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Steel Construstion

Essay by   •  November 22, 2011  •  Essay  •  491 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,457 Views

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The construction type in the power point slides titled steel construction look to be modern building techniques. The steel headers are made properly and from the photo appear to be solid construction. The steel beams in slide two are unsafe for fire fighters due to the fact they are extremely heavy even though they don't burn quickly but many stores being built now are using these due to the fact they are cheaper. With the weight of these beams and metal studs if not properly built the building could have a structural collapse even under light fire conditions. Modern buildings are now using different beam trusses. Often beams in the steel construction are welded together or bolted. When smaller improper beams are used to hold beams up in the rafters, that can become very dangerous. With new and improved shopping centers and stores this is leaving exposed beams spanning long distances which have very little cross support to strengthen them.

I have always been interested by different types of building construction. The new I beams that are being used in today's construction types are very unique. It's amazing that those can take the place of a heavy old outdated beam used for spanning long distances and still hold a lot of weight. Even with the new i beams being lighter than older ones they fail much sooner. I have seen a video that compares them both in the same fire conditions and the light but as strong I beams failed much quicker than the old style. This makes our job very unsafe as fire fighters. The modern steel constuction we use are unique also. Basically being no more than just a molded piece of small metal they can hold all this weight. I wish old techniques were still used. Regular old heavy beam seem to be so much better and stronger to me from what I have studied and seen firsthand. Hidden metal roofs also intrigue me. Most hidden roofs are found after an addition has been built on to a store or shopping center. These add a different kind of danger due to the fact they can hide fire and heat in them and melt beams quicker. And when venting a store under live fire conditions if you haven't done a pre plan on a structure and didn't know the hidden roof was there it leads to improper venting. With improper venting of unburned gases it leads to a back draft and flashovers.

In the end it's all about saving the big dollar. I wish that engineers would take into consideration these problems when designing a modern stores. I think that if these type stores are what are going to be built then they should be required to have sprinkler systems. "The latest and greatest building techniques are not deisgned to make are job as fire fighters safer but just to save a dollar for the business owner in the end"



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