ACI Summer Newsletter Print

President's Report

Hope everyone had a safe and relaxing summer; this week’s weather, having slightly lower temperatures and humidity makes me ready for fall! It was nice seeing many of you at our Skipper Seminar last week. Wilbur Bragg did an excellent job pulling this together and by all accounts the new Sun Trust Ballpark program and tour was a great event. THANKS Wilbur!

Several people who attended asked me where the Skipper Seminar name came from. The following is a brief history lesson on the origins of our summer seminar program:

Virgil D. Skipper was one of the original organizers of the Georgia Concrete and Products Association, now the Georgia Ready Mix Concrete Association (GRMCA). Mr. Skipper contributed to the establishment of the first ACI Chapter in Georgia, at that time the Atlanta Chapter of ACI.  He was also instrumental in writing the first specification for ready-mixed concrete, first published for the construction industry in Georgia by the Concrete Advisory Board of Georgia (now the GA Chapter ACI CAB (Certification Advisory Board) on September 25, 1987. This document was later used as a model for ACI 301 Specifications for Structural Concrete for Buildings. He was a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and an honorary member of the Georgia Chapter.

A Virgil D. Skipper Award was established in 1978 to honor and promote concrete in Georgia, that program has evolved into our annual Dan R. Brown Awards Banquet that honors the past year's concrete projects in Georgia. In 1984 the Skipper Award was replaced by the annual Virgil D. Skipper Seminar that spends a half day focusing on a particular concrete project or some interesting aspect of concrete. I can remember many past programs that focused on admixtures, fibers, new construction forming techniques, SCC, Pervious, RCC, Ready Mix Plant & Quarry Tours, Precast Plant Tours and many others. The seminar is always organized by the GA Chapter ACI’s past-year president, hence the Wilbur Bragg connection this year. If you have any thoughts or ideas for next year’s program? Please give me a call!

Remember to mark you calendar, as we start back up with our monthly lunch meetings on September 22. Also look out for some future date announcements for our scholarship fundraiser skeet shooting event, a joint ACI/ICRI lunch meeting and our awards banquet. Look forward to seeing you all at the Westin on September 22.

Take care and be safe out there,

Wayne M. Wilson, PE
Georgia Chapter ACI, President

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Luncheon Recap

We had our fourth lunch meeting of 2017 this year at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North Hotel.  We had a big group of people in attendance and the speaker, Bob Howell, who is an ACI Professional Development Program Engineer, gave an interesting presentation. Click here to view the presentation.

Our speaker, Bob Howell, was previously a Lead Structural Engineer at IBI Group/Giffels LLC.  He has had 26 years of design experience in healthcare, industrial, educational and commercial facilities.  He also worked for seven years as an Owner’s Representative with GM Worldwide Facilities Group. Bob received a BS in Civil Engineering at Wayne State University and an MBA from Michigan State.

The presentation gave guidance on what constitutes mass concrete in terms of volume and dimensional criteria. Some examples of this were shown.

The relationship between surface concrete temperature and interior concrete temperature were discussed at length. The effects of the mix design cementitious components such as type of cement, type of fly ash, and slag were presented as well as how they change the internal and external temperature relationship. Examples of this were explored in the presentation.

Other factors influencing mass concrete internal and external temperatures were also mentioned, such as concrete admixtures and curing methods. Curing methods covered included using internally piped water to keep internal temperatures down, but the loss of concrete at the pipes had to be a design consideration too.

The ACI publications covering mass concrete were presented by Bob so the attendees would know where to look for additional information regarding the subject.

In closing, 2017 Vice President Tom Pfeiffer presented Bob the GA Chapter Travel Mug and thanked everyone for their attendance. There were a number of good questions at the end that Bob was able to answer.

Upcoming luncheon dates for the rest of the year are below: 

  • September 22
  • October 27
  • November 17
  • December 15


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Skipper Seminar Recap

We had our Skipper Seminar on July 25, 2017 this year at the AGC Conference Center, which was sponsored by Metromont.  We had a big group of people in attendance and four speakers to cover the various different discussion topics.

Our first speaker, Tim Santi, is a principal at Walter P. Moore in Atlanta.  Tim talked about the overall design effort for the park including expansion joints, precast elements, cast-in-place elements, and the steel construction.  Tim also talked about using different software packages to modify, design, and create drawings from, in order to keep the project on schedule. 

