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Old 03-08-2013, 02:58 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,372 posts, read 21,218,356 times
Reputation: 24197

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL_Whut View Post
It's not a "tenement" just because you have irrational fears. In fact, I suspect your use of "tenement" reflects snottiness more than fire safety. I sleep 3 floors up in a wooden building every night...it's called a townhouse. OH NO!!!!
The majority of townhouses I've looked at (I live in one) are built with cinder block walls between the units to contain fires from adjoining units! Now the new townhouses they're building, I can't verify that!

When I think of tenements I think of dwellings built as cheaply as possible!

In retrospect, I should have entitled this thread: these new mid-rise urban luxury apartment buildings
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:35 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
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Seems relevant to discussion.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,101,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
The majority of townhouses I've looked at (I live in one) are built with cinder block walls between the units to contain fires from adjoining units! Now the new townhouses they're building, I can't verify that!

When I think of tenements I think of dwellings built as cheaply as possible!

In retrospect, I should have entitled this thread: these new mid-rise urban luxury apartment buildings
What say you to the fact that these buildings must meet the stringent earthquake standards of Southern California? Or the fact that they have survived multiple earthquakes?

In fact, Los Angeles has some of the strongest buildings in the world, for that very reason.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati near
2,540 posts, read 3,521,068 times
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I too share a healthy fear of fires. I have been to many friends' apartments and seen melted wires on appliances and extension cords, gas burners left on, candles placed under curtains, blown dryer ventilation hoses due to lint blockages, and other serious fire hazards. I have very little confidence in other people's sense of fire safety; that is one of the reasons why I decided to buy a detached house of my own that has some space separating it from the neighbors.

The good news about wood construction is that it is a lot easier to clean up when the building is demo'd. Having worked in construction in the summers a long time ago, I remember how laborious and back breaking it was to demo a brick/and block or other masonry structure.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,874,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
What say you to the fact that these buildings must meet the stringent earthquake standards of Southern California? Or the fact that they have survived multiple earthquakes?

In fact, Los Angeles has some of the strongest buildings in the world, for that very reason.
Irrelevant. There hasn't even been a real earthquake in California in the last 20 years. When the big one comes, the buildings are not going to collapse. The water mains and gas line are going to break, and LA is going burn to the ground in the biggest firestorm in history. Nothing is going to be able to stop it, and people will be running for there lives, with nowhere to go. When its all over, everyone will be asking, how could we let this happen?


1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake - Marina District - YouTube


SF 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake - YouTube
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,372 posts, read 21,218,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Has anyone read this downloaded article? I invite anyone to take the time to read it, a real eye opener!

British Columbia has tons of wood they're trying to get rid of, and there's even talk of building 10-20 story skyscrapers out of CLT wood!

I don't care how how safe they deem it, this paranoiac of fires remains unconvinced!

Thanks, eschton, for adding this article to this discussion!
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:30 AM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,192,648 times
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
And what's the excuse for not building concrete buildings in the SW, Southern CA, southern parts of the U.S.? Before these cities boomed, in both Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tucson, concrete was prevalent!
You also mentioned Mexico and Central America in your earlier post. "Most" of the masonry buildings in these areas are not insulated and have minimal heat sources for the occasional cold spell. The reality is the American housing consumer wants both comfort & cheap. The easiest (most cost efficient) way to do that is wood frame construction with insulation and both heating and cooling. The most appropriate construction in the lower elevation SW is insulated, masonry construction with minimal heat and no cooling. But the American consumer does not want a house that they have to open and close windows, they want to set a thermostat to 70 degrees and be done with it.

Quote:
I saw three of these structures under construction in their Chinatown district alone. The concrete platform for the 2nd floor and stacking 5 floors of wooden construction on top! Thus the ! I was under the impression that one could only have a 3 story apartment building built of wood, and to see 5 floors being added
Modern wood framing has: fully fireproof stairwells and elevator shafts, firewalls between units and between floors and fire blocking to prevent fire spread in walls. The buildings you are describing have a concrete floor separating the commercial uses from the residential uses and are fully equipped with fire sprinkler systems.

Most deaths in residential fires are not from the structure collapsing, but rather from smoke inhalation.
The biggest source of toxic smoke in a residential fire is the furnishings, not the structure.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,874,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Modern wood framing has: fully fireproof stairwells and elevator shafts, firewalls between units and between floors and fire blocking to prevent fire spread in walls.
Not true. Firewalls have to be made out of concrete. These buildings are 100% wood, above the first floor. There is nothing to prevent fire from spreading through these type of structures.



Were do you see any concrete walls in this?


Last edited by KaaBoom; 03-09-2013 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:29 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,192,648 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Not true. Firewalls have to be made out of concrete. These buildings are 100% wood, above the first floor. There is nothing to prevent fire from spreading through these type of structures.



Were do you see any concrete walls in this?
Read the building code, firewalls do NOT have to be made out of concrete.

The most likely source of a fire in single family construction is in the garage.
Code requires at least a 20 minute firewall between garage and living space.
Is there a concrete wall between your garage and home?

The picture you show of a cmu wall is rated between a 2 hour and a 4 hour firewall depending on how they
filled the cmu cavities and how close wood is to the other side. Some what typical of higher end townhomes.
Typically condo construction (lower picture) would only require one hour walls (codes vary).

And the upper picture is not a "concrete" wall. it is a "masonry" wall. Big difference.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,372 posts, read 21,218,356 times
Reputation: 24197
Just wait until someone moves into one of those 6-story buildings, one day, and sets up a Meth Lab!!!

And let's not forget the ramifications of the aging population inhabiting these buildings some day!

A co-worker of mine is renting a room from an elderly lady, and he came home one night, she was asleep, smoke everywhere, forgot about some food she was warming up on the stove!
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