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THE #1 REFERENCE ON BUILDING CONSTRUCTION―UPDATED FROM THE GROUND UP. Edward Allen and Joseph Iano’s Fundamentals of Building Construction has been the go-to reference for thousands of professionals and students of architecture, engineering, and construction technology for over thirty years. The materials and methods described in this new Seventh Edition have been thoroughly updated to reflect the latest advancements in the industry. Carefully selected and logically arranged topics―ranging from basic building methods to the principles of structure and enclosure―help readers gain a working knowledge of the field in an enjoyable, easy-to-understand manner. All major construction systems, including light wood frame, mass timber, masonry, steel frame, light gauge steel, and reinforced concrete construction, are addressed. Now in its Seventh Edition, Fundamentals of Building Construction contains substantial revisions and updates. New illustrations and photographs reflect the latest practices and developments in the industry. Revised chapters address exterior wall systems and high-performance buildings, an updated and comprehensive discussion of building enclosure science, evolving tools for assessing environmental and health impacts of building materials, and more. New and exciting developments in mass timber construction are also included.
Year:
2019
Publisher:
John Wiley & Sons
Language:
english
Pages:
943
ISBN 10:
111945025X
ISBN 13:
9781119450252
File:
PDF, 311.86 MB
Download (pdf, 311.86 MB)

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Fundamentals of Building Construction

Fundamentals of
Building Construction
Materials and Methods

Seventh Edition

Edward Allen

and

Joseph Iano

Cover image: Stadium Place South Tower, Seattle, by ZGF Architects Photo by Joe Iano
Cover design: Wiley
This book is printed on acid-free paper. ♾
Copyright © 2019 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
Published simultaneously in Canada.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form
or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as
permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior
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Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:
Names: Allen, Edward, 1938- author. | Iano, Joseph, author.
Title: Fundamentals of building construction : materials and methods / Edward
Allen and Joseph Iano.
Description: Seventh edition. | Hoboken, New Jersey : Wiley, [2019] |
Includes bibliographical references and index. |
Identifiers: LCCN 2018061433 (print) | LCCN 2019000601 (ebook) | ISBN
9781119450245 (Adobe PDF) | ISBN 9781119450252 (ePub) | ISBN 9781119446194
(cloth : acid-free paper)
Subjects: LCSH: Building. | Building materials.
Classification: LCC TH145 (ebook) | LCC TH145 .A417 2019 (print) | DDC
690—dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018061433
Printed in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Contents
Preface to the Seventh Edition xi

1

Making Buildings 3

Learning to Build 4
Buildings and the Environment 4
■■ Other Sustainable Building Programs
and Standards 8
The Work of the Design Professional 12
The Work of the Construction Professional 20
Trends in the Delivery of Design and
Construction Services 25

■■ Sustainability and Foundations and
Sitework 41
Earthwork and Excavation 42
Foundations 50
Foundations as Building Enclosure 65
Sitework 72
Designing Foundations 75
Foundations and the Building Code 75

3

Wood

79

Trees 80
■■ Sustainability and Wood 84
Lumber 84
Wood Products 96
Plastic Lumber 102
Wood Panel Products 102
Protecting Wood from Decay and Fire 106
■■ Chemical Wood Preservative
Treatments 107
Wood Fasteners and Adhesives 109
■■ Wood Product Adhesives and
Formaldehyde 115
Prefabricated Wood Components 115

2

C A S E S T U DY

Foundations and
Sitework 33

121

French American School

Foundation Requirements 34
Earth Materials 35
v

vi /

Contents

■■ Sustainability and Wood Light Frame
Construction 156
Foundations for Wood Light Frame
Structures 156
Building the Frame 164
Variations on Wood Light Frame
Construction 199
■■ Preliminary Design of Wood Light
Frame Structures 202
Wood Light Frame Construction and the
Building Codes 202
Uniqueness of Wood Light Frame
Construction 204

