Concrete Products

APR 2019

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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38 • April 2019 YourPCI A visit with 2019 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Chair Keith Wallis, Jr. The new Precast/Prestressed Concrete Insti- tute chair has likely spent less time in the C-suite than most of his predecessors, and more working directly with team members who can quip about wearing form oil as cologne. The PCI 2019 agenda warrants a leader mindful of big picture and nuts & bolts developments the Institute will confront over the next decade—from digitization of construction to assertive codes & standards measures to a more immediate labor market reckoning. Keith Wallis, Jr. became chair last month during the annual PCI Convention in Louis- ville, Ky. He brings a hands-on perspective of precast, prestressed production gained over 40 years in quality control, drafting, proj- ect management and administrative roles at Springfield, Mo.-based Prestressed Casting Co., where he is now general manager. "As with most organizations funded via a diverse membership, our goals sometimes are larger than our wallet," he says. "In a year where my message as chairman is 'YourPCI,' I hope to enlighten members of the opportunities they have through committee and council participation, and ensure they realize the full value of PCI. I also want to represent those who work in the sweat side of our business, who manufacture and erect precast concrete components every day." "My involvement with PCI started 20 years ago, after I began writing the dues checks and wanted to find out more about a group that was upping the ante on the certification programs," Wallis recalls. "I discovered a whole world of knowledge that could be conveyed within our plant and erec- tion operations before it became a hard and fast requirement. Prestressed Casting grew as did I through interaction with PCI people that previously I had little exposure to." PCI committee and council meetings have served up teaching moments in best prac- tices, contract language, and innovation, he adds, noting "Good ideas stick. Members compete for projects daily, but when we come together for Institute work, we refocus to better the industry." Like many PCI peers, Wallis is especially mindful of the extent workforce recruitment, development and retention weigh on an industry seeking to realize its full potential in construction supply and project delivery chains. In response to a question on staffing and production log balance, he tells members in his first PCI Journal chair's dispatch: "Solv- ing the problem of an uneven workload in a precasting plant would be like having a goose that lays golden eggs. During good times in the past, a precaster's growth was limited by the number of forms it had. Today, capacity appears to be limited by the ability to gain and retain workers." STRATEGIC PLAN Wallis seeks to tackle the labor element as part of a strategic plan he and fellow direc- tors adopted in June 2018. It is oriented around three baseline and three strategic goals, pursuit of which will uphold these PCI priorities: • Core Purpose: A value proposition assuring members of the Institute's commitment to precast, prestressed products and methods through technical support and promotion. • Mission Statement: "As a collaborative group of industry stakeholders dedicated to promot- ing the broader use of precast, prestressed concrete systems, we engage our constituents through standards development, certification, research, marketing and education." • Envisioned Future: Five points firmly posi- tioning precast, prestressed in building and transportation markets through research & development, best practices, code efforts, and workforce development initiatives. The baseline goals are 1) Maintain the body of knowledge; 2) Maintain and advance certifica- tion programs; and, 3) Develop and maintain a first-class information technology platform and website. They underpin three strategic goals: • Develop and Implement a PCI Precast, Prestressed Concrete Building Code. "This will position PCI as an organization with the design theory, research and testing capability needed to be a bigger influence in the code area," Wallis explains. Led by the Executive and Standards Committees, plus Technical Activities Council, PCI aims to codify previ- ous and future work for International Code Council (ICC) adoption by the 2027 cycle. Pro- ducer members and Institute staff are laying the groundwork by identifying, developing and maintaining standards for structural specifications, and expanding committee par- ticipation to support content development. "The intention of this effort is for ICC to recognize decades' worth of PCI technical material and methodologies that have been used to design precast, prestressed concrete that are currently in PCI literature but not recognized in the building code … without replicating the fundamentals of structural design currently contained in ACI 318," notes PCI President and CEO Bob Risser in his most recent PCI Journal message. "The PCI Design Handbook: Precast and Prestressed Concrete and other documents fill gaps that are not addressed in current American Con- crete Institute documents. The urgency for PCI members cannot be overstated, as there is an increasing number of anecdotes about building officials not accepting designs using PCI methods because they 'are not referenced in the code.'" The PCI and American Concrete Institute Executive Committees, he adds, are discussing a joint committee to advance a Precast, Prestressed Concrete Building Code. A template for the new code premiered in 2018. Specification for Fire Resistance of Precast/Prestressed Concrete is the first doc- ument of its kind PCI has published since becoming an American National Standards Institute-accredited standards developer in 2014. Specification for Fire Resistance will be Keith Wallis, Jr. FEATURE BY DON MARSH

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