Visit Us At Kids Building Wisconsin

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Kids Building Wisconsin is a free event that provides hands-on fun activities with a construction focus. Last year was our first year of participation and we had so much fun, we signed up to do it again.

This rain or shine event is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 from 9 am - 4 pm at McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Road, in Fitchburg. Mid-States will once again give kids a chance to “leave their mark” on a plain grey precast panel.

Mark your calendar and bring out the kids for a day of fun! Find more information and pre-register here. The event is free, but registration is required.

Visit us at AIA Wisconsin - Booth B554

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Learn about new products and services from representatives of the region’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of design and construction industry products and services at the AIA Wisconsin 2019 Conference & Architecture Expo.

The Expo will be held Wednesday, May 8th from 1:30 - 4:30 pm and Thursday, May 9th from 11 am - 2 pm at Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Drive, in Madison.

You can find Mid-States at Booth B554. Be sure to visit for one of our four presentations of “Is That Really Concrete? Wall Panel Finish Variations,” eligible for continuing education credits. We’ll have presentations at 2:15 pm and 3:30 pm Wednesday and 11:45 am and 1 pm Thursday.

Design teams are such an important part of the success of any project. It is a privilege to get to partner with some of the best around. We look forward to seeing you there and learning about your latest projects!

Join Our Team: Job Fair on Tuesday, May 7

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Mid-States Concrete Industries personally invites you to our Job Fair on Tuesday, May 7 from 9 am until 2 pm at our offices and plant, 500 S. Park Ave., South Beloit, Ill.

Join a great group of talented, hardworking people who deliver world-class precast concrete products and construction services. We have immediate openings to join our Production team on 1st, 2nd & 3rd shifts.

Offering a starting wage of $15.35/hour, with scheduled increases and opportunities to advance.

Benefits:

  • Comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision, where the team member pays 15-percent and can reduce to 5-percent through our free wellness program

  • 10 paid holidays

  • Paid vacation after one year of service

Opportunities to increase your hourly rate:

  • Forklift Certification: $0.25/hour

  • Crane Operation Certification:

  • $0.25/hour

  • Certified Welders: $0.25/hour

  • Quality Control Certification: $0.35/hour

  • Lead Man Certification: $1/hour

  • Second Shift Premium: $0.45/hour

  • Third Shift Premium: $0.60/hour

Join us on Tuesday, May 7 and be prepared to interview, tour our facilities and meet members of our Leadership team.

Interested but can’t attend? Send resume/inquiries to careers@msprecast.com, call 800.236.1072, or visit msprecast.com/take-action.

Rain Barriers and Rain Screens

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In buildings, water has the unfortunate habit of getting where building owners don’t want it to go. And once inside a building it has the potential to do significant damage.

Buildings gain, lose and store moisture along with heat energy through a variety of physical mechanisms. Operating durability, efficiency and serviceability of the structure can be affected by moisture flow. Controlling moisture flow in a building also has significant impacts on occupant health, safety and comfort.

Modes of moisture flow into buildings include:

  • Precipitation – rain and moisture making their way through openings in building surfaces

  • Water vapor evaporation – liquid water changing into gaseous or vapor state and is absorbed into the air

  • Diffusion – water vapor moving under pressure from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration and also high temperatures to low temperatures

  • Condensation – water changing from a vapor state to a liquid state as air becomes saturated. Where condensation occurs matters.

Architects generally have two approaches:

  1. Keep moisture from penetrating the wall assembly or

  2. Assume it will penetrate the assembly and provide a way to remove it

Rain barriers are often face-sealed curtain walls and have sealed joints between the components. Drainage is generally not required in these assemblies for moisture originating from the exterior. For the wall to remain effective, the joints must be maintained because they typically represent the weakest parts in the system. The most effective rain barriers will have the fewest joints and be made of the most durable building materials.

Precast cladding, including all CarbonCast Enclosure Systems, can be considered a face sealed curtain wall. The concrete, typically over 5,000 psi in strength, absorbs and passes very little liquid water. Panel joints should have either two layers of sealant or sealant and a secondary method of defense against water penetration. Joints around openings should have primary and secondary seals.

