One hundred years is an exciting number to discuss. One hundred years, a decade of decades, and when it comes to the National Concrete Masonry Association, you are looking at the Foundation of America – literally. With over 18 years of experience in the masonry industry, I have been involved in many changes. As one of the “new kids on the block”, when I formed Saturn Materials in 2016, I did so to find innovative solutions with masonry products. From where I sit, the future of our industry looks very bright!
I left NCMA’s Young Professionals Workshop with excitement streaming from my veins about where as an industry we are headed. Looking back at old national advertising campaigns from NCMA that dated back into the 50s, we see blocks being sold as a way to make your home “different”. Today with new sizes and colors, the innovation of bricks as a way to make your business or home look different from your neighbor is even more distinct. While colors may come and go in fashion, masonry lasts in a way that is only defined as a permanent fixture of today’s building future.
As I mentioned earlier, masonry continues to stand the test of time and is literally the foundation of America. Since 1936, the Hoover Dam serves a large section of our country daily for flood control, irrigation, and hydroelectric power. This structure is built with some of my favorite materials. Concrete and fly ash – materials that have and will stand the test of time. For 82 years, this National Historic Landmark impacts thousands in Nevada, Arizona, and California residents and businesses, and will continue to provide this lasting solution.
The future of our industry is also incredibly “green”. My company, as well as many others, are finding ways to include recycled content in the manufacturing of our products. Gone are the days when we pretended there would be unlimited resources. The innovators of this industry are here looking to create sustainable products that reduce our carbon footprint.
Shapes and uses of bricks have changed as well. The days are gone of bricks only going on flat walled surfaces. Now, concrete masonry products are created for very specific uses. They are used to provide a permanent solution with blocks and masonry created to last the test of time. At Saturn Materials, we are looking forward to launching new, innovative products specifically created for client needs, later this year.
This year marks a landmark year for the NCMA. One hundred years is something to be celebrated as an industry and as a nation that relies on these products daily. Here is what I am excited about – the future! The future of our industry is being made every day with innovative companies that are not saying, ‘this is how we have always done it.’ Solutions are being made by companies who are looking at the past and finding new, innovative ways to work this into the lifestyle of people’s homes, businesses, and gathering places all over the nation.