The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) and the Portland Cement Association (PCA) met last week with a representative of President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to discuss synergies between the federal government’s strategies and the concrete industry’s strategies for rebuilding in the face of natural disasters. The task force, housed within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), released a report on August 19 that outlines the rebuilding strategy for communities affected by Hurricane Sandy and is intended to serve as a model for other communities facing greater risks from extreme weather. The report contains 69 policy recommendations that will help homeowners stay in their homes, strengthen small businesses, revitalize local economies, and ensure entire communities are better able to withstand and recover from future storms.
During the meeting, NRMCA and PCA outlined their strategies for resilient construction which closely aligns with the federal government’s strategies. NRMCA presented details of legislation it initiated in Congress, H.R. 2241, the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013, which would provide tax incentives for building owners and homeowners who rebuild using resilient construction methods in the aftermath of federally declared disasters. NRMCA also provided details of a comprehensive strategy outlined in a report it issued earlier this year based on a series of workshops it organized over the span of 10 months, starting in early 2012. The workshops, titled Adopting Disaster Resilient Construction at the Local Level, generated 48 recommendations that called for the reinvention of the way we build our infrastructure, buildings and homes in the face of rising disasters from extreme weather events.
The meeting among NRMCA, PCA and the task force’s representative, Josh Sawislak, senior advisor – infrastructure, centered on how the concrete industry’s resiliency strategies could be leveraged to implement the federal government’s initiative and included discussion of working closely together to support key objectives moving forward. NRMCA recommendations included adopting FORTIFIED programs of the Insurance Institute for Building and Home Safety when rebuilding and supporting a new NRMCA proposed LEED Pilot Credit for Resilient Construction which supports the concept that resiliency is a prerequisite to sustainability. Download the full Hurricane Sandy report here. The NRMCA Workshop report can be downloaded here.