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  • Lightweight Construction

    Does anyone know of any jurisdiction that has banned the use of lightweight construction? Would it even be legal to do so? Our state supposedly has the placard for lightweight construction, but I don't think it applies to PD's, only commercial bldgs. I don't even know if it applies to MD's. Any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Have not heard of any bans, and more than likely would result in a court fight

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mjszpindor View Post
      Does anyone know of any jurisdiction that has banned the use of lightweight construction? Would it even be legal to do so? Our state supposedly has the placard for lightweight construction, but I don't think it applies to PD's, only commercial bldgs. I don't even know if it applies to MD's. Any help would be appreciated.
      Let's not even go there. If you think the home builders associations cry about residential sprinklers, I couldnt even imagine the outpouring of grief and the war cries if someone tried to ban lightweight construction. SImply stated- it aint gonna happen. And thats not just the firefighter in me saying that, it's also the Building Inspector/Building Code Official in me saying that.

      The jurisdiction where I work does have a local ordinance in place to identify certain (newer) developments that are constructed using open-web truss floors and truss roofs. At the entrances to the developments, the homeowners associations are required to maintain truss placards at all times- they must be readily visible and clean at all times. They are mounted on the decorative walls adjacent to each entranceway. They are standard truss placards- white triangles with red scotchlite T/F indicating that there are truss roofs and floors. The homeowners associations ALWAYS bitch about having to hang these "ugly" signs on their decorative entranceways, but when we explain the alternative to them (they have to hang one on each individual dwelling) they usually back down. One smart *** president of a HOA started to not cut the bushes around his decorative wall, and quickly found himself in front of the local District Magistrate who then advised him he could trim the bushes so that the sign was visible or he could then donate $1000 (per day for every day of non-compliance) to our training fund......... Our jurisdiction also has a local ordinance in place mandating commercial buildings be identified individually, with the appropriate truss placard be hung above the knox box, on the front of the bldg, or over the sprinkler connection. I have never heard a building owner complain about it as we present them with the truss placard at the pre-Use & Occupancy inspection, with instructions to have it in place at the official U & O inspection.

      The key is understanding:
      -What ordinances/codes you are under. Your jurisdiction may very well follow the International Fire Code, which has sections in place for truss placards. Check with your local code officials and/or Fire Marshal.
      -How to adopt ordinances in your community. If you need to adopt a new ordinance, it is a long, complicated process. It's not rocket science, but one just cannot adopt an ordinance without first writing it, re-writing it, writing it again, running it through the legal eagles and then re-writing it when they red-ink it, then you have to advertise the first meeting where it will be discussed in public, then you obtain public comment, then the town fathers have to think about it and the public comment, then they advertise the meeting where they will vote on it............the fire chief just cannot say "ok every building with trusses must have placards."

      Also, any time I issue a U & O for a new building with any engineered lumber components, I notify the County, who enters the notes into the CAD, and the incident commander is then sent the notes via MDT for any kind of a working (or potentially working) incident.
      "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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      • #4
        Lightweight construction would not be a problem if it was designed with fire sprinklers in all void spaces and all occupied spaces. The code should be modified to also include all attics, closets, crawl spaces, garages and bathrooms.

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