According to a new poll, New York City and Long Island voters are very supportive of the state making changes to construction codes in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which wreaked havoc along nearly the entire Atlantic coast in October 2012. The poll of 406 registered voters in New York, commissioned by Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, found ninety-eight percent support and fifty-nine percent strongly support changes to construction codes.
“After experiencing the destructive power of the ocean and wind firsthand, New York voters have unequivocally expressed their desire for a stronger, more durable community,” said Kevin Lawlor, a spokesperson for Build with Strength. “To withstand the onslaught of gale-force winds and rain, and resist the slow growth of mold and mildew, New York State administrators should heed their constituents’ desires and update the construction codes. Residents want the concrete jungle to be built with concrete.”
Superstorm Sandy cost the state $32 billion, with $19 billion in losses in New York City alone. With thousands of homes destroyed, those that were damaged but remained standing were forced to deal with the lingering effects of mold for more than a year.
In addition to calling for construction code changes, the poll found voters are supportive of legislation that: requires all buildings over three stories high have concrete and steel frames for greater safety and durability (92% support), limits wood-frame construction to three stories and 20,000 square feet per floor (86% support), and bans light frame construction (like wood) in multifamily dwellings and densely populated areas to save lives in the event of a fire (85% support).
“Unlike wood products, concrete does not burn, warp, or rot,” continued Lawlor. “To prevent the communiity from having to needlessly rebuild again, New York State should learn from experience and mandate only the strongest materials in construction.”
The New York poll reiterates the results of a similar poll of New Jersey voters, which found respondents very supportive of the state making changes to building codes following the devastating Edgewater apartment complex fire in January 2015.