SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Build with Strength, an industry campaign of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, is questioning the use of cross-laminated timber in construction.

The group said that wood products can be a questionable building material for several reasons, and that concrete is more fire resistant, provides improved air quality, and is more environmentally responsible.

The trade group said that the only houses standing in parts of Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina were made with concrete. In the event of a large fire, such as those that have burned parts of the western states, the group said that concrete would be a better material.

The association’s Build with Strength campaign is designed to educate design and build and code communities about the benefits of concrete construction in the low to mid-rise sector.

Build with Strength has teamed with the Alabama Concrete Industries Association to present its seminar for architects, engineers, builders and developers. During "A Day of Concrete Knowledge" offered on both Wednesday, September 7, in Huntsville and Thursday, September 8, in Birmingham, the presentation will focus on performance in buildings. Building materials play a big role in energy use and deciding the safety and resiliency of the built environment.

This presentation will explore emerging trends in housing and development; innovations in concrete construction; case studies that showcase building value generation; economical design of concrete wall and floor systems; and how to utilize free resources to design structures. The program offers architects and engineers two hours of professional learning credits, along with four hours of additional concrete-related topics.

Build with Strength is a first-of-its-kind program for the concrete industry, designed not only to support our members, their businesses and the concrete industry, but also to change the way people think about concrete construction versus direct competitors like soft-wood lumber.

The program is based off of a significant research investment made by the NRMCA to better understand the motivations behind the use of certain construction materials including concrete. The research showed that a great majority of the design / build community was favorable to concrete construction because of attributes like strength, durability and ease of use.

The campaign relies on an unprecedented communications strategy that will include a Build with Strength branded web site , video content, a multi-city media tour, rapid response capabilities, advertising, social media properties, and stakeholder engagement opportunities. For more information see www.nrmca.org.

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