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Bldg Construction Chapter 01

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Bldg Construction Chapter 01

  1. 1. Building ConstructionRelated to the Fire Service Chapter 1 — Building Construction and the Fire Service
  2. 2. Learning Objective 1 Recognize the significance of methods and materials historically used in building construction, as well as the importance of the age of the building itself. Building Construction 1–2
  3. 3. History of BuildingConstruction• Roman Times• Native Americans• Colonial America• Mid-Nineteenth Century• Late 19th/Early 20th Century• 20th/Early 21st Century Building Construction 1–3
  4. 4. Learning Objective 2 Discuss building variables as they relate to the work of firefighters. Building Construction 1–4
  5. 5. Age of the Building• Can be indication of potential hazards• Affects occurrence and behavior of fire• Effects not uniform; some buildings undergo gentrification• Some buildings have greater structural mass resulting in greater stability during fire Building Construction 1–5
  6. 6. Automatic FireSuppression Systems• Fire line of defense when a fire occurs• Incipient fires are promptly detected and controlled Building Construction 1–6
  7. 7. Occupancy• Affects the ways building occupants behave under fire conditions• The exposure of fire to structural components will vary• Fuel loading will vary• May change over time, impacting construction features and fire safety Building Construction 1–7
  8. 8. Type of Construction• Materials used in construction are fundamental to a building and its behavior during a fire• Buildings are classified by their construction type• Traditional construction classifications (Continued) Building Construction 1–8
  9. 9. Type of Construction• Numerical designations• Firefighters need to be able to recognize construction types to predict fire behavior• A building may have multiple construction types Building Construction 1–9
  10. 10. Configuration• Building’s shape or layout• Based on functionality of a structure instead of fire fighting needs• Design choices such as vertical openings can significantly affect fire behavior Courtesy of Ed Prendergast Building Construction 1–10
  11. 11. Building Access• Primary factor for fire department operations• Aspects of terrain and built-out environment affect fire department access• Circumstances may affect fire fighting tactics Building Construction 1–11
  12. 12. Learning Objective 3 Explain communication of fire and the ways in which it occurs. Building Construction 1–12
  13. 13. Communication of Fire• Exposure – Structure or separate part of fireground to which fire could spread• Conflagration – Uncontrollable fire covering considerable area and crossing natural fire barriers• Wildland/Urban interface – Line or area where structures and human development meet/intermingle with undeveloped wildland fuels Building Construction 1–13
  14. 14. Communication of Fireby Convection• Transfer of heat by movement of liquids or gases, usually upward• Convective currents can carry flaming debris great distances downward Building Construction 1–14
  15. 15. Communication of Fireby Radiation• Thermal radiation – Transfer of heat through space by electromagnetic waves• Horizontal transfer of energy from building of higher temperature to building of lower temperature Building Construction 1–15
  16. 16. Communication of Fire Building Construction 1–16
  17. 17. Learning Objective 4 Describe factors that affect communication of fire and methods used to protect buildings from exposing fires. Building Construction 1–17
  18. 18. Factors that AffectCommunication of Fire• Flame temperature• Area of exposing flame• NFPA® 80A® describes three levels of exposure – Light – Moderate – Severe Building Construction 1–18
  19. 19. Methods to Protect Buildingfrom Exposing Fires• Clear spaces between buildings• Fire suppression systems• Blank walls of noncombustible construction• Self-supporting barrier walls between fire building and exposure• Parapets on exterior masonry walls (Continued) Building Construction 1–19
  20. 20. Methods to Protect Buildingfrom Exposing Fires• Automatic outside deluge systems• Elimination of openings in exterior walls• Glass block panels in openings• Wire glass in steel sash windows• Automatic fire shutters/dampers on wall openings• Automatic fire doors on door openings Building Construction 1–20
  21. 21. Learning Objective 5 Discuss building failure, structural integrity, building systems, and design deficiencies as building design considerations. Building Construction 1–21
  22. 22. Building Failure• Failure – No longer performing its required function in a satisfactory manner• Potential sources of building failure under fire conditions Building Construction 1–22
  23. 23. Structural Integrity• Under fire conditions is related to fire resistance and combustibility of the construction materials• Combustible materials may possess some initial fire resistance• Noncombustible materials may retain structural integrity at first but will fail from effects of heat Building Construction 1–23
  24. 24. Building Systems• Examples• Good design practice requires provisions built into a system to prevent spread of combustion products Building Construction 1–24
