Many of today’s new and recently remodeled buildings have some features that make them appear similar to the extent that the outward appearance may not be a good indicator how a fire will behave in those buildings.
FIRE SAFETY WITH MASONRY
Developing a construction cost model to accurately evaluate the relative construction cost of a multi-family building constructed using five different construction materials. The concept of multi-family would include traditional apartment type buildings, condominium style buildings, student housing, elderly housing, and others.
Masonry walls can reduce or eliminate the spread of fire and provides precious additional protection and time for occupants to exit or ride out a fire. But today, new model building codes and fire codes have strayed significantly from the discussed balanced design approach to fire safety. The public and design professional should know about this dilution of fire safety and demand redundancy in fire safety.
To provide the best protection for occupants and afford the greatest opportunity to live, ride out a fire and/or escape, the local Masonry Advisory Council always recommends that codes for buildings require a balanced design made up of four key elements: fire detection, suppression, education, and containment.
This is not an all inclusive list of all requirements to meet Building Codes, but is a primer on major items to help avoid problems.
A chimney is one of the most vulnerable parts of a structure because it is exposed tc weathering on all sides. If the proper steps are not taken, both on the drawing board and in the field, water can enter the chimney and cause efflorescence and eventually freeze thaw damage. However, if industry guidelines are followed, chimneys can be designed to be watertight for decades.
The majority of homes built in the United States this century are built with some sort of wood burning fireplace. As we become more aware of efficient use of energy, it is necessary to examine current fireplace design practices to determine how we can get the most out of our fireplaces. This article will summarize ways of increasing the heating potential of masonry fireplaces.