6
4

Heavy Timber and Mass
Timber Construction 125

Types of Construction 126
■■ Sustainability and Heavy Timber and
Mass Timber Construction 129
Fire Resistance of Large Wood Members 131
■■ Calculating the Fire Resistance of
Wood Members 131
Traditional Heavy Timber Construction 132
Contemporary Heavy Timber
Construction 134
Mass Timber Construction 140
Wood–Concrete Composite Construction 143
Longer Spans in Heavy Timber and Mass
Timber 144
■■ Preliminary Design of Heavy Timber
and Mass Timber Structures 148

5

Wood Light Frame
Construction 151

History 153
Platform Frame

154

Exterior Finishes for
Wood Light Frame
Construction 211

Protection from the Weather 212
Roofing 213
Windows and Doors 220
■■ Paints and Coatings 224
Siding 228
Corner Boards and Exterior Trim 237
Sealing Exterior Joints 238
■■ Sustainability and Paints and Other
Architectural Coatings 240
Exterior Painting, Finish Grading, and
Landscaping 240
Exterior Construction 240

7

Interior Finishes for
Wood Light Frame
Construction 245

Completing the Building Enclosure 253
■■ Sustainability and Insulation
Materials for Wood Light Frame
Construction 262
Wall and Ceiling Finish 264
Millwork and Finish Carpentry 265

Contents

10

■■ Proportioning Fireplaces 266
■■ Proportioning Stairs 280
Flooring and Ceramic Tile Work 282
Finishing Touches 284

8

Brick Masonry

9

Masonry Wall
Construction 363

Types of Masonry Walls 364
■■ Preliminary Design of Loadbearing
Masonry Structures 372
Spanning Systems for Masonry Bearing Wall
Construction 372
Detailing Masonry Walls 376
Special Problems of Masonry
Construction 380
■■ Movement Joints in Buildings 382
Masonry Paving 388
Masonry and the Building Codes 389
Uniqueness of Masonry 389

289

History 290
Mortar 293
■■ Sustainability and Brick Masonry
Brick 296
Brick Masonry 304
Masonry Wall Construction 319

/ vii

296

Stone and Concrete
Masonry 329

Stone Masonry 330
■■ Sustainability and Stone and Concrete
Masonry 343
Concrete Masonry 348
Other Types of Masonry Units 358
Masonry Wall Construction 359

11

Steel Frame
Construction 395

History 396
The Material Steel 398
■■ Preliminary Design of Steel
Structures 401
Joining Steel Members 409

viii /

Contents

Details of Steel Framing 415
■■ Seismic Force Resisting Systems 421
The Construction Process 426
Fire Protection of Steel Framing 442
Longer Spans and Higher-Capacity Columns in
Steel 447
■■ Fabric Structures 454
■■ Sustainability and Steel Frame
Construction 458
Steel and the Building Codes 459
Uniqueness of Steel 459

12

Light Gauge Steel Frame
Construction 467

The Concept of Light Gauge Steel
Construction 468
■■ Sustainability and Light Gauge Steel
Framing 469
Light Gauge Steel Framing 470
Other Uses of Light Gauge Steel Framing 479
■■ Preliminary Design of Light Gauge
Steel Frame Structures 481
Insulating Light Gauge Steel Frame
Structures 481
Finishes for Light Gauge Steel Framing 482
Advantages and Disadvantages of Light Gauge
Steel Framing 482
Light Gauge Steel Framing and the Building
Codes 482
■■ Metals in Architecture 484
C A S E S T U DY

490

Camera Obscura at Mitchell Park,
Greenport, New York

13

Concrete
Construction 495

History 496
Cement and Concrete 497
■■ Sustainability and Concrete
Construction 500
Making and Placing Concrete 503
Formwork 507
Reinforcing 508
Concrete Creep 522
Prestressing 522
Concrete Standards 527
Innovations in Concrete 527

14

Sitecast Concrete
Framing Systems 533

Casting a Concrete Slab on Grade 535
Casting a Concrete Wall 540
Casting a Concrete Column 544
One-Way Floor and Roof Framing Systems 545
Two-Way Floor and Roof Framing Systems 555
Sitecast Posttensioned Framing Systems 561
Other Types of Sitecast Concrete 562
■■ Cutting Concrete, Stone, and
Masonry 568
Longer Spans in Sitecast Concrete 570
Designing Economical Sitecast Concrete
Buildings 572
■■ Preliminary Design of Sitecast
Concrete Structures 574
Sitecast Concrete and the Building Codes 575
Uniqueness of Sitecast Concrete 575

