Video: Build with Strength Opens Chicago Campaign

August 2, 2016

Concrete is part of the fabric of Chicago; the Willis Tower defining the skyline with its steel structure standing tall on 280 million pounds of concrete, Wrigley Field built to last for generations on 6.5 million pounds of concrete, Prentice Women’s Hospital’s breathtaking design featuring 9-stories of concrete, and the Merchandise Mart supported by 5 acres of concrete flooring. 

Build with Strength is a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) that will be launching new media resources, industry training programs, and educational content in the architectural capital of Chicago, Illinois as part of its increased efforts to inform the design - build and construction communities about the advantages of concrete construction in the low- to mid-rise residential sector, and in general construction.  

Build with Strength opens their campaign with an infographic based on research by MIT that highlights the life cycle cost savings in concrete structures in Chicago. When compared to softwood lumber, code-compliant multi-family homes concrete buildings in Chicago reduced life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 3 to 5 percent while saving 5-7 percent on energy bills over a 60-year span.

“Chicago and concrete are both known for their strength and durability, but what people may not know about concrete is that its durability not only keeps Chicagoans safe, but assures lower costs over the life-cycle of a building, a key factor for construction projects that are built to last,” said Kevin Lawlor of Build with Strength.

 “Concrete construction serves as the spine and soul of the most iconic buildings and structures in Chicago, and  if it can support these projects no one should doubt why it should also be the building material of choice for the low to mid-rise housing market,” said Lawlor. 

“Anyone can take a tour around Chicago and marvel at the architectural brilliance of safe and durable concrete construction, but it’s when you take a peek inside the numbers that you begin to see the environmental and cost benefits that make concrete the only real choice for new and existing projects.” 

The full MIT report, titled Methods, Impact and Opportunities in the Concrete Building Life Cycle can be downloaded from MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub. Visit to learn about concrete construction, its ease of use, creative applications, safety and strength.