In addition to the 5 types of building construction, there are different types of construction projects. These include residential building construction, industrial construction, commercial building construction, and heavy civil construction. Since each type of building construction is associated with unique building materials, they all have different levels of fire protection. The fire-resistant group (Type I) material can generally last three to four hours against fire, whereas for wood and other Type IV and Type V structures, it depends on the thickness of the materials used.
The base rate is approximately 1 hour of fire resistance per 1.5 inches of wood thickness. As with Type I buildings, construction materials for Type II construction projects, including interior walls, frames, floors, roofs and exteriors, are made of non-combustible materials such as metal and concrete. Although their construction materials are labeled as non-combustible, they offer less fire protection than Type I because they are not usually coated with fire-resistant coatings, so the spread of fire would likely cause more damage. Buildings that fall into this category have exterior walls constructed of bricks, masonry, concrete blocks, prefabricated panels, or other non-combustible materials.
But the interior structures and the roof can have a wooden frame. If you want a timber-framed structure with a higher level of fire protection, Type IV buildings are a good choice. However, remember that construction costs will be more expensive than the last type of construction, Type V. The four key types of construction include residential, commercial, industrial and infrastructure, which covers almost all construction projects.
A Type I building: A building (the “improved Type I construction”) adds even more layers of protection and is necessary for buildings such as skyscrapers, where even the height is unlimited (in theory). Exterior walls of Type III construction are constructed of bricks, masonry, concrete blocks, prefabricated panels, or other non-combustible materials. A type V-B construction, the most basic, does not require a fire rating for any of the building elements. The type of project you are working on will often determine the type of contract, materials and specifications that are required.
Hospitals or jails where occupants are confined and unable to leave on their own may require stricter types of construction, even as single-story buildings. Buildings with sprinklers of the same type of construction and use as a building without sprinklers may be larger. Ultimately, construction type drives building usage, occupant load, square footage, height, proximity to other structures, windows, exit locations, fire resistance, and the need for sprinklers. Check local codes to determine exactly what type of construction you should use (you can consult us at Stronghold Engineering, we will be happy to help).
The type of activities carried out within a structure can help determine if Type V timber frame construction is an option. The International Building Code (IBC) classifies buildings into five types of construction, and each has different parameters. One method that is often used for Type III buildings is tilted or tilted slab construction, in which concrete is poured into a wall shape and then tilted upward to form the walls of the building. While classification by building type can be useful in understanding the ultimate goal of a project, other classification systems provide more information about legal requirements and construction risks.