Build With Strength Joins Discussion with New Jersey Officials on Safe Building Legislation
Build With Strength (BWS) recently met with New Jersey lawmakers and stakeholders in an effort to help pass legislation aimed at establishing safer building practices, reports NRMCA Senior Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs, John Loyer. Lawmakers, State Senator Linda Greenstein (D-14), Mercer County Freeholder Lucy Walter and Rich Tolson of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers of New Jersey, participated in a panel discussion at Rowan College of Burlington County. They discussed Assembly Bill 135 and Senate Bill 1261 that would amend New Jersey’s construction code for fire safety reasons and provide an added level of protection for firefighters and residents alike.
“With this legislation, we have an opportunity to significantly impact the safety of future residents through out New Jersey,” said Senator Greenstein, a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the legislation. “As the Chair of the Law and Public Safety Committee, I view this as a priority and look forward to continued work with my colleagues in the Legislature to address such an important issue. With midrise residential housing becoming increasingly popular in our state, it is important that we are building it safely and responsibly.”
New Jersey has been subject to high-profile fires in recent years due to the use of lightweight wood construction materials. Both the Avalon at Edgewater and Highland Park fires were among the largest and drove communities to take action on the ways in which these buildings are structured.
“About a year ago, Mercer County adopted a resolution in support of this legislation,” said Mercer County Freeholder Lucy Walter. “We stand by that commitment and are hopeful that the Legislature will take the next step for passage.”
“We must enact policies that enhance the safety of not only our first responders, but also those that are involved in the construction process,” added Tolson of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers organization. “Too often these fires erupt during the building phase and it is very important to use non-combustible materials to prevent that from happening.”
Build With Strength works with communities, lawmakers and industry employees to advocate for safer, sustainable building materials. Strengthening local and national building codes is among the organization’s top priorities. For more information, contact John Loyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.