Table of Contents
- President's Message
- PCI Certification
- Fewer Zone Meetings in 2008
- Convention Wrap Up
- Introducing... Incoming PCI Chairman Bill Simmons
- New Publication Schedule for Directory
- PCI Foundation
- PCI Reminder: Parking Structure Snow Removal
- MCPX: A Don't-Miss Networking Event
- Design & Engineering
- Committee Corner
- Design Methodology For Diaphragms
- Another Spinoff from PCI Presss Research
- Suburban Chicago Restaurant Wins National Design Award
- Precast/Prestressed Concrete Guide Introduced to Update Architects
PCI’s most valued resource has always been its members. We’ve been hard at work collecting your ideas, concerns, and feedback so that we can improve the PCI membership experience and deliver more value to you.
The data we collect from this process is quickly put into action. For example, this inFORM newsletter was inaugurated in September to make sure all members could be as aware of PCI issues and directions as those participating on the Board and in committees. In early November, PCI modified its call handling process to answer calls live, using the automated system only if all lines are in use.
In the months to come you will see more improvements to our operations, communications,
and interactions. Included with your 2008 sales declaration will be a request for contact
names and information for specific areas of business such as engineering and marketing.
This information will help us better route relevant communications. We will also be
soliciting your ongoing feedback and ideas, so when you are contacted, please take a
few moments to respond whole-heartedly. If you have questions or would like to offer
comments or suggestions now, feel free to contact me
— Jim Toscas
New PCI Certification Brochure Unveiled
It’s never been easier to show your customers the value of PCI Certification. A new 12-page brochure promoting PCI Certification programs was introduced at the PCI Convention/Exhibition and National Bridge Conference last month. Samples of the brochure were distributed at the PCI booth and at the Plant Certification, Field Certification, and Personnel Training and Certification committee meetings, and are now being distributed to all PCI Producer and Erector Associate members. The brochure is designed to include inserts, now being developed, with specific information applicable to particular target audiences. For more information or to order a supply of PCI Certification brochures, please contact Dean Frank ( / 312-583-6770).
Certified Erector Fees Reduced
The PCI-Certified Erector program is going down—in price, that is. Thanks to cost-cutting measures, fees will decrease from $3350 to $2500 for all erectors that undergo a company audit after October 21, 2007. For more information, please contact Dean Frank ( / 312-583-6770).
Personnel Training and Quality Control Manuals Being Revised
Almost every key PCI training and quality control manual is being updated. Personnel Training Manual TM-101, used in PCI Level I / II Quality Control schools, is being revised to reflect state-of-the-art practices and will be used in all PCI Quality Control schools by mid-2008. Training Manual TM-103, used for PCI Level III, is also being revised. A major revision of PCI Manual for Quality Control: Architectural Precast Concrete (MNL-117) has been under development for several years and is expected to be ready for publication in 2008, followed by a revised PCI Manual for Quality Control: Structural Precast Concrete (MNL-116) in 2009. Finally, Manual for Quality Control: Glass Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (MNL-130) is in its final review stage. PCI-Certified plants will be given ample time to modify their operations to comply with requirements that have changed. For more information, please contact Dean Frank ( / 312-583-6770).
Plant Certification Program Status
As of October 1, 2007, there are 290 plants participating in the PCI Plant Certification program, including 18 applications in process. Of the 272 PCI-Certified plants, 259 are in the United States, 12 are in Canada, and 1 is in Mexico.
Fewer Zone Meetings in 2008
The PCI Zone Meeting schedule is still being finalized with Zone Directors, but this much has been set:
- A combined Zone 1N, 1S, & 2 Meeting will be held March 19–20, 2008, in Las Vegas, NV (hotel TBD)
- A combined Zone 3 & 4 meeting will be held in April 2008 (date and hotel TBD)
- Zone 5 will meet May 13–14, 2008, in Boston, MA (hotel TBD)
- Zone 6 will meet in April 2008 (date and hotel TBD)
Convention Wrap Up
With almost 1400 attendees and a record-setting 102 exhibitors, this year’s PCI Convention/Exhibition and National Bridge Conference was a great success. Committee meetings, seminars, presentations, and awards banquets all amounted to a significant technology transfer for both the Institute and the industry.
PCI is compiling Convention presentations for distribution on CD this month to all registered attendees. The CD will also be available for purchase through the PCI bookstore ().
The PCI Board of Directors held a day-long meeting during the Convention, and set several program priorities for the forthcoming year:
- Recruit younger members and students
- Address industry safety
- Secure a future facility for PCI headquarters (current lease expires in 2010)
- Clarify company audit procedure and continue improvements to the program
- Expand and improve communications to members
- Encourage Producer Member engineers to join as individual Professional Members
- Visit plants to communicate PCI successes
Introducing... Incoming PCI Chairman Bill Simmons
Incoming PCI Chairman of the Board William F. (Bill) Simmons III emphasized his intention to focus on PCI’s strategic planning needs during his address to the PCI membership on the last day of this year’s Convention.
