PRESS RELEASE: Portland Cement Association Grant

Portland Cement Association Grant
Portland Cement Association Grant Group


PULLMAN, Wash. – A Portland Cement Association grant to improve cement testing methods has been presented to Washington State University researcher Somayeh Nassiri.

Nassiri, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and her fellow researchers hope to improve the efficiency of durability testing methods for concrete by using embedded sensors to measure concrete permeability.

Unlike traditional testing methods that are conducted on cast specimens on certain test dates, embedded sensors can provide real-time and continuous data. The long-term goal of the research is to improve the durability of concrete infrastructure against road salt and deicer application and freeze-thaw cycling in cold climate regions.

Nassiri has been at WSU since 2014. She conducts research on concrete pavement design, construction, repair and maintenance, concrete material characterization, and pavement performance monitoring using instrumentation and nondestructive testing.

The PCA is the premier policy, research, education and market intelligence organization serving America’s cement manufacturers. PCA promotes safety, sustainability and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution, and promotes economic growth and sound infrastructure investment.

Contact: Tina Hilding, Communications Director, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, 509-335-5095,
Press Release: Somayeh Nassiri — $35.000 Cement Grant


Discover how the Northwest Cement Council can help you.


Concrete and the Oregon Cement Industry

Concrete and the Oregon Cement Industry

Concrete is basically a mixture of aggregates and paste.

The aggregates are sand and gravel or crushed stone; the paste is water and cement. Portland cement is not a brand name, but the generic term for the type of cement used in virtually all concrete, just as stainless is a type of steel and sterling a type of silver. Cement is manufactured by heating lime, silica, alumina, iron, and other materials at high temperature. The resulting substance is a marble-like ball called clinker that is ground, mixed with limestone and gypsum, and used to create concrete.

Building the Foundation of Oregon’s Economy — State Economic Data

  • Clinker capacity: 1.0 million metric tons
  • Cement consumption: 0.8 million metric tons U.S. Economic Data
  • Clinker capacity: 101.3 million metric tons • Cement consumption: 94.4 million metric tons
  • U.S. cement companies have annual sales valued at approximately $10.7 billion
Oregon Cement Consumption

Portland Cement Manufacturing and Use

  • Portland Cement Association (PCA) represents 92% of US cement manufacturing capacity with over 90 plants in 32 states and distribution facilities in every state in the continental U.S.
  • Cement and concrete product manufacturing directly or indirectly employs approximately 500,000 people in our country, and our collective industries contribute approximately $100 billion to our economy.

Energy and Environment

The U.S. cement industry has long been committed to minimizing emissions, waste, energy consumption, and the use of virgin raw materials. For example, the cement industry began to address climate change in the mid-1990s—one of the first industries to do so. Over the past 40 years, U.S. cement manufacturers have reduced the amount of energy required to produce a ton of cement by over 40 percent. The industry also has reduced its use of traditional fossil fuels by over 15 percent.

Concrete in OregonOccupational Health and Safety

PCA members place the safety of their employees among their core values. The industry’s commitment to safety contributed to the Federal government’s recognition of 2015 as the safest year on record for Metal and Nonmetal miners, which includes our industry.


A well-functioning transportation network is the backbone of the U.S. economy and essential for U.S. businesses to compete globally and provide the best value to American consumers. Our nation’s core infrastructure should not only be maintained but also continuously expanded and improved to meet the needs of its citizens. Portland cement is an essential construction material and is uniquely positioned for the rebuilding of American infrastructure.

Benefits to Building with Concrete/Concrete Attributes

The American economy works most efficiently when guided by the market, while taking important public policy considerations, like safety, into consideration. Building owners, builders, architects, and designers have come to recognize that durable concrete public buildings, private homes, and businesses resist damage from natural disasters and reduce the impact entire communities have on our planet. Studies by MIT have shown that homes with concrete walls can use 8 to 15 percent less energy than other homes.

Sustainability and Resiliency

The industry is also a leader in sustainable material use and management, including reuse of industrial products as ingredients to make cement. Cement manufacturers often use alternative raw materials from industrial byproducts, such as those from coal combustion, steel blast furnace slag, and silica fume, keeping a large portion of these materials from being disposed of in landfills. The durability and resiliency of cement-related products also lower our environmental footprint. Concrete does not rust, rot, or burn, saving energy and resources needed to replace or repair damaged buildings and infrastructure.

  • Because of its rigidity, concrete pavement can enhance the fuel efficiency of vehicles that travel on roads when compared to other pavements. If concrete pavements were used by the U.S. road system, fuel consumption is estimated to decrease by 3 percent nationwide, equating to a reduction in fuel consumption of 273 million barrels of crude oil a year, and a corresponding reduction decrease of greenhouse gas emissions by 51.2 million short tons.
  • The energy efficiency of buildings also improves when concrete is used. A concrete construction home has been demonstrated to require 6-12 percent less energy than code-compliant wood frame construction.

Construction in Concrete — Top 10 Myths

Carbon Neutral Cement

Get a candid look at ten popular, but mistaken ideas that still exist in concrete construction.

In this video, using examples, interviews, and demonstrations, this revealing video from the Portland Cement Association exposes and explains the most common misconceptions associated with the cement and concrete industry. The video is designed as an educational training tool for workers of all experience levels. Running time: 17 minutes © 2005 Portland Cement Association

Watch on YouTube

Some of the myths and misconceptions related to concrete construction:

“Adding water to the mixed is believed to be the only way to increase slumps, while water reducers and superplasticizers can also be used to increase slumps while maintaining the water-to-cement ratio. Specification of a concrete mix by the number of bags of cement is an incomplete form of specification and the specification should be based on performance requirements. Water and other substances in liquid and vapor forms can pass through concrete and it is wrong to believe that concrete is impermeable. Another misconception is that calcium chloride is an antifreeze agent, while the truth is that calcium chloride is only an accelerator. Precautions should be taken to protect concrete and prevent future soil problems in adverse weather conditions. Another misconception is that reinforced concrete won’t crack, it only holds the crack faces together. Top 10 myths in concrete construction.” ~

Need help with your project? Get in touch here.

2018 Excellence in Concrete Awards

2018 Excellence in Concrete Awards

Awards Celebration, Salem, OR – The 38th Annual Excellence in Concrete Awards celebration was held on April 27, 2018, at the Salem Convention Center.

At this 2018 Excellence in Concrete Awards, winning projects — in sixteen unique categories — were judged “best in class” from over 60 submitted entries. Projects and companies are recognized for their exemplary use of concrete in building design, construction, and landscaping projects completed within the past two years in Oregon and SW Washington.

Hannah Mason Pump Station
A Judge’s Choice Award was given to Hannah Mason Pump Station, Portland, Oregon.

A crowd of over 325 celebrated Oregon’s best concrete projects last Friday. Event photos are available here:

Read the Press Release.

Do you have an upcoming project where you need support?

We can help via a “brown-bag presentation” or through a project-support structure. NCC serves Oregon and Washington.

2018 Excellence in Concrete Awards Event Sponsors
Excellence in Concrete Awards Sponsors
2018 Excellence in Concrete Awards Event Sponsors