Rental Industry Tackles Equipment Theft Problem

The American Rental Association (ARA) and the National Equipment Register (NER) have joined forces to fight the $1 billion equipment theft problem. Together, ARA and NER are urging all rental businesses to actively participate in “Rental Fights Back,” a new campaign aimed at creating awareness of the theft issue and encouraging rental business owners to take proactive steps at securing their fleets.

Once a piece of rental equipment is stolen, the chances for recovery are slim unless it is registered on a national database, such as the one NER offers, which can be accessed by law enforcement officers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When officers see something suspicious, they need to act quickly. If they don't have a mechanism for tracking the serial number and discovering the rightful owner, that equipment could be moved out of town, out of state, or offshore and never to be recovered.

To combat this problem, the “Rental Fights Back” campaign encourages rental businesses to register their equipment on NER's national database. ARA members may register up to 1000 units of mobile, off-road equipment, each worth $5000 or more new, on the database at no cost.

The new campaign plans to encourage rental companies to develop a relationship with local law enforcement agencies before crime occurs, participate in regional equipment-theft summits, and support the endeavor by displaying a new bumper sticker that reads, “STOP EQUIPMENT THEFT” and the phone number (866/NER-TIPS).

Masonry Standard Available for Comment

ACI 530, Building Code Requirements and Specifications for Masonry Structures, is currently being processed through ACI's ANSI-approved standardization procedures and is open for public discussion. To review a draft of ACI 530 visit -53687/530-xxdraftforpublicdiscussion.pdf.

Comments should be emailed to by May 15. All public discussion and committee responses will be made available at a later time. This draft standard will become an official ACI document after the discussion period closes and the committee responds to the comments received.

Natural Stone Council Supports Building Green

The Natural Stone Council (NSC), a collaborative organization representing the stone industry's business and trade associations, has announced the formation of an Advisory Council to assist the NSC Committee on Sustainability. Based on a market survey and input from the Advisory Council, the committee will partner with researchers and industry experts to substantiate the environmental benefits of building with natural stone.

The most widely used system for green building is Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). LEED was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) ten years ago, and defines standards for environmentally responsible, healthier, and more profitable structures based on a point system for new construction and major renovation. Today, only natural stone that is sourced locally or qualifies as material reuse can contribute to LEED points, which is why more needs to be done to promote natural stone as a sustainable building material.

The Advisory Council will work to assist the Committee on Sustainability with the goal of positioning stone as the preferred material in sustainable building. The NSC will evaluate and research the findings to support and increase natural stone's contribution to LEED certification points and other green building standards. Examples of “green” testing opportunities include life cycle assessment, life cycle cost, and measuring best practices in quarrying, fabrication, and reclamation activities in stone industry operations.

Commenting on the new initiative, John Mattke, chairman of NSC's Committee on Sustainability, said “Natural stone's use in environmentally-responsible building programs seems like common sense, but the principles have yet to be defined. We seek to help define them under the advisement of the Advisory Council and through involvement with the USGBC.”