Building Construction

Building Construction: Understanding Loads and Loading

Issue 6 and Volume 163.

BY JAY D. MICHAEL Members of the fire service are constantly encouraged to study and understand building construction. Initial fire training building construction classes range from several hours to a little over a day, sometimes with a site visit. The types or classifications from Type I to Type V are reviewed, and then a quiz or exam is given. At the end of your initial training, a few questions on the exam pertain to building construction. Over the years, you review the basic material, take more classes, and move up the ranks. Soon, you are telling the younger firefighters to “know building construction.” Are you just repeating what you are hearing, or do you understand how buildings are constructed? (1) This wood column is in compression; the horizontal beams or girders transmit the load imposed on the beam or girder to the column. (Photos by Paul Dansbach.) The late Francis…

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