News

Oct23

Technical College Course Tours County Materials

Categories // In The News, Community & Education

Technical College Course Tours County Materials

IMG 0163 2Students in the Construction Technology 1 class at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, Wis. experienced hands-on learning inside a concrete products production facility courtesy of County Materials Corporation. The NTC course is one of the requirements for the Architectural Design and Technology Associate Degree program to become architects and designers. It teaches the principles of residential and commercial design and the methods and materials used in those designs.

Course instructor, Michael Block, felt a tour of a local manufacturing facility would be valuable for his students to see first-hand how concrete construction materials are manufactured. Block reached out to County Materials to inquire if his class could tour the company’s Marathon, Wis. facility. On October 12, only a few weeks later, Block and 15 of his students visited County Materials’ concrete block and ready-mix production facility, learning first-hand how the materials they will be specifying during their career are made.

“As an instructor, I feel it is very important that we utilize opportunities to tour so that our students get a true learning experience by seeing how many of the building products that they see and use every day are produced,” said Block. “I will be able to use the information and knowledge I received from this tour not only to go back and use for this class, but for many of my future students as well.”

The tour was a way for setting students up for success. During the tour students witnessed the full production and operation of manufacturing concrete construction materials. Seeing how the products they may use are made allows them to have a better understanding of key course goals including structural analysis, building to code, sustainability, and presentation to their customers.

“It was awesome that we could tour the facility during operation and see the whole process from production to truck dispatch and delivery. Now we have a better understanding of not only how the materials are made, but how they get to the customer,” one student commented. Another student mentioned, “I found it amazing how many products are actually made from concrete; the tour opened up a whole new world of design opportunities I wasn’t aware of.”

When students finish the course, some will immediately enter the construction field, while others may transfer to 4-year programs to further their education.

Oct23

Heavy Metal Tour Makes a Stop at County Materials

Categories // In The News, Community & Education

Heavy Metal Tour Makes a Stop at County Materials

hmt2017

More than 80 eighth-grade students learned first-hand about the growth of job opportunities and potential wages they can earn in the manufacturing industry on October 4th during their tour at County Materials’ Marathon, Wis. location. As part of the 6th annual Heavy Metal Tour, students from John Muir Middle School in Wausau experienced what concrete product manufacturing is like and learned about the many career paths available to them in the organization. Students learned about worthwhile career opportunities as professional drivers, equipment operators, mechanics, quality control technicians, engineers, managers, sales representatives, accountants, human resources personnel, and many more.

They also heard personal stories from employees, including Scott Behnke, County Materials’ ready-mix operations manager. “I started as a driver in the company and worked my way up to head the ready-mix division; we have a lot of that type of professional growth in our company,” Behnke told the students. “We have people working here who came straight out of high school, people with 2-year technical degrees, and 4-year degrees. There’s a spot for all levels and interests.”

The Heavy Metal Tour originated in 2011 to address the skilled labor gap impacting the nation and hitting Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry especially hard. The goal of the Heavy Metal Tour is to teach students cross sectional career pathways in manufacturing, and to show that there are great places of employment for people of all backgrounds. This year’s tour was made up of 16 school districts in 10 counties, totaling more than 3,800 students, making it the largest tour of its kind in the country. More than 62 regional manufacturing facilities welcomed students across the state. Created by the North Central Wisconsin Development Board, the success of the tour is thanks to the collaboration between regional chambers, technical colleges, sponsors including the Central Wisconsin Metal Manufacturing Alliance, and the many manufacturing facilities such as County Materials who invite students to visit their facilities.

“There is so much you don’t know about manufacturing until you get in here and see it all,” said Ann Lemmer, an English Language Arts teacher from John Muir. “It’s really great for the students at this age because they are getting ready to plan what they want to do and what classes they should take.”

 

Oct20

End of Season Upgrades for Patios

Categories // Covering Ground, Newsletters

End of Season Upgrades for Patios

Many homeowners think that it’s too late to hire a landscaping contractor at this time of year. However, it’s good to remind homeowners that fall is actually one of the best times to consider making upgrades to landscaping or planning for installation in spring. If upgrades are completed in fall, it means their outdoor space will be ready to enjoy as soon as spring arrives. This article contains a few of the easy ways an already existing patio can be upgraded to reach the next level of luxury for your customers.

Add dimension to a yard with planter squares or garden beds. Summit Stone® Landscape units are the perfect product to create raised planter squares that will become the focal point of any landscaping project. Summit Stone® is available in six unique shapes and sizes plus a cap unit for unlimited design flexibility. County Materials also produces County Cub® Landscape Units that are ideal for low walls and subtle garden beds. Installing garden features in the fall means that homeowners can make the most out of the spring planting season. 

