Defining Buildings and their Inherent Characteristics

Defining Buildings and Inherent Charactoristics

Today’s evolving fireground demands greater insights and an increased understanding of buildings, occupancy risk profiling (ORP) and building anatomy. Recently there has been a movement that has categorized buildings into two groups: engineered and legacy construction.

I strongly believe this is far too limiting and restrictive which is resulting in missed opportunities to develop further insights into other building systems and occupancy risk profiling. In order to refine categories that provide corresponding values related to inherent construction features, systems, collapse and comprise, performance characteristics, fire integrity, resistance etc., the following building anatomy categories are suggested and promoted:

Building Anatomy

Construction Systems

  • Heritage
    • Pre-1900
  • Legacy
    • 1900-1949
  • Conventional
    • 1950-1979
  • Engineered
    • 1980-2001
  • Integrated Hybrid Systems
    • 2002- current …
  • Composite Engineered Systems
    • 2010 – current …

Give some thought to the time spans and the types of buildings at would compromise each group. I’ll post an upcoming article with expanded narrative on each…..

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Chris Naum

Welcome to Commandsafety.com. The authoratative and informational site that provides leading insights on fire service issues related to Building Construction, Command Risk Management and Firefighter Safety.

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Without understanding the building-occupancy relationships and integrating; construction, occupancies, fire dynamics and fire behavior, risk, analysis, the art and science of firefighting, safety conscious work environment concepts and effective and well-informed incident command management, company level supervision and task level competencies…You are derelict and negligent and "not "everyone may be going home". Our current generation of buildings, construction and occupancies are not as predictable as past conventional construction; risk assessment, strategies and tactics must change to address these new rules of structural fire engagement. There is a need to gain the building construction knowledge and insights and to change and adjust operating profiles in order to safe guard companies, personnel and team compositions. It's all about understanding the building-occupancy relationships and the art and science of firefighting, Building Knowledge = Firefighter Safety (Bk=F2S)

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