Resilience that Weathers the Storm
Reinforced concrete buildings resist damage from harsh weather and natural disasters, providing security and comfort to owners, tenants, and visitors. They can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods by creating structural redundancy that is routine in reinforced-concrete monolithic structures. This resistance minimizes the need for replacement or renovation in the wake of such cataclysms, allowing buildings to reopen quickly.
Emergency management facilities, healthcare centers and safe harbor facilities, such as safe rooms, all benefit greatly from the ability of reinforced concrete to provide secure shelter-in-place capability.
Cost-Effective Protection Against Fire
Owners want to provide appropriate fire protection for their buildings in a cost-effective manner. Reinforced concrete provides inherent fire resistance that does not require costly treatments, which add time, cost, and complications. Because of the inherent fire resistance of concrete, continuing maintenance or reapplication of supplemental fire protection after refurbishment or retrofit is not required, saving time and money and eliminating disruption to occupant activities.
Insurance costs may be substantially reduced due to the inherent fire resistance of reinforced concrete as repairs and the period before re-use following a fire are minimized.
Fire Resistant to Spread of Smoke
The composition of reinforced concrete ensures that it won’t catch fire or spread toxic smoke that limits visibility and incapacitates users as they try to escape. Interior walls or partitions made from reinforcing concrete compartmentalize fires, limiting the area where a fire can spread and providing critical additional time for firefighting or evacuation. Open clear spans provided by concrete structures help to keep sight lines open and make it easier for occupants to find exit routes.
Durablity Against Moisture and Insects
Using reinforced concrete ensures a long life without risk of damage from wind, rain and insects. Concrete does not deteriorate when wet and will not host rot, mold and mildew growth that can be very destructive and that can become a serious health risk to occupants. Concrete is unaffected by pests such as Formosan termites and carpenter ants, which can inflict tremendous damage to structures formed from other construction materials.
The use of reinforced concrete ensures that a building will retain its structural and aesthetic capabilities for many years, eliminating the need to supplement or replace the structure. The long life span and adaptability of reinforced concrete structures also saves money by delaying the need to replace the facility.
Interior concrete walls protect buildings from accidental dents or scratches from heavy equipment or misuse. Owners can effectively respond to potential future load conditions with reinforced-concrete systems that offer greater capacity and adaptability at a fractional increase in cost and be ready for potential needs.
Blast Resistant Provides Secure Facilities
Reinforced-concrete structures can be designed to meet federal requirements for blast resistance and eliminate concerns about progressive collapse if lower supports are destroyed. Concrete makes an ideal material to protect high-security facilities, including courthouses, prisons, data centers, and other buildings that must remain working no matter what is thrown at it.
Minimize Risk from Progressive Collapse
Building owners and designers are increasingly concerned about providing occupant security against a variety of unexpected forces, such as blast and fire. Progressive collapse occurs when a primary structural element fails, resulting in the failure of adjoining structural elements, which in turn causes further structural failure.
Designers need to consider not only blast protection, but progressive collapse in their structural designs. Failure to consider risk from progressive collapse may result in damage that is disproportionate to the initial cause, which may contribute to the number of casualties and trapped survivors.
Cast-in-place reinforced concrete structures are inherently well-suited for providing solutions to progressive collapse. Effective strategies for preventing progressive-collapse can be readily carried out with simple design modifications and attention to the structural detailing of concrete reinforcement.