PCA Report: Concrete Construction Leads to Longer-Lasting Buildings

Historical data, evidence from external sources and comparisons of building materials point to increased resiliency.

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The Portland Cement Association (PCA) released a new report Monday focused on the value of resilient construction materials.

Titled, The Real Value of Resilient Construction, the report demonstrates through historical data, evidence from external sources, and comparisons of building materials that resilient design and construction built with concrete leads to longer-lasting buildings because of concrete’s ability to stand up to normal wear and tear and resistance to extreme weather events.

On a national scale, between 1996 and 2014, damages in the United States due to hazards (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, etc.) totaled over $377 billion, according to the National Weather Service

“U.S. taxpayers cannot afford to continue building and rebuilding the way we did in the past,” says Michael Ireland, PCA president and CEO. “Strong, robust structures ensure community continuity and provide long-lasting value for scarce taxpayer dollars.”

The report notes that reinforced concrete structures reduce recovery costs after disasters hit, and because the upfront costs of incorporating resilient concrete features may not be significant, they are likely to save money in the long run.

The report also looks at the sustainability potential of concrete buildings, labeling them the "new green buildings." According to the report, structures that last longer reduce environmental footprint because their emissions, attributed to heating, cooling and operation, can be spread over many decades. PCA says incorporating concrete can also contribute toward achieving points in the United States Green Building Council LEED program, which is the leading program for green building and communities worldwide.

To learn more about concrete resilience, visit www.cement.org/resilience.