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Understanding Building construction
Understanding Building construction
 In New York State, building construction, heating
plants, HVAC, etc., are regulated by the following;
 The Building Code
 The Existing Building Code
 The Fire Code
 The Fuel and Gas Code
 The Mechanical Code
 The Plumbing Code
 The Residential Code
 The Energy Conservation Code
CodesCodes
 also Reference Standards (NFPA, ANSI, ASME, etc..)
 Additionally, we also have to comply with;
 NYS approved “more restrictive” local codes (i.e.,
county, town, city, village)
 These codes provide minimum requirements.
 As with all codes, there are exceptions, such as, the
NYS Building Code does not apply to detached one-and
two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwelling
(townhouses) not more than three stories in height with
separate means of egress. These buildings fall under the
Residential Code of New York State.
Understanding Building construction
 To alert you to potential construction hazards,
 To enable a safe and effective fire attack,
 By knowing basic building construction types, we
can approximate how fire will spread and allow us
to extinguish it quickly,
 “The building is your enemy… know your enemy”
Francis L. Brannigan.
 There are TWO basic types of construction: “It either
burns (combustible) or it does not burn
(noncombustible)”
 All buildings in the US are constructed by one of the
five construction categories;
 Type “1” - Fire Resistive – Least Combustible
 Type “2” - Non-Combustible
 Type “3” - Ordinary
 Type “4” - Heavy Timber
 Type “5” - Wood Frame – Most Combustible
 Four of the five types have subgroups “A” & “B”.
Understanding Building construction
 Means Protected;
 all structural members have an additional fire
rated coating or cover by means of sheetrock,
spray on, or other approved method,
 the additional fire rated coating or cover
extends the fire resistance of the structural
members by at least 1 hour.
 Means Unprotected;
 all structural members have no additional fire
rated coating or cover,
 exposed members are only fire resistant
according to their natural ability, characteristics,
and fire rating.
STRUCTURAL CHARACTERISTICS AND
HAZARDS
Type “3”- (A)Type “3”- (A) (protected)(protected) – Ordinary– Ordinary
(ISO Class 2)
(#211, NFPA 5000 “Building & Safety Code”)
 structural frame, columns, etc. - 1 hour rating
 exterior bearing walls – 2 hour rated
 interior bearing walls – 1 hour rated
 floor construction, beams and joists – 1 hour rated
 roof construction, beams and joists – 1 hour rated
2010 New York State Building Code
Type “3”- (B)Type “3”- (B) (unprotected)(unprotected) – Ordinary– Ordinary
(ISO Class 2)
(#200, NFPA 5000 “Building & Safety Code”)
 structural frame, columns, etc. - 0 hour rating
 exterior bearing walls – 2 hour rated
 interior bearing walls – 0 hour rated
 floor construction, beams and joists – 0 hour rated
 roof construction, beams and joists – 0 hour rated
2010 New York State Building Code
Understanding Building construction
 predominate and common construction type,
 also know as “brick and joist” structure, (common
terms “Main Street, USA” or “Downtown, USA” and
“Taxpayer”
 exterior load bearing walls are of masonry and
some or all other structural components are
combustible (wood),
 masonry walls can be brick, stone, or concrete
block and terra cotta block in some older buildings,
 interior structural members almost all wood,
 wood used has smaller dimensions than Type “IV”.
TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary
 Characteristics;
 normally used for larger, sometimes multi-story,
commercial or multi-family structures,
 has also been used for one and two family
buildings,
 if floor and roof construction and their supports
and all openings through floors (stairwells) are
enclosed with one-hour fire resistive materials, the
construction is classified as “Protected”,
 generally built no higher than 6 to 8 stories, most
are 2 to 4 stories high,
 typically wall thickness range from 6” to 30”,
Type 3 ConstructionType 3 Construction
 rarely protected by a sprinkler system,
 many have been remodeled and altered,
 roof often similar to floor construction,
 hazards reduced by using fire-stops,
 unstable under fire conditions,
 highly damageable buildings,
 primary fire hazard - fire and smoke spread through
concealed spaces,
 fire load – construction materials and contents,
TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary
 typically will have two load-bearing walls (long
walls) and two curtain walls (short walls).
