Concrete structures play a critical role in making communities stronger and safer. Inherently fire, flood and impact resistant, concrete provides resilience for a range of natural and man-made events. Concrete can be incorporated in several key aspects to make projects more durable and disaster resistant. For example, concrete wall, floor and roof systems offer an unsurpassed combination of structural strength and wind resistance. Hardened and non-combustible exterior finishes for walls and roofs of a home or business provide the best combination of strength and security. In addition, the inorganic composition of cement based materials do not burn, rot, rust or offer a food source for mold and insects.
Resilient communities start with comprehensive planning, including stricter building codes that produce robust structures with long service lives. It is common for emergency service facilities such as hospitals, and fire and police stations to be designed to a higher standard, with the expectation that these will remain operational during and after a disaster event. More durable buildings with high-performance features that incorporate concrete and concrete products can offer enhanced community continuity.
Buildings and structures with resilient design and materials are not only better able to recover following disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados, fires, earthquakes and floods, they are also the new “green” buildings. Builders, architects, and designers have come to recognize that more durable public buildings, homes, and businesses reduce the impact entire communities have on our planet. As the most used man-made material on the planet, concrete has a significant CO2 footprint, which invites considerations for how to optimize impact reductions through resilience, as well as whole building life cycle impacts and other strategies.