ACI CNY Newsletter - September 2014

New logo and look -- same great association! 

In This Issue:

  • President's Message by Greg Novitzki, P.E., LEED A.P.
  • "Are We Ready for Performance Specifications?" presented by  Dr. Ken Hover - Register by 9/11!
  • Reminder: Membership Dues
  • ACI CNY Sponsors

President's Message

I hope your summer is going well, and I don’t want to panic anyone but....        

It is already that time of year -- football has begun and so have our ACI dinner meetings!

Your ACI CNY Board members have been busy this summer lining up some excellent speakers and topics for the 2014-2015 season. We are kicking things off with a bang on Wednesday, 9/17, with Dr. Ken Hover who is presenting “Are We Ready for Performance Specifications?” Registration for this talk closes on Thursday, 9/11, so register now to ensure you don’t get closed out!

Our tentative schedule for the rest of the season looks something like this:                

10/15 -- Riccelli/Northern Concrete -- Roller Compacted Concrete Demo

11/19 -- Dave Orzel, FRC Orzel -- “Why Fibers Should Excite You”  

1/21 -- Chris Latreille, Ryan Biggs -- "The Expanding Use of BIM in Construction"

2/25 -- Professor Abouta, Syracuse University -- "Use of Forensics in Concrete and Masonry Construction"

4/1 -- Design & Installation Awards Banquet

This looks like another outstanding line up of top quality presenters and topics. My thanks go out to the Board for all their efforts this summer.      

We hope to see you all soon,
Greg Novitzki, P.E., LEED A.P.

Wednesday, 9/17
"Are We Ready for Performance Specifications?"
Presented by Dr. Ken Hover

DoubleTree Hotel, East Syracuse, NY

Please join us!

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

$35 Member
$45 Non-member
$15 Student


Click here to register/pay online. Or send an email to Amanda Latreille at 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 due by Thursday, 9/11.

Program description:

Are We Ready for Performance Specifications?

There has been a lot of talk over recent years about “Performance Specifications” for concrete construction. At the same time there has been a “performance movement” in structural design, especially for earthquake resistance, and management consultants have been touting the benefits of “management by objective,” which is really just “management by performance.” So what’s it all about? The bottom line is this: If you really want to get something done, tell people what end result you require; don’t waste time, money, or their creativity, energy, or competitive edge by telling them how to do it. OK, sound’s good, so what’s the problem?

In some cases we are so used to giving prescriptive instructions for how to do things that we have lost sight of what we really wanted to accomplish in the first place. Many “performers” have likewise become accustomed to the limitations of responsibility that come from following the instructions. But if we want a pure performance spec, with no boundaries on materials or construction technique, we have to be able to 1.) clearly define what we want, and 2.) we have to be able to clearly measure whether we got it, and 3.) we have to have a contingency plan for what to do if we do not get it. When it comes to concrete, is our end objective the quality of the material as it comes down the chute, or is it in-place strength or in-place durability? How do we adjust to changing responsibilities under a pure performance spec? The problem with being responsible for the end-product is...that you end-up responsible for the end-product, even though you had lots of freedom about how to get there!

Presented by:

Ken Hover is Past-President of the American Concrete Institute 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 in January 2006 was named one of the “Ten Most Influential People in the Concrete Industry.”  

Reminder: Membership Dues

Reminder emails will be sent out this month asking members to renew their membership. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Latreille at 

ACI CNY Sponsors

Special thanks to our 2013-2014 sponsors:

Atlantic Testing Laboratories

CME Associates, Inc.

C & S Companies


Heuber Breuer


Jefferson Concrete Corp.


Klepper, Hahn &

Precast Concrete Association
of New York

Biggs Associates


Whitacre Engineering


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