The UPDATE: A monthly column of industry news and information.
Moving Forward for a More Resilient Infrastructure
Regulatory Resources continues to move forward with initiatives focused on building a more resilient infrastructure – both in repairing our failing structures and in creating new, low maintenance, longer lasting bridges, roadways, buildings and related components.
We are continuing to grow our alliance partnerships and build recognition for our admission among composites manufacturers and governmental entities. Our all-volunteer DOT Advisory Board includes some of the most forward-thinking materials and bridge engineers in the country. We have reached out to the FHWA’s Every Day Counts Program with a
proposal to create momentum for acceptance of composite reinforcement, and we received a letter of support for our EDC submission from Owens Corning, one of the premier composite reinforcement manufacturers in the world.
In fact, our DOT Board is fortunate to include a leading expert in this area, Doug Gremel, as a senior technical advisor. Doug is the director of Engineering for Owens Corning Infrastructure Solutions and is recognized throughout the industry as a leader in composite reinforcement technology.
The Owens Corning letter of support states that, “while a few states have caught on faster to the benefits of fiberglass rebar, broader adoption is still a way off, as states work to resource the tools, tests and demonstrations to build their comfort with this material …”
So, while we have assembled an all-star team of players in the composite reinforcement arena, we still have much work to do in gaining acceptance for this material, which we believe is critical to increasing the lifespan of our structures and improving their safety.
Stay tuned for more updates and other news related to our efforts. And, as always, please reach out to me if you have comments or questions.
RR and DOT Advisory Board Partner with IACMI
Advancing the use of composites in highway construction and repair
Regulatory Resources LLC is pleased to announce the creation of a strategic partnership with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, also known as IACMI—The Composites Institute. IACMI is committed to accelerating the development and adoption of innovative manufacturing technologies for low-cost, energy-efficient advanced composites. Regulatory Resources and the DOT Advisory Board of Directors is partnering with IACMI on research and development to advance the use of composites in highway construction and repair.
“This is a strategic partnership that will significantly amplify efforts to advance composites in highway work,” said Richard Krolewski, Regulatory Resources LLC founder and facilitator of the DOT Advisory Board. “IACMI brings significant industry knowledge and academic support that will contribute to our FRP initiative and auditing program. In addition they will provide resources to the DOT Advisory Board by providing perspective and insight from their extensive working groups. We are very excited about the possibilities and advanced relationships Regulatory Resources continues to create.”
Canadian Concrete Expo Publication Features Blog By RR Founder
Regulatory Resources LLC founder Richard Krolewski is featured in the June edition of Stay Connected, a digital magazine for the construction industry, published by Canadian Concrete Expo. The focus is on resiliency, innovation and infrastructure – three topics that are right at the core of the mission of Regulatory Resources and our work with the DOT Advisory Board that we facilitate. Check it out and let us know what you think!
The Post-Pandemic Picture Remains Uncertain
The construction industry was riding a wave of modular building as the pandemic approached. The new post-Covid world will only make modularity more important. Hand-in-hand with that is the adoption of new technology and acceptance of new materials. Innovation and resiliency are features of the White House infrastructure proposal. But the inability of Congress to craft an infrastructure bill is keeping the picture a bit uncertain heading into summer 2021.
Having spent nearly two decades working with DOTs, municipalities and federal agencies, and then spending the last year deeply embedded in learning FRP technology, part of my focus is on finding ways to bring new technology to infrastructure rebuilding.
DOTs are concerned about concrete corrosion. Fiber-reinforced polymers can eliminate corrosion in concrete. But FRPs are not yet widely accepted as reinforcement material. One of the initiatives of Regulatory Resources is to help bridge the knowledge gap between producers and specifiers of the benefits of FRPs and open the door for this new resilient technology.
DOTs are concerned about quality assurance. Many leading precast manufacturers have evolved from paper-driven companies to paperless, data-focused producers, with QC monitoring and reporting systems that enhance quality and provide real-time data to production teams and managers. In a world where DOT travel is restricted and it is more difficult to make in-person inspections, that data can provide the quality assurance DOTs need to move projects forward. Another initiative of Regulatory Resources is to bridge the technology gap between producers and DOTs, to open the door for virtual QA programs that could eventually save all parties time and money.
Until Congress fixes the funding formula for transportation infrastructure, DOTs are facing a future of extreme funding deficits, which can only mean projects shelved or delayed. DOT specifiers, and indeed every person in leadership throughout the construction industry, are looking for ways to streamline and stay viable. Regulatory Resources is here to help, and we’ll be looking for ways to create opportunities for precast manufacturers and their customers in both the public and private spheres of this dynamic industry. I’ll be posting more about these topics in the coming months. Please contact me today if you have comments or questions.