The Alliance for Concrete Codes and Standards (ACCS) – an alliance of concrete associations and organizations – recently incorporated in order to secure funding for building code and standards development.
According to Stephen S. Szoke, P.E., Director, Codes and Standards for the Portland Cement Association, the ACCS’ mission is to identify and pursue provisions to codes and standards as well as reference standards that improve life safety, property protection, and welfare of the general public at the national, state, and local levels through the use of concrete-based systems. As such, incorporation will allow the ACCS to operate with an organizational structure that allows the entity to be more active in the codes and standards development process, he said.
With the reorganization, ACCS will be better positioned to ensure that appropriate concrete solutions for providing life safety, property protection, and welfare for the general public are included in the national model building codes and referenced standards. The combined efforts of the national, regional, state, and local industry partners will support and direct research, testing and consulting that is necessary to substantiate code change proposals and challenges.
Identified during the Alliance’s re-organization process were 15 areas of activity. The membership agreed that the initial efforts should be focused on fire safety in multi-family construction where the threat to life safety, property loss, and harm to emergency responders can be substantially reduced with concrete construction.
In addition, the new ACCS structure provides for the expansion of membership to include regional, state, and local cement and concrete promotion groups and other interested parties in order to 1) permit the development and implement unified, industry-wide codes and standards development campaigns; 2) support code change amendments at the state and local level; 3) identify state and local code provisions that may find their way into national model building codes; 4) foster support for code change provisions at the national building code level; 5) expand codes and standards development campaigns to include marketing, promotion, educational, and advocacy programs; and 6) increase coverage in standards development activities.
Founded in 1996, ACCS is currently comprised of the following organizations: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI), Concrete Foundations Association (CFA), Wire Reinforcement Institute (WRI), American Concrete Pipe Association, National Precast Concrete Association, American Society of Concrete Contractors, Architectural Precast Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Insulating Concrete Form Association, Post -Tensioning Institute, Expanded Shale Clay & Slate Institute, Tilt-Up Concrete Association, and Portland Cement Association.