There are many ways to incorporate lighting into existing landscaping. Lighting features are popular along path edges and garden beds, but can really make an impact when installed on top of, or inside pillars. Lighting not only enhances the look of an area, but also adds an extra layer of security to a home by keeping a yard well lit. If there are pavers already in place, they can be easily removed and replaced to run any necessary wiring. This also makes installing other utility features more convenient such as a gas line for a new fireplace. Installing fire features allows homeowners to enjoy their outdoor living areas for longer as the nights become chillier and earlier in the spring season.

These are just a few of the many small projects perfect for fall hardscape additions. To learn more about the many ways our diverse product lines can create unique features, visit our project gallery.

Oct20

New AIA Course Now Available: Sign Up Today!

Categories // Concrete Perspectives

New AIA Course Now Available: Sign Up Today!

County Materials Corporation offers several AIA/CES and LA/CES and Dwelling Contractor approved courses for architects, landscape architects, engineers, developers and builders interested in learning more about diverse construction products. Trained County Materials instructors will set up at your workplace and provide a complimentary lunch to all program attendees.

We now offer a new course called Concrete Masonry Veneer Units with the course number: CMCVENEER2017. This hour long educational course provides an overview of concrete masonry veneers as a building material and covers veneer properties and installation instructions including proper assembly and best construction practices; sustainable attributes; and aesthetic uses in architectural masonry design.

For more information on the course, or to schedule a Learning Session with a County Materials’ product representative, please click here.

 

Oct20

Building Sustainably with Concrete Masonry

Categories // Concrete Perspectives, Newsletters

Building Sustainably with Concrete Masonry

An important feature in many building designs of today is sustainability. Whether it’s the cost savings or simply knowing that a building is doing its part in reducing the carbon footprint, sustainable construction has many benefits. Concrete masonry products inherently provide numerous environmental benefits including their long life-cycle, energy efficiency, and use of locally sourced materials. County Materials is committed to helping our customers and communities achieve green building goals by offering sustainably made and long performing products.

Crafted with Sustainability in Mind

County Materials manufactures a variety of concrete masonry units that support sustainable practices and design. Our products are locally-sourced from abundant natural resources, making them a practical choice for sustainable construction and reducing the carbon footprint for hauling heavy materials.  We also offer products that are produced with pre-consumer recycled content in the manufacturing process, including our Premier Ultra® Burnished Masonry Units and Heritage CollectionTM Designer Concrete Brick.

County Materials manufactures several varieties of concrete masonry units that are uniquely engineered to enhance R-values, resulting in better energy performance. Open Cell Insulating Units are manufactured with smaller, ¾” thick webs that decrease the area where energy can be absorbed through. These units are lighter weight for easier installation, pass energy code requirements, and meet ASTM C90 specifications for loadbearing concrete units. ProBlock Insulating Units are another option that are uniquely designed to drastically increase R-Values. With fewer and smaller webs, thermal bridging is greatly reduced. When injected with foam insulations, these unique blocks can greatly increase R-Values.

Reducing Energy Costs

In addition to utilizing special thermal concrete blocks, walls can be designed to drastically decrease thermal transfer and heat loss.  Constructing a multi-wythe wall not only increases the overall energy savings of a building but allows for the use of a decorative veneer to enhance the attractiveness of a building. Multi-wythe wall design includes several layers of protection that all work to increase the overall R-Value of the system, including the block, insulation, airspace and veneer.

Utilizing concrete masonry products from County Materials can help contribute toward projects achieving sustainable building certifications, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green building program. Additionally, concrete masonry products can reduce the energy and lifetime maintenance costs of a building. If you are considering sustainable building for your next project, reach out to your local County Materials’ sales representative or contact our customer service department at (800) 242-773 to learn more about the impressive performance of concrete masonry.

 

 

Sep20

Local Organizations to Benefit from County Materials’ Charity Golf Outing

Categories // Press Release

Local Organizations to Benefit from County Materials’ Charity Golf Outing

 

In its 11th year, County Materials’ Charity Golf Outing has again surpassed its goal of raising more than the previous year. County Materials hosted their annual event on September 7th, 2017, at the Wausau Country Club to raise funds for charities supported by the Sonnentag Foundation. In total, the 2017 outing raised $175,605—$19,105 more than last year’s event. Since County Materials first organized the charity golf outing, it has raised more than $937,755 for charitable organizations. One hundred percent of the golf outing funds are distributed by the Sonnentag Foundation, whose philanthropic interests are strategically focused on supporting programs and projects that change the lives of people in communities where County Materials has facilities.