Contents

■■ Sustainability and the Building
Enclosure 629
Keeping Water Out 629
Controlling the Flow of Heat 634
Controlling Air Leakage 636
Controlling the Diffusion of Water Vapor
Sealing Joints in the Exterior Wall 641

17

15

Precast Concrete
Framing Systems 583

/ ix

638

Roofing 649

Low-Slope Roofs 651
■■ Sustainability and Roofing 656
Steep Roofs 671
Cool Roofs 684
■■ Dissimilar Metals and Galvanic
Corrosion 686
Green Roofs 688
Photovoltaic Systems 690
Roofing and the Building Codes 691

Precast, Prestressed Concrete Structural
Elements 586
■■ Preliminary Design of Precast
Concrete Structures 587
Assembly Concepts for Precast Concrete
Buildings 588
Manufacture of Precast Concrete Structural
Elements 589
Joining Precast Concrete Members 595
■■ Fastening to Concrete 596
Composite Precast/Sitecast Concrete
Construction 609
The Construction Process 609
■■ Sustainability and Precast Concrete
Framing Systems 610
Precast Concrete and the Building Codes 611
Uniqueness of Precast Concrete 611

16

Designing the Building
Enclosure 621

Functional Requirements of the Building
Enclosure 622

18

Glass and Glazing 695

History 696
The Material Glass 699
■■ Sustainability and Glass

700

x /

Contents

■■ Other Types of Glass 711
Glazing 712
Glass and Energy 721
Glass and the Building Codes 721
C A S E S T U DY

726

Skating Rink at Yerba Buena Gardens

19

Windows and Doors 731

Windows 732
■■ Plastics in Building Construction 739
■■ Sustainability and Windows and
Doors 745
Doors 745
Other Window and Door Requirements 752

20

Cladding with Masonry
and Concrete 759

Masonry Veneer Curtain Walls 760
Stone Curtain Walls 767
Precast Concrete Curtain Walls 771
Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems 774
C A S E S T U DY

778

Seattle University School of Law

21

Cladding with Metal
and Glass 783

Aluminum 784
■■ Sustainability and Cladding with
Metal and Glass 789
Aluminum and Glass Framing Systems 791
An Outside Glazed Curtain Wall
System 797
Double-Skin Facades 800
Sloped Glazing Systems 800
The Curtain Wall Design
Process 801
Metal Panel Cladding 801

22

Selecting Interior
Finishes 807

Installation of Mechanical and Electrical
Services 808
■■ Sustainability and Interior
Finishes 810
The Sequence of Interior Finishing
Operations 810
Selecting Interior Finishes 811
■■ Other Surface Flammability
Criteria 815
Long-Term Trends in Interior Finish
Systems 817

23

Interior Walls and
Partitions 821

Interior Walls and Fire Criteria 822
Partition Framing 823
■■ Sustainability and Gypsum and Other
Wall Covering Products 826
Plaster Partitions 827
Gypsum Board Partitions 837
■■ Plaster Ornament 838
Masonry Partitions 848
Wall and Partition Facings 848

24

Finish Ceilings and
Floors 855

Finish Ceilings 856
Types of Ceilings 857
■■ Sustainability and Finish Ceilings and
Floors 866
Finish Flooring 867
Types of Finish Flooring Materials 871

