SLOW-BURNING CONSTRUCTION.

SLOW-BURNING CONSTRUCTION.

Mr. F, C. Moore, president of the Continental, has a most comprehensive article on “ The Construction of Slow-Burning Buildings ” in the Engineering Magazine for March. Mr. Moore states that, while it is possible by the exclusive use of iron and brick to construct a dwelling in which the owner may sleep complacently without anxiety as to fire, such construction is expensive, and there are few fireproof houses outside of the largest and wealthiest cities. The main thing to observe. he stales, is the proper construction of chimneys, fireplaces, furnaces, etc.; that probably 80 per cent of the Hues in dwellings in this country are unsafe, being only four inches or hall a brick thick. No fl>or timbers or other woodwork should come within eight inches of the inside of any smoke flue or within two inches of the outside of such flue. The statistics of fires show that more than 20 per cent, of those occurring in this country are due to defective flues. All hearths to fireplaces, he states, should be supported by what are called ” trimmer arches ” which should rest on one end of the brickwork of the chimney. All chimneys should be built from the ground, and under no circumstances rest on the floor beams. Furnaces he regards as fruitful sources of files, and recommends metal Cold air boxes instead of wooden Furnace hotair flues, when they pass between floors or wooden partitions should be double, with an inner and outer pipe, separated by an air space of half an inch.

Among other preventatives of the spreading of fires, Mr. Moore states that all spaces which lead to the floors above should be filled in at each fluor with incombustible material to stop the draft, the best material for this purpose being bricks and mortar.

Slow Burning Construction.

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Slow Burning Construction.

Of late years, says Mechanical News, the search for absolutely fireproof materials adapted to general building purposes has given place to experiments of a less radical but perhaps more practical and promising character. Admitting that there is, or may be, such a thing as a perfectly fireproof structure, it must at all events be a highly expensive one. Experience has repeatedly shown, moreover, that calling a building fireproof does not make it so; and the looseness with which the term has been employed has often been illustrated by the promptness and dispatch with which “fireproof” buildings have burned down when their endurance was subjected to a really severe trial. Public confidence in the adjective so freely and unwarrantably used has been a good deal shaken, and a more hopeful interest is felt in the numerous tests lately made of slow-burning materials, for which no claim is made that they will absolutely resist the hottest tire. In such atrial made not long since in Koston, good results were obtained from what is called solid plank construction—that is to say, the use of solid planks for a partition (where a brick wall cannot be erected) instead of studding resting upon joists according to the usual practice. Favorable reports were also made regarding terra cotta lumber, plaster board, wire lath, magneso calsite (for re-enforcing tinned firedoors and shutters) and a preparation of Windsor cement dry mortar, which did not crumble either from heat or from the combined effect of water and heat. It seems to be clearly proven that without excessive outlay materials may be used which will so far resist and retard the fire as to give time for its extinguishment.