Fire Resistance Ratings of Different Types of Building Construction

Fire Resistance Ratings of Different Types of Building Construction

by Stratosphere Marketing, September 2, 2021

Even though most buildings may look the same on the outside, the materials used to construct them play a distinct role in how sturdy they are. Some may be able to withstand high winds or other adverse conditions. If you are concerned about fire resistance, you have five ratings to consider when it comes to building your home or other structure. #1 is the most fire-resistant, while #5 means there is little to no resistance to fire. Buildings with a #1 ranking are more expensive to build but will require fewer repairs if a fire occurs.

Fire-resistant – #1 Fire Rating

High-rise/skyscrapers and other large buildings are often made with a protected steel skeleton and concrete structures. Few flammable materials are used in the primary construction phase. While some materials used in the finishing stages are more flammable than others, they pose a much lower risk than if the entire building was made of less durable materials.

Non-combustible – #2 Fire Rating

Many newer buildings are considered to be non-combustible. With this type of construction, non-combustible materials are used. Metal roofing and reinforced masonry walls are the mainstays when it comes to non-combustible construction. When these materials are used to construct a commercial building or home, it will earn the building a #2 fire rating.

Ordinary – #3 Fire Rating

Ordinary construction can be found in older as well as newer buildings. This type of construction includes walls made of non-combustible materials like cement or reinforced masonry. These buildings tend to be more fire-resistant at the base of the structure but have a wood-framed roof. Newer buildings that fall into this category will sometimes have a lighter-weight roofing system. With these materials, a building will earn a #3 fire rating.

Heavy Timber – #4 Fire Rating

A heavy timber building is constructed using large square timbers that are incredibly heavy. Buildings made with this type of construction method use large timbers that make up the “bones” of the structure, supporting the walls and the roof. Large churches, barns, and even some factories are made using this type of construction. While these buildings aren’t necessarily fire-resistant, they take much longer to burn than other types of structures. Heavy timber earns a #4 fire rating.

Wood-framed – #5 Fire Rating

Wood-framed homes are made with mostly wood materials. Wood is used to frame both the walls as well as the roof. This is the most inexpensive type of home, as it also bears the highest risk in terms of fire or any other kind of natural disaster or catastrophic event. Because of its extreme vulnerability, this type of house will collapse completely in a short period of time. This will earn a structure a #5 fire rating.

Before you make the final decision on how to build your new home or commercial building, you will want to learn as much as you can about the materials you will use and how they will affect your buildings’ fire rating. Talk to our experts at Proforma Construction to get the answers you need. We will help you understand what materials will best suit your needs and which materials you should use to fully protect your investment. Different materials work best for different types of construction and different types of buildings. By scheduling an appointment with us, you can get all of the answers you need to make an informed decision. Call us today so you can move forward with your project.