When I tell people what I do for a living, I usually get an odd look followed by something like, "A magazine about concrete?! How many people read that?" When I tell them we have 29,000 subscribers, these people are even more amazed. "Why are so many people interested in sidewalks?"
I guess part of me can't blame my oblivious circle of friends and relatives - concrete doesn't have a glamorous reputation. It's a simple product, typically cement, sand, rocks and water. But people in the construction industry know the amazing possibilities contractors can achieve with this simple recipe and want to share this information with the world. Believe me, my friends and relatives get an earful about the sustainable aspects of concrete construction, the endless possibilities of concrete countertops and the architectural beauty of concrete structures. And most recently I explained to a table of friends what polished concrete is and why the industry needs a new magazine dedicated to it.
That last part might be news to you, so let me repeat it - Concrete Contractor, in partnership with the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA), has introduced a new magazine dedicated to the polished concrete industry. Most of you received the premier issue of Polishing Contractor polybagged with the magazine you have in your hands.
Polishing Contractor is the official publication of the CPAA, a group of contractors and manufacturers dedicated to educating architects, owners and contractors on polished concrete. Brad Burns is the president of the CPAA and one of the driving forces behind Polishing Contractor. He says since polished concrete first gained popularity in the United States about 12 years ago, many advancements have been made in the industry in regards to diamond tooling, vacuum systems, grinders and dyes. "Concrete polishing has a lot to offer and as such, there has been tremendous growth," he explains. "But as with most young industries, you have some contractors who are concerned with integrity and performance while some are simply interested in the financial gain associated with a new and popular product." That's where the CPAA steps in. Its main goal is to promote quality polished concrete though educating architects, general contractors, designers and polishing contractors. The association has defined polished concrete, created a specification for installations, written placing and finishing recommendations for concrete that will receive a polish, and created the CPAA Accreditation Program that offers architects, GC and consumers a resource for properly trained applicators.
With a solid foundation in specifications and education, the CPAA wanted to take another step and bring this information to a larger audience - to give people an idea of the amazing things that can be achieved with properly installed polished concrete. It wanted to create a community where the people involved with polished concrete could find inspiration and education, showcase their work and present their ideas to a broader base. It was out of this idea that Polishing Contractor was born.
I encourage you to read this premier issue of Polishing Contractor, which you will continue to see on a quarterly basis. Let us know how it inspires you, tell us about your projects and ideas that will inspire other contractors, and take the time to tell your friends and relatives about the amazing things contractors can do with concrete, starting with the polishing industry.