Team Member Takes Second in Archery Tournament

Colin Jones, a member of our preconstruction team, recently tied for second place in the professional class of the Wisconsin State Indoor Archery Tournament.

On Feb. 16 and 17, Jones spent the weekend competing in Wisconsin Rapids, with his wife Jessica spotting for him. On day one, Jones shot a 300 with 59X and on day two, Jones shot a 300 with 58X, for a total of 600 with 117X. A perfect score is 600 with 120X.

Jones started shooting archery in 4H at nine-years-old. Growing up watching the Robinhood movies and reading the books, archery just always fascinated him, plus, he said, he was naturally gifted at it.

He joined the Beloit Field Archers when he was 18-years-old and by 19-years-old, he was shooting competitively. Jones said he first learned how to shoot by watching other people and then just started asking questions of other archers. In 2012, he turned pro after winning the state amateur championship for a second time.

”There’s a little bit of luck involved and a lot of skill,” Jones said.

The skills necessary for archery, according to Jones, are a positive mental attitude, good form and lots of practice. It also helps to have a supportive wife, Jones said, crediting Jessica for taking care of the kids and holding things down at home while he shoots.

Before having kids - Jones is father of Cole, 3, and Lorelei, 3 months - Jones was practicing about four times a week. Now, he only shoots in a league on Thursday nights, sometimes taking Cole with him. Cole already has his own bow and shoots in between dad’s practice when he goes to league night.

”That fact that he’s showing interest, that’s pretty neat,” Jones said.

Jones loves the competitiveness of shooting and chooses to shoot in the professional class because he wants to shoot against the best archers in the world, some of whom are from Wisconsin. He competes up to six times each year across the country. He currently shoots a Dave Barnsdale Bow.

”It’s an older bow, but I feel comfortable with it,” he said.

For anyone interested in trying archery, Jones advises starting with used equipment, joining a club and not being afraid to ask questions.

”Everybody in archery is willing to help everybody, especially someone new,” he said.

Jones will compete in the NFAA Nationals in Cincinnati, Ohio this weekend. Nearly 2,000 archers will compete.

Camber: What is it?

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Camber is inherent in all prestressed precast products. It is the upward deflection created by the prestressed forces in the strands located below the center of gravity. This is required to resist design loads and in the hollowcore plank it compresses the bottom more than the top. Span length, plank thickness and design load requirements will determine the amount of prestressing force needed in the plank, from which the engineer can calculate an estimated camber. The benefit of camber in prestressed precast concrete products is that it allows for longer spans, shallower depth sections and higher load carrying capabilities than conventional building materials. Camber should not be specified as a design parameter.

Differential Camber

Differential camber refers to varying amounts of camber between adjacent hollow core planks. Camber differences occur because no two planks have the same exact strength gain, creep and exposure to the elements in storage. Planks in the yard exposed to direct sunlight will experience more camber growth than plank in the shade. Adjacent planks with different span lengths will differ in camber as will those with different prestressing strand patterns. Minimize differential camber by one or more of these methods: jack up low pieces; shim shorter planks at bearing; flash patch; apply self-leveling course.

Theoretical Camber

Theoretical camber is the calculated upward deflection based on relevant design parameters. It is time dependent due to the curing of concrete and can vary significantly from actual camber on site. The optimal storage time for plank in the yard is 2 to 3 weeks. Extensive job schedule delays and increased storage time can lead to camber growth. This is especially true in the early summer where warmer temperatures and low humidity accelerates the curing process.

Important Considerations about Camber

Specify realistic design loads to avoid overly conservative load requirements. Limit plank span to depth ratio to 45 and if necessary, increase plank thickness.

Increase 2-inch topping overlays if maximum plank camber exceeds 3/4 inch. Plan finished floor elevations accordingly.

Minimize differential plank camber prior to grouting keyways by one of more of the following methods: use temporary shoring to jack up low planks; use sandwich plates and bolts at mid span to draw planks vertically together; shim shorter and low planks at bearing points; flash patch (feather) joints between adjacent planks; apply self-leveling coatings (gypcrete) or use structural topping.

Advise subcontractors installing door frames to account for plank camber and topping if any. Contact us today to learn more and be geared up for your next project.

Source: PCI


Safety Before All Else

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In this industry, safety isn’t something to take lightly.

At Mid-States Concrete Industries, safety is not a trend or something to sell or be really good at.  It's a journey, our way of life.  We do not compromise safety, ever.

Our vision is to change the world by being the safest and most innovative precast building company.  To ensure this vision is a reality, Mid-States has developed a safety mindset, not just a commitment.  To be truly safe, every employee must learn how to identify hazards and work as a team to eliminate those hazards.  We don't put people in to Mid-States, we put Mid-States in to our people and we train to build the mindset, to create world-class safety habits.

Every day, we are part of creating world-class buildings in which to live, work and play.  And to keep doing that, we must make sure our crews are staying safe, always.  In the plant, in the yard, out in the field, driving from job site to job site – everywhere.  We want our team members to go home to their families every single shift, in the same condition they arrived for their shift.