Bill’s career in the precast concrete industry stretches back some 30 years. Currently the CEO of the Shockey Precast Group, Bill joined the Shockey Companies in 1978. He first served as operations manager for Crider & Shockey, and later became the company’s general manager and vice president. Prior to joining Shockey, Bill worked as a technical service engineer for a national company providing cement, aggregates, and concrete admixtures to the construction industry, and as an EIT/project manager for the West Virginia Department of Transportation. Bill graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering from West Virginia University in 1969.
In addition to being active with PCI, Bill is the past president and current member of the board of directors for the Virginia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association.
He currently resides in Winchester, Va., with his wife, Nancy.
New Publication Schedule for Directory
The 2008-2009 PCI Member Directory will be published in mid-year, later than in the past, to better correspond to the membership renewal timetable for member firms. The 2008-2009 Directory will reflect PCI Member status as of April 1, 2008. Where required, member firms must have their 2007 Sales Declarations submitted by March 15, 2008 in order to be listed.
The PCI Foundation officially kicked off its capital campaign this fall. Among the fundraising efforts was the highly successful Foundation Golf Outing at this year’s Convention, which featured over 100 players.
Members of the Foundation’s Scholastic Network met at the Convention to discuss ways of improving architecture curricula and expanding architectural resources at the collegiate level across the country. The Scholastic Network is a group of academics interested in precast concrete structures who are dedicated to continuously improving their working relationships with the industry.
The Foundation’s Precast Design Studio was launched earlier in the year at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Students have now completed midterm examinations, which required students to present design boards to a panel of industry engineers led by Dr. Gil Snyder from the University of Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Design. Final designs will likely make an appearance in the open category of the 2008 Architectural Student Design Competition. Plans are currently under way to highlight the design work and profile both the curriculum and participants of the Design Studio via the Internet. A website is being designed that will allow students to share class notes and teachers to post lessons and design studio resources, facilitating access for all schools of architecture interested in adopting precast/prestressed concrete into their university curricula.
The PCI Foundation is a Corinthian Sponsor of the AIAS 2007 FORUM, to be held in Milwaukee, Wis., December 29–January 1, 2008. Emily Lorenz, Staff Liaison to PCI’s Sustainability Committee, will speak to architecture students on the design of sustainable structures.
To learn more about the PCI Foundation and how you can contribute or become a Scholastic Network member, visit.
PCI sponsors and cosponsors a variety of educational seminars to aid in the professional development of engineers, architects, and others in the construction and design community. Visitfor seminar descriptions, fees, and online registration.
Designing with Architectural Precast Concrete
Discover why architectural precast concrete is rapidly becoming a preferred aesthetic and sustainable choice of designers, owners, and builder/developers nationwide. This seminar includes a complimentary copy of the new 3rd edition of the Architectural Precast Concrete manual, a $180 value. Participants will also receive an application for a free one-year individual PCI membership.
- Five Learning Tracks are offered:
- Architectural Precast Applications Overview
- Aesthetic Possibilities and Design Economy
- Design Concepts
- Design Considerations and Detailing
Participants will earn 6.75 Professional Development Hours (PDH) or 6.75 HSW-Learning Units (LU). A certificate will be provided at the conclusion of the seminar.
December 05, 2007
Hilton Nashville Downtown
(Sponsored by PCI Central Region)
December 06, 2007
Hilton Garden Inn Louisville Airport
(Sponsored by PCI Central Region)
December 12, 2007
Renaissance St. Louis Grand & Suites Hotel
St. Louis, MO
(Sponsored by PCI Central Region)
December 12, 2007
(Sponsored by PCI of Illinois and Wisconsin)
December 13, 2007
(Sponsored by PCI of Illinois and Wisconsin)
December 13, 2007
Loudermilk Conference Center
(Sponsored by Georgia/Carolinas PCI)
PCI Producers or Regional Directors interested in offering this seminar should contact Mike Potts (312-583-6784 /).
Designing for Earthquakes Using Precast/Prestressed Concrete
This seminar is most appropriate for structural engineers who need the skills necessary to design structures in all seismic design categories using precast/prestressed concrete. The fee includes a copy of the 1st edition of Seismic Design of Precast/Prestressed Concrete Structures by Drs. Ned Cleland and S. K. Ghosh, seminar notes, refreshment breaks, and lunch. Participants will also receive an application for a free one-year individual PCI membership.
Participants will earn 7.0 Professional Development Hours (PDH) or 7.0 HSW-Learning Units (LU). A certificate will be provided at the conclusion of the seminar.
