The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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September 14, 2012

Trade group to highlight benefits of concrete construction next month

A trade association for cement will hold an event in Cunningham Park next month promoting the benefits of building with concrete, which includes cement as an essential ingredient.

The Portland Cement Association, based in Skokie, Ill., will present Think Harder — Concrete Ideas for a Safer Joplin from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in the park. There is no cost to attend and a free lunch will be served.

Local members of the trade group Monarch Cement Co. and Joplin Concrete Co. will be represented, said Donn Thompson, director of market strategy and positioning for the trade group.

“We’re also going to have a builder who is involved in Convoy of Hope replacing wood frame homes destroyed in the tornado with new, concrete homes,” Thompson said. “They’ve built six homes so far.”

The event also will include representatives with TF Forming Systems, which builds houses and buildings +using a technique called insulated concrete forms. Thompson said buildings constructed using the technique are energy efficient and environmentally-friendly.

“The homeowners who have moved into the concrete homes, one of the issues is sustainability and energy-efficiency,” Thompson said. “Their energy costs are much lower, so they’re better able to afford their homes.”

Also part of the event will be a walking tour to two of the concrete-built homes near the park and a medical office building across the street from the park that was built with concrete.

Thompson said concrete as a building material has the benefits of being better able to resist strong winds. They are better able to resist air and water infiltration. Because they are able to reduce sound penetration, the buildings are quieter.

“From a durability standpoint, concrete is going to last much longer than your typical frame construction,” Thompson said.

Cement is the powder that is mixed with stone, sand and water to create concrete, said Donn Thompson, with the Portland Cement Association.

“Cement is the glue that holds it all together,” he said.


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