The fire rating of a building is determined by the classification of the structural elements of a building. A higher building type rating provides a higher level of safety for its occupants should a fire occur; however, the cost of building at this level of fire resistance can be much more expensive than a lower building type rating. A garage in general would not require such a high build type rating and can be built with a lower build type rating to minimize construction cost. In comparison, a school auditorium might require a higher building type rating to provide a higher level of safety for the larger number of occupants served by the building.
There is a list of 26 items found in Section 6.03, which refers you to other sections of the code that allow you to use the materials listed in this section. Fire resistant structures have a minimum height of 75 feet. The walls, partitions, floors, ceilings and roofs of these buildings can be fire resistant, which means they have non-combustible surfaces. This design prevents a fire from spreading if an incident occurs.
Construction crews use steel and concrete beams to build this type of structure, which helps prevent collapse. Examples of fire-resistant buildings include high-rise structures, such as office buildings or hotels. Unlike fire-resistant buildings, non-combustible buildings have fire-extinguishing systems instead of fire-resistant cladding. One of the biggest differences between the two is that a non-combustible building has no minimum height.
In addition, floors and roof are often made of metal, which helps prevent the possible spread of fire. Examples of non-combustible structures include shopping malls and new school buildings. Contractors and builders often use the type of construction of ordinary buildings for residential housing, including brick or block walls with wooden floors and ceilings. While common building construction types may not be fire resistant, they have good ventilation to help prevent potentially combustible gases from building up.
Construction crews build interior walls and floors with fire-cut joists, which are special cuts of wood that connect to an exterior wall, but can detach when damaged by fire. This helps preserve exterior walls in the event of a fire and can prevent them from collapsing. Examples of common building types include schools and residential homes. Heavy timber buildings have non-combustible exteriors and some non-combustible interior structures.
All wooden beams, columns and beams are at least 8 inches thick, while wood planks for floors and ceilings are at least 6 inches thick. A heavy wooden building is unlikely to collapse in a fire, but the fire may require large amounts of water to extinguish. Examples of heavy timber construction include barns, churches, and mills. Timber-framed buildings have both wooden exteriors and interiors and can be highly combustible.
This is the only type of building that uses all exterior fuels. Timber frame buildings may have a lower construction cost than other types. You can find this type of building construction in modern houses and garages. In general, type 3 buildings often contain fire-resistant materials, but lightweight roof systems can burn out quickly and beams cut by fire can cause hazardous situations for firefighters.
Knowing the different types of building construction is useful for professionals who design, build or maintain structures. While the building elements in a Type I building must be non-combustible materials, Section 603 provides a list of where combustible materials can be used in a Type I building. Many new or recently renovated retail structures, including “department stores” and large shopping malls, are Type 2 buildings. And, in any type of construction, even if building use does not require sprinklers, it is always recommended to add sprinklers to improve safety.
Unlike the oversized timber of Type 4 buildings, these Type 5 structures are often made of light or manufactured wood. Exterior walls of Type III construction are constructed of bricks, masonry, concrete blocks, prefabricated panels, or other non-combustible materials. The most fire-resistant buildings, Type 1 structures, are constructed of concrete and protected steel, materials that are capable of withstanding high temperatures for a long time. Type I construction requires the highest fire rating while type V construction requires the lowest amount of fire rating.
This type of construction has brick or block walls with a wooden ceiling or floor assembly that is not protected against fire. Type V construction is where the structural elements, outer walls and inner walls are of any material allowed by code, combustible or non-combustible. In general, Type 5 buildings have poor fire resistance properties, so while this type of structure has revolutionized the construction industry, it has presented new difficulties for firefighters. There is an exception that allows the exterior walls of Type III buildings to be constructed of fireproof treated wood if the wall has a capacity of 2 hours or less.
A deep sense of construction types saves lives by helping firefighters anticipate hazardous situations such as electric shocks, drafts and landslides. Many modern homes are classified as Type 5 due to their use of combustible materials, usually wood, in both the walls and the roof. . .