  25. 25. Design Deficiencies• Failure to provide level of fire safety appropriate to ultimate use of building• Heavy reliance placed on codes and standards, but: – Writers cannot anticipate every situation – Subject to political process – Provide a “reasonable” level of protection for the most common situations Building Construction 1–25
  26. 26. Learning Objective 6 Explain the principles of design and why buildings are built. Building Construction 1–26
  27. 27. Principles of Design• Buildings not designed to collapse, catch fire, burn, or restrict egress• However, fire and life safety are not most prominent design considerations to owners or designers• Buildings are a complex of many diverse elements and systems Building Construction 1–27
  28. 28. Why Buildings are Built• Security from physical and social forces• Investments• Cultural desires Building Construction 1–28
  29. 29. Learning Objective 7 Discuss design considerations. Building Construction 1–29
  30. 30. Cost and Building Use• Cost – Design and individual details determined by available funds• Building Use – Design must facilitate end use – End use dictates subtle requirements – Renovating older buildings for a chance of occupancy may be unsuitable under code Building Construction 1–30
  31. 31. Aesthetics• Deals with the nature of beauty, art, and taste• Major force in architecture• Frequently clashes with fire safety concerns Building Construction 1–31
  32. 32. Building Codes• Bodies of law that determine minimum standards that buildings must meet in interest of community safety and health• Jurisdictions typically adopt all or portion of “model code”• Most widely used – International Building Code® – Companion, International Fire Code® Building Construction 1–32
  33. 33. Safety• Fire safety• Structural stability• Occupant safety Building Construction 1–33
  34. 34. Accessibility• Public facilities must be accessible to persons with disabilities• Removal of architectural barriers• Area of refuge Courtesy of Ed Prendergast Building Construction 1–34
  35. 35. Utilities and Climate• Utilities – Availability of water – Public sewers• Climate – Effects of snow, rain, heating and cooling needs Building Construction 1–35
  36. 36. Energy Conservation• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from burning heating fuel• Increase energy efficiency with less electrical power, dual pane windows, tighter doors and seals• Reduce water consumption Building Construction 1–36
  37. 37. Soil Conditions• Soil strength, strain resistance, and stability are important in foundation design• Affected by frost, water content, seismic shock, organic decomposition, etc. Building Construction 1–37
  38. 38. Other Design Considerations• Physical laws of engineering – Proposed design and the loads and forces exerted upon it must be matched to the strength of building materials and the mathematics of structural mechanics• Owner’s needs and desires – Final design involves balance of what is desired, what is needed, and what is practical Building Construction 1–38
  39. 39. Learning Objective 8 Describe the design and construction process. Building Construction 1–39
  40. 40. Learning Objective 9 Recognize the role of the building permit process and preincident planning in the construction of a building. Building Construction 1–40
  41. 41. Design and ConstructionProcess• Concept• Design product• Financing• Documentation and permits• Renovation and remodeling permits• Construction• Inspection/Testing Building Construction 1–41
  42. 42. Building Construction andPreincident Planning• Methods for firefighters to develop knowledge of building construction in their jurisdiction – Information through permit process – Preincident planning to gather information about a building’s construction (Continued) Building Construction 1–42
  43. 43. Building Construction andPreincident Planning• Preincident plans include information about: – Occupancy – Industrial process – Hazardous materials – Fire protection systems – Building access – Utilities (Continued) Building Construction 1–43
  44. 44. Building Construction andPreincident Planning• Geographic information systems (GIS) – Means of obtaining, analyzing, and using data based on location – Allow large projects to be divided into smaller areas or sectors – Make projects more manageable – Provide means for determining the exact locations necessary for placement of critical building elements (Continued) Building Construction 1–44
  45. 45. Building Construction andPreincident Planning• Preincident planning information about building construction to gather includes: – Construction type – Location of fire walls – Vertical openings – Roof construction – Exits – Smoke control system Building Construction 1–45
  46. 46. Summary• Fire behavior in buildings varies greatly depending on building construction.• Firefighters have little or no control over design variables.• The tactical firefighters should understand the design, construction, and functioning of a building for effective operations. Building Construction 1–46
  47. 47. Review Questions 1. What types of building configuration issues can significantly affect fire behavior? 2. How is fire communicated by radiation? 3. What are three potential sources of building failure under fire conditions? (Continued) Building Construction 1–47
  48. 48. Review Questions 4. How do the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) affect building construction? 5. What is Green Design? Building Construction 1–48

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