Publisher’s Letter – February/March 2018

If you’re like me, the Weather App is getting a lot of attention as these dreary winter days continue. And darn if it isn’t snowing outside — AGAIN! The bright side is at least the days are getting longer.

Will Mattingly of Indianapolis recently shared a video on Facebook showing Mattingly Concrete and friends. I was impressed, not just by the size of his fleet but the level of organization and cleanliness of his operation. He has definitely used his winter downtime to prepare for a productive work season ahead. One thing I know about life and business — when you take care of your stuff and it’s all in its proper place, you spend less time looking and more time doing!

If you visited Decorative Concrete LIVE! at World of Concrete this year, you likely saw good friends and witnessed interesting product applications. Overall, I hope you noticed how concrete delivers solutions for a complete building application. Foundation, slab, walls, cladding, interior finishes, exterior hardscapes — it’s all achievable with locally sourced materials that are also extremely energy efficient.

During WOC, a FEMA representative asked me if the ICFs at the Decorative Concrete LIVE! exhibit could withstand Cat 4 or 5 hurricanes. A favorable response from an on-site Fox Blocks representative and information about aesthetic applications for concrete gave that FEMA rep viable solutions for some 11,000 buildings destroyed by recent hurricanes.

A friend recently asked me why this industry thinks it must compete pricewise with traditional building materials and finishes. Or why it thinks polished concrete prices must be better than VCTs. If decorative concrete is offering a superior solution, shouldn’t that value be reflected in pricing?

A lot of good is happening in this industry that is elevating the public’s interest in concrete as a holistic building solution. I challenge everyone to keep pushing concrete’s boundaries. Don’t change what’s worked well but keep looking beyond.

Take advantage of your downtime to explore new possibilities such as the speed and efficiency of power trowel polishing concrete. Don’t limit carvable materials to a few exclusive small projects. Today’s equipment can continuously pump carvable mixes to create affordable aesthetic solutions on large-scale projects too, especially those involving ICFs.

Enjoy this issue. It’s chock-full of the kinds of work that keep our industry in demand.


Bent Mikkelsen

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