Wall heights from 4 to 16 ft.
Wall thickness from 8 to 12 in.

2017 Projects of the Year | Commercial Project

All Points Anson Building 8A
Commercial Project
Custom Concrete
Westfield, Indiana

The casual observer may look upon concrete slabs as a basic and perhaps the easiest form of cast-in-place to complete. Those who have undertaken the challenge on any SOG will not likely agree and will be quick to add that the commercial slab with higher floor flatness (FF) and floor levelness (FL) requirements is one of the most challenging of all their project work. The successful commercial slab is an effective combination of strategy, preparation and execution, where quality is achieved despite the difficulty of so many variables. This is the case with the All Points Anson Bldg 8A project in Whitestown, Indiana.

A project that consisted of tight schedules, over 3,500 lin.ft. of footings stepping four times and over 200 column footings was topped off with an 8-in. concrete slab. Jason Ells, Senior Vice President for Custom Concrete is quick to identify the targeted successes achieved despite the challenge: “We brought in a large laser screed we knew would be necessary to achieve the high FF and FL requirements on the project. Relying on the machine gave us the peace of mind we could achieve the customer’s quality. We were able to commit to the project in a way that finished footings in four weeks and the completed slab in 30 days. Our pours were 41,000 square feet each day for 1,012 cubic yards.”

This project was delivered on schedule, under budget and with impressive quality, demonstrating that this poured-wall contractor is also positioned well in the commercial concrete market. A project of this size and scope required multiple pre-construction meetings, an onsite mechanic and weekly progress meetings to maintain the commitment to delivering a result that matched the reasons why Custom Concrete was selected.

Project Statistics:

706,000 sq.ft. concrete slab with a thickness of 8”
3,545 lin.ft. of strip footing
17,910 yd3 of concrete (slab)
1,685 yd3 of concrete (footings)
47.1 tons of steel (footings)

2017 Projects of the Year | Single-Family Residence 2000-5000 SF

Bashan Lake Residence
Single-Family Residence 2,000 to 5,000 sq.ft.
Talpey Construction
Westbrook, Connecticut

Bigger houses in tall, sloping lots are a formula for complex foundations and an opportunity for achieving striking quality. That was the result of this residential foundation located in East Haddam, Connecticut. “The site offered 22 ft. of elevation change between the front of the house and the rear in a 63-ft. distance,” states Russ Talpey, president of Talpey Construction. “I have to say, this job is the most complex one we’ve ever done. The slope of the lot was very aggressive and we ended up breaking the project into two different sections, upper and lower.”

Although he typically uses 1 1/8 in. wood forms, for this project Talpey rented steel-ply forms to provide the strength he felt was needed to hold the concrete pressure with the top tie moved down below the joist shelf required by the engineer. The stem wall created by the joist shelf had rebar detailed such that form ties would not have fit in the space consistently. This shelf would have also complicated the concrete placement by constricting the access and vibration, so the crew left it out until they had nearly reached its level. One set of crew members began adding the shelf while the rest finished the concrete placement, pumping the remaining height of the stem wall created by the shelf blocking.

The complexities of the project layout were handled by robotic layout to build on the corner offsets provided by the builder. “Conventional layout would have been nearly impossible,” adds Talpey. “The elevation change just offered too much of an obstacle and we were uncomfortable sacrificing accuracy. It was great to have the constant reference throughout the job for checking rebar position, laying out bolts for the steel moment frame on the lower wall and checking the corners of the forms for accuracy before and after placement.” Talpey’s crew took this project piece by piece to avoid being overwhelmed by the technical nature of such a foundation.

Project Statistics:

325 lin.ft. of wall, 5,000 sq.ft. footprint
230 yd3 of concrete, seven (7) tons of steel
Wall heights from 4 ft. 8 in. to 19 ft.
10, 12 and 16 in. walls with 8 in. stems at joist shelf

2017 Projects of the Year | Single-Family Residence Under 2000 SF

Blue Willow Ridge Nest #3
Single-Family Residence Under 2,000 sq.ft.
SCW Footings & Foundations
Salt Lake City, Utah

The intrigue of the residential foundation that is under 2,000 sq.ft. is often overlooked in today’s construction economy, where bigger is spectacular and ostentatious is attractive. Some of the most challenging projects, however, come in small packages. That is the case for this year’s winner set in the “mountainscape” near Eden, Utah.

The main challenge for this project was the steep hillside of the lot. In a small footprint of only 1,076 sq.ft., the walls stepped thirteen times to cover a vertical descent of 15 feet. Steps are labor intensive, and when the project is small, they become dominant in the project costs. In addition to the significant number of wall steps, the small footprint incorporated 26 corners and three separate rebar schedules.

“This project was a long distance from our base of operations,” states John Graber of SCW Footings & Foundations. “Given its size, we could not afford to mobilize each crew for just this project, so we found a creative way to integrate it with trips to larger projects in and around the same area.”

