Chicago — The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) further increased its members’ commitment to advancing resilient building design by joining the U.S. Resiliency Council (USRC). PCI represents companies involved in the design and construction of precast concrete buildings and infrastructure. USRC is a national organization dedicated to improving rating systems that describe the sustainability and resiliency of buildings during earthquakes and other natural hazardous events.

PCI Sustainability and Publications Director Emily Lorenz, PE, will serve on USRC committees involved in developing building rating systems for blast and wind hazards. According to PCI President and CEO Bob Risser, increasing the precast concrete construction industry’s involvement in the ongoing dialogue about resilient communities through Lorenz’s role on USRC committees is a natural next step in PCI’s members’ ongoing commitment to safe, durable, and sustainable building design and construction.

“The recent hurricanes intensified the spotlight on an issue that was already a major concern for community planners and leaders, owners, architects, engineers, and the public: the importance of resilient structures when it comes to resisting natural and man-made disasters and strengthening communities,” said Risser. “We hope PCI’s membership in USRC will provide an avenue for leveraging our staff’s and member companies’ deep technical expertise, and help drive the necessary standards and rating systems to ensure maximum life safety in future building design and construction.”

PCI producer member Clark Pacific recently designed a building to meet the USRC’s platinum rating for projected building performance in a seismic event. The four-story Roseville City Hall Annex, in Roseville, Calif., was the first building to achieve a platinum rating under the USRC’s system. The building used a Precast Hybrid Moment Frame, which is a precast concrete technology Clark Pacific has developed over 15 years that has the unique ability to self-right after a major seismic event, enabling immediate reoccupancy of the structure. The platinum rating is the highest rating from the USRC. It predicts the consequences of an earthquake on a building and projects the performance of the structure during the event, as well as the cost and time of structural recovery and repair.

“Our member companies have long been on the forefront of pushing the boundaries of durable-yet beautiful building design,” said Risser. “This membership and our involvement in USRC underscores our industry’s commitment to continuing to drive the conversation around reasonable expectations for sustainable, resilient, and safe solutions in today’s built environment.”