by Marie King
Building construction comes in many forms. The word “building” designates a myriad of structures that range from a chicken coop to a skyscraper. Most laymen identify a building as a commercial entity, but it can denote a residential home. What standard separates one building construction from another is how fire resistant its materials are.
There are five types. Type I is the least flammable while Type V is much more combustible. The area that is the most combustible has its space limited. Likewise, spaces that are the least combustible can have a larger space. However, Type V people can extend their area by installing more sprinklers.
Each type of building construction has two categories-A and B. Type I A has a structure created out of non-combustible materials. A frame made of concrete could be used. Wood could be avoided in the construction of floors and roofs. The use of metal on the roofs would be a another way to introduce a fire-resistant material.
Type II building construction shows fundamental differences between categories A and B. II A is focused on creating a fireproof building or house. They use masonry walls with steel studs and steel bar joists for floors. IIB is focused on commercial building construction. Commercial building elements are not fire-rated, but have to be non-combustible.
In Type III building construction limits are divided. The outside of the house must be done in a non-combustible material like brick or stone. The inside of the home can be designed to use any materials that are within code. The homeowner can choose to have a wooden floor or a wooden roof. Type III offers more freedom to have features that homeowners want.
The IV type of building construction utilizes heavy timber construction methods. Wikipedia says:
“Timber framing and “post-and-beam” construction are methods of building with heavy timbers rather than 2x4s. Traditional timber framing is the method of creating structures using heavy squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs It is commonplace in wooden buildings from the 19th century and earlier. Three basic types of timber frames in English-speaking countries are the box frame, cruck frame, and aisled frame.”
Types VA and VB
Type VA requires fire-rated assemblies for all building elements , such as structural frame, weight bearing wall, roof and floors. That means that non-combustible materials is used for the major components of the building construction. VB is more commonly used because it does not require a fire rating of materials.