The concrete industry’s best marketers for residential construction are those guys who chase tornados and report on hurricanes. Every time they show a damaged wood-frame structure, it’s a subtle reminder that concrete and masonry homes would have stood the test.

Whether you want to blame global warming, or just consumer awareness, homebuyers seem to be willing to pay for residential structures that will stand up to severe weather. And just as importantly, public officials are growing more aware that their responsibility for the public good includes adopting stricter building codes that will protect the long term life of their community. It’s hard to be mayor of a city of rubble.

This awareness is evident in the less-than subtle change in the architectural community. Resiliency is quickly taking over the green movement. In a building environment governed by codes, independent testing, and performance standards, resilient construction designs provide the owner and construction team concrete guidelines that produce measureable results.

But how big is this market? And how does our industry benefits from resilient construction designs?

That’s what we hope to answer next months at the World of Concrete. We are hosting. The lunch and forum is designed to help convince the industry that refocusing efforts on this market is worthy of time, talent, and treasure.

First we will start to answer the question of “How big is the resilient residential construction market?” Jonathan Smoke, Hanley Wood Chief Economist will provide an estimate on this dynamic new residential market segment. Using data generated by key Metrostudy studies of key metropolitan areas. Attendees will learn the size and location of the residential marketplace with the greatest opportunity for resilient construction techniques. The research project describes current market conditions in states that have been identified as areas of the greatest risk of damage due to natural disasters such as high wind loads and severe seismic activity.

Next Donn Thompson from the Portland Cement Association outline current industry efforts aimed at increasing the marketing opportunities for resilient housing options including ICF construction. Thompson will also discuss the impact that the key new initiatives that are helping to grow homeowner awareness of housing systems that mitigate loss from natural disasters.

And is our tradition, we will host a question and answer session lead by some key industry observors, including contactors and producers, to assess if this potential is real or not.

I’m thankful for the support the Portland Cement Association has provided for this event. And I’m confident that this luncheon and forum will help change our industry’s approach to this market. Forty years ago, World of Concrete started as a small conference featuring tabletops and a few speakers. It has grown into the concrete industry’s key event. We have the products, the contractors, the designs, and the reports of field performance to demonstrate that concrete housing should be the preferred residential construction system. And now we have a market of interested buyers.

I hope to see you Wednesday, January 22, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at our luncheon and forum. Here’s the link.