Type 3 ConstructionType 3 Construction
Residential Type “3” building
One &
Two
Family
Type “3” Multiple Residence
Type “3” Commercial and Residential
Two story commercial Type “3” building
TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary
 Type “3” buildings have been constructed in two
distinct types;
 Older – late 19th
and early 20th
century and,
 Newer.
 “Older” buildings;
 tongue and grove floor boards,
 solid lumber joists and rafters ( can be 3” x 10”),
 columns could be added for additional support
 room size limited by span of supporting element,
TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary
 floor joists commonly have a “fire cut” on each
end to keep floor joists from pushing the wall
down,
 1” to 1 ½” wooden planks commonly used in
the roof assembly.
TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary
 “Newer” buildings;
 flooring may consist of plywood, oriented
strand board (OSB),
 laminated veneer lumber (LVL), and parallel
strand lumber (PSL), supported by
 lightweight wooden trusses, and wooden I-
beams,
 these supports are more likely to collapse
sooner than larger solid lumber joists,
 roof construction using lightweight materials.
Understanding Building construction
 Stability of masonry walls,
 Stability of interior column, girder and beam
system,
 Void spaces,
 Excessive fire loads, “dead” loads (HVAC, Solar Arrays)
 Bow string truss roof,
 Alterations can have an effect on the building,
 The largest concealed space is the “Cockloft”, an
open space for fire and smoke spread,
 Braced Wall Spreaders- danger – wall can be out
of alignment.
Solar Arrays and
HVAC Units
Braced
Walls
A basic sign that a wall is in distress
Braces of unprotected steel or cable will fail at fire
temperatures
Arrows mark locations where star-shaped anchor plates were
located on the west-side of the theater building that was
adjacent to the fire building. The anchor plates appear to have
been attached to the ends of the heavy timber roof trusses
supporting the roof and also to some of the second-floor joists.
NIOSH F2011-15
Photo shows star-shaped anchor plates located on the D-
side wall in the area that collapsed. NIOSH F2011-15
Photo shows star-shaped anchor
plate attached to end of floor joist.
Photo shows star-shaped
anchor plate attached to end
of heavy timber roof truss.
Type “3” Bowstring truss
roof
Collapse scene as viewed from building rear
facing building front. Note portion of bowstring
truss leaning against wall at right side of photo.
(Photo courtesy of fire department) NIOSH F2010-38
Photo shows the wall that supported western end of the bowstring truss roof.
The two arrows indicate the truss-end pockets in the brick masonry wall at
the top of the brick pilasters where the ends of the two bowstring trusses
rested. The roof was supported in the middle by the two bowstring trusses
while the north and south ends were supported by the front and rear non-load
bearing walls. The line indicates the approximate curvature of the roof.
(NIOSH photo F2010-38)
NIOSH F2009-21 Photo
–STRUCTURAL CHARACTERISTICS
AND HAZARDS
Type “4” - Heavy TimberType “4” - Heavy Timber
(ISO Class 2)
(#2HH, NFPA 5000 “Building & Safety Code”)
 structural frame, columns, etc. – heavy timber
 exterior bearing walls – 1 hour heavy timber
 interior bearing walls – 2 hour rated
 floor construction, beams and joists – heavy timber
 roof construction, beams and joists – heavy timber
2010 New York State Building Code
 Characteristics;
 heavy timber construction is one of the oldest
types of buildings used in this country,
 heavy timber buildings were originally designed
and used as multi-story industrial or storage
occupancies,
 fire resistance is attained by placing limitations
of minimum sizes on wood structural members and
minimum thickness and composition of wood
floors and roofs,
 will have four bearing exterior walls,
construction includes columns not less than 8”
thick in any dimension,
 beams and girders not less than 6” x 10”,
 roof framing is not less than 6” wide x 8” depth,
 floors and roofs have thicker than normal
construction consisting of varying layers of
materials that build up to a deck of 3” thick to 4”
wide,
 arches and trusses not less than 8” thick in any
dimension.