Appendix

884

Glossary 886
Index

917

Preface to the
S eventh E dition
First published over a quarter century ago, Fundamentals
of Building Construction: Materials and Methods has wrought
a revolution in building construction education. It made
a previously unpopular area of study not merely palatable
but vibrant and well liked. It has taken a practical, and
at times undervalued, body of knowledge and made it
widely recognized as centrally relevant to good building
design. It has replaced dry, unattractive books with a well-­
designed, readable volume that students value and keep
as a reference work. It was the first book in its field to be
evenhanded in its coverage and profusely and effectively
illustrated throughout. It was the first to release the
teacher from the burden of explaining everything in the
subject, thereby freeing class time for discussions, case
studies, field trips, and other enrichments.
Gaining a useful knowledge of the materials and
methods of building construction is crucial and a
necessity for the student of architecture, engineering,
or construction, but it can be a daunting task. The field
is broad, diverse, complex, and under constant change,
such that it seems impossible to ever master. This book
has gained its preeminent status as an academic text in
this field because of its logical organization, outstanding
illustrations, clear writing, and distinctive philosophy.
It is integrative, presenting a unified narrative that
interweaves issues of building science, material properties,
building craft, and legal constraints so that the reader
does not have to refer to separate parts of the book to
make the connections among these issues. The elements
of building construction are presented as whole working
systems rather than disconnected parts.
It is selective rather than comprehensive. This makes
it easy and pleasant for the reader to gain a working
knowledge that can later be expanded, without piling
on so many facts and figures that the reader becomes
discouraged from learning about construction. This book
deals, as its subtitle indicates, with fundamentals.
It is empowering because it is structured around
the process of designing and constructing buildings.

The student of architecture will find that it features
the design possibilities of the various materials and
systems. Students interested in building or managing the
construction process will find its organization around
construction sequences to be invaluable.
This seventh edition incorporates extensive updates
and revisions. Chapter 4, now entitled “Heavy Timber
and Mass Timber Construction,” covers new and exciting
developments in the design and construction of tall wood
buildings. We discuss mass timber construction methods,
upcoming building code provisions that will regulate
this new construction type, and more. A rewritten
chapter, now titled “Designing the Building Enclosure,”
comprehensively addresses in one place all aspects of
building enclosure (“building envelope”) science, making
this important material easier for students to access
and instructors to teach. In Chapter 1, our coverage of
sustainable building has kept pace with this evolving topic,
including, for example, an expanded discussion of the
increasingly sophisticated tools available for assessing the
environmental and health impacts of building materials.
Throughout the remainder of the text the reader will find
extensive updates in content, along with new illustrations
and photographs, reflecting the latest practices and
developments in the field.
In this edition, a special thank-you goes to Fast + Epp
engineers, and in particular, Davin Lewis, P.E., of that
firm, for their generous advice and assistance. Thank you
as well to David Barber of Arup and Colin Shane of RDH
for their efforts. Lastly, we offer our thanks to the many
teachers, students, and professionals who have purchased
and used this work. Your satisfaction is our greatest reward,
your loyalty is greatly appreciated, and your comments are
always welcome!
—E.A., Weyland, Massachusetts
—J.I., Seattle, Washington

xi

Additional resources for instructors and students are readily available
via the companion website: www.wiley.com/go/allenfbc7e.
Icons throughout the text indicate SketchUp exercises and animations
which are also available for download on the companion website.

Fundamentals of Building Construction

1
Making Buildings
•• Learning to Build
•• Buildings and the
Environment

Sustainable Buildings
Sustainable Building Materials
The Impact of Sustainable Buildings

•• The Work of the Design
Professional

Environmental and Land Use
Regulations
Building Codes
Other Constraints
Construction Standards and
Information Resources

•• The Work of the

Construction Professional
Providing Construction Services
Construction Scheduling
Managing Construction

•• Trends in the Delivery
of Design and
Construction Services

Fostering Collaboration
Improving Productivity
Advances in Information Technology
O

t he r

S

u s t a i n a bl e
a n d

S

Bu

il d in g

P

ro gra m s

t a n d a rd s

An ironworker connects a steel wide-flange beam to a column.
(Courtesy of Bethlehem Steel Company.)

3

W

e build to satisfy our practical and spiritual needs. Not all
human activity can take place outdoors. We need shelter from
sun, wind, rain, and snow. We need dry, level surfaces for our
activities. On these sheltered surfaces, we need air that is warmer
or cooler, more or less humid, than outdoors. We need less light
by day, and more by night, than is offered by the natural world.
We need services that provide energy, communications, water,
and disposal of wastes. And we need structures that house and
express our cultural and spiritual aspirations. So, we gather
materials and assemble them into the constructions we call
buildings in an attempt to satisfy these needs.

