Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), will be launching new media resources, industry training programs, and educational content in the architectural capital of Chicago as part of increased efforts to inform the design / build and construction communities about the advantages of concrete construction in the low- to mid-rise residential sector, and in general.
Given Chicago’s worldwide image as a city rebuilt on the strength of its people and its buildings, Build with Strength has opened their campaign by releasing an infographic based on MIT research that highlights the life cycle cost savings of durable and sustainable concrete products.
“Chicago and concrete are both known for their strength and durability, but what people may not know about concrete is that its durability not only keeps Chicagoans safe, but assures lower costs over the life-cycle of a building, a key factor for construction projects that are built to last,” said Kevin Lawlor of Build with Strength.
The infographic highlights these cost savings using MIT research that compared the environmental impacts and cost savings of code-compliant multi-family homes over a 60 year period. It found that when compared to softwood lumber, concrete buildings reduced life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 3% to 5% while saving 5%-7% on energy bills.
Concrete is part of the fabric of Chicago; the Willis Tower defining the skyline with its steel structure standing tall on 280 million pounds of concrete, Wrigley Field built to last for generations on 6.5 million pounds of concrete, Prentice Women’s Hospital’s breathtaking design featuring 9-stories of concrete, and the Merchandise Mart supporting all kinds of commerce while being supported itself by 5 acres of concrete flooring.
“Concrete construction serves as the spine and soul of the most iconic buildings and structures in Chicago, and if it can support these projects no one should doubt why it should also be the building material of choice for the low to mid-rise housing market,” said Lawlor. “Anyone can take a tour around Chicago and marvel at the architectural brilliance of safe and durable concrete construction, but it’s when you take a peek inside the numbers that you begin to see the environmental and cost benefits that make concrete the only real choice for new and existing projects.”
The full report, titled Methods, Impact and Opportunities in the Concrete Building Life Cycle can be downloaded from MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub.