Building Construction


Construction Concerns: Roofs: Snow Load

March 23, 2015

Gregory Havel's new Construction Concerns looks at the amount of snow load that a roof is designed to hold according to building code requirements among other variables.

Construction Concerns: Fire Doors

March 9, 2015

Fire-rated doors can provide a valuable line of defense for firefighters. Greg Havel has more on this building construction feature.

Construction Concerns: Trenching and Excavating

December 8, 2014

In his new Construction Concerns, Gregory Havel warns first responders of the dangers of entering these construction areas.

Construction Concerns: Adhesives in Manufactured Lumber

November 24, 2014

In his new Construction Concerns, Gregory Havel looks into the history and combustibility of adhesives in manufactured lumber.

Fire-Resistive Floor-Ceiling Assemblies

November 10, 2014

In his new Construction Concerns, Gregory Havel looks at fire resistance ratings for these sections of commercial, industrial, and multifamily residential buildings.

Construction Concerns: Roofing Materials Tests

August 25, 2014

In his new Construction Concerns, Gregory Havel discusses the ins and outs of roofing materials that firefighters may encounter.  

Construction Concerns: Fire Extinguisher Testing

August 11, 2014

In his new Construction Concerns, Gregory Havel discusses the use of portable fire extinguishers as well as the results from an Underwriters Laboratories ratings test.

Cintas and Sqwincher Reward Hottest Job with Prizes to Beat the Heat

July 9, 2014

Building Construction: Lightweight Steel Framing

June 9, 2014

Being able to distinguish between wood frame and steel construction is crucial to any size-up. Here's how to recognize steel frame so you can adjust tactics accordingly.

Construction Concerns: Contractor Hazards

May 28, 2014

Gregory Havel discusses some construction site hazards that responders could encounter as a result of contractor negligence.

Construction Concerns: Remodeling Older Buildings

April 28, 2014

Under fire conditions, firefighters should not assume that remodeling has used materials similar to the original construction materials, Greg Havel writes.

Construction Concerns: Temporary Structures

April 15, 2014

Gregory Havel examines the precautions firefighters must take and the knowledge they must have when responsing to temporary structures.

Construction Worker Talks Dramatic Rescue From Houston Fire

March 26, 2014

A construction worker who was rescued from a burning apartment building in Houston said he was so close to the flames that he could feel his skin burning.

FDIC 2014 Preview: Reading a Building

March 19, 2014

Retired city of Los Angeles (CA) Battalion Chief John Mittendorf will be joined by Dave Dodson to talk about building construction and size-up at FDIC 2014.

Construction Concerns: Plaster

March 6, 2014

Plaster is known to have been in use for more than 9,000 years. Greg Havel has more on how new uses of this construction material may affect firefighters responding to emergencies at buildings that use it.

Construction Concerns: Tall Buildings

January 21, 2014

Gregory Havel takes a quick look at the future of firefighting in increasingly tall high-rise buildings.

Motion Computing's New LINCWorks™ Portable Wireless Devices Make Instant Network Connectivity a Reality

December 11, 2013

Motion Computing® (, a global provider of rugged mobile technology built for business, today announces LINCWorks™ -- a family of portable, rugged, easily deployed wireless connectivity devices. 

GreenWorld Restoration Receives IDIQ Award from Texas General Land Office

December 9, 2013

On October 10, 2013, GreenWorld Restoration received a fully executed contract from the Texas General Land Office for Modular and Alternative Housing. 

Construction Concerns: Steel Truss Double Roof

October 21, 2013

The presence of a double or rain roof on any building should require a note on firefighters' preincident plan for the building, Greg Havel writes.

Construction Concerns: Bar Joist Roofs

October 7, 2013

Our preincident plans must include notes on the type of roof deck and roof supports if it is to be of real value to us during an incident response, writes Gregory Havel.


Gregory Havel

Gregory Havel is a member of the Town of Burlington (WI) Fire Department; retired deputy chief and training officer; and a 30-year veteran of the fire service. He is a Wisconsin-certified fire instructor II, fire officer II, and fire inspector; an adjunct instructor in fire service programs at Gateway Technical College; and safety director for Scherrer Construction Co., Inc. Havel has a bachelor's degree from St. Norbert College; has more than 30 years of experience in facilities management and building construction; and has presented classes at FDIC.

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