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5 Types Of Building Construction

People might view a building just as the accumulation of bricks and cement shaped it into some style. However, in a contractor’s eyes, it is more than that. An establishment results from selecting quality materials that would serve the purpose and stand tall in the tests of time. In the industry, there are certain types of building construction, each of which has its own role to play in terms of safety, appearance, and function. 

Building construction styles ultimately impact the structure’s use, occupancy load, floor space, height, proximity to adjacent structures, placement of windows and exits, fire resistance, and if sprinklers are required. In the long run, it will save you time, money, and hassles to clearly define your goals and objectives before you become too involved in the planning specifics.

Building Construction Types

Buildings and construction projects can be categorised in a variety of ways. According to the owners, the materials employed, or the kinds of structures, things are frequently divided up. But there’s another method to separate things up, which depends on how much fire resistance a building needs.

Type 1: Fire- Resistive

Regarding fire-resistant ratings, this form of construction’s walls, partitions, columns, floors, and roofs are the least combustible materials. Due to their height, these structures are typically simple to identify. Buildings designed to resist fire are over 75 feet tall and constructed of steel reinforcement and poured concrete. To stop a fire from spreading, they are made to endure the impacts of fire for a long time. Because the roof of these structures must also be made of noncombustible materials, ventilation is not an option.

Certain Type 1 buildings incorporate HVAC systems and self-pressurising stairwells to stop flames from spreading. For firefighters, accessing and putting out flames is made simpler by these structural features. While entering a Type 1 building, their primary goal is to lock stairwells to guarantee a secure evacuation.

Type 2: Non-Combustible

Similar to fire-resistive structures, non-combustible buildings have noncombustible walls, partitions, columns, floors, and roofs. This type derives its title “non-combustible” not due to its capacity to resist fire. Still, due to the fuel the building produces, and thus offers less fire resistance and does not endure the impacts or spreading of fire, as well as Type I. Modern school buildings are typical examples of this kind of building work. These structures often have tilt-slab walls or masonry with a metal roof and floor. When exposed to fire, they are the least stable regarding potential collapse.

Type 3: The Ordinary

Type III buildings are called brick-and-joist structures and have tilt-slap or masonry walls. Tilt-slab or tilt-up construction, in which concrete is poured into a wall form and then tilted up into place to form the building’s walls, is a technique that is frequently employed for Type III buildings. These substances are not inflammable. This means that a few of the internal structural components, such as the frames, floors, and ceilings, are built of wood or other combustible materials. 

Both new and old structures are suitable for this type of construction. While contemporary buildings are frequently constructed using lightweight roof systems, older structures typically have conventionally framed roofs. Homes, buildings, and schools can all be included in this construction category. The fact that ventilation is an option with this kind of construction is one of the merits. However, many Type III buildings have horizontal vacant spaces or connected attics, which increases the risk of fire extension. 

Although there will be less fire protection, Type III buildings can be built in a far wider range of ways than Type I and II structures. Using ceiling sprinklers and installing high-quality ventilation systems with a set of operations connected to the fire detection system for smoke controls to delay the spread of fire are effective ways to combat this.

Type 4: Heavy Timber

Large lumber pieces are used to build Type IV structures, and metal plates and bolts are used to join them. The heavy timber structure is easy to recognise because this was a widespread practice before 1960. Typical examples of buildings in this category include old churches, industries, and barns. All timber elements must adhere to strict dimensional specifications for this construction style. 

Type IV structures have inner components and noncombustible outer walls. Large amounts of water are needed to put out a fire if one of these buildings catches on fire, but thanks to their structural bulk, they hold up well to the flames and don’t burn readily. Type IV structures are a fantastic option if you’d prefer a wood-framed building with a higher level of fire protection.

Type 5: Wood-Frame

The most flammable type of construction on this list is Type V buildings. It is the only design type that permits both combustible inner structural parts and combustible outside walls. Wood is used to construct the frames, walls, floors, and roofs in full or in part. These structural components are less expensive and are used more frequently in developing single-family houses and garages.

Firefighters may be especially concerned about these structural components because exposed wood doesn’t offer any fire resistance. The structure will significantly ignite if a fire starts. Unless they are made of lightweight materials, these buildings might be fairly resistant to collapse. In that case, minutes after a fire starts, it will collapse.

The Takeaway

You might want to pay attention to the materials and construction around you as you go through your daily activities, given the variety of buildings that surround us. The connected building elements vary in terms of fire resistance depending on the kind of building construction. Typically, Type I construction provides three to four hours of fire protection for its structural parts. Wood and other materials used in Type IV and Type V construction frequently have different fire-resistance ratings dependent on thickness. You may choose which building type is suitable for new construction by classifying these building constructions into five categories. For assistance in this regard, you may also connect with RS Builders, one of the leading contractors in India.