Every year the event brings together sponsors and participants who have the chance to meet with representatives from several charitable organizations they are helping. At this year’s event representatives from the Salvation Army Grace Place Homeless Shelter and three Big Brother Big Sisters branches were in attendance, including the North Central Wisconsin branch, Central Wisconsin branch, and the Rock, Walworth, and Jefferson Counties (RWJ) branch.

“An event like this gives us the opportunity to share our story,” said Pam Carper, Executive Director of BBBS RWJ. “The funds we receive go directly to our programming. This year we are earmarking all of the funds to go into our new E3 program, which is designed to encourage, empower, and energize children who have been impacted by human trafficking.”

At the event, Duana Bremer, Social Services Director for the Salvation Army Grace Place Homeless Shelter, said that funds will go directly into their children tutoring program. “The children tutoring program offers retired teachers the opportunity to visit the shelter and work with children three days a week. The teachers contact a child’s school directly to see what the child needs most,” said Bremer. “In many cases kids in the program improve 6 months of grade level during their stay at the shelter.”

Over 76 sponsors supported County Materials’ event, including major event sponsors Hansen Reynolds LLC, Hawkeye Pedershaab, Lafarge Holcim, and Truck Country, and presenting and supporting sponsors Fabick Cat, BASF, Engineered Wire Products, Continental Cement, Rocket Industrial, GCP Applied Technologies, Michels Corporation, Rock Road Companies, Inc., von Briesen, Insteel Wire Products, and Voeller Mixers.

The Sonnentag Foundation distributes funds to selected organizations after the outing. Preference is given to mentoring programs for children, support services for women who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault, outreach programs and vocational skill training for veterans, as well as social and recreational camps for children and adults with disabilities and respite for their care givers. Funds from last year’s event were distributed to 27 different charitable organizations, directly impacting more than 55,700 people who benefit from these services and resources. The recipients include 14 BBBS chapters located throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa; Easter Seals Wisconsin and their Respite and Recreation Camps in Wisconsin Dells; Easter Seals Crossroads in Indianapolis, IN; Lakes Cares Food Pantry in Mount Dora, FL; The Women’s Community, Inc. in Wausau, WI; HOPE of East Central Illinois in Charleston, IL; Alternatives Incorporated in Anderson, IN; the Salvation Army Grace Place Homeless Shelter in New Richmond, WI; YWCA of Rock County in Janesville, WI; the Amy Schulz Child Advocacy Center in Mount Vernon, IL; Community Action, Inc. in Delavan, WI; Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee, WI; Turningpoint in River Falls, WI; and The Women’s Center in Waukesha, WI.

For more information on County Materials’ annual Charity Golf Outing and the organizations that received funding, visit the Sonnentag Foundation website at sonnentagfoundation.org.

 

Sep16

The Six Advantages of Concrete Brick

Categories // Concrete Perspectives

The Six Advantages of Concrete Brick

Masonry Magazine recently featured County Materials for our capabilities in the concrete manufacturing industry. You can read the article by visiting masonrymagazine.com.

Advanced technologies in the concrete manufacturing industry have changed what was thought possible with concrete brick. With more than 70 years of experience in manufacturing concrete products, County Materials has acquired extensive industry knowledge and manufacturing capabilities. Traditional brick has always been a popular choice among architects and masons for its ability to create arches, corbelling and columns that often result in a more attractive and inviting building. County Materials’ Heritage Collection™ Concrete Designer Brick offers the design capabilities and aesthetics of traditional brick with the additional benefits of concrete masonry construction. We’ve compiled six advantages that are leading many discriminating architects and masons to specify concrete brick more than ever.

Enhanced Colors and Textures

Masonry color and texture options have progressed significantly as advances in manufacturing technologies have improved. County Materials manufactures concrete brick and concrete masonry units with integral color pigments that enhance color retention, achieve natural color tones, and add stunning depth and richness. Pigments are integrated throughout the entire concrete brick unit, rather than just coating the surface. Additionally, County Materials has invested in manufacturing capabilities to produce multiple face textures, including smooth, rough estate, and split face, to meet design needs. Lastly, we utilize integral water repellant to help prevent moisture penetration inside the wall and minimize efflorescence.

Readily Available

County Materials is equipped to meet the demand of any project with little wait time. Our efficient mold system and mix design process give us the flexibility to manufacture different shapes, types, sizes, and colors of concrete brick by request. We have a professional sales staff ready to help you find the right product that meets project design and will work with you every step of the way to meet a tight deadline. County Materials also maintains our own extensive fleet that is ready to deliver product immediately after production right to the job site when you need it.

