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Firefighter Safety: Construction Concerns: Hybrid Buildings

By Gregory Havel A hybrid building is one that combines structural elements from more than one of the traditional five types listed in the building codes. Hybrid buildings are classified by building officials as the type which uses the most combustible elements. The most common hybrid is the lightweight wood frame (Type V) supported by structural steel (photo 1). This type of hybrid can be a single story or multiple stories. Traditional wood frame construction was usually limited to three stories because of the limited length of studs for balloon framing and the inherent instability of platform construction over three stories. (1) Photos by author.   Since most of these buildings a...

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