February 2007

Noncombustible building construction | Technical Elements

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Noncombustible building construction

by Tom Bollnow
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Designing steep-slope roof assemblies for new buildings or additions encompassing Type I or Type II construction and certain occupancy groups can present problems with no apparent solutions. Building code requirements often present obstacles that are difficult to overcome. The following is an example of such a challenge and is based on an actual situation encountered by NRCA's Technical Services Section through its technical assistance program.

A real-life example

An existing building complex serves as the campus of a small Midwestern liberal arts college established more than a century ago. The buildings are masonry constructions and vary in height from three to five stories. The dormitories are four- and five-story buildings with steep-slope roof assemblies, which consist of steel structural members, wood board decks and slate roof coverings. The institution wants to build additional dormitory space and match the existing historical design elements.

However, matching the existing roof system using recommended industry best practices and complying with current building...

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