Consistency

Concrete brick is cured in a form, which allows it to maintain a consistent, uniform size. Alternative products cannot guarantee the same consistency. Size consistency allows for efficient installation. Also, for projects that utilize the smooth texture of Heritage Collection Concrete Brick, there is reduced waste on the job site because either side can face out. If a brick somehow becomes chipped, it can easily be used by flipping it to the other side.

Unmatched Durability

Our manufacturing process produces one of the strongest and most durable concrete bricks on the market. Crafted with a high strength mix design, Heritage Collection Designer Brick not only meet ASTM standards, they far exceed the industry standard. This means they withstand everyday wear and tear, minimizing maintenance and repairs over a project’s service life. Additionally, concrete brick is resistant to fire, rot, and weathering.

 Environmentally Friendly

Concrete products inherently provide many environmental benefits including long life-cycle and energy efficiency. Heritage Concrete Brick may contribute toward a project achieving LEED® award levels under the guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council because units are manufactured with post-industrial, pre-consumer recycled content and locally-sourced materials.

Thin and Full Veneer Options

Our manufacturing capabilities allow us to offer Heritage Concrete Designer Brick in structural concrete load-bearing or full and thin veneer units. Thin veneers offer the same aesthetics as full depth masonry but can be installed in a variety of interior and exterior applications using various substrates including prefabricated metal panels, cementitious backer board and plywood, concrete, concrete unit masonry and gypsum sheathing. Thin veneers are becoming a popular choice for interior usage to recreate the look of older buildings. Especially as older brick structures are being converted into modern uses, such as multi-living spaces and commercial offices.

For more details on our many color and texture options, visit our Heritage Concrete Designer Brick web page.

 

Sep08

Top Interior Design Ideas with Masonry Veneers

Categories // Concrete Perspectives

 Top Interior Design Ideas with Masonry Veneers

Masonry veneers used on exteriors continue to gain market share in the construction industry. However, more recently, their use is trending inside new residential and business construction because they offer stunning visual appeal and many economic benefits. As manufacturers offer a variety of full and thin veneer masonry product options, it’s easier than ever to create stunning features for new home and business construction or remodels, all at an affordable price. In addition, masonry veneer applications can increase home and property values, all while reducing insurance costs due to their high fire and moisture resistance. With County Materials’ large variety of full and thin masonry veneer offerings and color choices, there are many ways to incorporate masonry veneers into your next project. Below are several popular ways our company is seeing customers build and renovate with masonry veneers.

Accent Walls: An accent wall can transform the whole look and feel of a home or commercial building by adding a timeless and natural aesthetic at an affordable price. Accent walls create a focal point or appealing backdrop for other unique design elements that are being showcased. Additionally, accent walls withstand bumps and scrapes in heavily trafficked areas. With many color and texture options available, you’ll be sure to find the perfect statement making accent you are looking for.

Fireplaces, Chimneys, and Mantels: A fireplace, chimney, or mantel clad with masonry veneers becomes a stand-out feature for any room or gathering space. Concrete veneers are crafted to resemble natural stone, and veneers also come in natural stone panels for an earthy, natural aesthetic that enhances the timeless appeal fireplaces add to a room. Masonry veneers are the ideal building material for fire features because of their high fire-resistance and insulating characteristics.

Kitchen and Bathroom Backsplashes: Utilizing masonry veneers for kitchen or bathroom backsplashes will take these rooms to the next level. An attractive backsplash made of a masonry veneer requires little maintenance; any cleaning can be accomplished by wiping the backsplash with water and soap similar to other porous surfaces. The impact and high fire-resistance of masonry veneers is also an important factor when installed near cooking appliances.

Finished Basements: If you’re looking to upgrade a basement into a more inviting living area, masonry veneers are a simple solution that meet the many challenges of remodeling. A masonry veneer can be directly applied to most wall surfaces, reducing preparation and construction time. Masonry veneers also help with sound insulation and temperature extremes which is beneficial in most basement applications. Many basements are damp spaces, with little air flow, that causes many materials to mold or become food sources for pests. Concrete masonry, on the other hand, does not rot, and is resistant to insects and other pests that can plague basements.

