Concrete has been used throughout history as an essential building material, with its first recorded use in its nascent form dating back to the Roman Empire. Reinforced concrete, however, is a relatively modern invention that can trace its inception to the late 1800’s. One of the first inventors to patent the use of reinforced concrete, Joseph Monier used a grid of steel rods in concrete columns and girders in 1877. Less than 40 years later, a massive earthquake struck San Francisco, leading to thousands of casualties and the destruction of much of the city. In the wake of this disaster the construction industry in the United States began to promote the use of reinforced concrete as it was able to better withstand seismic events compared to other building materials in use at the time. Today, reinforced concrete is a widely used building material and mainstay for commercial concrete contractors in Portland and other cities prone to earthquakes.
With both commercial and residential construction in Portland expected to remain strong in 2019, the interest from owners and developers in employing sustainable design in new construction continues to grow as well. Sustainable design adopts a holistic approach to the planning, engineering, and construction of buildings, and involves all the professionals in the process, from the architects to the commercial concrete contractors in Portland. There are several key components in the philosophy of sustainable design, and prime examples of these ideas are manifested across the city.