December 13, 2007
PCI Bridge Design Manual
A one-day seminar designed to provide comprehensive information and useful guidelines for the design of prestressed concrete bridges. The information presented will enable city, county, state highway, and bridge engineers to choose products quickly. Each attendee will receive a copy of the latest edition of the PCI Bridge Design Manual and can register to receive future Manual updates, revisions, and additions.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Hotel Carlisle and Conference Center
PCI Reminder: Parking Structure Snow Removal
In areas where winter weather affects the operation of a parking structure, removal of excess snow and ice is essential for functional performance, public safety, and long-term durability. PCI would like to remind precasters with parking structure customers of the snow-removal guidelines found in PCI's Maintenance Manual for Precast Parking Structures, section 2.2. This section gives explicit details on snow and ice removal, including planning, proper equipment, chemical deicers, written procedures, and how-to instruction for snow-removal personnel. Precasters looking to share this valuable information with their customers can find the section online as a free download at.
MCPX: A Don't-Miss Networking Event
PCI members are invited to participate in the Manufactured Concrete Products Exposition (MCPX), February 7–9, 2008, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
Exposition registration is FREE to all PCI members.
This event brings together 6,000 manufactured concrete producers, suppliers, engineers, and other industry leaders. Participants have access to an extensive educational program, plant tours as well as over 250,000 square feet of exhibit space filled with thousands of products and services, many from PCI Associate Members.
For more information, visit the MCPX website at, or contact PCI marketing director Chuck Merydith ( / 312-360-3206).
Design & Engineering
The next edition of the PCI Design Handbook is under development. The 7th edition is scheduled for completion in 2009. The PCI Design Handbook has been one of the most referenced documents in our industry for over 36 years. Also, the new PCI Connections Manual for Prestressed and Precast Concrete Construction is scheduled for completion in fall of 2008. If you’d like to help PCI develop either of these important documents, please contact Jason Krohn (), Staff Liaison to the PCI Design Handbook Committee.
Advanced designs for structural integrity will be tested using a full-scale model. PCI is working with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on its structural integrity/progressive collapse project. For more information, please contact Jason Krohn (), Staff Liaison to the PCI Structural Integrity and Blast Committee.
ACI will include PCI-recommended tolerances for precast concrete in its ITG 7 document. This will eventually lead to a reference in ACI 301 specifications. For more information, please contact Jason Krohn (firstname.lastname@example.org), Staff Liaison to the PCI Tolerance Committee.
PCI’s SCC Guidelines document is being updated. This document, which is the authority on SCC, is being revised by the PCI Concrete Materials Technology Committee (CMT) to include the latest advances and standards for SCC. Brian Lee Lawrence (Wiss, Janney, Elstner, Associates, Inc.) is the new chair of the Committee. PCI thanks Richard Miller (University of Cincinnati) for his years of service as chair of this committee. For more information or to help PCI maintain the state-of-the-art knowledge in SCC, please contact Brian Miller (), PCI Staff Liaison to the CMT Committee.
The next edition of the Hollow-Core Manual is under development by the PCI Hollow-Core Slab Producers Committee, targeted for completion in 2008. The committee is trying to arrange a joint meeting with the International Prestressed Hollowcore Association (IPHA) during the 2010 PCI Convention and fib Congress. For more information, please contact Brian Miller (), PCI Staff Liaison to the Hollow-Core Slab Producers Committee.
A PCI design guide for total precast concrete buildings is in the works. The Total Precast Systems Committee is developing the guide, which will include useful information on building layout, conceptual design, and integration of mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and other systems with precast concrete. The committee welcomed Ron Jankowski (Oldcastle Precast) as its new chair and Marshall Sorenson (Shockey Precast) as its vice-chair at the October Convention. PCI thanks outgoing co-chairs Degan Hambacher (FDG, Inc.) and Alex Mihaylov (Berger/ABAM Engineers, Inc.) for their hard work. For more information contact Brian Miller (), Staff Liaison to the PCI Total Precast Systems Committee.
Two important parking structure studies were published in the PCI Journal, one on joints and one on lighting. Both were presented at the October Convention. Also, PCI is updating its Recommended Practice for Parking Structures, the most downloaded document on the PCI website. For more information, please contact Brian Miller (), Staff Liaison to the PCI Parking Structure Committee.
Transportation is on TrAC. The Committee on Transportation (CoT) is now called the Transportation Activities Committee (TrAC).
All PCI committees and Staff Liaisons are listed in the PCI Member Directory. You can download the most up-to-date version in PDF format from the PCI website ().
