Ten Minutes in the Street: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something is a Skewed

Alpha Side, Block

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something is a Skewed. No, I don’t think there’s a ceremony going on, But; I do know that there is a lot of truth in that opening statement.
Take a good look at the building and occupancy depicted in the photo.

You’re looking at the alpha side from the street. The building is located within a block area of commercial, retail and businesses within a very well established city neighborhood.

Here’s our In the Street Questions for the weekend;
• Looking at the building, what is the Building Type?
• Are there more than one Type?
• What type of construction features are you assuming to be present?
• What else might there be for the roof and floor systems?
• Anything else that your assumption might indicate? Any gut feelings about this?
• What if you’re wrong on your structural system assumptions, how would that affect your IAP?
• What’s obvious when looking at the structure? What isn't?
• There are some very telling features that should begin to prompt you in your processing of Building Risk Profiling and Assessment. Whatdo you think they are and why?
• Look at the Building Profile along the Alpha Side at the Roof and Parapet line, what are your thoughts on that?

Here’s the remainder of the Risk Profiling list for your consideration;

• What is the presumed age/vintage of the building(s)
• What’s happened to the building fronts?
• Where are the access and egress points?
• What type of material covering is present on the Building? What does that mean?
• How will that affect my IAP and tactics? Will any of this affect firefighter safety?
• What’s the Safety Profile for operating companies?
• What’s the Risk Profile for an incident response reporting a fire in the building?
• What issues are evident related to Engine Company Operations?
• What issues are evident related to Truck/Ladder Company Operations?
• What issues are evident related to Rescue/Squad Company Operations?
• What is/are the occupanc(ies)?
• What do you expect for occupancy load ding the daytime, how about night time?
• What is the expected Fire Load?
• What is the expected fire behavior?
• What are your expected options for ventilation?
• What type of Roofing system(s) might you expect? How about rooftop components and features?
• What is the Structural Stability Profile?
• What is the Structural Collapse potential and precautions?
• What doesn’t look right about this building and structure?
• What’s out of content or out of place?
What would you like to have the clear facts on; that key piece of information that will have the greatest influence or impact on your strategic or tactical operations

You don’t need to address everything listed here. Select the areas you feel you have a perspective on, assumptions or insights. Just give some thoughts to all of these questions that you should be thinking about as you look this over from the street.

Think in terms of strategic, tactical and safety perspectives. There is a lot to talk about and assumptions that can be made. Yes there’s something old and something new, but much more that is very much a skewed. I’ll post more images as the street talk begins. So get your cup of coffee, mountain dew or power drink (nothing more, you’re on duty here now). It’s your turn to take ten minutes in the street.

(PS...Please NO CSI-ICS...at least not too soon...it spoils the scenario)

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This occupancy could be mixed, but I will lean retail/assembly/mercantile; well, I guess that is mixed. The sign does not lend itself to identifying what is behind the glass.

I am guess ordinary construction, likely a remodel that could have some left over heavy timber components that are likely concealed now.

The roof could be older joist system, combination of bowstring truss on the taller building or completely redsigned with light weight truss used for the remodel. Possilbe "rain roof" over original flat roof system.

I only see one door along the entire block. Egress and accessibility is a concern. In addition, RIT and secondary line positions could be challenging.

Decorative cornices and parapet could be largely desinged of styrofoam or plastic.

Cold be large open areas iwth two story ceilings.

Windows could be false making them dangerous or they could access attic/cockloft area.

NO obvious FDC can be seen.

One of th largest factors will be type of occupant and contents.
Chris, The possibilities for this one are virtually limitless, and an interior look is the only realy way to figure out what's there.

Here is a similar problem building that is a single Type II occupancy despite the multiple facades and multiple front entrances. This occupancy is part of a group of strip-mall construction in which all of the other buildings are what they appear to be - multiple occupancies, one per front door.

Side A center view

Side A angled view

D-A corner view

Side D view

The good news - it's sprinklered, with a hydrant and FDC near the D-A corner and another hydrant in the Side A parking lot
Chris, This one has so many possibilities that we could start with the construction being anything Type I-V (or I-VI to use your recommendation for non-dimensional engineered systems construction), the fuel load could be "anything", the roof could be "anything", the fire behavior could be anything from "really bad" to "none, it's fully sprinklered and has a Halon system for extra protection".

Could you steer us a little bit? We just don't have enough information to really get down to brass tacks on this one.

Note: I stayed away from CSI at your request, but you've left us dangling in suspense.

Help a brother out?
OK... I can "feel" the frustration levels......
I'll post some photos and info this evening: including photos of the "first" renovation of the entire block (this represents the third). It is in fact one business (actually a medical insurance company and service center). Some of the replies have been very intuitive and observant. More later....promise
About time, Chris...I was about to put a 2-inch core drill hole into my monitor screen trying to get a look inside this one. I'm not sure that the search cam extension would reach to wherever this one is, though :-)

Thanks, brother.

Here are some of the original building renovations, the original type III and IV structures were -partially demolished and also renovated and incorporated into a "new" hybrid type II office complex that was constructed, circa 1980's. The Building was renovated again in 2004 with an extreme make-over to bring the facade back in "style" with the other type II/IV structures lining the street. So it was made to "look like it did" back in the day...hence the visual representation of a Type III/IV look....
I hope that monstrosity is sprinklered, or that everyone who works there has Nomex skin.

Old truckies can tell the difference in the rooflines. We take those aerial L-A-D-D-E-R-S. :-)
When I first looked at the picture, I immediately thought of new skin over old brick, heavy timber construction, bow string trusses, tar roof, parapet walls at top, double walled in between buildings, so no common cockloft, front of building would be the weakest and collapse outward and doors at front and back only.
Buildings, if brick, would act like chimneys and fire would vent upward.
Maybe I'm all wet, but it looked like our downtown.

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