I hope you all appreciated your freedom and experienced your fair share of fireworks for Independence Day. The fact that we get to wake up every day and decide how we want to spend our life is pretty awesome. We often lose sight of how wonderful it is to be free when the media is a constant outpour of negativity. Amidst the media-driven chaos, let’s remember that we are always better together… one nation, under God, indivisible. Fourth of July speech aside, here’s an update from Neuvokas in the little town of Ahmeek.

Customer appreciation:

One of our favorite new customers from July would have to be Ultra Concrete of Cokato, MN. Dominated by corn fields and cows, Cokato is often referred to as Cornkato or Cow Town. Or maybe that’s just me, I can’t be sure. Regardless, Ultra Concrete has been exceeding expectations in the state of Minnesota and beyond since 2003. From small residential patios to large commercial concrete projects, Ultra Concrete is well equipped to serve you!

Ultra Concreteultraconcreteinc.net


In July, Ultra Concrete poured 415 yards of concrete for a new ABC Warehouse getting built in Minneapolis, MN. The slab was 16,500 square feet, 8 inches thick. GatorBar reinforcement was used 24’’ OCBW. It was their first time using GatorBar, so we were eager to get some direct feedback.

“We laid it (the GatorBar) out the same as we would steel and then tied it in place once laid out. Tie wire guns worked perfectly. Usually the guys can't keep up to the crew grading, but with this they were standing around waiting for them,” said Bill Heinonen, estimator for Ultra Concrete. “I’d say time savings amounted to 4 hours. Our crew really liked the fact that you can carry a large amount with ease.”

Ultra Concrete using GatorBar.ABC Warehouse project in progress. Click photo to view gallery!

ABC Warehouse project in progress. Click photo to view gallery!

However, the first go-round always has a little learning curve. “We didn’t consider the flexibility until we began chairing it up,” said Heinonen. “It takes quite a bit more chairs and we only had a limited amount onsite. Not a big deal, we still made it work.  We will be using GatorBar again.” 

It was great to hear that our product helped their project move along smoothly. Thank you for your business, Ultra Concrete! We are excited to continue serving you moving forward.

A new applications for GatorBar:

Liteform Technologies of Sioux City, NE is keeping up with the fast paced construction world by providing lightweight insulated concrete forms for tilt-up construction. The Liteform TILT system is lightweight and easily customized, making the construction process quick and easy.

Liteform TILTClick the photo to learn about the Liteform TILT system on their website!

Click the photo to learn about the Liteform TILT system on their website!

In the past couple months Liteform has been testing GatorBar in their Liteform TILT system. We hope to hear back from them soon to see how GatorBar has been performing. It is always fun to discover more applications where using GatorBar can be beneficial.  

Another new application for GatorBar is being tested by Nuna Works of Homer, AK. The team at Nuna Works is dedicated to creating sustainable and environmentally friendly homes that are energy efficient in the state of Alaska. Heating homes in rural Alaska is very expensive and energy costs are on the rise. Using natural building materials, like rammed earth, hemp Insulation, and hempcrete, Nuna Works is able to create sustainable and energy efficient buildings without a carbon footprint.  

Rammed earth is a building technique that goes back to ancient times. Wooden forms are built and braced to set the shape of the wall. Damp earth and other natural materials, such as clay, gravel, sand, and a stabilizer are mixed together in appropriate proportions and packed, or rammed, into the forms. Once the wall is complete, you can remove the forms right away. After about two hours the wall is too hard to work with, but actual cure time can be up to two years. As it cures it continually gets stronger.

Hemp insulation and hempcrete are derived from the cannabis plant called hemp. (I know, who’d’ve thought!) While hemp is a cousin to marijuana, it has lower levels of THC so the psychoactive effects are slim to none. Yeah, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. However, instead of recreational smoking, hemp has much healthier uses. It was actually one of the first plants to be spun into fiber. Hemp is found in clothing, textiles, rope, food, insulation, hempcrete, and more. Nuna Works is using hemp insulation made locally in Alaska and hempcrete in their new developments. Hempcrete is a construction material similar to concrete made with hemp that also acts as an insulator.

Jack Bennett, one of the founders of Nuna Works, placed an order with us a while back excited to try GatorBar in one of his rammed earth homes. Made with fiber spun out of melted basalt rock, GatorBar is environmentally friendly, making it a great fit for the Nuna Works brand.

In July, Jack shared progress photos using GatorBar to reinforce the rammed earth first story walls in one of his latest projects. Three hundred fifty yards of rammed earth were used in this section; the second floor will be hempcrete.


The shell will be complete by September. We are looking forward to seeing more progress pictures as they continue to use GatorBar in this new application!

Aside from being environmentally friendly, Jack informed us that GatorBar actually saved a life. A member of his team fell from the forms during construction, and was able to move the GatorBar aside as he fell. Had it been steel, he would have been impaled. We were glad to hear that his only injury was a torn leg muscle, and we wish him a speedy recovery!

That's enough of me for now; thank you for reading! Until next time, folks.

Costello Construction

Costello Construction

Kauai, HI

"It [GatorBar] is so easy to work with it feels like we are cheating! We have always used a #4 steel rebar grid in warehouse slabs to add structural integrity, but no matter how hard you try, 6x6x10/10 wire mesh always ends up on the bottom of the slab. There is never enough time to pull it up, and even if you Dobie it up, the steel bends down when you step on it. In the end, it does not add structural strength to the slab. GatorBar springs back, staying centered in the slab."