Sandy Springs, Ga. — On August 16, the Sandy Springs, Ga., City Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s building code to include new requirements that prohibit combustible building materials from being used in certain building elements (including the structural frame, load bearing walls, etc.) in structures above three stories and 100,000 square feet.  The regulation, effective immediately, comes at a time many cities have instituted a requirement for construction with enhanced quality materials that increase the resiliency of buildings.

“The City Council with the support of Mayor Rusty Paul voted decisively to keep their people secure and their buildings resilient,” said Kevin Lawlor of Build With Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.  “In order to make sure the well-being of all communities across the country is preserved, it is vital that officials and experts in both government and architecture follow Sandy Springs’ lead and build with strength.”

The amended code is based on City Council findings which determined local climactic, geologic, topographic and public safety conditions justified the amendment. In order to create easily accessible development regulations that integrate the adopted state regulations, the Mayor and Council locally amended the state minimum standard building code to provide for increased building quality, sustainability, durability, and longevity, while revitalizing the areas zoned for uses other than what is currently developed.

The new ordinance provides assurance to not only the occupants, but the fire safety professionals who adjust their firefighting strategy based on the composition of a building. In a recently released video, Jon Narva, the Director of External Relations for the National Association of State Fire Marshals said “it’s just not worth a firefighter’s life to go into a building that might collapse on them.”

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