According to a new poll released today, Georgia voters are supportive of the recently passed Sandy Springs, Georgia construction regulations requiring buildings over three stories tall or more than 100,000 square feet in total size to be constructed with enhanced quality materials like concrete or steel (96% support). Additionally, these voters support their own city passing similar regulations by overwhelming margins (94% support). The poll of 400 registered voters living in Georgia, commissioned by Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, was conducted online from September 22nd – 26th and representative of voters in the state in terms of gender, party affiliation, race and age.
“It’s abundantly clear Georgians want their hometowns to follow Sandy Springs’ lead and join the growing ranks of cities across the country that require resiliency be a core component of building construction,” said Kevin Lawlor, a spokesperson for Build with Strength. “It’s now up to local elected officials to listen.”
In mid-August, the Sandy Springs City Council, along with Mayor Rusty Paul, amended the city’s building code to include new requirements that prohibit combustible materials from being used in certain building elements with the aim of providing increased building quality, sustainability, durability, and longevity, while at the same time, revitalizing the areas zoned for uses other than what is currently developed.
In addition to calling for the adoption of construction regulations, the poll found respondents place a high level of importance on safety issues. Specifically, the poll found just 21% of Georgia voters feel “very safe” in the event of an emergency like a fire in new apartment buildings, new small office buildings, and new schools. While the majority of voters feel “somewhat safe” (67%), just one-fifth are willing to express greater confidence in new construction today.
“I urge communities across Georgia to join Sandy Springs in providing a safer and more sustainable future for our citizens through wise use of materials for buildings,” said Stephen Skalko an engineer from Macon, Georgia who specializes in life safety, fire safety and construction aspects of buildings. “We owe them nothing less.”
The Georgia poll comes on the heels of similar polls in New Jersey and New York, which found respondents supportive of their states making changes to building codes following the devastating Edgewater apartment complex fire in 2015 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.