News

June 10, 2009

HACKER INDUSTRIES, INC. UNVEILS NEW PRODUCT GUIDE

Newport Beach, Calif. – June 09, 2009 – Hacker Industries, Inc., the leading supplier of cementitious floor underlayments and acoustical control mats, introduces a new Hacker Floor Underlayment Product Guide. The pamphlet offers a concise overview of the company’s line of FIRM-FILL® Brand Gypsum Concretes.

Designed for easy access to pertinent product information, the new guide includes a brief synopsis of all Hacker Floor Underlayments’ features and benefits, technical data, UL Listings, and code approvals. It also includes a product chart that allows architects, contractors, and building owners to find the right Hacker Floor Underlayment for their project by selecting the type of project and the type of subfloor.

Hacker Industries, Inc.’s line of FIRM-FILL® Gypsum Concretes, GYP-SPAN® Radiant and sound control mats lead the industry in reliability and customer satisfaction in new construction, renovation and repair projects. With over 2 billion square feet of successful installations throughout North America, Hacker Floor Underlayments are the ideal choice for multi-family, residential, and commercial applications providing superior compressive strengths matched with exceptional acoustical and fire resistance properties.

Free copies of the product guide are available by contacting Hacker Industries, Inc. at (800) 642-3455 or info@HackerIndustries.com.

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June 08, 2009

Winners of “International Stone Architecture” Award

(Verona, Italy, June 8, 2009) – Architects from Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Italy were recently selected by an international jury to receive Veronafiere/Marmomacc’s International Stone Architecture Award.

This is the 11th edition of a biannual program created by Veronafiere in 1987 as part of the trade fair company’s commitment to the culture of stone. Prizes will be presented on Saturday, October 3, 2009, during Marmomacc in Verona, at the Museo di Castelvecchio. The projects will also be featured in an exhibit during the fair.

The jury, which evaluated 30 projects from 16 countries, was comprised of:
Francesco Cellini (Architecture Faculty Roma 3, University of Rome)
Fulvio Irace (Polytechnic Institute of Milan)
Juan José Lahuerta (Architecture Faculty, University of Barcelona)
Werner Oechslin (Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland)
Vincenzo Pavan (University of Ferrara, Italy)

The honored architects, the name and their project, its primary stone material and the jury’s comments follow:


ASIAN ARCHITECTURE FRIENDSHIP (aaf.cool.ne.jp)
The Asian Architecture Friendship is an Osaka, Japan-based group of volunteers, mainly composed of architects from the construction firm Takenaka Corp.
School Complex, Philim, Nepal 2007

Principal Stone Material: Local Stone and Slate

Jury comments
This school, built far away from urban settlements, found its “obvious” design structure thanks to the construction methods, materials and forms that have traditionally been used in these areas of high elevation. Simplicity is obligatory and imperative. It influences and dominates everything.

Construction was entrusted to the local community.

The architectural manifestation of their vision is the organization of interior and exterior spaces and the successful placement of the building within its natural surroundings. The curving forms of the residential areas and the other spaces are dominant. Among them, a platform opens to create the circular cafeteria area.

This building complex is made explicit and visible thanks to the use of only a few forms. The simple character of the building -- based on the use of local stone -- unifies the project as a whole and convincingly generates an equally natural compactness.



FERMlN VÁZQUEZ - b720 Arquitectos – Barcelona, Spain (www.b720.com)
Restoration of Plaza del Torico, Teruel, Spain, 2007

Principal Stone Material: Basalt

Jury comments
This project is of intense interest because it represents an intervention in a space that is central to its city, but small in size and with an irregular shape. Of further interest is the fact that the subsoil contains a series of archeological finds and large medieval cisterns, which have now been recovered through a subterranean pathway that completes this complex restoration.

For the restoration, stone was used in combination with an original form of illumination, transforming stone and light into a single whole.



CINO ZUCCHI ARCHITETTI – Milan, Italy (www.zucchiarchitetti.com; additional project information here)
Offices in the former Alfa Rome Cafeteria at Portello, Milan, Italy 2007

Principal Stone Material: Cardoso Stone

Jury comments
The goal of the renovation of the former Alfa Romeo cafeteria is to create a nucleus for a new residential neighborhood, which will become an important new urban fragment of the metropolis of Milan.

Zucchi, while retaining the basic structural elements of the pre-existing building, partially modified the layout of the floor plan. He also remodels the facades through a refined composition of openings and a stone covering that materially differentiates the building -- in its new role as an office container -- from the surrounding residential high-rises.

The resulting irregular and sharp-edged form, derives its character from the varied striped markings of Cardoso stone, mixed together in ashlars of different color tonalities.



