Lawmakers reintroduce Disasters Savings and Resilient Construction Act

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is part of a broad coalition of building and construction materials associations, civil engineering and environmental advocacy interests, codes and standards organizations, and insurance underwriters that are supporting the reintroduction of legislation aimed at securing a tax credit to foster the construction of resilient residential and commercial buildings. The Disasters Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2021, sponsored by Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Tom Reed (R-NY), Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), would offer a tax credit of $3,000 and $25,000 per structure for residential and commercial construction, respectively, if the property is built or rebuilt within a federally declared disaster zone up to two years following disaster occurrence. A structure is eligible when it meets a variety of resilient construction standards, including those for high wind, wildfire and seismic events.

This legislation promotes investing in resilient construction in the wake of federal disasters and works to mitigate the impact of future events. Disasters are increasing in number and severity each year. Once a disaster strikes, communities are faced with the task of rebuilding so residents can get back to work. The economic and environmental impacts of rebuilding after every disaster are unsustainable, coalition members contend. Resilient construction will help prevent future loss of lives, ease economic suffering, reduce stakeholders’ carbon footprint and require less federal assistance during the next disaster, they add. Indeed, the National Institute of Building Sciences finds that for every $1 spent on stronger building codes as much as $11 is saved by avoiding future losses, guarding against damage during subsequent severe weather events.

“When communities are built to resilient, robust standards, we help to ensure that the places where we live, learn, work, worship and play are safe and sustainable,” says NRMCA President Mike Philipps. “We applaud Representatives Pascrell, Reed, DeFazio and Diaz-Balart for their leadership on this issue and are honored to be a part of a broad coalition supporting this legislation.”

Other organizations supporting the Disasters Savings and Resilient Construction Act include Build With Strength, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, North American Concrete Alliance and Portland Cement Association, along with American Property Casualty Insurance Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, BuildStrong Coalition, Environmental Defense Fund, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, International Code Council, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and U.S. Resiliency Council.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers supports the new Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Policy Act, sponsored by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rob Portman (R-OH), Chris Coons (D-CT), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and U.S. Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Haley Stevens (D-MI). The legislation creates an Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Policy in the Executive Office of the President.

“A thriving manufacturing sector is not only essential to our national security but also to continued economic growth and job creation, and the Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation will help ensure America’s global leadership in manufacturing,” says AEM President Dennis Slater. “The Association of Equipment Manufacturers was the first industry group to call for the creation of a Chief Manufacturing Officer and the development and execution of a national manufacturing strategy, and we commend the group of lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for their leadership in crafting bipartisan legislation that will accomplish both goals. Equipment manufacturers represent one in eight manufacturing jobs in the United States and support 2.8 family-sustaining jobs, and our long-term success depends on the future competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing in the global economy. We urge lawmakers in both parties to support this important legislation and increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness.”

Equipment manufacturers have previously called on the federal government to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy for manufacturing. In an April 2020 Morning Consult op-ed, Slater wrote, “We hope this can act as a starting point or a broader dialogue about how to ensure the country’s global leadership in manufacturing and guarantee the long-term economic and national security of the United States.”

Investigators will expand on high early strength development by testing mixes of low embodied carbon profile. (PHOTO: Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

Backed by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee researchers have developed a concrete mix that demonstrates high early strength within six hours of placement, potentially doubling precast plant production capacity. They evaluated commercially available materials for self-consolidating mixes, plus steel, glass and carbon fibers. The result was an SCC mix that not only showed early strength development, but also maintained workability for 30 minutes.

“We followed a practical, cost-effective process easily implemented with typical mixing procedures,” says Oak Ridge’s Diana Hun. “This could enable precast plants to cast twice per day.”