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Legislation in construction and building

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There are currently six types of building classifications. Buildings are graded based on two criteria. Both criteria are the building's fire resistance level and the building components included. Furthermore, the structure can be graded based on its intended use. As a result, the warehouse in question comes into the heading of storage facilities. This is also known as category S designation. In addition, one end of the structure will house an office. As a result of the mixed-use, the building counts as a mixed occupancy structure. To check if the materials chosen meet the required fire-resistance rating the materials should be subjected to a burning test as stipulated under the code ASTM E119 test method. In this technique, the materials are subjected to a regulated heating process. The heating temperatures are controlled, and the heating continues until the wall fails. These points of failure are then recorded. The temperature is noted down and the time of failure is also noted down. Firewalls in a warehouse should have a rating of 4. This is the maximum fire resistance period that can be allowed for any firewall. A maximum duration is necessary to give ample time for the emergency services to respond to the situation.

Type of construction

This type of construction is a non- residential construction. This is because warehouses are to be used for goods storage. Therefore, there are several aspects of the building that are unique to it. A warehouse is further classified in the sub classification sector of commercial buildings. Commercial buildings are meant to generate income for the owners of the building. As such, the warehouse is to be used for storage of commodities to increase the value of the commodity.

What is the fire resistance rating?

In buildings fie resistance is the ability of a building to withstand fire for a relatively more extended period to give the firefighters ample time to put out the fire. Besides, fire rating can be defined AS Fire resistance rating refers to the period that a fire protection mechanism can withstand a fire test. The ratings are achieved by measuring the components ability to withstand the fires. In so doing the building can maintain its structural properties for a relatively long time (Williams, and P, 2015 p.25). Fire resistance materials are used in the construction of buildings to protect them from fires.

In the recent past there have been set minimums for the various building elements. These minimum fire ratings are essential in ensuring that fire is contained at its point of origin. This containing the fire is essential in that it will give the occupants time to egress the building in case of a fire occurrence. Also, this is also meant to give the firefighters ample time to contain the fire. The wall in this buildings should have a fire resistance rating of 4hours. During this time the element or structure continues to perform its functions both structurally and as a support. This is the maximum allowable time. Having the maximum fire rating time will ensure that there is ample time for emergency services to be carried out.

Where to place the firewall

Firewalls are meant to separate structures in a building. This is to ensure that in case of a fire outbreak the fire does not spread order to other areas of the building. As such, the firewalls act as a barrier to the spread of fire. In this structure, the firewall should be bordering the office premises. This will give a clear separation of the two segments effectively safeguarding each part in case of a fire eventuality. For instance, if a fire starts off in the office segment the firewall should be effective in preventing the fire from reaching the warehouse. Subsequently, any fire that starts off in the warehouse should not get to the office. The firewalls are categorized into three. There is the fire barrier wall. Firewalls fire barriers and fire partition. The three walls play the role of preventing the speed of fire spread in the building.

Conducting tests on the firewall materials

Materials are tested for their fireproof properties per the ASTM E119 test method guidelines. This testing method applies to masonry walls and the composite materials used. In this method. A sample unit of the wall is built. The unit sample is then subjected to a controlled temperature until the wall fails. In this test, the wall unit used must be at least 100 sq. Ft. (9.3 M2). The heating process is brought to an end when the wall fails, and the temperature readings are recorded. At the same time, the time that the wall takes to fail is also recorded. This time is referred to as the masonry wall rating.

Fire hazard properties for floor materials

The materials to be used should have a high fire resistance ability. This is because the warehouse building does not have a sprinkler a system installed on it. This, therefore, implies that in the eventuality of a fire, there has to be a good material that can withstand the fires for quite some time before the firefighters can put off the fire. To determine if the particular materials meet the fire resistance properties, the materials should be subjected to a fire test per ASTM E119 test method. In this technique, the materials are effectively subjected to varying temperatures until their points of failure are reached. These points are then noted down.

How to modify the proposal to meet the Building Code of Australia (BCA) on compart mentation and separation of buildings.

Compart mentation and separation of buildings are necessary where there are large floor areas involved. According to the building code of Australian standards, where the floor area is expansive, compartment walls may be introduced to reduce the floor spaces. These compartment walls must have joints that are fireproof also. This ensures that in case of a fire break out, the spread can be easily contained within a compartment effectively minimizing the spread to the other compartments (Shih, S, Sher, W. and Gigging, H., 2013 p.22). The joints to these compartments should also be able to resist the fire for a sufficiently more extended period to give the fire service emergency response team, sufficient time to respond to the emergency, effectively reducing the potential damage to the building.

Determining the number of egress points

When calculating the number of exit routers several factors are considered. These factors include; the number of the building occupants, the size of the building and finally the travel distance limits to the nearest egress point. The code stipulates that the farthest distance should be less than eighteen (15) meters from the egress point if the building is not sprinkled. Where the building is sprinkled, the path of common travel should be at least 30 meters from the egress point. These parameters are applicable for buildings that are not regarded as a high hazard occupancy buildings.

According to NFPA 101 code on buildings section 7.3-7.4 the building should have the maximum number of egress points, in this building four egress points would be necessary. This is to ensure that there is a safe exit from the building in case of a fire emergency. In locating the egress points, one egress point should be located on the front side of the office block. On the from view face, there should be two egress points each located 30 meters from the edges. The fourth egress point should be located at the end of the building. Additionally, the office building should have three means of egress.

The building code of Australia (BCA) stipulates that any building to a building should have at least one means of egress provided in it. This, therefore, implies that the three building is to have three means of egress for each of the Buildings. Each of the building must have an egress means that leads directly to an open space. The most strategic location to have the means of egress in a building is to have them located next to the staircase landings. This is because such a position offers ease of access as the staircase is a path of common travel.

Required exit and horizontal exit

A horizontal exit is a means of egress that is installed in the wall of a building and is meant to give an alternative means of egress. This is particularly important in buildings of higher occupancy when all the occupants of the building cannot access the egress means as provided for in the building. For instance, high rise buildings are required to have this kind of egress means to facilitate an easier escape from the building. In prisons an in hospitals often these egress means are installed to ensure that the number of casualties remains relatively low in times of emergencies. On the other hand, a required exit is the mandatory means of egress that must be provided for in a building. These egress means must lead to the outside of the building in an open space.

In addition to this, the egress means must be well illustrated. At the top of the egress means a sign that indicates its presence must be well positioned and it should be illuminated to ensure it is easily visible from any direction even in darkness. According to the building code of Australia (B.C.A), each building must have a minimum of one egress point (Board, A, 2013 p.17) These egress points are specifically designed to offer a faster and safer exit from the building in times of emergency such as fires or an earthquake. Additionally, the fire exits must be strategically located along the paths of common travel in the building. This will ensure that they are easily accessed from all direction by the occupants. Also, the required exits must not be far apart in the low rise buildings. Standards have been set as to how far egress points may be from the next one. As such, these standards should be complied with to ensure that the building occupants are safe in cases of emergencies.

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Reference list

Board, A.B.C., 2013. An investigation of possible Building Code of Australia (BCA) adaptation measures for climate change. Australian Building Codes Board, Canberra.

Shih, S.Y., Sher, W. and Gigging, H., 2013. Assessment of the Building Code of Australia to Inform the Development of BIM-enabled Code-checking Systems. In Proceedings of CIB World Building Congress.

Williams, P., 2015. A regulation evaluation system: a decision support system for the Building Code of Australia. Construction Management and Economics, 13(3), pp.19-28.

August 18, 2021
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