Learning to Build
This book is about the materials
and methods of building construction. Throughout it, alternative ways
of building are described: different
structural systems, different methods
of building enclosure, and different
interior finishes, each with characteristics that distinguish it from the alternatives. Sometimes a choice between
alternatives is based on visual characteristics, such as when a particular finish material is preferred for
its surface character and beauty, or
when a material such as concrete is
selected over steel for its massiveness
and plasticity. Sometimes choices are
purely technical, such as the selection of a membrane that is impervious to water for a low-slope roof, or
when a particular method of masonry
wall reinforcing is selected to provide resistance to earthquake forces.
Choices of materials and building
systems may be made with the goal of
minimizing environmental impacts
or they may be dictated by regulations
intended to protect public safety and
welfare. Construction costs, energy
efficiency, durability, and many other
factors come into consideration.
This textbook will start you down
the path of becoming skilled at making such choices. But it is incumbent
upon the student to go beyond what
is provided here—to other books,
product literature, trade publications,
professional periodicals, websites, and

4

especially the design office, workshop,
and building site. One must learn how
materials feel in the hand; how they
look in a building; how they are manufactured, worked, and put in place;
how they perform in service; how they
age with time. One must become familiar with the people and organizations
that produce buildings—the architects, engineers, product manufacturers, materials suppliers, contractors,
subcontractors, workers, inspectors,
managers, and building owners—and
learn to understand their respective
methods, problems, and points of
view. There is no other way to gain the
breadth of information and experience necessary than to get involved in
the art and practice of building.
In the meantime, this long and
hopefully enjoyable process of education in the materials and methods of
building construction can begin with
the information presented within
this text.

Go into the field where
you can see the machines and
methods at work that make the
modern buildings, or stay in
construction direct and simple
until you can work naturally
into building-­design from the
nature of construction.
—Frank Lloyd Wright, “To the Young
Man in Architecture,” 1931

Buildings and the
Environment
In constructing and occupying buildings, we expend large quantities of
the earth’s resources and generate a
significant portion of its environmental pollution. The construction and
operation of buildings account for as
much as a third of the world’s energy
consumption and carbon dioxide (a
global warming gas) emissions. In the
United States, building operation and
construction consume between a third
and a half of the country’s energy, 70
percent of its electricity, 12 percent
of its potable water, 30 percent of its
raw materials, and a third of its solid
waste. And these same activities are
responsible for as much as 45 percent
of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions. Buildings are also significant
emitters of particulates and other air
pollutants. In short, building construction and operation contribute to
many forms of environmental degradation and place a significant burden
on the earth’s resources.
In 1987, the United Nations report
“Our Common Future” provided a
concise definition of sustainable development: building to meet the needs of
the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. But, by
consuming irreplaceable fossil fuels
and other nonrenewable resources,
by building in sprawling patterns
on prime agricultural land, by using
destructive land development and forestry practices that degrade natural
ecosystems, by generating substances
that pollute water, soil, and air, and by
generating copious amounts of waste
materials that are eventually incinerated or buried in the earth, we have
been building in a manner that will
make it increasingly difficult for our
children and their children to meet
their needs for communities, buildings, and healthy lives. Sustainable
building construction demands a
more symbiotic relationship between
people, buildings, communities, and

Buildings and the Environment

/ 5

Figure 1.1
The Bullitt Center, Seattle, designed by
architect Miller Hull Partnership, was
the first commercial building to achieve
Living Building certification in 2015.
This building generates as much as 60
percent more electricity than it uses and
consumes less than one-quarter of the
energy of a typical U.S. office building.
(Photo by Joe Iano.)