 usage of approved fastenings and adhesives,
 lumber may be sawn or laminated,
 usually found in very old mills, factories, and
warehouse, and in older churches,
 exterior walls are noncombustible,
 interior structures made of solid or laminated
wood with no concealed spaces,
 does not have plaster walls & ceilings covering
interior framework,
TYPE “4” - Heavy TimberTYPE “4” - Heavy Timber
 wood has large dimensions, much heavier, more
difficult to ignite, can withstand fire for longer time
frames,
 primary fire hazard - combustible contents of
structural members,
 does not fail early in a fire,
 because of massive amount of combustible
materials there will be serious heat given off and may
pose exposure protection problems,
TYPE “4” - Heavy TimberTYPE “4” - Heavy Timber
Heavy Timber Frame building
Heavy Timber
columns, beams
& girders
Masonry walls
Large open spaces, lack of
hidden voids
Understanding Building construction
Understanding Building construction
 Heavy fire loading,
 Combustible finishes and furnishings,
 Wooden floors/ceilings and coverings,
 Large open spaces,
 Unprotected openings
 Heavy content loading;
 combustibles stored in high piles next to each
other,
 usually found in commercial and storage facilities,
 this may override sprinkler system and provide
access problems,
 proper inspection and enforcement effective in
these types of facilities.
 Combustible furnishings/finishes;
 contribute to fire spread and smoke production.
 Wooden floors and ceilings;
 contribute to fire loading,
 prolonged exposure may result in collapse,
 Large open spaces;
 contributes to spread,
 warehouses, churches, large atriums, common
attics, and theaters.
 Unprotected openings;
 floor openings for stairwells, freight elevators or
conveyor devices
Understanding Building construction
 SIZEUP – read a building to identify important
factors;
 class of building construction,
 resistance to fire, heat to critical structural
members,
 renovations that may have created void areas,
 movement of heat, smoke and fire within the
building,
Summary
 areas around utility services should be suspected
as areas where fire can spread,
 many older buildings have new plumbing and
electrical systems installed,
 knowledge of potential building concerns can be
attained by performing inspections during new
construction or in existing buildings,
 Lastly, information my be available through your
local fire inspector and/or building department.
Summary
Prepared By Llyod Cassidy
Manager Jgking Homes.
07/10/13

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Understanding Building construction

  • 3.  In New York State, building construction, heating plants, HVAC, etc., are regulated by the following;  The Building Code  The Existing Building Code  The Fire Code  The Fuel and Gas Code  The Mechanical Code  The Plumbing Code  The Residential Code  The Energy Conservation Code CodesCodes
  • 4.  also Reference Standards (NFPA, ANSI, ASME, etc..)  Additionally, we also have to comply with;  NYS approved “more restrictive” local codes (i.e., county, town, city, village)  These codes provide minimum requirements.  As with all codes, there are exceptions, such as, the NYS Building Code does not apply to detached one-and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwelling (townhouses) not more than three stories in height with separate means of egress. These buildings fall under the Residential Code of New York State.
  • 6.  To alert you to potential construction hazards,  To enable a safe and effective fire attack,  By knowing basic building construction types, we can approximate how fire will spread and allow us to extinguish it quickly,  “The building is your enemy… know your enemy” Francis L. Brannigan.
  • 7.  There are TWO basic types of construction: “It either burns (combustible) or it does not burn (noncombustible)”  All buildings in the US are constructed by one of the five construction categories;  Type “1” - Fire Resistive – Least Combustible  Type “2” - Non-Combustible  Type “3” - Ordinary  Type “4” - Heavy Timber  Type “5” - Wood Frame – Most Combustible  Four of the five types have subgroups “A” & “B”.
  • 9.  Means Protected;  all structural members have an additional fire rated coating or cover by means of sheetrock, spray on, or other approved method,  the additional fire rated coating or cover extends the fire resistance of the structural members by at least 1 hour.
  • 10.  Means Unprotected;  all structural members have no additional fire rated coating or cover,  exposed members are only fire resistant according to their natural ability, characteristics, and fire rating.
