Exploring Building Types in Construction: Fire-Resistive to Wood-Frame
With all the different building types, it's important to be able to distinguish the different types in the construction industry. Understanding the classification of a building and why it's classified in that way is crucial because it's dictated by the materials used and their fire resistance.
By exploring the different building types in construction, you'll better understand why they are classified that way and how to distinguish them from one another. From Type 1 to Type 5 we've got you covered.
Type I: Fire-Resistive Construction
Type 1 buildings are designed to withstand incredibly high temperatures for longer periods without collapsing. These types of buildings can meet the Type One construction category requirements through passive fire resistance.
Buildings of this type include high-rise buildings, hospitals, schools, and many other essential facilities. Building type 1 structures involves using specific construction materials and methods to ensure less combustibility, in addition to using materials that are less likely to spread the fire. This includes materials like protected steel, reinforced concrete, masonry, and construction methods like columns, beams, and floor designs.
These buildings are set to limit the spread of fire through their compartmentalization in layout. This is done to restrict the spread of fire, smoke, and heat from one area to another.
Additionally, fire suppression systems are incorporated into all buildings. Not limited to automatic sprinklers, building codes, and other early detection systems. These systems all help detect fires early and suppress them effectively to minimize damage.
Type II: Non-Combustible Construction
Most often used in mid-rise buildings and more industrial facilities, Type 2 construction is generally considered to be less rigid than Type 1, while providing a high level of fire protection. Some of the key characteristics that can be found in Type 2 buildings include non-combustible materials, similar to Type 1.
These materials include steel, concrete, and masonry. However, Type 2 allows for a broader range of non-combustible materials, unlike Type 1. As a result, the materials used are more prone to collapse early.
Type 2 construction ensures the structural components, including columns, beams, and flooring, are all designed to resist the effects of fire. As a result, a lot of these structural components are protected by fire-resistant materials that possess fire-resistant properties. From spray-applied fireproofing or intumescent coatings, these types of codings can help prevent fires from spreading for 30 to 120 minutes.
Type 2 buildings incorporate compartmentalization to a less stringent degree than those of Type 1. Additionally, fire-rated assemblies in Type 2 construction include fire doors and fire-resistant partitions that are designed to withstand fire for a specific period. Lastly, Type 2 buildings also incorporate active fire suppression systems, including automatic sprinklers, fire alarms, and smoke detection systems.
Type III: Ordinary Construction
Type iii construction is most commonly used in commercial buildings, residential structures, and other low-rise buildings. It's also considered to have notably less fire resistance compared to Type 1 or 2 construction processes.
Exterior walls in Type iii buildings are created using non-combustible materials. However, it also allows for combustible materials, including wood framing or siding, as long as they meet specific fire protection requirements.
In Type 3, the structural framework must be made of wood or steel while meeting fire-resistant requirements. Measures like fire-rated sheathing or using heavy timber construction are commonplace. Interior finishes can be explosive but must follow regulations and standards to ensure a reasonable level of fire safety.
Type 3, like Types 1 and 2, incorporates various fire protection measures to enhance fire safety. From sprinklers and fire alarms to fire-resistant glass and fire-resistant partitions. Another similarity between the types is the incorporation of compartmentalization strategies. All types incorporate compartmentalization strategies to limit the spread of fire and the progression of smoke.
Local building codes and regulations dictate the specific requirements for Type 3 construction, including the allowed materials, fire protection measures, and maximum building height limitations. Some examples of Type 3 construction include multifamily residential builds, commercial buildings, and other low-rise buildings.
Type IV: Heavy Timber Construction
There continues to be a lot of misinformation surrounding Type 4: heavy timber construction. In this section, you'll come to understand that Type 4 is not classified as fire-resistive construction. While it may offer inherent fire resistance due to the materials used, it is not considered fire-resistant in the same way that Type, 1, 2, and 3, constructions are.
In Type 4 construction, structural aspects, including beams and columns, are made of solid or laminated wood with specifications that match building codes in that area. The larger size of the timber contributes to the resistant effects.
Similar fire protection measures can be implemented in Type 4 in the same way they are implemented in Types 1, 2, and 3. Installation of strategic sprinklers and using fire-resistant materials for interior finishes, as well as formatting the layout of the building to limit the spread of fire and smoke.
Heavy timber construction is most commonly, used in buildings like churches, historical structures, and recreational facilities. This type of construction can be most commonly found where aesthetics are an important building element, specifically the appeal of exposed heavy timber.
Type V: Wood-Frame Construction
Type 5, Wood-Frame Construction, is the least fire-resistant of all the building types, under the majority of building codes. It is the most likely construction type to collapse due to the computable materials it's made out of. With that in mind, it is commonly used for residential buildings, such as single-family homes, townhouses, and low-rise apartments. The reason for its popularity is its cost-effectiveness, versatility, and ease of construction.
Some key characteristics of Type 5 construction include the framing method primarily being made of wood and wooden members. Wooden members include stud joints, joists, and rafters. As well as, both exterior and interior walls are constructed using wood framing and are covered by materials such as wooden siding, stucco, drywall, and other approved options.
Despite how concerning this may sound, numerous fire protection measures are taken to ensure construction safety and building code compliance. From incorporating fire-resistant building materials such as gypsum board (fire-rated drywall), fire-rated doors, fire-rated insulation, and sprinkler systems. However, the overall fire resistance of the building is lower in comparison to other types of construction.
Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Building Type
Different types of building construction require different construction equipment to accurately meet their construction types. Renting from a marketplace like DOZR ensures that you have a variety of construction equipment to choose from and that you are getting the right machine for the job.
In summary, the different types of construction have unique fire resistance and material considerations. Type I construction is the most fire-resistive and uses non-combustible materials, and it is best suited and most commonly used in high-rises. Type 2 construction is non-combustible, like Type 1, but it has broader allowances than Type 1.
Type 3 construction typically has moderate fire resistance, using non-combustible materials for exterior walls and wood or steel framework. Type 3 is most often used in commercial and other low-rise buildings. Type 4 construction, heavy timber, offers inherent fire resistance and requires other fire protective measures. Lastly, Type 5, Wood-Frame Construction, has the lowest fire resistance and uses wood framing, and requires additional fire protective measures.
It's essential to carefully consider the building type when planning to do any construction. In the same way, it's important to ensure that you are using the right rental equipment to do. So check out DOZR Marketplace for your next equipment rental!