Exceptional Design Freedom: County Materials offers several collections of decorative masonry veneers, each with their own distinct features, aesthetics, and benefits. Reflection Stone™ Masonry Units Masonry Units and County Stone® Masonry Units offer a natural look with the benefits of concrete manufacturing. Their modular sizes and shapes make installation easy. Additionally, they are offered in full (nominal 4”) and thin (nominal (1”) thicknesses for increased versatility. Align International Natural Stone are natural stone panels that come precut and assembled in ready to use panels. Measuring only 3/8” – 1-1/4” wide, the thin veneer panels are lightweight and suitable for use on most interior applications. Premier Ultra® Burnished Masonry Units are manufactured by grinding the surfaces down to reveal a natural mix of aggregates. Premier Ultra is a popular choice for schools, government, and professional office settings because their high strength easily resists abuse. Lastly, Heritage Collection Designer Concrete Brick™ offers the classic look of traditional brick, but are more readily available and significantly more affordable than alternative options. Heralding back to the warehouses and factories of the gilded age, revealing brick veneers inside is an increasingly popular choice for many office spaces and even homes seeking a rugged look.

 

Sep07

Standing the Test of Time with Concrete Masonry

Categories // Newsletters

Standing the Test of Time with Concrete Masonry

Concrete masonry is widely specified for its versatility, affordability, and aesthetic appeal. County Materials meets these expectations by manufacturing many distinct lines of architectural and decorative concrete masonry units in a large range of colors, textures and shapes and sizes. Additionally, our CMUs are crafted of high strength concrete to meet design specifications of any construction project. Although concrete masonry has many advantages, one of the most important elements to consider is the lasting durability homes and buildings achieve with concrete masonry construction.

When building with concrete masonry you can be confident in knowing that years after construction is complete, buildings will still be standing the test of time and keeping people safe. With high fire-ratings, the ability to withstand repeated wear, and resistance to weather and other harmful environmental factors, concrete masonry is an obvious choice for home, commercial, education, health care, government and many more building applications. Read more about the inherent strength of concrete masonry in the sections below.

Fire Resistance

There are many recent and historic examples of how other material choices led to unfortunate loss and destruction due to fire. After the tragic fire of a London apartment complex earlier this year, professionals focused on the poor material choices used in the building, many of which failed safety tests. Concrete masonry is a safer alternative to other construction materials because it is noncombustible. County Materials’ concrete masonry units average up to 4 hours of fire resistance depending on shape and size.* Our block is frequently specified on projects where fire resistance is a necessity such as in multifamily living units, schools, and hotels.

One example of masonry’s ability to withstand fire is the famous Gallina Exchange Building on the historic Beale Street in Memphis, TN. In 1980 a fire ravaged the building gutting most of the interior. All that remained was the brick façade, which was restored to its original look and is now stabilized by steel beams. Now home to a popular restaurant, the restored façade helps maintain the street’s historic presence and stands as a testament to the durability of masonry.

Wear & Tear

Schools across the country teach thousands of kids every day. To accommodate the major wear and tear from high traffic and possible vandalism that schools can face, many educational facilities are built with concrete masonry, including structural, interior and exterior applications. Premier Ultra® Burnished Masonry Units are a popular choice for school interior applications for their ability to withstand abuse. Their ground surface reveals a smooth face and natural mixture of aggregates, which help protect the wall from markings and abuse.  County Materials manufactures burnished units in load-bearing full veneer or thin veneer units, and in many shapes, sizes and unique colors.

Weather & Nature

Today, extreme weather events are happening more and more frequently, which is why it is more important than ever to build with durable materials. Strong winds and flooding can wreak havoc on homes and buildings made mostly of wood. The reality is that the light weight of wood materials makes it vulnerable to strong winds and more susceptible to damage than concrete masonry. In addition, concrete masonry is made from nonorganic materials that resist mold and insects, and will not rot over time. Whatever nature brings, concrete masonry is better suited to withstand and resist damage, making it a worthwhile investment.

*always refer to CIS specifications and technical data for accurate fire ratings—fire ratings can vary based on block size, shape, and type.

 

Aug31

Concrete Pipe Week Highlights Community and Economic Benefits

Categories // Press Release

Concrete Pipe Week Highlights Community and Economic Benefits

County Materials is coming off another successful National Concrete Pipe Week. Recognized during the week of August 20-26, the 2017 Concrete Pipe Week gave County Materials the opportunity to raise awareness and education on the crucial function of concrete pipe in keeping communities healthy, safe, and thriving. Governors of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, along with the Mayor of Astatula, Florida all signed proclamations declaring the importance of concrete pipe in their own states and community.

In Wisconsin, County Materials held plant tours at our Madison and Green Bay facilities.

