Friday, December 16, 2011

Some Heavy Timber Considerations

Heavy timber construction is still among us, it just isn't as common as it once was. If you read the books, they will describe true heavy timber construction as having no void spaces and obviously using large dimentional lumber. These buildings were used for mills, warehouses, factors and other commercial uses. Today we are seeing some increase use in heavy timber construction at lodges and resorts.

The more urban metropolitan areas have been dealing with these old building for a long time. They burn long and hot and most have brick or masonry exteriors, increasing collapse potential. Today many of these buildings are being renovated and converted into new occupancy types and changing the classification and creating more concerns for us.

This picture shows the large dimensional lumber and the connection of all three components. This part of the building is original and has not been altered. You can see a large crack in the beam on the left. This building is approximately 70-80 years old. Do you notice anything about this picture in regards to "no void spaces?"

This picture shows the sub level, basement, of the building. You can see the brick support for the floor beams. The next picture shows an alteration.....

This next picture shows the floor joists and their connections into the floor beam. Notice the dimensions and the hangers on the right.

This post is for discussion. Use these pictures how ever you like and show them to your crew. This is mostly review and I like to look at pictures like these to remind myself of building conditions and construction types. These building are constantly being changed and altered. Be aware of what's out there and use that information to be ready.

Train hard, expect fire and share your knowledge.


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