Rain screens begin with the premise that water will eventually penetrate the exterior wall system and that a mechanism must be designed to drain it. They are not water-tight and are typically ventilated. The screen relieves most of the driving pressure of water, then drains or evaporates it through a cavity behind the façade. Rain screens generally entail more complicated design and construction practices and material selection to ensure proper water flow and minimize the potential for damage once the water passes the screen. They also have more variability in materials and often more joints and opportunities for water penetration.

Moisture (both liquid and vapor) will accumulate if the rate at which it collects in the space exceeds the rate of removal. Repeated wetting, followed by repeated drying, may be accepted as long as materials do not stay wet long enough to freeze and deteriorate.

CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels, like most precast wall panels, are strong enough to withstand high winds and wind-driven projectiles, hurricanes, and wildfires when properly installed to code and maintained. They are also impermeable to air infiltration and wind driven rain. The high tensile strength of reinforced concrete combined with proper compaction imbues the material with the capacity to withstand storms and render it resistant to wind-driven rain and moist outdoor air in hot and humid climates. In many cases this strength is enhanced though prestressing, which further prevents the likelihood of cracking stresses due to shipping and handling.

Architects often ask if precast walls can be designed as a rain screen or drained system. They can. However, because they provide superior resistance to rain penetration and air leakage, they are often used as a rain barrier. In fact, using the drained approach with precast wall panels can introduce risk that water may damage the panel’s structural connections. Why entertain that risk? Design for the sure solution!

-Altus Group

Introducing Tension Encabulation

Due to measurement errors or changing customer requirements, the length of precast hollowcore components can sometimes be wrong.

When elements are too long, the obvious solution is to cut them to length. However, when an element is too short, precasters are forced to completely remake the elements incurring all the costs in doing so.

We’ve been diligently working on a solution to this problem and are pleased to announce through tension encabulation we are able to stretch concrete elements when field conditions dictate we do so.

A plank by any other name

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… is not the same!

Well, ok, it is. Kinda.

When looking at precast hollowcore concrete, you can across quite a few product/brand/trade names. Elematic, Flexicore, Spancrete, Ultra-Span, Dynaspan, etc. It can be hard to derive the difference between them, or to decide it’s worth to parse out these differences, especially when it comes to specifying. Sometimes, a given name is repeated, even while crossing wide gaps in project size, location, and time period.

To be fair, all of these trade names do refer to a common construction product: precast, hollowcore, concrete planks (or slabs). The value in hollowcore slabs is their premium span-to-thickness ratio in the spaces underneath them that they provide. By using hollowcore planks, one can eliminate the unsightly and obtrusive combination of columns (obstructing views and lowering space flexibility) and deep beams (lowering ceiling heights/headroom). The value per square foot of this type of product is pretty unbelievable when you compare the resulting living space.

These planks come in a nominal width (depending on manufacturer) and are designed, fabricated, and cut to length based on project needs. Because of their designed-to-order and built-to-order nature, you can be assured that the installation and life span of each of these products is the best you can get. That said, the design and installation requirements of each brand can and will vary; it’s the details that can get ya here. Sometimes a standing name can and does get carried over into multiple projects; it pays to review the project to ensure the correct brand is being referenced. There are many form factors of hollowcore concrete. Heck, even we at Mid-States have changed form factors over the years.

So what does this mean for you? It pays to review either the project or the master precast specifications to make sure they are in line with the current manufacturing market and the resulting construction requirements for this product. While even though you may still question the value of discerning each plank type, there’s still one piece missing from all of this, likely the most important piece of all, the service that comes with the product. Each precast provider has their own way in taking you through the process. We would love the opportunity to show you ours (more on this in a future post so stay tuned).

Confused? It’s OK. It can and does get that way quickly. Really, your best bet is to give us a call to verify. We’d be happy to review your current specs and provide our feedback. If you have master specs that haven’t been updated in a while, we can also help with those. While we’d like to sell you our planks, we’d love to simply be your go-to source for information and pricing. Even if we can’t help you, we’d be happy to refer you to someone who can.

Give us a call anytime at 800.236.1072.