Our second group of speakers were George Spence and Angela San Martin, of Metromont.  George and Angela had a lot of nice photos of the project and George did a short, but very interesting, discussion of the origins of sports facilities going back to ancient Greece and Rome.  He also included some comparisons between SunTrust Park and the Coliseum in Rome, Italy (no, not Georgia).  Angela spoke on the technical side regarding casting challenges and opportunities with the seating elements design and fabrication, as well as schedule.

The last group of speakers were Mark Granger and Doug Hall, from American Builders.  Mark and Doug had a lot to say about the various technical and political challenges to this project.  The slide showing crane coverage alone made me reach for some Advil.  Logistics and schedule were big items and especially getting real estate to stage construction from.  I was not surprised to learn that some of the blame for I-75 construction was inaccurately applied to American Builders.

Lunch was provided by Chick-fil-A at the AGC Conference Center and a tour of SunTrust park followed the event.

In closing the pre-lunch talk, 2017 Vice President Tom Pfeiffer presented Tim, George, Angela, Mark, and Doug the GA Chapter Travel Mug and thanked everyone for their attendance.  There were a number of good questions at the end of each discussion topic.

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Our Next Event

Be sure and join us on September 22, 2017 for a presentation by Matthew Nazarenko on Verifi® In-Transit Concrete Management system from GCP Applied Technologies

Matthew Nazarenko
Global Marketing Manager
Verifi® - GCP Applied Technologies

 Program: Verifi® In-Transit Concrete Management system from GCP Applied Technologies

Matthew Nazarenko is the Global Marketing Manager for the Verifi® technology platform at GCP Applied Technologies. Matt is responsible for the development and execution of the global Verifi business expansion program. He leads the multi-generation product development process, working with a cross-functional team and closely collaborating with customers. Matt holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Union College, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has been with GCP, formerly W.R. Grace for 11 years in various customer-facing roles. For the past 4 years he has been one of the leaders for the Verifi technology segment. .

Verifi® In-Transit Concrete Management system from GCP Applied Technologies is the first of its kind to monitor, measure and manage concrete properties in transit. It offers a new level of concrete quality control and helps increase product consistency, increasing jobsite efficiency and minimizing costly project delays.?? Verifi® In-Transit Concrete Management system uses sensors installed on ready mix trucks to enable real time sophisticated, automated process monitoring and control during transit from the ready-mix plant to the jobsite. The system measures slump, temperature, water addition, revolutions, admixture additions and time.

  • Verifi In-Transit Concrete Management System benefits all parties in the concrete delivery process – from ready mix producers, to contractors and engineers.

Contractors value the technology. The consistent slump means less idle time, which speeds up the entire process making for faster and higher quality construction.

Engineers and specifiers trust the Verifi system. It ensures the concrete they specify is what the client receives, load after load. The increased consistency means higher client satisfaction due to fewer defects and delays.


Click here to register!

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Concrete International Magazine Article

This month in Concrete International…..
Reprinted from the July, 2017 (V. 39 No. 7) issue of Concrete International with permission from American Concrete Institute (

Closure Strip Strategies

In this article, design approaches for closure strips (also called shrinkage strips or pour strips) are compared to field data.  Closure strips are often used when a building gets to be 200-250 feet long but there is an opportunity to avoid the use of an expansion joint.  The field data gathered includes ambient temperatures and measured movements of the concrete.

Traditionally, these closure strips have been required to stay open 2-12 weeks and the design has largely been based on industry experience rather than real data.  This article summarizes some design approaches, presents a case study of closure strip monitoring, and compares the data with the design approaches.

Link to full article:


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Outside the Cylinder

"Phoenix Barges at D-Day”  

I promised we would return to a topic on D-Day (June 6, 1944 allied invasion of northern France at Normandy).  The proper name for this event was actually “Operation Overlord”.  There were actually many “D-Day’s” on beaches and small islands during World War I and II.  Time Magazine reports that the first use of the terms D-Day and H-Hour (day and hour an operation starts) was on September 20,1918 in reference to the attack on St. Milhiel, during World War One.

For the 1944 allied invasion of northern France, the most difficult problem was how to supply the armies once they were on the beach.  The Germans knew this and had heavily defended the cities in the region.  The solution, which went back to a 1917 sketch by Winston Churchill, was to create a temporary harbor at the beach. This was a highly creative solution, but had challenges in the form of wind, waves, and current. The solution included making breakwaters, piers, and roadways on the sea to the beach.

