Newer school buildings, shopping centers and recently renovated commercial structures usually belong to this type of construction. While many buildings look similar at first glance, the underlying materials affect their cost and durability, especially in the event of an emergency. Building codes classify all structures from type 1 to type 5, and this type of building reveals crucial information, such as fire resistance. Some modern buildings have become stronger and cheaper to build.
However, manufactured materials, such as artificial wood and synthetic plastics, burn easily, causing rapid collapses and additional hazards for firefighters. The most fire-resistant buildings, type 1 structures, are built with concrete and protected steel, which can withstand high temperatures without collapsing. By contrast, Type 5 structures, the least resistant to fire, are lightweight and made of combustible materials that collapse soon after they catch fire. Type 1 buildings are fire-resistant skyscrapers.
Overall, these buildings measure more than 75 feet tall, including high-rise homes and commercial spaces. Because of their materials and design, type 1 buildings are considered to be the safest in the event of a fire, since they can withstand high temperatures for long periods of time. Many new or recently renovated commercial structures, including large stores and large shopping centers, are type 2 buildings. While these buildings generally have fire extinguishing systems, they are prone to collapsing when flames expose their metal roofs to high temperatures.
Type 2 buildings include many non-combustible materials, but they still pose risks because they are more likely to collapse. Schools, businesses and houses with fireproof walls and wooden ceilings are distinguished as type 3 buildings. While older buildings tend to have conventionally framed roofs, newer buildings offer lightweight roof systems. Although type 3 buildings contain fire-resistant materials, their roof systems burn out quickly and their fire-cut beams pose a hazard to firefighters.
Construction workers must understand how different construction materials and techniques affect a building's resilience to fires, earthquakes and hurricanes. Just as workers must prepare for accidents during construction, they must learn how their work contributes to the future safety of the building. Also known as ordinary construction, type III construction requires that exterior walls and structural elements be made of non-combustible or fuel-limited materials, such as concrete blocks or daytime tile blocks. When firefighters encounter type 1 buildings, they must secure the stairs to ensure a safe evacuation.
Also known as fire-resistant construction, Type I construction maintains its structural integrity during a fire. In general, construction classifications are based on the types of materials used in construction and on the fire resistance indices of the main structural components. Timber frame construction is the type commonly used to construct the typical single-family residence or apartment building with up to seven floors. Understanding these types of construction gives any construction worker or firefighter a basic understanding of how these structures come together.
While well-maintained type 4 buildings resist fire, the age of some of these buildings poses significant difficulties for firefighters. Knowing the different types of construction promotes safety during and after the construction of a building. Type II construction, also known as fireproof construction, is made of the same types of materials as fire-resistant construction, except that structural components lack the insulation or other protection of type I construction. Type A buildings are “protected buildings” and type B structures are “unprotected buildings”.
Also known as heavy wood construction, Type IV construction has exterior walls made of non-combustible materials (masonry). This type of construction has an almost unlimited potential for the spread of fire within the original building and to nearby structures, especially if the nearby structures are also wood-framed buildings. . .