the natural environment. Sustainable
buildings—in both their construction
and operation—must use less energy,
consume fewer resources, cause less
pollution of the air, water, and soil,
reduce waste, discourage wasteful
land development practices, and contribute to the protection of natural
environments and ecosystems.
Over the decades since the release
of “Our Common Future,” the practice of sustainable design and construction, also called green building,
has grown. The understanding of the
interplay between buildings and the
environment has deepened, and standards for assessing the sustainability of
materials and construction practices
have grown in number and matured
in approach. The definition of sustainability has expanded to address the
human health impacts of buildings
and to include issues of social and economic fairness. And the expectations
for the performance of sustainable
buildings have, in some cases, moved
from doing less environmental harm
to doing no harm or even undoing
previous such harms. That is, a sustainable building can be designed to
consume no energy or even generate
excess energy, cause no air pollution
or even help clean the atmosphere,
and so on (Figure 1.1).
Also during this time, interest in
and adoption of green building has
broadened among public agencies,
private owners, and the users of buildings. The design and construction
industry has become more skillful
at applying green practices, and sustainable building has become more

integrated with mainstream practice.
As a result, sustainable building performance continues to improve while
the premium in cost and effort to
design and construct such buildings
continues to decline.

Sustainable Buildings
Sustainable building requires a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to
design and construction. For example, one project goal may be to provide natural daylighting, as a means
to improving productivity and the
well-being of building occupants.
Good daylighting design reduces
reliance on electric lighting. This, in
turn, reduces electricity consumption and excess heat generated by
the electric lights. This, then, reduces
cooling loads and allows the building’s cooling system to be reduced in
capacity and physical size. Daylighting
design can also influence building

siting and shape, the arrangement and
sizes of spaces within the building, and
the building structure and enclosure.
As a result of the decision to provide
natural daylighting, many building systems are impacted, and many opportunities for cost savings, reductions in
energy consumption, improvements
in occupant health and comfort, and
lessening of environmental impacts
are created.
This kind of design thinking,
called integrated design process (IDP), is
a whole-systems way of working that
breaks down traditional boundaries
between disciplines and parts of the
work. All key members of the design,
construction, and owner groups are
brought together. A clear vision and
goals are established. The process
spans from the earliest conceptual
phase through design, construction,
and post-­
occupancy (the operational
phase once the project is completed).
And a collaborative, interdisciplinary

6 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

LEED for New Construction and Major Renovation
Project Checklist

Project Name
Date
Y

?

N
Credit 1

Integrative Process

Location and Transportation

Possible Points:

16

Credit 1

LEED for Neighborhood Development Location

16

Credit 2

Sensitive Land Protection

1

Credit 3

High Priority Site

2

Credit 4

Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses

5

Credit 5

Access to Quality Transit

5

Credit 6

Bicycle Facilities

1

Credit 7

Reduced Parking Footprint

1

Credit 8

Green Vehicles

1

Sustainable Sites
Y

1

Possible Points:

10

Prereq 1

Construction Activity Pollution Prevention

Credit 1

Site Assessment

1

Credit 2

Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat

2

Credit 3

Open Space

1

Credit 4

Rainwater Management

3

Credit 5

Heat Island Reduction

2

Credit 6

Light Pollution Reduction

1

Water Efficiency

Required

Possible Points:

11

Y

Prereq 1

Outdoor Water Use Reduction

Required

Y

Prereq 2

Indoor Water Use Reduction

Required

Y

Prereq 3

Building-Level Water Metering

Required

Credit 1

Outdoor Water Use Reduction

2

Credit 2

Indoor Water Use Reduction

6

Credit 3

Cooling Tower Water Use

2

Credit 4

Water Metering

1

Energy and Atmosphere

Possible Points:

33

Y

Prereq 1

Fundamental Commissioning and Verification

Required

Y

Prereq 2

Minimum Energy Performance

Required

Y

Prereq 3

Building-Level Energy Metering

Required

Y

Prereq 4

Fundamental Refrigerant Management

Required

Credit 1

Enhanced Commissioning

6

Credit 2

Optimize Energy Performance

18

Credit 3

Advanced Energy Metering

1

Credit 4

Demand Response

2

Credit 5

Renewable Energy Production

3

Credit 6

Enhanced Refrigerant Management

1

Credit 7

Green Power and Carbon Offsets

2

Buildings and the Environment

Materials and Resources

/ 7

Possible Points: 13

Y

Prereq 1

Storage and Collection of Recyclables

Required

Y

Prereq 2

Construction and Demolition Waste Management Planning

Required

Credit 1

Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction

5

Credit 2

Building Product Disclosure and Optimization — Environmental Product Declarations

