Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Building Materials Called Into Question

The Madison Fire department recently called into questions new building materials saying they can accelerate fire damage after a fire on the far East Side of Madison. See this recent article in the Wisconsin State Journal.

The loss of property is always tragic. Thankfully, in this new home built to modern standards, there was no loss of life.

Thanks to modern construction materials, building products perform better than ever. We no longer log old growth forests to get 2x12's like we did in the 1960's. We build stronger and greener using trees created for the purpose of engineered building materials. Clients actually get a stronger, better performing home thanks to modern materials.

Besides, this is a green building practice to farm & harvest materials in our own part of the country as opposed to logging old-growth forests in the pacific northwest and Canada to get the big 2x12 joists, which can still burn!

When it comes to life safety, homes built since the Uniform Dwelling Code was implemented in 1978 all have smoke detectors. They are now required to be interconnected so they all sound no matter where one goes off. The deaths from fires occur in old homes and old multi-family buildings. New homes are safer than ever thanks to fire blocking, smoke detectors, fire doors to the garage, etc.

I wonder if ALL the smoke detectors in this house were working? And, what was stored in the basement that was the source of this fire? The building alone could not have caused the fuel for this fire. Something else had to fuel it to cause that much destruction.

There is so much missing from this story that we don't yet know. I look forward to a full report after the cause of the fire is determined. Unfortunately, almost a month later I have seen no follow-up and limited discussion.

No comments:

Post a Comment