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Introduced in Poland in 1989 the transformation reforms caused essential changes in the range of the management of the enterprises by granting them the considerable economic independence in relationship with liquidation of trade associations. After some time the enterprises began to feel the need of calling of an organization, representing the interests of concrete trade in relation with state administration, the national and foreign organizations etc. Such organization would serve to solve the problems standing before concrete trade and also to integrate concrete community and to support the relationships among concrete plants. Law on Associations lets such possibilities for voluntary associating and on this base the Concrete Producers' Association was created.
The Concrete Producers' Association (the previous name: Safe Precast Concrete Association) has been established in Warsaw on 15 September 1994 on the founder's convention in which participated 31 representatives of concrete industry who recognized the need of calling of organization representing interests of concrete producers in Poland.
During this convention the Statute of the Association was resolved and Founder's Committee was designated as well as its Presidium which was authorized to apply for registering the Association at the Provincial Court in Warsaw. By the decision of the Court from 14 December 1994 the Safe Precast Concrete Association has been entered into the Register of Associations under the number RST 2436. The name of Association has been changed for the Concrete Producers' Association on the 5 Convention of Association in 1998.
During the First General Convention of the Association, on 5 January 1995, the authorities and executives have been elected. Mr. Mieczysław Soboń became the President of the Association; Messrs: Maciej Burasiewicz and Edward Sierakowski became Vice-Presidents and Mr. Stanisław Petrykowski – General Secretary.
The working of the decision about bringing into existence of Association it was preceded over two-year period with activity of so-called “the concrete trade producers' agreements” and “the autoclaved cellular concrete producers' agreements” which functioned in the frame of the Research and Development Center for Concrete Industry „CEBET”. Period of functioning the trade agreements was a good experience, which in positive manner influenced on calling and the beginnings of activity of the Association. And because in Polish concrete industry one can distinguish two characteristic trades: aggregate concrete and autoclaved cellular concrete that's why at the Concrete Producers' Association from the very beginning exist two trade sections, namely: the Section of Aggregate Concrete and the Section of Autoclaved Cellular Concrete.
According to the statute the basic objectives of the Association are: appearance and representing members in relations with state administration as well as with national and foreign organizations of similar profiles of activity; undertaking training, informative as well as advertising-promotion activity; undertaking common activity and funding of the undertakings for modernizing production units and the plants of similar technical solutions; funding research development works and technical documentations; organization of cyclic scientific technical conferences with participation of the prominent national and foreign experts as well as organizing participation of the Association's members in national and foreign exhibitions and construction fairs.
The essential aim of the Association is to maintain professional, personal relations and exchange experiences among concrete producers and also undertaking, if concluded by interested sides, the arbiter's part in disputes between sides.
The members of the Association are natural persons from among management staff of the concrete industry plants and also from the connected with them design units, producers of materials and equipment for construction while as legal members are enterprises.
At present 53 companies belong to the Association and they are grouped in two trade section, namely:
- The Section of Aggregate Concrete - 34 producers, and
- The Section of Autoclaved Cellular Concrete - 19 producers.
Decrease of quantity of Association lower members to compare with period since 5 years is a result of consolidation in AAC section. In this section functioned 31 countries 5 years ago but 17 now.
The Association, in the years 1995-1998, had also the Section of Producers of Concrete Products for Power Industry.
Since the moment of coming into existence the Concrete Producers' Association has undertaken the initiating role and integrating activity in the community of concrete producers in Poland. In the first period of activity the special attention was put on questions related to modernization of concrete industry. The inspiration for such activity resulted from the entry on the polish market a number of western companies, having at theirs disposal an advance techniques and technology and producing the high quality products. Therefore the special attention at the Association it has been put on collecting and disseminating knowledge on applied solutions in leading western companies. With this in view, on organized twice a year (spring/autumn) meeting of Association's members there are invited prominent experts, from the field of concrete prefabrication, who present modern foreign solutions, as well as representatives of firms, in this manufacturers of machines and equipment for concrete industry. There are also organized technical – training trips to concrete factories abroad, aiming at to get knowledge on modern technique and technology.
