There are many different types of construction that the building industry has to offer. From wood to steel, there is a type of building construction for every need. Depending on the location, environment, or risks such as high flood risks or wildfires, you’ll need to carefully go over the types of construction that your building could benefit from.
Below, we review the five types of construction, as categorized by The International Building Code (IBC). These categories establish a basic level of safety for both occupants and property.
Type I: Fire Resistant
Type I is fire-resistive, offering the highest level of fire protection. This type of construction uses high-quality fireproof materials, such as poured concrete and insulated steel framing.
Type I-A building construction is often found in high-rise buildings and can withstand fire for up to 3 hours. Type I-B building construction is commonly found in mid-rise buildings and can combat fire for 2 hours.
Type II: Noncombustible
Type II construction uses noncombustible materials with 1-hour fire resistance. This type of construction is often found in new buildings and remodeled commercial structures.
Type II-A consists of protected noncombustible materials that can withstand fire for up to one hour. Type II-B is unprotected noncombustible construction, often found in commercial buildings.
Type III: Ordinary
Type III construction consists of walls constructed with fireproof materials such as brick, masonry, or concrete. Interior structures and the roof can be wood-framed.
Type III-A is protected combustible, also known as ordinary construction with brick or block walls and wood roof and floor. This offers 2-hour protection from fires for exterior walls and 1-hour protection for the structural frame, floor, and roof. Type III-B is unprotected combustible. The walls still offer 2-hour protection from fire, but there is no fire resistance for the structural frame, floor, and roof.
Type IV: Heavy Timber
Type IV construction is also known as mill construction, as it utilizes a large amount of lumber for structural frames and interior elements. Exterior walls consist of noncombustible materials with a 2-hour fire rating, while structural framing, roof, and the floor have a 1-hour fire rating.
Type V: Wood-Framed
Type V construction is made wholly or mainly of wood. This type of construction is common in many modern homes, with the walls and roof being made of combustible materials.
Type V-A is a protected wood frame with a 1-hour fire rating, and Type V-B is an unprotected wood frame that does not offer fire resistance.
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