By Mason Nichols
For more than two decades, the National Precast Concrete Association has worked diligently to extol the many benefits of precast concrete products at the World of Concrete. By exhibiting at the event and networking with those in attendance, NPCA professional staff members have helped increase the presence of precast products in the marketplace. To further extend this effort, NPCA took a different approach in 2018. For the first time, the association conducted two educational sessions in partnership with the show.
Claude Goguen, P.E., LEED AP, NPCA’s director of sustainability and technical education, led a session on residential precast titled, “Precast in Residential Construction – Enhancing Speed & Quality.” More than 60 contractors, engineers and other industry professionals attended the class, which focused on how foundation walls, roofs and other precast products can shorten construction schedules while enhancing resiliency. According to Goguen, the topic generated ample interest.
“After the class concluded, a lot of people came up to me to ask follow-up questions,” he said. “We actually had to be kicked out of the room so the next class could start because there were so many people eager to discuss the topic further. That was a great way to gauge the presentation’s success.”
NPCA also partnered with precast pavement expert Shiraz Tayabji, president of Advanced Concrete Pavement Consultancy, to present a course on precast concrete jointed pavement. The session, titled, “Rapid Highway Repairs with Precast Concrete Jointed Pavement Systems,” drew about 20 highway engineers, contractors and NPCA members together to discuss current practices related to precast pavement technology and projects on which precast pavement has been installed.
Marti Harrell, NPCA’s vice president of technical services and professional development, noted that the smaller size of the pavement session allowed for increased engagement among the attendees.
“The class was exciting because members weighed in from the producer side while the contractors and engineers asked questions,” she said. “This resulted in an open, roundtable-type discussion.”
Goguen explained that the impact of presenting a session extends far beyond what takes place at World of Concrete. In addition to increasing attendees’ awareness of precast, NPCA and the resources available on precast.org, speaking to industry professionals allowed Goguen to better understand their concerns. He can next share that information with members to address those issues. But, as he explained, the process doesn’t stop there.
“Every touch, every contact and every business card further extends the reach,” he said. “It’s all about how we follow up.”
Mason Nichols is NPCA’s director of strategic outreach.