i would like to know different people's opinions on building construction, things you have learned through years on the job, or in college classes, or through self study. any input is welcome.

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Lightweight construction fails faster than most other construction. There are five types I...Fire resistive, II...non-combustable, III....Ordinary, IV...Heavy Timber or "Mill Construction", and V...wood frame.

Each provides their own challenges depending on situations involved.
John, i am currently enrolled in three classes in my fire science degree program 1. intro to fire science, 2. building construction, 3. strategy and tactics. i have written a research paper on "fire hazards of trusses" do you think if you had time you could read the paper and let me know your insight?
The most common building construction type is 5B or ordinary wood framed construction. The most fire resistive building construction is type 1A.

In alot of States, there are requirements for building owners and contractors to install signage specifically for firefighter information if the building has truss constuction whether it be floor, roof, or both.
Brick veneer/facade has a tendency to collapse before the rest of the building, which is most commonly found covering Type III and Type V.
In your experiences, has the brick veneer been braced or was it a free standing/self supporting wall?
Morning Devan,

One of the biggest changes in building construction is the increase in lightweight construction (Type 5) over the past couple decades. With the increased use of trusses and engineered products, i.e. the wooden I-Joists, and the push for better energy savings, the dangers we face continue to grow.

As John stated, each of the five types of construction present their own challenges. Both trusses and the wooden I-joist present a bigger hazard to us in the fire service mainly due to the lack of "material" in the product and the significant decrease in the amount of time it takes to cause these products to fail.

Trusses have been shown to start failing in as soon as 3 - 5 minutes. With trusees, they are dependent upon the other trusses to complete the roof or floor system. When one fails, the whole system is open to failure.

One of the main things to keep in mind is that a lot of contractors will build as cheaply as possible to make that bigger profit. Brick veneer is a good example. The building code requires wall ties to be installed but a lot of times these are not installed thereby creating another possible danger for us when responding.

Also, with the federal standards on eneregy requirements increasing, buildings are becoming tighter and tighter resulting in a bigger chance for backdrafts to occur in the event of a fire.
Tom, thank you for your reply i have took a few notes down out of this for my building construction class at fire school, if you would go join my group "building construction" i would like to find out as much as i possibly can about it
I think that the fire department should have building maps or plans for each building in there local so they know what the building is made of
Art, does your department do pre-plans on buildings in your jurisdiction? if so what are included in the pre-plans?
each department has its own sop or sog when it comes to buildings its mostly a box system where more the one company responds we are all vollies out here in montgomery county pa
IFSTA essentials 5th edition has a really good section on building construction. It has all the classes, terms, and definitions.
yea in my fire science class we use brannigans building construction for the fire service you should check it out

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