September 2013 Newsletter

In this Issue
President's Message

9/18 Presentation by Ken Hover: "Architectural Concrete"
Other Updates

Membership Renewal Due 10/1

Current members will be sent a reminder via email.

If you have any difficulty renewing your ACI CNY membership, please email Amanda Latreille.


Special thanks to our 2012-2013 sponsors:

Atlantic Testing Laboratories

CME Associates, Inc.

Essroc - Italcementi Group

Jefferson Concrete Corp.

Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt

Precast Concrete Association of New York

Propex Concrete Systems

PW Laboratories, Inc.

Ryan Biggs Associates

SJB Services, Inc.

Whitacre Engineering Corp.


  President's Message

It’s hard to believe it’s that time already, but the ACI CNY dinner presentation season is here. We are kicking things off with a bang and are pleased to welcome ACI International’s Immediate Past President, Cornell University Professor, and internationally known concrete guru - Ken Hover, P.E., PHD.

Dr. Hover will be discussing the difficulties encountered in the design and construction of “Architectural Concrete”.  The task is simple; the Owner/Designer knows what they want the finished product to look like. The challenge is writing a specification that will ensure you get it. Click on the registration link now to ensure you get a spot for this talk. If you haven’t seen a presentation by Dr. Hover, you don’t know what you are missing!  We get a bigger room for his talk every year and yet we still end up with standing room only.                         

We are very fortunate to have Dr. Hover as an honorary member of our chapter, not to mention his willingness to give presentations. He provided our kickoff presentation last year for what turned out to be a great series of talks, tours, and live demonstrations. Your ACI CNY Board is very excited about this year’s programs as well. We got the message from your attendance loud and clear. The field demonstration and plant tour were very popular so we will be doing more of that again this year including a tour of a concrete ready-mix plant. Now all we need to determine is if it’s the content of the program or the Dinosaur BBQ catering that draws the crowds.

We sincerely appreciate the support of our members over the years and hope we have prepared an interesting lineup for you this year. 

Greg Novitzki, P.E., LEED A.P.

9/18 Presentation by Ken Hover:
"Architectural Concrete"

One person's "defect" may be another person's "feature"

4:30 PM Board Meeting
5:30 PM Registration
6:00 PM Presentation & Dinner

$35 Member
$45 Non-member
$15 Student

***Worth 1 PDH!***


Click here to register/pay online. Or send an email to Amanda Latreille with the number/names of people attending from your company or organization. You will need to bring cash or check to the event for payment.

Registration is due by 9/12.

Program description:

Given how difficult it is for any of us to use only words to describe the desired appearance of anything, it is no surprise that it is equally difficult to write clear, unambiguous specifications for architectural concrete undefined and if it is difficult to write a clear spec, it is equally difficult to comply with a cloudy one. The best way to communicate desired appearance is to point to an existing example and say “I want one that is exactly like that one.” This handy technique is called an “Architectural Reference Standard.” Another technique is for the specifier to attempt a written description, but then require the contractor to build a small example (the field mock-up). The mock-up is then rejected and redone until we have finally created an acceptable, small-scale example of exactly what the owner wants.  But, for all the simplicity and logic of a field mock-up, it can still be a dangerous and expensive monument. (A field mock-up is a lot like a first date: are we really planning on being that polite, charming, punctual, neat, and well-dressed for the duration of the project?) Finally, when we realize that it is too difficult to fully specify what we really want, a common fallback position is to specify what we don’t want. Thus we end up with specifications that define “defects” and what to do about them. Our evening discussion will review what our standard industry documents say about architectural concrete and concrete defects in general. You might be surprised to find that you have been patching “features” instead of “defects.”


Ken Hover is Immediate Past-President of ACI and Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Cornell.  He served as a Captain in the 15th Combat Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army, and was Project Engineer and Project Manager for Dugan and Meyers Construction Co. in Cincinnati, working on buildings, interstate bridges, and water treatment plants. Joining THP Ltd. in Cincinnati, he became partner and manager engaged in structural design, specifications writing, and contract administration. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Civil Engineering from University of Cincinnati, and the Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Cornell University.

Ken teaches reinforced and prestressed concrete design, concrete materials, and construction management. His research focuses on freeze-thaw durability, mixture proportions and ingredients, behavior and testing of fresh concrete, and the impact of construction operations and construction environment on concrete quality.

Ken is a P.E. in Ohio and New York, and holds the Outstanding Educator Award from ACPA, and from ACI he has earned the Kelly, Philleo, Anderson, and Structural Research Awards. He received the ASCE Materials Division Best Basic Research Paper Award.  He holds Cornell University’s highest teaching award, and has been named one of the “Ten Most Influential People in the Concrete Industry.”

Save the Dates!
2013-2014 Wednesday

"Architectural Concrete" presented by Ken Hover

Ready-Mix Plant Tour at Saunders Concrete (Dinosaur BBQ)

"From Iditarods to Mixed Design" presented by Spencer Thew

"A Historical Perspective on Structural Design" presented by Thomas Boothby

"Masonry Concrete Testing and Inspection Requirements" presented by Christopher Latreille

Design & Installation Awards Banquet


Award Winners

Please check out the 2012 Design & Installation Award winners on the Awards page.

Congratulations to the many recipients!



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