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Fire Dynamics: Construction Concerns: Bar Joist Roofs

By Gregory Havel Often, when we hear of a roof supported by steel bar joists, we assume that the bar joists support a steel roof deck (photo 1). The steel roof deck is attached to the bar joists by spot welds, self-drilling screws, or steel pins, although decades ago the steel roof panels were sometimes laid on top of the bar joists without any attachment. 1. (Photos by author unless otherwise noted.)   Photo 2 shows a variation of the steel roof deck, called an “acoustical deck.” The vertical planes of the steel panels are perforated with thousands of small holes. The space between these holes on top of the panels is filled with noncombustible mineral wool insulation before the roo...

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