What Are The 5 Types Of Building Construction?

When someone who does not work in the construction thinks about the different types of building types, they may first think about things like additions, renovations, and things like that. However, in the construction industry, the types of building construction refer specifically to their fire-resistance ratings, covered by the International Builders Code. These ratings are important because each informs how large a building can be, the type of occupancy permit it can be granted, whether or not it can be approved by a building inspector, and more. When you are working with a knowledgeable and experienced team of builders, like the team at Home Care Contractors, you can be confident that all of the construction required for your home will be to-code, for your own safety as well as everyone who visits your building after construction is completed.

Take a look below to learn a bit more about each type, and why they are separate from each other.

Type I. Fire Resistive

This type of construction refers to all materials like steel and concrete that have extremely high resistance against the effects of fire. A Type 1 building must be composed of these materials, including the roof, which is typically concrete or steel in these types of builds. 

Type II: Non-combustible

Type II construction involves the same types of materials as utilized in Type 1, but there are less strict requirements around them in order to provide some flexibility in the build type in exchange for a lower fire-resistance rating. 

Type III: Ordinary

In a Type III build, all materials used in the construction may be combustible but is typically built with a non-combustible exterior. Some examples of a Type III construction would be a brick-faced home or a single dwelling unit made of a composite of poured concrete, steel, and wood.

Type IV: Heavy Timber

In the case of a Type IV build, the structure of the building can be composed of wood and still qualify for an elevated fire-resistance rating, because the timber may not be below a certain thickness. While a thick beam of wood is certainly less fire-resistant than a steel girder or a concrete wall, it is still more resistant than beams and girders smaller than the prescribed sizes for this build type.

Type V: Wood Frame/Combustible

A Type V build type has the lowest fire-resistance rating, and is the most typical construction type for single-family homes. Both the structure and exterior of the building are allowed to be constructed of combustible materials, such as wood shake roofing shingles, wooden siding, and a frame comprised of wood as well. 

What Type of Construction Is Best?

There is no universal answer to this question because the type of fire rating that you use depends on a variety of factors that are addressed in the building codes. In order to determine the construction type required for your plans, your best bet is to speak with an experienced builder who can give you a much better idea of what to expect. An increased fire resistance rating comes with a higher cost, simply because of the cost of materials in addition to the different type of experience and expertise that must go into successfully completing this type of construction that will be approved by a building inspector for its intended use.