 FIGURE 1   


Breakwaters for the harbor were created by sinking various ships (including two US all-concrete constructed ships) and by placing concrete barges called Phoenixes in place to form a U-shape sheltering the harbor from waves, currents, and, to a lesser degree, from wind.  Phoenix barges were constructed (see Figure 1) completely out of concrete and were towed from England to Normandy at 5 miles per hour, then sunk in place (see Figure 2 for what they look like today). These barges varied from 2,000 to 6,000 tons each and were up to 200 feet in length.  There were a total of 213 built.  The total material use exceeded one million tons of concrete as well as 70,000 tons of reinforcing steel.



The sheltered waters were used to anchor ships and build floating roadways to the beach so ships could unload (see Figure 3). Much of these harbor elements remain today and can be seen of the coast of Normandy.

Two harbors were created, one in the British zone, and one in the American zone, which was lost to a hurricane just a few weeks after the landing.  The resultant British harbor, during the first 100 days of operations, supplied 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of material to the landing site, making the liberation of France possible. See Figure 4 for an overhead view of the beachhead. 

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Scholarship Clay Shoot

Save the Date!

Etowah Valley Sporting Clays
619 Sporting Hill Drive
Dawsonville, GA 30534

Friday, November 10, 2017

We are excited to announce that we will be returning to Etowah Valley Sporting Clays on Friday, November 10, 2017 for our annual scholarship fund clay shoot. 

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ACI Awards


Submit YOUR Project for next year! 

You can now upload project materials throughout the year in your own private folder through Google Drive! Simply contact and she will create & share a folder with you where you can compile all your submission materials as you go. 

This will make it easy to organize everything throughout the year as you prepare for your submission.

Click Here for Google Drive Submission Instructions.

2017 Project Submission Form.

The ACI Awards Program is your chance to show off your organization's expertise and ingenuity. ACI Award winners are recognized as industry leaders invested in advancing the design and construction of concrete structures. 
Submitting your project is an opportunity to:

  • Promote your industry partners and share the good work they do
  • Share new technologies your organization is utilizing

Award winners will receive:

  • recognition in Georgia construction publications
  • recognition on Georgia ACI website
  • recognition and awards plaque at the annual awards banquet


All architects, engineers, contractors, developers and industry-related professionals are eligible to enter this competition. Projects to be nominated must have been completed between January 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017 and be located in the state of Georgia. 

There is a $95 cost per entry.  

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Calendar of Events


Saturday, August 12, 2017
ACI Field Tech, Grade I & Strength Tech Certification Exams
Ready Mix USA Concrete Lab
Woodstock, GA
7:30 am — 2:00 pm

Saturday, August 26, 2017
ACI Masonry Field & Lab Tech Certification Exams
S&ME Lab
Duluth, GA
7:30 am — 2:00 pm

Saturday, September 2, 2017
ACI Field Tech Grade I & Strength Tech Training
TEC Services, Inc.
Lawrenceville, GA
8:00 am - 12:30 pm

Saturday, September 9, 2017
ACI Field Tech, Grade I & Strength Tech Certification Exams
TEC Services, Inc.
Lawrenceville, GA
7:30 am — 2:00 pm

Friday, September 22, 2017
GA Chapter ACI Lunch Meeting
In-Transit Concrete Management Systems
Matthew Nazarenko
Global Marking Mgr. w/ GCP Applied Technologies
Westin Perimeter Atlanta North
11:30 am Registration
12:00-1:30 pm Lunch Meeting

Saturday, September 23, 2017
ACI Field Tech, Grade I & Strength Tech Certification Exams
ECS Southeast Lab
Savannah, GA
7:30 am — 2:00 pm

Saturday, October 7, 2017
ACI Field Tech Grade I & Strength Tech Training
TEC Services, Inc.
Lawrenceville, GA
8:00 am - 12:30 pm

Saturday, October 14, 2017
ACI Field Tech, Grade I & Strength Tech Certification Exams
Lehigh SE Concrete Lab
Doraville, GA
7:30 am — 2:00 pm

Sunday-Wednesday, October 15-18, 2017
ACI International Fall Committee Meetings
Disneyland Hotel
Anaheim, CA
Meeting Information and Registration available at:

Important Note:  ACI Training & Exams are for

Pre-registered Persons Only.
**No walk up seating available**

For Information on any of our exams or events go to:

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