Notable attendees at County Materials’ Madison pipe plant tour include Wisconsin State Representative Malissa Sargent, Madison Alder for District 15 Dave Ahrens, and the Wisconsin Concrete Pipe Association Executive Director Clark Wantoch. Attendees at County Materials’ Green Bay pipe plant tour include Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Dave Ross and State Senator Robert Cowles.

Brian Kolden, a Technical Resource Engineer with County Materials, helped plan and lead both tours. “We held events to raise awareness and discuss the history behind concrete pipe, and discuss the battle with polypropylene pipe on the regulation and legislative front,” said Kolden. “It was a great opportunity to showcase to state representatives how our locally sourced and locally made concrete pipe provides communities with a strong product that doesn’t flex, float, or burn, and can last 100 years.”

County Materials and the concrete pipe industry has a large impact on the U.S. economy. Concrete pipe is a durable product that is used to build storm water utilities and the infrastructure for growing communities, and it contributes to thousands of jobs. County Materials alone employs over 1,500 individuals at more than 40 locations in six states. Although its unseen, concrete pipe is relied on every day as an essential component for water management systems in our communities.

“This was one of the most successful and productive National Concrete Pipe Weeks I’ve been a part of,” said Kolden. “We attracted state level attention and were successful in representing our industry. The events accounted for months of planning, but in the end, we educated our elected officials on the importance of concrete pipe —both events were homeruns.”

pipe plant maxwell

madison tourmadison tour

Pictured Top: Photograph taken outside of Maxwell IN, Pipe Plant, from left to right is County Materials Location Manager and Vice President of the Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Concrete Pipe Association (IKO) Jeff Allen, Rinker-Materials General Manager and President of IKO John Susong, State Representative Bob Cherry, County Materials Technical Resource Engineer and IKO State Director Steve Smart, and IKO lobbyist Oliver Barie.

Pictured Left: Photograph taken in the Green Bay Plant show room, from left to right is County Materials COO & CFO Bob Stoehr, County Materials Regional Manager Dennis Somers, County Materials Location Manager Jeff Neinas, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Dave Ross, Wisconsin State Senator Robert Cowles, County Material Sales Engineer of 31 years Bill Gardner, County Materials Technical Resource Engineer Brian Kolden, Wisconsin Concrete Pipe Association Executive Director Clark Wantoch.

Pictured Right: Photograph taken outside the Madison Pipe Plant, from left to right is Wisconsin Concrete Pipe Association Executive Director Clark Wantoch, County Materials Location Manager Chad Hoeppner, County Materials Sales Engineer of 31 years Bill Gardner, Alder for District 15 Dave Ahrens, County Materials COO & CFO Bob Stoehr, Wisconsin State Representative Malissa Sargent, County Material Technical Resource Engineer Brian Kolden, County Materials Regional Manager Dennis Somers.

Aug22

County Materials Corporation’s Florida Plant Celebrates Concrete Pipe Week Early

Categories // Pipe & Precast

County Materials Corporation’s Florida Plant Celebrates Concrete Pipe Week Early

 

City of Astatula Proclamation

Although Concrete Pipe Week is officially this week, some have gotten an early start to recognizing the importance of concrete pipe and its many manufacturers. Concrete Pipe Week is promoted each year by the American Concrete Pipe Association to showcase the significance concrete pipe has in reliable and long-lasting infrastructure. The week is an opportunity for concrete pipe manufacturers to host federal, state, and local lawmakers and agency officials at their facilities for open houses, plant tours, training sessions, and appreciation events.

On June 12, 2017, the Astatula, Fla. mayor signed a city proclamation extending greetings and best wishes to those observing concrete pipe week and specifically mentioned County Materials as a concrete producer in the city. The proclamation was signed at the June Astatula City Council Meeting and presented to Angel De Jesus, PE Technical Resource Engineer on behalf of County Materials. In addition to the proclamation, the city is advertising the Concrete Pipe Week Celebration on their electronic billboard throughout the week.

“It is important to the industry that local and state officials recognize the vital role of concrete pipe and precast concrete products,” said De Jesus. “The health, safety, and well-being of our state citizens rely on the concrete materials in many ways.”

 Florida Department of Transportation Tours Astatula Plant

County Materials’ Astatula location hosted 12 officials from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on July 13, 2017, just over a month before Concrete Pipe Week. The group of FDOT officials was made up of several office divisions including the Materials, Construction, and Drainage offices. Each department is a major stakeholder in planning and setting specifications for state construction projects.