As the effect of this activity there were, already in 1995, undertaken at the Association common projects which individual enterprises would not to be able to realize at that time. The first project, being co-financing by a group of producers, it concerned elaboration of technical documentation and next one – the realization of prototype of a cutting unit for autoclaved cellular concrete. Realizing this task it made possible the considerable improvement of quality and the modernity of products and it caused in the essential progress in development of techniques and the technology in autoclaved cellular concrete plants. At present modern cutting units are working in twenty six factories. Concrete mixing plant worked in 18 manufacture 5 years ago.
At the same time in the majority of plants the modernization of remaining productive units has been conducted, resulting in that right now these plants are very modern factories of autoclaved cellular concrete and they can be boldly competitive with western European factories. Next, common undertaking which would be underlined, it is elaboration of an approval for sewage manholes funded by members of the Association, producers of this assortment as well as funding of elaboration of technical documentation for different assortments of prefabricated concrete elements and adapted to the requirements of European standards. The Association is the owner of this documentation which contains over 1400 different assortments of precast concrete products, among others hollow-core floor slabs, lintel beams, road slabs, wall blocks, retaining walls, poles, pipes etc. Together with this documentation guides for designers have been elaborated which are an essential source of knowledge for designing and applying of concrete precast elements.
The Association, in its activity, pays much attention to close cooperation with scientific research institutions, among others through organization, by the Association, of cyclical scientific-technical conferences with part of prominent national and foreign experts and in which architects, designers, investors and contractors participate on the cost of the Association. Formula of these conferences, in which prominent experts present the most modern solutions in concrete prefabrication and Polish producers present possibilities of theirs companies, permits participants to achieve advantages, to extend their knowledge and to establish close contacts among individual participants of investment's process. Institutes and technical universities were invited to cooperate in organizing of these conferences, while the conferences were under the auspices of the Ministry of Construction. Till now took place 5 Conferences, which was in calendar called “Zegrzyńskie Conference”. Started from the last Conference in 2007 are invited students from the last years of Technical University Construction Department. The first Conference took place in Puławy and next in Zegrze.
The Association also funds a number of research works relating, among others, to questions of wall acoustic, wall strength, thermal properties etc. Popularization and propagation of knowledge about the Association and about the products, produced in the frame of the organization are also carried out by participation in national fairs and buildings' exhibitions. Particular attention was paid to exhibitions on the International Buildings' Fairs „BUDMA” in Poznań, where besides of presenting a stand with offers of producers, there also were organized press conferences, awaking large interest of media representatives as well as of other participants of the fairs.
In 1997 under the auspices of the Ministry of Construction, the Association organized an open, nationwide, architectural competition on project of residential building (or housing development) constructed with products made of cellular concrete and in 1999 the Association was a coorganizator of a competition on project of building from concrete. Miscellaneous forms of popularization of knowledge about producers and their products as well as about modern solutions in techniques and technology they are of special importance fo the Association. This, among others, has been achieved by elaborating and publishing catalogue-handbook for designing buildings from cellular concrete. The handbook – collective work, elaborated by a group of prominent experts – has been delivered, free of charge, to architects, designers and contractors, being a basis for wide application of cellular concrete. Starting from 2000 a design guide has periodically been published, impression of 15 thousand copies, and addressed to those who are constructing houses of cellular concrete. The guide, in simple and accessible manner, gives basic knowledge about cellular concrete for designers and users. Till now was published 11 handbooks.
Independently from the above mentioned, through the whole period of our activity, we closely co-operate and widely use columns of technical periodicals and everyday papers, writing on problems of building, where we put our articles, interviews, and advertisements related to concrete products, producers as well as to our Association.