  • 12. Type “3”- (A)Type “3”- (A) (protected)(protected) – Ordinary– Ordinary (ISO Class 2) (#211, NFPA 5000 “Building & Safety Code”)  structural frame, columns, etc. - 1 hour rating  exterior bearing walls – 2 hour rated  interior bearing walls – 1 hour rated  floor construction, beams and joists – 1 hour rated  roof construction, beams and joists – 1 hour rated 2010 New York State Building Code
  • 13. Type “3”- (B)Type “3”- (B) (unprotected)(unprotected) – Ordinary– Ordinary (ISO Class 2) (#200, NFPA 5000 “Building & Safety Code”)  structural frame, columns, etc. - 0 hour rating  exterior bearing walls – 2 hour rated  interior bearing walls – 0 hour rated  floor construction, beams and joists – 0 hour rated  roof construction, beams and joists – 0 hour rated 2010 New York State Building Code
  • 15.  predominate and common construction type,  also know as “brick and joist” structure, (common terms “Main Street, USA” or “Downtown, USA” and “Taxpayer”  exterior load bearing walls are of masonry and some or all other structural components are combustible (wood),  masonry walls can be brick, stone, or concrete block and terra cotta block in some older buildings,  interior structural members almost all wood,  wood used has smaller dimensions than Type “IV”. TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary  Characteristics;
  • 16.  normally used for larger, sometimes multi-story, commercial or multi-family structures,  has also been used for one and two family buildings,  if floor and roof construction and their supports and all openings through floors (stairwells) are enclosed with one-hour fire resistive materials, the construction is classified as “Protected”,  generally built no higher than 6 to 8 stories, most are 2 to 4 stories high,  typically wall thickness range from 6” to 30”, Type 3 ConstructionType 3 Construction
  • 17.  rarely protected by a sprinkler system,  many have been remodeled and altered,  roof often similar to floor construction,  hazards reduced by using fire-stops,  unstable under fire conditions,  highly damageable buildings,  primary fire hazard - fire and smoke spread through concealed spaces,  fire load – construction materials and contents, TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary
  • 18.  typically will have two load-bearing walls (long walls) and two curtain walls (short walls). Type 3 ConstructionType 3 Construction
  • 19. Residential Type “3” building One & Two Family
  • 21. Type “3” Commercial and Residential
  • 22. Two story commercial Type “3” building
  • 23. TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary  Type “3” buildings have been constructed in two distinct types;  Older – late 19th and early 20th century and,  Newer.  “Older” buildings;  tongue and grove floor boards,  solid lumber joists and rafters ( can be 3” x 10”),  columns could be added for additional support  room size limited by span of supporting element,
  • 24. TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary  floor joists commonly have a “fire cut” on each end to keep floor joists from pushing the wall down,  1” to 1 ½” wooden planks commonly used in the roof assembly.
  • 25. TYPE “3” - OrdinaryTYPE “3” - Ordinary  “Newer” buildings;  flooring may consist of plywood, oriented strand board (OSB),  laminated veneer lumber (LVL), and parallel strand lumber (PSL), supported by  lightweight wooden trusses, and wooden I- beams,  these supports are more likely to collapse sooner than larger solid lumber joists,  roof construction using lightweight materials.
  • 27.  Stability of masonry walls,  Stability of interior column, girder and beam system,  Void spaces,  Excessive fire loads, “dead” loads (HVAC, Solar Arrays)  Bow string truss roof,  Alterations can have an effect on the building,  The largest concealed space is the “Cockloft”, an open space for fire and smoke spread,  Braced Wall Spreaders- danger – wall can be out of alignment.
  • 29. Braced Walls A basic sign that a wall is in distress Braces of unprotected steel or cable will fail at fire temperatures
  • 30. Arrows mark locations where star-shaped anchor plates were located on the west-side of the theater building that was adjacent to the fire building. The anchor plates appear to have been attached to the ends of the heavy timber roof trusses supporting the roof and also to some of the second-floor joists. NIOSH F2011-15
  • 31. Photo shows star-shaped anchor plates located on the D- side wall in the area that collapsed. NIOSH F2011-15
  • 32. Photo shows star-shaped anchor plate attached to end of floor joist. Photo shows star-shaped anchor plate attached to end of heavy timber roof truss.
