As the Construction Season Slows Down, Use These Tools to Better Manage Your Projects in 2020


Cement demand and GDP growth are expected to increase moderately in the year ahead according to the Portland Cement Association (PCA).  In its most recent report, the PCA sees cement consumption growing by 2.4 percent in 2019 and 1.7 percent in 2020.

PCA’s analysis adds that GDP is forecast to grow 2.4 percent in 2019 and weaken slightly to 2.1 percent in 2020. “While PCA does not believe data revealed by the economy suggests a recession is near, it does point to a gradually weakening economy,” said Ed Sullivan, PCA Chief Economist.

With this year’s construction season winding down, now is a good time to explore top-line and bottom-line growth opportunities to position your firm for success in the year ahead. Here are some suggestions for gaining a competitive edge and helping your business prosper.


Optimize operating efficiencies with digital tools

Digitization and new technology platforms are reshaping the industry by allowing contractors to increase productivity, reduce labor costs, improve collaboration, and tackle very complex projects.  

ConcreteDirect Image

With LafargeHolcim’s ConcreteDirect app, customers can place, change, and confirm orders, as well as track its progress—from time of order placement and truck loading to travel and completion of delivery at the job site. Real-time notification of delivery status allows your team to plan and adjust to ensure quality placement. Available on iOS and Android, the free ConcreteDirect app can be downloaded on Google Play or Apple Store. Talk to your local sales representative to request a demonstration.


Consider advanced concrete mixes to save time and labor

What are your options for countering labor-shortage threats to your bottom line? Many contractors are turning to advanced concrete mixes for achieving high early strength within hours instead of days. They’re filling forms without the vibration that traditional concrete requires. Below are two innovative products that will help you accelerate construction timelines and optimize labor productivity.

RAPIDFORCE® high-early strength concrete allows formworks to be removed three to five times faster than standard concrete. These advanced mixes deliver the same strength an ordinary mix gains in 28 days in just  48, 24, 15, 6, or even 4 hours.

Materials That Perform: RAPIDFORCE Hotel


The project team for a major hotel recently relied on a RAPIDFORCE® 18-hour early-strength concrete to save time and improve productivity in placing the post-tensioned concrete floors. “The outstanding performance of the RAPIDFORCE® made a strong contribution to making up time in the project schedule by saving us a full day of work per week,” said the project manager for Northland Concrete & Masonry. In addition to exceeding 18-hour strengths consistently, RAPIDFORCE® allowed for easier placement and finishing. “With the RAPIDFORCE®, I didn’t need nearly as many finishers as I would for a typical early strength concrete, which was a huge benefit in terms of time and labor cost savings,” added the project’s finishing foreman.


Agileflow® is a highly fluid self-consolidating concrete that allows contractors to save time by eliminating the need for vibration and achieving an exceptional, highly aesthetic finish for a variety of applications.

Materials That Perform: One Dalton


To speed up work on heavily reinforced columns and walls for the 60-story One Dalton Street tower, the project team relied on Agileflow®  to achieve optimal flowability, workability, and strength requirements.

“Due to the product’s superb self-consolidating properties in the heavy-rebar applications, there was no need for vibration, and the surface finish on the columns was nice and smooth, which is a huge benefit in terms of labor requirements and time savings,” said the president of G&C Concrete.


Take time to advocate for concrete

With the busy construction season winding down, take time to do some outreach to local constituents. There’s always an opportunity to grow your market share and there are many tools available to help you make the case for concrete.

Take advantage of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s (NRMCA) Build with Strength campaign that targets regional promoters of four- to seven-story multifamily residential developments. The Concrete Design Center experts can help select the right concrete solution for a wide variety of projects, from multi-family residential/mixed use to industrial and health care facilities. Visit NRMCA’s Concrete Design Center to learn more.