Building Construction and Fire

Issue 10 and Volume 123.

Building Construction and Fire This is the fifth in a series of articles on building construction and its effect on fire fighting operations and planning. Having examined why man constructs buildings, the loads imposed on buildings and the effect of these loads on construction materials, we now turn our attention to the components of structures. All loads generated within a structure or received from any source must be transmitted from the point received to the earth without any discontinuity in the transfer of the load from structural element to structural element. If there is any failure of continuity, or if the earth yields to compression or shear, the structure will fail. Structural members are differentiated by the type of load each carries and the manner in which each transfers its load to the next element of the structure. Regardless of the material used, certain principles apply to each structural member.…

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