Project Statistics:

194 lin. ft. of wall, 1,076 sq.ft. footprint
74 yd3 of concrete, 5,005 lin. ft. of steel
13 wall heights from 2 to 11 ft., all 8 in. thick

2017 Projects of the Year Overall Grand Project: Going Out On A Limb Is Easier Than Building On A Cliff…

The 2017 Projects of the Year Awards… continued excellence in the field of cast-in-place concrete.

Single Family Residence Over 5,000 sq.ft.
Aerie Residence by Ekedal Concrete, Inc.,
Newport Beach, California
Corona Del Mar, California
15,000 sq.ft. Single Family Residence

Canadian novelist David Bergen once quipped, “I think a construction project for me is like writing a novel. I can’t do the project unless I can envision sort of the whole structure and see what the end result might be.” Lost in the completion of any project is the appreciation for the vision the contractor must have—the vision Bergen spoke of—to complete the seemingly impossible and the certainly incomprehensible.

Drone photo of the Aerie elevated deck pour underway in Corona Del Mar, photo courtesy of Ekedal Concrete, Inc

Among the projects submitted for the 2017 CFA Projects of the Year was a project weighing in at 15,000 sq.ft. (1,393.5 sq.m.). The project, a private residence in Corona Del Mar, California was constructed on a cliff overlooking the coastal bay. Submitted by Ekedal Concrete, Inc. of Newport Beach, CA, this entry added to their already impressive collection of strikingly large concrete works with massive challenges. As a company, Ekedal has made a commitment to the mega-foundation residential market in taking on any and all challenges. Their results evidence the success of combining vision for the project sequence with the skill they have developed as a concrete contractor to deliver a foundation second to none and another award-winning project.

Garage access ramp and main level structural supports for Aerie project.

Finishing operations nearly complete on the elevated deck for the Aerie project. Photos courtesy of Ekedal Concrete, Inc.

One of the first questions often asked of a contractor working a project like this pertains to their selection. Ekedal Concrete had been involved with this project over a 10-year development timeline. Vice President for Ekedal Concrete, Ryan Ekedal, quickly describes the merits of this project and the selection for the concrete work as having stemmed from the investment they made: “This was a very complicated project in a very affluent part of the city next to multi-million dollar homes on both sides. All of the local governing agencies were involved, along with the coastal commission, so it was a very lengthy process to get the approvals. The entire design team came to Ekedal due to our reputation and the body of work we have to show over the span of 40 years. Ultimately, our selection is based on the immense amount of time on the front end of our projects, and a project like this very much needed that. Additionally, we bring experience in expediting approval processes and delivering an in-house shop drawing department with complex software solutions to make the pre-construction phase very smooth.” This company put a lot at stake early in the project, developing a relationship with the design team, the owner and the builder so that every aspect of the work could be controlled and delivered with confidence and precision.

As seen in the images, the project sits into the side of a large cliff overlooking the ocean. This meant considerable shoring was needed to hold the cliff. The construction sequence of drilling, pouring, shoring, re-shoring and continuing this process maintained the surrounding areas. Shoring walls were 20 ft. (6 m) tall and tapered from 8 in. (20 cm) to 20 in. (50 cm) consisting of shotcrete in separate sections due to the shoring piles needing to stay in place until the sections came to their desired strength.

This private residence, in addition to the astounding square footage of the footprint, delivers quite unimaginable statistics for a residential project. The concrete package for the foundation totaled 2,910 yd3 of concrete (2225 m3) including caissons, mat slab, foundation walls and podium decking. Steel reinforcement came in at 1,595,000 lbs. (723.5 tonnes). Structural support for the home to be constructed within the footprint required thirty-three (33) caissons, each 3 ft. (0.9 m) in diameter and a depth of 1,500 ft. (457 m). From the caissons, massive 24×250 steel I-beams spanned as long as 50 ft. (15.2 m).

Built into a cliff, the foundation walls ranged from 11 to 26 ft. (3.35 to 7.92 m) in height while the thickness of the walls ranged from 12 to 18 in. (30 to 46 cm). However, what the statistics do not tell are of the design complications that made the construction strategies most challenging. “The complexity of this project was due to its vast size and the number of radii that the project included, some which had center points actually offsite (in the ocean),” stated Ekedal. “By working directly with the architect and engineer we were able to get needed dimensions for points and intersections at critical locations. We also made full-scale mock-ups to make sure ADA compliance was accomplished. Our in-house plan detailing department was critical in staying far ahead of the work in the field by addressing clashes.”

Ekedal added that much of the curved foundation walls on the project consisted of very few tangent intersections. This made layout very complicated and critical. “Many of the points used to layout these radius walls were essentially in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Also, each section of wall was designed with rebar cages at each end to make a “moment frame” condition.” The rebar cages, as noted by Ekedal consisted of six (6) #5 vertical bars with #4 rebar ties at 12 in. (30 cm) on center, and two (2) #4 hairpins at 12 in. (30 cm) on center. These added an extreme amount of labor as well as being challenging to build.

