Are you familiar with the benefits of American made construction materials?
You’re likely familiar with “Made in the USA” and other similar phrases used throughout the construction industry.
But you may also be asking, “What does ‘Made in the USA’ mean?” And, more importantly, “What are the real benefits of using American made construction materials for my commercial project?”
Before diving into the details of American made construction materials, it’s important to know that finding these materials isn’t as complicated as you might think.
Once you know where to look and who to work with, the benefits of American made construction materials speak for themselves.
Choosing American-made construction materials doesn’t need to feel like a challenge when you work with Wade Architectural Systems. Contact us today!
5 Benefits of American Made Construction Materials & Why It Matters
Whether you want to avoid lower quality materials or support the local economy, there are a number of reasons to use American made construction materials.
What Classifies A Material As American Made?
There is conflicting information online about American made construction materials. More specifically, there is confusion about the differences between the Build America, Buy America (BABA) Act and the Buy American Act of 1933 (BAA).
Buy America Act of 1933
There are a few things to know about the BAA of 1933. To start, this act was passed by Congress in 1933 under President Herbert Hoover. Its fundamental requirement asks that projects under a government contract use American-produced iron, steel, and other construction materials.
Additionally, the BAA of 1933 lays out two requirements for federal agencies that must be met to consider a material both domestic and American made. The good or product must be 100% manufactured in the U.S. and with at least 50% domestic content.
Build America, Buy America Act of 2021
The BABA Act of 2021 was signed into law under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The distinction here is that this act requires infrastructure projects like highways and public airports to use iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials for permanent installations produced in the U.S.
Each additional department from the Federal Highway Administration to the Department of Energy then has its own criteria to enforce and maintain compliance with the BABA Act. It’s important to talk to the agency providing funding to learn more about when and to what extent the Buy America provisions kick in.
The process of adhering to American made construction materials will look similar across federal, state, municipal, and military projects. Contractors follow BABA Act compliance by submitting a Construction Materials Buy America Certification form for all relevant classified items. As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, purchasing American made construction materials supports maximizing the federal government’s use of services, goods, products, and materials produced and made available in the U.S.
Why You Should Consider American Made Construction Materials
Support local economic growth, high-quality materials, and American made jobs.
1. Quality Matters
Not all countries analyze and classify their construction materials using the same standards. This means foreign construction materials could be of lower quality or classified with little certainty.
In the U.S., standards for construction materials like iron and steel are high for the advanced safety of the public. Standards typically take into account fire safety, reliability, and longevity. Different types of material have specific criteria to meet those separate standards as well.
Over time, the BABA Act has added much more than iron and steel to its list of covered materials including:
- Non-ferrous metals
- Plastic and polymer-based products
- Optical fiber
2. Import Taxes
Depending on your project’s exact parameters, you may think you’re paying less for foreign construction materials. However, import tariffs, sales, and state taxes have the ability to influence your actual total amount owed. Buying American made materials can give you access to incentives like bonus tax credits and deductions.
In addition to taxes and fees, certain penalties may be applicable for not complying with the BABA Act such as…
- The removal of federal funding from projects
- Corrective action
- Increased project costs
Penalties still apply whether non compliance is intentional or unintentional.
3. Shipping Times
Pay attention to the timeframe set for your construction project. You take a gamble on meeting your deadline when importing construction materials. This is because you have far less control over certain import aspects including weather-related incidents, supply chain issues, availability, direct and indirect costs, economic changes, major worldwide events, etc.
4. Impact On The Economy
The economic purpose of purchasing American made construction materials comes down to jobs with roots in the U.S. The BABA Act plans to support the creation of 2.3 million jobs per year in the first 5 years, creating a consistent need for good-paying jobs at home.
5. Promote Sustainability
Buying American made construction materials reduces the amount of fuel needed to produce and import those materials. The law that supports buying American made materials is part of a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 gigaton or a billion metric tons in 2030.
Wade Architectural Systems Knows American Made Materials
We guide businesses like yours through the building process from pitching your initial vision to ensuring your metal installations look exactly as you imagined. Working with Wade Architectural Systems means having access to reliable brands like Centria for your metal paneling selection.
In fact, Centria offers many high-quality envelope systems to ensure your build looks seamless and is protected from the elements at all times. There is no one-style-fits-all with Centria. You can browse through a variety of textures and coatings to find what works best for your project.
Explore design solutions that align with your expectations. Whether you’re worried about flexibility, durability, acoustical performance, or sustainability, it helps to have a partner who knows where to shop to find what works.
Work with the experts of American made architectural-grade products. Reach out to Wade Architectural Systems today.