PCA: Higher building standards align with Obama Climate Action Plan

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

PCA and other concrete industry interests are urging enactment of H.R. 2241, the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013, providing $25,000 and $3,000 tax credits, respectively, to business or home owners who rebuild in declared federal disaster areas.

Goals of the federal legislation align with President Obama’s recently unveiled Climate Action Plan. It calls for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a Department of Commerce agency, to convene a disaster-resilience standards panel to develop a comprehensive, community-based resilience framework plus guidelines for consistently safe buildings and infrastructure. Both can inform private-sector building standards and codes.

“By enacting higher building standards, cities and towns can successfully weather any challenge and keep friends and family safe,” says PCA CEO Greg Scott. “The nation spends billions of dollars each year for relief packages, and in this challenging economic climate, communities cannot afford to completely rebuild each time disaster strikes. By utilizing resilient construction techniques, the built environment is protected from the increasing number and severity of natural or man-made disasters.”

The original version of H.R. 2241 surfaced in early-2012 legislation and was referenced as federal lawmakers weighed emergency funding measures in Hurricane Sandy’s wake. In addition to the Disaster Savings Act, PCA is supporting research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-hosted Concrete Sustainability Hub to help designers and builders quantify the physical resilience of residential structures as a portion of the overall systems concept of resilience. Comparing this performance against costs will facilitate communication of the cost and performance trade-offs of alternative designs.

PCA Government Affairs staff has set up an automated message relay here for constituents to encourage their Congressional representatives to cosponsor or support H.R. 2241.