What is type 2 construction?

Newer school buildings, shopping malls and newly renovated commercial structures often belong to this type of construction. Many retail commercial buildings, such as shopping malls and department stores, use Type II construction. All building materials, including interior walls, frames, floors, roofs, and exteriors, are made of non-combustible materials, such as metal and concrete blocks. Size requirements are similar to those of Type III and, although construction materials are classified as non-combustible, they provide less fire resistance than Type I, and the spread of fire would likely cause more damage.

Walls and frames can be constructed of any material allowed by code with type V construction, usually wood. If these types of buildings catch fire, they require large volumes of water to extinguish, but they resist fire well and do not collapse easily due to their structural mass. A hotel made of type V construction could be only 7,000 square feet, for example, while a type IV heavy wood hotel could be 20,000 square feet. By distinguishing these building constructions into five types, you can personally decide which structure is best for a new construction.

However, they provide less fire resistance and do not resist the effects or spread of fire like Type I. This type of construction has brick or block walls with a wooden ceiling or floor assembly that is not protected against fire. A type V-B construction, the most basic, does not require a fire rating for any of the building elements. Determining which of the five types of construction your project falls under is a key decision as part of the scoping process with your construction manager and building designer.

This type is called “non-combustible” not because of its fire resistance, but because of the fuel provided by the building. The many nuances of a building's use and size requirements can complicate things and create confusion as to what type of construction is best suited. A Type I-B building (the “basic Type I construction”) can be 160 feet tall with 12 to 16 floors. Type V also allows a combustible interior (structural frames, walls, floors and ceilings) made wholly or partially of wood.

Again, those types of building construction include fire-resistant, non-combustible, ordinary, heavy, and wood-framed timber. The International Building Code (IBC) classifies buildings into five types of construction, and each has different parameters.

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