A new push from the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) aims to emphasize why steel-reinforced concrete is a safe product with the inherent properties of resilience, durability and sustainability.
Their latest tagline, “Safe and Sound,” seeks to differentiate steel-reinforced concrete from other products coming onto the market and is also accompanied by a new website.
Dave Mounce, the director of communications for CRSI, said they intend to use the new webpage as a vehicle to address issues in the industry as they occur. Mounce spoke about the new "Safe and Sound" push at a press conference at this year's World of Concrete in Las Vegas.
“We’re going to use this vehicle as kind of a quick response,” he said. “Instead of having something buried in our website, we’re going to use this landing page to address industry issues as they pop up.”
He said the website would highlight the strengths of steel-reinforced concrete, as well as address market threats from glass and fiber.
The new webpage calls attention to some of selling points of using steel to reinforce concrete construction, like the material’s fire-resistance, its durability against weather events, the flexibility and adaptability of steel-reinforced concrete, and its ability to act as sound control and reduce noise.
“Steel reinforced concrete is proven and tested,” the Safe and Sound page stated as a listed benefit of steel-reinforced concrete. “Steel reinforced concrete research and engineering spans decades and helps support industry innovations to better shape our modern world and future.”
Another benefit included on the page lists steel-reinforced concrete as a sustainable choice.
"Reinforced concrete typically is cast to precise specifications with little excess, reducing waste and resulting in a greener and more flexible product," the website read.
Mounce also said the new page would be a used as a place where misinformation can be addressed. Specifically, he noted misinformation that spread after the collapse of a 12-story condominium complex in Florida last June, and said correct information could be posted on the new Safe and Sound page.
“There was a lot of bad press going around,” he said, referring to the aftermath of the Surfside condo collapse.
Mounce said some industry voices made statements in the media that shed a negative light on concrete-reinforced steel as a product before definitive information came out about the cause of the collapse.
Mounce said formal conclusive statements about the cause of the collapse of Champlain Towers South are still being waited on by the industry at large.
At the time negative statements about the industry began to circulate, Mounce said “we didn’t really know exactly what the cause of that collapse was yet, and it still has not been vetted.”
The investigation into what caused the collapse of the 12-story oceanfront condo, in Surfside, Florida, is still ongoing. In total, 98 people died in the disaster, which ranks among the deadliest building collapses in American history.
Danielle Kleinhans, the president and CEO of CRSI, said she believes the misinformation stems from blame being placed on possible corrosion of steel in the building.
She said the corrosion of steel "may or may not have been a contributing factor."
"Buildings don't just collapse, there's always more than one thing," she said. "We're encouraging patience and to look at the full story."
Kleinhans said CSRI's response has been that steel reinforced concrete structures are durable and resilient if they're maintained properly.
She said buildings must also be designed properly.
"We don't personally know any of those facts about that structure at this point," she said.
Kleinhans said there are a lot of corrosion resistant technologies with steel-reinforced concrete available.
"Stainless steel, epoxy coated, galvanized, there's even dual coated," she said. "So as an industry we're trying to be responsive in offering those corrosion resistant options as well for the design community."