Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), continues to stress the importance of safety when it comes to new and existing construction projects. As the coalition focuses on the City of Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and the Midwest in general, they are stressing the durability and resilience of concrete when it comes to fire, wind, and rot. Their efforts are part of a national campaign 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.

“No building is any stronger than the degree of safety it provides for its occupants, and no degree of safety should ever be overlooked on account of cost or speed of construction,” said Kevin Lawlor of the Build with Strength Coalition. “Chicago stands out for both its architectural aesthetic and its pragmatism by allowing builders and developers to showcase unique designs, but insisting that high density dwellings be built with concrete and steel, and not wood.”

Build with Strength is asking Chicago developers, investors, builders, architects, and consumers to watch their new video on the safety benefits associated with concrete construction and the limitations of buildings built with wood and wood products. The video features Jon Narva of the National Association of State Fire Marshalls, who notes “it’s just not worth a firefighter’s life to go into a building that might collapse on them.”

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 looms large in current day Chicago zoning and construction codes that prevents multi-family dwellings in high density parts of the city from being built with cheap wooden frames.

“As a city, Chicago understands that safety and durability have to be the first priority when it comes to the construction of new and existing buildings,” said Lawlor. “If a city as architecturally stunning as Chicago can put safety first without sacrificing aesthetics or speed of construction, then other cities and small towns all over America should be taking note.