GRAFTON ARCHITECTS – Dublin, Ireland (www.graftonarchitects.ie; additional project information here)
Luigi Bocconi University, New Building, Milan, Italy, 2008

Principal Stone Material: Ceppo

Jury comments
This project satisfies extremely difficult criteriae, which required the coexistence of spaces intended for a variety of functional uses and very different in terms of size, structure and environment, in a single very dense and compact block. It achieves its goal thanks to a brilliant three-dimensional invention that integrates and superimposes thin aerial bodies -- permeable to light -- onto a powerful lower collection of interior spaces and public pathways.

The result is an energetic form, whose substantial homogeneity is highlighted through a clever use of stone cladding in “ceppo,” the most common Milanese stone. This single-material “skin” accentuates the plastic, solid and protective image of the building



SNØHETTA – Oslo, Norway (www.snoarc.no; additional project information here)
Opera House, Oslo, Norway, 2008

Principal Stone Material: Carrara Marble

Jury comments
Included in a plan to reconvert the Oslo seafront, the Opera House generates the plan’s more urban dimensions by transforming spaces into pedestrian surfaces whose public nature is emphasized through the extensive use of marble.

The image of slabs of ice frozen into the white of the Carrara Marble give exceptional power to the work, which is also enriched by references to a certain modern Nordic Mediterranean design tradition.



“AD MEMORIAM” AWARD
Alejandro De La Sota (1913-1996), Madrid, Spain (additional project information here)
Civil Government Offices, Tarragona, Spain 1957

Principal Stone Material: Local Stone

Jury comments
The Civil Government building is one of the most important of 1950s and 1960s architecture, not just in Spain but worldwide. During those years, with architecture -- and Spanish culture in general -- dominated by Franco’s repression, the De La Sota building can be seen as an attempt to reconnect to the modern architecture that preceded the Civil War. It is not, however, a simple nod to the past. It is also a way to reconnect to broader European currents, in particular those that consider modernity in relation to an area’s architectural tradition and use of local materials.

From this perspective, the use of stone is essential for this building. On the one hand it serves as cladding for the façade, in a combined structural and aesthetic composition. On the other, inside the building, it offers a vast range of textures and colors -- from glossy black stone to rough limestone --in distinct combinations and compositions of full and empty forms.



VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE PRIZE
Espigueros and Horreos: Stone Granaries in the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain)

Principal Stone Material: Granite

Jury comments
Galician horreos and Portuguese espiguerios are stone versions of a very common European type of granary, perhaps the result of a gradual “petrifying” process of an original wood model. They represent one of the most original and extraordinary episodes of vernacular architecture on the Iberian peninsula.

The most refined solutions remind us of ancient sarcophagi, raised above ground on a structure of mushroom-shaped pillars to protect grain from rodents. In some cases, these buildings seem to approach classic stylistic and formal architecture. In other cases, they refer back to a remote origin, to an archaic matrix represented by certain prehistoric ash urns found in northern Europe.

The variety and quality of these stone granaries are a testament to the creativity and wisdom with which anonymous architects were able to model the stone used, the gray granite of the northwestern regions of the Iberian peninsula.

For full-size digital versions of the images or for more information on Marmomacc please contact: The Consultants International Group in Washington, DC (Sebastiano Brancoli, sbrancoli@cig-dc.com, tel.: 202-783-7000).

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June 05, 2009

Introducing LIQUI-HARD® ULTRA Molecular Concrete Densifier and Chemical Hardener

Hampshire, IL – LIQUI-HARD ULTRA concrete densifier and chemical hardener is a ready to use, colorless liquid, which hardens and dustproofs concrete at a molecular level. After proper application, the finished surface offers substantial improvement in abrasion and chemical resistance and will significantly improve the durability of the surface when compared to untreated concrete. As LIQUI-HARD ULTRA is applied and penetrates into the concrete surface, a chemical reaction takes place, producing a byproduct that fills in the pores of the concrete one molecule at a time. LIQUI-HARD ULTRA solidifies the concrete, eliminating dusting and pitting.

Newly launched, LIQUI-HARD ULTRA is chemically engineered to provide timely, quick, sustainable performance. The product is simply sprayed on, and then left moist on the surface for 20 minutes. In this short period of time, the colorless liquid quickly penetrates into the surface. Unlike traditional densifiers, LIQUI-HARD ULTRA does not require brushing into the surface or rinsing. After application, the resulting surface features enhanced protection and sheen, coupled with superior abrasion resistance. LIQUI-HARD ULTRA can also be used with BELLATRIX and INDUROSHINE® from W. R. MEADOWS for a true green polished concrete system.

LIQUI-HARD ULTRA is an environmentally safe, water-based product and features a zero VOC content. The product is a part of the W. R. MEADOWS GREEN LINE® of earth-friendly products, and will help contribute to credits for LEED-certified construction.

For more information on LIQUI-HARD ULTRA, call (847) 214-2100, e-mail wrmil@wrmeadows.com, or visit www.wrmeadows.com.

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