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The International Code Council will soon be voting on proposed changes to the International Building Code that would allow up to 18-story tall wooden buildings. This is being pushed obviously by the wood industry but also by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Tall wooden buildings are much more vulnerable to fire than a truly noncombustible material like concrete and there are many other unproven aspects of tall timber buildings. And, let’s face it, this is a big threat to concrete construction, which is currently the material of choice for mid-rise buildings.

The concrete industry has mounted an effort to fight back and it depends on those of us who care to submit comments by July 16. Unfortunately, it seems that submitting comments is not as simple as it might be. To overcome that, the American Concrete Pumping Association has created directions on how to get through the process and also some thoughts on why the public should object to this code change. Click here to see the ACPA instructions or just send me an email and I'll send them to you.

If you are one who cares about maintaining concrete’s share of this market—and the safety of the public—please take the time to submit a comment. It will make a difference!