  • 34. Collapse scene as viewed from building rear facing building front. Note portion of bowstring truss leaning against wall at right side of photo. (Photo courtesy of fire department) NIOSH F2010-38
  • 35. Photo shows the wall that supported western end of the bowstring truss roof. The two arrows indicate the truss-end pockets in the brick masonry wall at the top of the brick pilasters where the ends of the two bowstring trusses rested. The roof was supported in the middle by the two bowstring trusses while the north and south ends were supported by the front and rear non-load bearing walls. The line indicates the approximate curvature of the roof. (NIOSH photo F2010-38)
  • 38. Type “4” - Heavy TimberType “4” - Heavy Timber (ISO Class 2) (#2HH, NFPA 5000 “Building & Safety Code”)  structural frame, columns, etc. – heavy timber  exterior bearing walls – 1 hour heavy timber  interior bearing walls – 2 hour rated  floor construction, beams and joists – heavy timber  roof construction, beams and joists – heavy timber 2010 New York State Building Code
  • 39.  Characteristics;  heavy timber construction is one of the oldest types of buildings used in this country,  heavy timber buildings were originally designed and used as multi-story industrial or storage occupancies,  fire resistance is attained by placing limitations of minimum sizes on wood structural members and minimum thickness and composition of wood floors and roofs,
  • 40.  will have four bearing exterior walls, construction includes columns not less than 8” thick in any dimension,  beams and girders not less than 6” x 10”,  roof framing is not less than 6” wide x 8” depth,  floors and roofs have thicker than normal construction consisting of varying layers of materials that build up to a deck of 3” thick to 4” wide,  arches and trusses not less than 8” thick in any dimension.
  • 41.  usage of approved fastenings and adhesives,  lumber may be sawn or laminated,  usually found in very old mills, factories, and warehouse, and in older churches,  exterior walls are noncombustible,  interior structures made of solid or laminated wood with no concealed spaces,  does not have plaster walls & ceilings covering interior framework, TYPE “4” - Heavy TimberTYPE “4” - Heavy Timber
  • 42.  wood has large dimensions, much heavier, more difficult to ignite, can withstand fire for longer time frames,  primary fire hazard - combustible contents of structural members,  does not fail early in a fire,  because of massive amount of combustible materials there will be serious heat given off and may pose exposure protection problems, TYPE “4” - Heavy TimberTYPE “4” - Heavy Timber
  • 43. Heavy Timber Frame building
  • 46. Large open spaces, lack of hidden voids
  • 49.  Heavy fire loading,  Combustible finishes and furnishings,  Wooden floors/ceilings and coverings,  Large open spaces,  Unprotected openings
  • 50.  Heavy content loading;  combustibles stored in high piles next to each other,  usually found in commercial and storage facilities,  this may override sprinkler system and provide access problems,  proper inspection and enforcement effective in these types of facilities.
  • 51.  Combustible furnishings/finishes;  contribute to fire spread and smoke production.  Wooden floors and ceilings;  contribute to fire loading,  prolonged exposure may result in collapse,
  • 52.  Large open spaces;  contributes to spread,  warehouses, churches, large atriums, common attics, and theaters.  Unprotected openings;  floor openings for stairwells, freight elevators or conveyor devices
  • 54.  SIZEUP – read a building to identify important factors;  class of building construction,  resistance to fire, heat to critical structural members,  renovations that may have created void areas,  movement of heat, smoke and fire within the building, Summary
  • 55.  areas around utility services should be suspected as areas where fire can spread,  many older buildings have new plumbing and electrical systems installed,  knowledge of potential building concerns can be attained by performing inspections during new construction or in existing buildings,  Lastly, information my be available through your local fire inspector and/or building department. Summary
  • 56. Prepared By Llyod Cassidy Manager Jgking Homes. 07/10/13

Editor's Notes

  1. 2010 New York State Building Code