We also participate actively in an educational cycle „Wise Pole before construction started” under the auspices of the Ministry of Infrastructure, where recently a booklet on building of houses from homogeneous walls has been published. The booklets, in impression of 115 thousand copies as well as 5 thousand copies of posters, have been distributed to all commune councils in Poland. Simultaneously, there are organized provincial conferences, on which prominent experts introduce advantages of construction with use of homogeneous walls. At present, in the frames of this cycle, another booklet is under elaboration concerning the building of an additional storey in single and multifamily houses.
Association co-operates with many institutions and organizations in the field of promotion of our aims through refinancing of different scientific conferences, such as Jadwisin Conference, Krynica Conference or Designer's Workshops at Szczyrk and our representative actively participate in Organizing Committee “Concrete Days”.
The Association pays much attention to activity aiming at protection of interests of concrete producers community. The Association is often invited by various bodies of national administration to consult draft projects of legal acts related to the fields of construction and building materials industry, such as Building Law, Law on Buildings' Products and Law on VAT, as well as decrees on thermal protection of buildings or appropriate standards etc. Representatives of the Association participate actively in Standard Technical Committees, in Technical Approvals Committee, in numerous Consultative Councils etc. During 10-years activity the Association has been recognized and known organization which opinions are heard with attention and often taken into consideration.
Opening is an essential element in activity of the Association – and it concerns not only co-operation with national institutions, but also establishment of direct contacts with foreign co-partners especially those acting in the field of concrete and construction.
From the time of foundation the Association has organized every year a number of technical-instructive trips for representatives of enterprises, during which concrete factories are visited. The basic goal of these trips, mainly to European countries but also to other continents, is to get acquainted with modern solutions in the field of techniques and technology and acquired experiences are utilized in our factories. We have considerable valuable experiences in the field of cellular concrete production from visits to factories in Germany, Denmark, England, Turkey and China, while in the field of concrete prefabrication it is particularly worth to emphasize experiences gained during visiting factories in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, South Africa and Australia and also from visit to American Company Besser – world leader in production of machinery and equipment for concrete industry, where we could observe these machines at work in factories of precast concrete elements and concrete pipes in Florida.
After calling the Association has established contacts with foreign organizations acting in the field of concrete industry. In the consequence of the above already in 1996 the Concrete Producers Association became a member of the European Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Association (EAACA) as the first country from Central Eastern Europe. Basic aim of EAACA is promotion of the interests of producers of autoclaved cellular concrete and their national associations across all Europe.
From the beginning of its membership Poland is a significant member in this organization what results both from activity of our representatives as well as from productive potential represented by our country. At the present Association's representative is a member of EAACA Strategic Committee. Poland is presently the largest producer of cellular concrete in Europe and also all over the world. EAACA, taking into account the Polish position and importance, entrusted twice to our Association an organization of meeting of EAACA Executive Committee – the first time in 1999 and again in May 2004 in order to emphasize an accession of new countries to the European Union as well as with an occasion of acceptance of new EAACA members from countries of Central Eastern Europe. The last sitting EAACA Committee took place in Cracow in the AGH University of Science and Technology Senacka room. This event is written in the calendar of the 90 th AGH and the 60th Faculty Of Materials Science And Ceramics anniversary.
Membership in EAACA and our activity in works of the Executive Committee and in the work groups bring measurable advantages for our producers and for the Association. At present there is 18 member countries in EAACA.
Since 1 January 2007 our Association is a member of International Bureau of Precast Concrete (BIBM),which field is combined together with concrete section association field. From the beginning we are activ member of this organization. In 2008 our Association organized sitting of Association National Managament – BIBM members as well as took place the sitting BIBM Marketing Committee in October this year.
One of the forms of informing about our activities is Internet. Association has its own website, where current information are placed as well as issues on precast concrete relating to problems connected with questions on prefabrication both for experts and also for persons interested in construction with use of concrete elements. From the Association's website there are links to websites of our members and also to EAACA website.
Beside of the essential statutory activity our Association takes also active part in a relief activity for persons injured in the result of natural disasters as well as supports foundations and children care centers, through organization of gratuitous deliveries of building materials as well as in other forms of support.