The complexities of the project did not stop at the walls. A 12,570 sq.ft. (1,168 sq.m.) podium deck, 12 in. (30 cm) thick, had a portion that sloped and a 5.5 in. (14 cm) thick lightweight pan deck of 11,570 sq.ft. (1,075 sq.m.) was set on the floor above. Both decks feature serpentine edges and multiple steps. To achieve ADA compliance, one of the radius walls was offset at the top, resulting in a sloped radius corbel detail that tied in with the sloping podium deck. However, Ekedal said the most difficult portion was the curved and sloped 12 in. (30 cm) concrete driveway. “The driveway had an entrance lane and an exit lane which started at different locations. This resulted in differing elevations connected by a structural concrete beam or curb. Because the driveway exits to a sloped street, the drive was cambered to match but also needed an opening to allow for access into the generator room below. Then, to complete the designer’s vision, planters were constructed at the top of the driveway with curved walls, differing levels, and a sloping curved curb. We had very little straight wall on this immense project.”

The most challenging part to appreciate of any concrete in building construction is its very existence. In a short time, the work is covered by the project it supports and the stories of how it came to be are all that remain. This is certainly true for this massive foundation supporting the multi-million-dollar development adding to the Corona Del Mar landscape. And yet, there are even more stories to be told of the way the project came together, as well as the material science that protects the investment. Ekedal Concrete and their product supply partners brought in waterproofing concrete admixtures, added epoxy-coated rebar and prepared the project for a lifetime of secure performance.

When asked if there is one thing that stands out the most in this project, specifically in the effort to bring it through this vital stage, the president of Ekedal Concrete, Dave Ekedal, said: “[The] Ekedal Team paying attention to all the important details is what lead to the success of this project. Working as a team and not as an individual increased the opportunity to have the success we did. From top to bottom the effort was 110%.”

Project Information:

  • Size: (Total Sq.Ft.) 15,000 SF
  • Total Concrete (cu.yds.):
    • Walls: 750
    • Mat Slab: 1200
    • Podium Decks: 530
    • Caissons: 430 Yds
  • Total Steel (lbs.):
    • Walls: 550,000
    • Mat Slab: 220,000
    • Podium Deck: 450,000
    • Caisson (total steel) 375,000
  • Wall Heights: (ft. & in.) 11 to 26 ft.
  • Wall Thickness: (ft. & in.) 12 to 18 in.

Mat slab pour: photos of this project can be seen in the awards section of the CFA’s website,, where the annual project award recipients are archived. However, to get the best perspective on the complicated work for this project along with seeing the successful accomplishments, Ekedal Concrete offers a series of YouTube videos on the project.

Want to challenge or reward your team for the project work you are completing?

Contact CFA Executive Director, Jim Baty, at 866-232-9255 or by email at

As a member of the CFA, it is free to submit your projects to this annual competition.

A panel of judges will review each submission and rate the performance of the completed work(s). Project categories include single-family residences in three size categories, commercial structures, agricultural structures, multi-family residences, non-wall structural items and more.

The Concrete Foundations Association’s mission is to support the cast-in-place contractor as the voice and recognized authority for the residential concrete industry.

For more on the 2017 Projects of the Year:

Defining Leadership

James Baty, CFA Executive Director,

Here is the problem with being seen as a leader: leaders continue to give a lot of time, energy and often money as a way of contributing to the larger goal or to honor the position they have attained. This is increasingly hard on the organization and the individual as it regularly conflicts with the mission and vision of the company, whose work positioned the person to be seen or considered a leader. And yet, leadership is one of the most exciting, driving and beneficial opportunities that anyone can achieve.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines leadership in three ways. I often find it important to visit the dictionary when considering such terms, as life tends to place blinders on us, preventing us from taking in the fullness of our own definitions. In this resource, a leader is defined as “something that leads; a person who leads;” or, “a horse placed in advance of the other horses of a team” ( I would like to work backwards through these global definitions.

A horse placed in advance of a team. While there are always rogue or shooting stars, most hard-working persons recognize that “many hands make light work,” as my mother would say. While one is placed at the front, it is the concerted direction of all that makes for completion of the task at hand. A leader sets the pace and defines the direction in a way that makes it possible for the entire team to contribute.

A person who leads. We are confident because we are made to appear confident. We are naturally inclined to follow and to be organized into a cohesive effort. You want to get a task done, select the right individual to lead and allow them to organize those around them—inspiration combined with perspiration. I see that played out today with your association president and within our member companies, be it the CEO to the company, the division manager to the divisions or the crew leader to the forming crew.

Something that leads implies an object or a device (the dictionary offers a short length of stronger material between fishing line and the hook). In some ways, a tool, a device that serves the purpose of making sure energy and direction accomplish the task. Without the leader, the hook is severed and cannot deliver. Without the leader, the target cannot be attained accurately and efficiently. Without the leader, the door is left open with nothing coming in.

What are you struggling with in your company? If you are not taking the time to define it and label it, chances are you are not challenging your company enough. Without challenge, there is no inspiration, and perspiration is just energy wasted. Come to Concrete Foundations Convention 2017 in Nashville and become labeled as a leader in more ways than one.