LIFE SAFETY & STRUCTURAL

I HAVE ALWAYS BUILT IT THIS WAY

Life Safety issues are formally addressed in the International Fire Code. There are also life safety issues that need to be addressed when it comes to how something is constructed.

Having heard the phrase, “I have always built it this way” many times over the years, I am grateful when given the opportunity to clarify just how¬† something is designed structurally. It is not always evident why a beam or footer is the size or type that is shown. Please ask if there are any questions during the construction documentation phase and I will be more than happy to set aside time to review.

The photo above was taken in March of 2019. This year we had a particularly heavy snow here in Montana that fell within just a few days. While this may not occur every year, or even every 10 years; when it does, you want to rest assure that whatever you spent money building remains intact.

The roof on this structure is hardly visible on a cell phone, but zoom in. The roof is now inside the building, and either the builder did not get plans or they did not get adequate plans. If they had a good set of plans and this happened, then they were not followed. This is a fact, because correct and comprehensive plan sets have had calculations on the loads and other forces exerted on the structure determined and accounted for. Also, connections are detailed or specified, down to the number of nails required. I can think of no good reason for this type of failure if comprehensive and cohesive plans were followed during the build.

Structural failure is not the only life safety issue. So are fire danger, electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning, falling and other household hazards. All of these hazards can be minimized from the stand point of building design by means of a well thought out plan that follows the guidelines set forth in the International Building Code, International Fire Code, Electrical Code and other codes Knot Square interprets to generate the Construction Documents it supplies.