During the tour, County Materials demonstrated the controlled environment of reinforced concrete production and showcased the operation of three different pipe machines. The rigorous quality control and testing methods were also displayed, including a three-edge bearing test demonstration. This test measures the extreme strength of reinforced concrete pipe by simulating heavy loads, resulting with a pipe’s maximum load carrying capacity. “Hosting tours such as this one is a great avenue to meet the stakeholders in state construction projects,” said De Jesus. “We’ve been able to develop great relationships and goodwill between all involved in the construction process.”

 

Aug08

The Sky’s the Limit with Skylands™ Concrete Deck Pavers

Categories // Covering Ground

The Sky’s the Limit with Skylands™ Concrete Deck Pavers

The Sky’s the Limit with Skylands Concrete Deck Pavers

More people consider luxury amenities and top-of-the-line features as important factors when choosing where to live or go for entertainment. Developers and owners of multi-living residences and retail spaces also recognize this and know that in today’s market, properties that stand out succeed. This is especially true if they offer inviting rooftop gathering spaces and balcony patios to be enjoyed for multiple seasons.  

The concept of using concrete pavers as a “floating” roof ballast, plaza deck and patio has created new opportunities for otherwise lost spaces. Roof tops and balconies can now be more functional as well as attractive. Concrete deck pavers make it possible to turn previously unusable spaces into outdoor living and entertaining areas that enhance the property’s atmosphere and even increase property values.

Skylands™ Concrete Deck Pavers, manufactured by County Materials Corporation, are the ideal solution to raise the status quo for properties. Their versatility and aesthetic appeal turn forgotten or hidden spaces into functional, welcoming outdoor entertaining and living areas. Below are some of the most popular applications for Skylands™ Concrete Deck Pavers. Learn how to make the impossible projects….possible.

Restaurant and Apartment Patios

Restaurant patios attract larger crowds during the warmer months. After a long day at work, nothing beats enjoying a nice meal and cold drink in the sun. When outdoor space at ground level is at a premium, Skylands Concrete Deck Pavers make it easy to create a roof top patio with a view on restaurants or apartment buildings. Skylands units can be installed using a pedestal system. The durable concrete slabs are positioned on top of adjustable pedestals to create a smooth, level surface that accommodates pedestrian loads. Using the pedestal system, Skylands can be installed over typical roof membranes and utilities, while still offering easy access to both. Raised deck pavers are popular options for roof applications because they help to lengthen the life of roof membranes while allowing easy access to roof components, and units are aesthetically appealing. Concrete deck pavers also provide quick water drainage in rain events because the joints between slabs allow water to discharge down to the laying surface which facilitates rapid drainage and surface drying.

Green Roofs

Green Roofs go beyond the aesthetic appeal and recreational use of roof decks by offering the additional benefits of collecting rain water, increasing insulation, extending roof life, and meeting LEED requirements. The modular design of Skylands Concrete Deck Pavers makes them easy to incorporate into any green roof design. In many cases walking areas and patios on green roofs need to be raised higher to stay level with plantings. The pedestal system easily accommodates deck areas with different heights and small adjustments can be made for uneven roof membranes. Concrete deck units provide better thermal insulation because the void between the paver and the membrane encourages constant air circulation and improves heat insulation. Units also extend the life of the waterproofing membrane and protect the surface from UV degradation. Additionally, Skylands are available in colors that provide reflectance and emissive values which further enhances the performance of Green Roofs.

Roof Ballasts

Many roof ballast applications use stones to protect the roof membrane. Recently concrete deck pavers are becoming a more popular alternative because they provide durability, protection, and performance for the roof system from harsh weather conditions while providing drainage and a level walking surface. The void between the paving and membrane can be used to accommodate pipes and services. Skylands Concrete Deck Pavers create safe walking paths for roof maintenance personnel, and units can be individually lifted to access roof components below when necessary.

Sloped lots and existing concrete pads

County Materials also offers a pedestal system that can be used with our Skylands Concrete Deck Pavers. This system allows you to create stable, level, functional outdoor spaces on even the most challenging surfaces. Pedestals can be placed on nearly any surface including roofs, pre-existing concrete pads, and sloped surfaces. With the pedestal system, you can easily compensate for slight irregularities, unevenness and any grade changes on the laying surface to create a flat paved walking surface. Pedestals are adjustable in heights ranging from 3/8 inches up to 21¾ inches.