Design Methodology For Diaphragms
PCI has tasked a consortium of three universities to research an improved Design Methodology for Precast Diaphragms. The University of Arizona, Lehigh University, and the University of California at San Diego will work to develop an industry-endorsed recommended practice for the design and construction of diaphragms comprising precast/prestressed concrete components. The research program includes pretoppped and topped diaphragms using both double-tee and hollow-core units. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided a grant of $569,000 for this research program and the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) is expected to contribute $250,000 for the experimental part. In addition, the Charles Pankow Foundation (CPF) contributed $105,145 and recently pledged additional support of $305,000. These contributions, combined with industry support from PCI and several PCI Producer and Associate Members, have made possible an extensive research program in excess of $2 million over a three-year period.
The project is being carried out under the supervision of the PCI Research & Development Committee, chaired by
Doug Sutton. A special advisory committee chaired by Tom D’Arcy has been working closely with the
researchers. Twelve meetings have been conducted so far to review the progress and plan future activities.
For additional information, contact Paul Johal, PCI Director of Research & Development
( / 312-360-3213).
Another Spinoff from PCI Presss Research
The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has completed, balloted, and accepted ITG 5.1, Acceptance Criteria for Special Unbonded Post-Tensioned Walls Based on Validation Testing. The approval of this document, which is currently being prepared for publication by ACI, means that precasters can now use post-tensioned, precast concrete structural wall systems in high-seismic areas. This initiative was funded by PCI and is the result of the PRESSS research program. At the urging of PCI, ACI formed an Innovative Task Group to develop acceptance criteria for test methods for precast concrete post-tensioned shearwalls that will be referenced by ACI 318, and to develop an approach to allow engineers to efficiently meet the objectives of the testing application.
The members of the ITG were: Chair Charles Dolan (University of Wyoming), Miroslav Vejvoda (ACI), Neil Hawkins (University of Illinois), Ronald Klemencic (Magnusson Klemencic Associates), Vilas Mujumdar (National Science Foundation), Stephen Pessiki (Lehigh University), Carol Shield (University of Minnesota), John Wallace (University of California–Los Angeles), Loring Wyllie (Degenkold Engineers), S. K. Ghosh (S. K. Ghosh Associates Inc.), Attila Beres (Portland Cement Association), Ned Cleland (Blue Ridge Design Inc.), and Suzanne Nakaki (The Nakaki Bashaw Group Inc.).
Suburban Chicago Restaurant Wins National Design Award
Tessa’s Restaurant, in downtown Naperville, Ill., was the recent recipient of PCI’s 2007 award for Excellence in Architectural and Engineering Design. PCI annually administers an all-encompassing building design that includes structures located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Only 14 buildings received awards from more than 140 entries.
The design committee was impressed by the ability of the new sections of the precast concrete building to blend seamlessly with the existing 100-year-old structure. Also noteworthy was the insistence of Jim Bergeron Jr., Tessa's owner, on using local companies for the design and construction of this building.
A celebratory tour of the new facilities and a presentation of awards will be hosted by Dukane Precast at Tessa's Restaurant on December 3.
Precast/Prestressed Concrete Guide Introduced to Update Architects
Designing with Precast and Prestressed Concrete, introduced at this year’s PCI 2007 Convention and National Bridge Conference, is a full-color, loose-leaf binder divided into chapters that cover all aspects of the building process in which precast concrete plays a role. It features key design considerations, a listing of major components and their capabilities, systems integration, connection options, guide specifications, and examples of projects using precast concrete in all building types.
“This all-encompassing binder is designed to serve as both an introduction for designers unfamiliar with precast concrete and an all-in-one reference source for experienced designers who want to review a specific topic or consider new ideas,” explains Chuck Merydith, PCI’s director of marketing and communications. The book collects information previously available in various PCI publications, including specification sheets, guidebooks, magazine and journal articles, and brochures.
The source material referenced can be either downloaded or ordered from PCI’s website, www.pci.org, so designers can access additional details about any topic addressed in the manual. The loose-leaf format allows the manual to be updated and expanded as new material is introduced and new technologies and documentation are created, Merydith notes. The updates will be announced to existing manual users through an email alert system as well as through announcements on the website.
The 250-page manual will be available in December to PCI Producer Members for $60. PCI regional directors are receiving copies of the binder to deliver to a targeted group of architects as part of the national distribution program.
December 2–7, 2007
ASTM Committee Meeting
December 3, 2007
PCI Central Region Board Meeting
December 5, 2007
PCI of IL & WI Board Meeting
Prairie Isle, IL
January 17–21, 2007
PCI 2008 Winter Conference
February 4–6, 2008
Certified Field Auditor School
February 7-9, 2008
February 4–8, 2008
PCI Plant Quality Control School
Held at MCPX in Denver, CO
February 18–March 2, 2008
International Code Council Development Hearing
Palm Springs, CA