How do we do this?  Partly with events like Safety Days.  Conducted annually, Safety Days offers all of our team members a refresher course on the company’s safety guidelines and policies.  Safety Days is led by Mike Wolff, Vice President of Safety and Quality.

“Every year, we have customers call to say you guys are the safest guys (they have) ever seen,” Mike shared.

It took plenty of work and dedication for the team to get to this point.  In addition to in-depth internal training of all new employees, and continuing internal education for all employees, all foremen are 30-hour OSHA certified.  The entire field crew is first responder certified.

Safety Days covers safety policies and procedures, like the importance of personal protective equipment, maintaining equipment safely, site safety plans and hazard identification.

Hagen Harker, President of Mid-States Concrete Industries, acknowledged the dedication to safety Mid-States’ employees show.

“What you do to build buildings is incredible,” Hagen told the crew.

He acknowledged that even when employees find themselves at a challenging job site, they still focus on not just getting the job done, but getting the job done safely.

“I don’t take for granted what you do out there every day,” Hagen told the team.

He also commented that every day employees are out on a job site, they have an opportunity to build a world-class building.

“Everything you do out there is a reflection on us,” Hagen said.  “Be world-class.  I know you know how to do it.”

Find us on Mortarr


We are now on Mortarr: an imagery driven and search-based website that serves as an inspiration gallery, networking and promotional tool for professionals, brands and general users in the commercial construction and design industry.

Check out our profile and Project Galleries by creating your own Mortarr account for free. You can also collaborate on projects in Mortarr’s virtual Design Rooms.

Think of it as a combination of Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Build Green With CarbonCast

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In an era where "going green" has become a way of life, precast concrete manufacturers have a unique opportunity and obligation to participate in the sustainability movement.

Due to the inherent sustainable qualities of precast concrete, the material lends itself well to green building practices, according to PCI.  For example, as school districts search for ways to manage costs, one such way to do that is through building (or adding on to an existing structure) with CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels.

As a PCI-Certified Plant, Mid-States Concrete Industries creates these panels with highly-trained personnel, in a controlled environment, with little waste and under strict quality control measures.

Once created, these panels can be erected quickly on a jobsite, providing minimal disruption to the site - meaning it can be done while school is still in session - and reducing the amount of energy and waste generated during installation.

Sustainability doesn't just stop once the panels have been installed though.  Perhaps one of the most beneficial things about precast is the long term reduction in energy costs.  CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels can provide projectable energy savings over the life of a school building, according to a Technical Brief issued by AltusGroup, a group which Mid-States is a member.

The use of C-GRID connectors in these panels provides thermal efficiency with edge-to-edge and top-to-bottom insulation, as well as thermal mass.  Thermal mass is the ability of a material to absorb, store and later release significant amounts of heat, providing the opportunity to lower the average operating level to heat or cool a building.  This, in turn, lowers the building's energy costs.

Plus, if Mid-States is brought on to the project early enough, we can also help you explore ways to lessen your investment in HVAC equipment.  After all, who knows more about how energy efficient our products are than us?

Mid-States also offers a variety of finishes on our Wall Panels, and oftentimes the walls can be left exposed and/or painted on the interior.

Precast and the Speed of Construction


Although not a typical four-letter word, "time" can quickly become one on a construction project.

However, high performance precast concrete can help maintain a project schedule through speed in design, construction and finishing processes.

Working with a precaster early in the design process can help the designer chose the most efficient pieces to cast, saving both time and money.  The repetitive nature of precast panels allows design work to move quickly to the shop drawing stage.

Once designs are approved, the precast pieces can be cast in the plant, under factory-controlled settings, while the construction site is being prepared.  Because these pieces are created in the plant, weather is not a concern.  Additionally, the engineering and manufacturing precision produces exact dimensions, nearly eliminating the need for field adjustments.  Electrical conduit can even be embedded in the panels at casting.

Once produced, precast can be scheduled and delivered to a construction site based on need.  Components can be installed quickly, oftentimes shortening a schedule by weeks or even months.  As an example, Humbucker Apartments, a 9-story total precast apartment building in Madison, Wisc., was erected in just 12 weeks in the middle of winter.

The panelized system of precast minimizes piece counts and allows for quick erection, allowing faster access to the interior of the building.  Since insulated sandwich wall panels boast continuous insulation, there is no need for spray foam or installation of batts after erection.  Plus, precast generally provides fire ratings above those required, eliminating the need to add fire retardant after erection.

To speed things along even more, choose a panel that can be left unfinished or painted on the interior.  This will save time by eliminating the added step of drywalling or finishing the walls on the inside.

At Mid-States Concrete Industries, we know you are on a tight deadline, with lots of people counting on you.  Don't let "time" become a four-letter word on your project.  Contact Mid-States today!  The earlier you bring us in, the more help - and savings - we can provide.