 

Jun26

Stevens Point Driveway Features Hydronic Heating System, Earns International Recognition

Categories // In The News, Press Release, Awards and Recognition

Stevens Point Driveway Features Hydronic Heating System, Earns International Recognition

A 38,000 sq. ft. residential driveway in Stevens Point, Wis. received international recognition in the Decorative Concrete Council Awards Program. The Plover Heights Driveway Project utilized integrally colored ready-mix supplied by County Materials Corporation; stamping and staining were done by Alchemy Concrete Inc. of Nelsonville, Wis. The award program is organized by the American Society of Concrete Contractors and was created to enhance the decorative concrete industry by recognizing outstanding projects from around the world.

The Plover Heights Driveway Project won first place in the Cast-in-Place Stamped/Over 5,000 sq. ft. category at the January 17th, 2017 awards program held in Las Vegas, Nev. The judges acknowledged the project for its colors in relation to the surrounding environment and its consistent textures and color. Colors and textures featured in the driveway were selected to intentionally compliment trim on the house, along with the area’s natural limestone features.

In addition to the driveway’s aesthetics, it was built with an impressive underground hydronic heating system, installed by Klasinski Plumbing and Heating, to minimize snow and ice buildup in winter seasons. After excavating, grading and compacting the site, a bed was prepared using 6” road base, on which the heating system was installed. First, a two-inch layer of foam was added for thermal coverage. The hydronic tubing was stapled directly into the foam. Once the tubing was in place, forms for each section were added and steel mesh reinforcement was placed over the tubes for protection from crushing. Then, colored concrete was poured into each form. Alchemy Concrete used custom made stamps to create the limestone-like texture in the surface of the concrete and applied several layers of sealers during the curing process.

The homeowners are continually impressed with the look and performance of their driveway. After two winters of use, they have recently invited Alchemy Concrete back to do more ready-mix work on the property including constructing a pool. Alchemy Concrete has selected County Materials to supply the new project.

 

Jun20

Ready-Mix Donation by County Materials Helps Expand the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas Inc. Warehouse

Categories // In The News, Press Release, Community & Education, Concrete

Ready-Mix Donation by County Materials Helps Expand the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas Inc. Warehouse

 

The Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas Inc. (W/NP) knew they had to take immediate action after their limited warehouse space filled up with donations. With no room for additional storage, the Stevens Point, Wis. based nonprofit group was forced to request a halt on donations until they could find a solution. Executive Director, Amy Wiza put in an urgent request to County Materials Corporation for a ready-mix donation that would expand their warehouse. County Materials quickly responded to the request and was onsite pouring only four days later.

“Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners values and appreciates each and every individual, group and company that joins in our volunteer network to carry out humanitarian efforts,” said Wiza. “The ready-mix provided by County Materials Corporation was vital in expanding the storage area at our warehouse.”

W/NP’s mission is to help people in Wisconsin and Nicaragua work together in improving their quality of life by establishing sustainable hospitals, schools, businesses, fire and police departments, learning centers and civic groups both in Wisconsin in Nicaragua. Their Stevens Point warehouse plays in important role in the program by storing education supplies, sewing equipment, cookware and other goods. Volunteers from around the state collect items that will be used in Nicaragua at Learning Centers, where women and men can gain technical skills that provide them with employment, income, self-sufficiency, dignity, and empowerment.

Leading up to the donation request, volunteers spent three weeks preparing the site for expansion. The ready-mix was used to create a platform extended from the warehouse with an awning over the top. The expansion has allowed W/NP to start accepting donations again in order to continue changing lives in Nicaragua. 

 

Jun12

County Materials Continues Supporting Local Habitat for Humanity Homes with Ready-Mix Donation

Categories // In The News, Press Release, Community & Education, Ready-Mix and Aggregates

County Materials Continues Supporting Local Habitat for Humanity Homes with Ready-Mix Donation

 

DC Everest and Mosinee high school students teamed up for another year with the Wausau Habitat for Humanity to build homes for two deserving families. County Materials Corporation continued their support for the chapter’s annual builds by donating ready-mix concrete for the foundation and basement of both homes.

“Habitat for Humanity of Wausau has enjoyed a partnership with County Materials that spans more than 20 years,” said Berland Meyer, Chair for the Wausau Habitat for Humanity’s Construction Division. “County Materials’ generous donations have helped many families enjoy the experience of owning their own home and assisted us with keeping the homes we build affordable.”

County Materials poured the ready-mix on May 12, 2017 with sections of the house delivered from the schools later that day and throughout the week. The students built half of each home at their school, then the sections were transported to the construction site. These homes were the 63rd and 64th projects Wausau Habitat for Humanity has completed in the community; the high schools have been involved in more than 10 of these projects.

The annual build offers students enrolled in Technical Education classes at both schools a hands-on learning experience with the added benefit of helping the community.

 

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