2

Credit 3

Building Product Disclosure and Optimization — Sourcing of Raw Materials

2

Credit 4

Building Product Disclosure and Optimization — Material Ingredients

2

Credit 5

Construction and Demolition Waste Management

2

Indoor Environmental Quality

Possible Points: 16

Y

Prereq 1

Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance

Required

Y

Prereq 2

Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control

Required

Credit 1

Enhanced Indoor Air Quality Strategies

2

Credit 2

Low-Emitting Interiors

3

Credit 3

Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan

1

Credit 4

Indoor Air Quality Assessment

2

Credit 5

Thermal Comfort

1

Credit 6

Interior Lighting

2

Credit 7

Daylight

3

Credit 8

Quality Views

1

Credit 9

Acoustic Performance

1

Innovation

Possible Points: 6

Credit 1

Innovation

5

Credit 2

LEED Accredited Professional

1

Regional Priority

Possible Points: 4

Credit 1

Regional Priority: Specific Credit

1

Credit 2

Regional Priority: Specific Credit

1

Credit 3

Regional Priority: Specific Credit

1

Credit 4

Regional Priority: Specific Credit

1

Total

Possible Points: 110
Certified 40 to 49 points

Silver 50 to 59 points

Gold 60 to 79 points

Platinum 80 to 110

Figure 1.2
The LEED v4 New Construction and Major Renovation Project Checklist. (Courtesy of U.S. Green Building Council.)

approach is used that maximizes opportunities for synergies and innovation.
In the United States, the most
widely applied program for building
sustainability is the U.S. Green Building
Council’s Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design, or LEED®, rating
system. LEED for New Construction
and Major Renovation groups sustainability goals into eight broad categories addressing areas such as site
selection and development, energy

efficiency, conservation of materials
and resources, and others (Figure 1.2).
Within each category are mandatory
prerequisites and optional credits that
contribute points toward a building’s
overall rating. During the design and
construction process, the achievement of prerequisites and credits is
documented and submitted to the
Green Building Council, which then
makes the certification of the project’s
LEED compliance after construction

is completed. Depending on the point
total achieved, four levels of sustainable performance are recognized,
including, in order of increasing performance, Certified, Silver, Gold, and
Platinum. The LEED rating system
is itself voluntary. It is used when
adopted by a private building owner or
mandated by a public building agency.
The Green Building Council
also provides rating systems for existing buildings, commercial interior

8 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

buildouts, building core and shell
construction, schools, retail buildings,
healthcare facilities, homes, neighborhood developments, building
operations and maintenance, and
other project types. Through affiliated organizations, LEED is also
implemented in Canada and other
countries.
The International Living Future
Institute’s Living Building Challenge™
sets a higher standard for sustainable
building. This program aspires to
move past making buildings that do
less environmental harm to those that
do no harm or even improve the natural environment and our well-being.
For example, a building constructed
and operated to this standard will
(when considered on an annualized
basis) generate all its own energy
from on-site renewable resources,
consume no fresh water, and have no
greenhouse gas emissions.
The Living Building Challenge
contains seven categories, called
Petals, including Place, Water,
Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty. Within
these are 20 Imperatives, such as net
zero energy, appropriate sourcing
of materials, embodied carbon footprint, and more. There are three
certification levels: Living Building
Certification meets all imperatives

appropriate to the building type,
Petal Certification signifies a lower
level of partial compliance, and
Zero Energy Certification applies to
projects that generate all energy on
site without reliance on combustion
processes. Certification occurs after
a building has been operational for
at least one year, when its real-world
performance can be assessed. The
Living Building Challenge can also be
applied to other types of construction
and development, such as neighborhoods, landscape and infrastructure
projects, and building renovations.

Sustainable Building Materials
Describing Sustainable Materials

Designing
sustainable
buildings
requires access to information about
the environmental and health impacts
of the materials used in their construction. For example, when selecting a
material, the designer might ask: Does
its manufacture depend on the extraction of nonrenewable resources, or
is it made from recycled or rapidly
renewable materials? Is additional
energy required to ship this material
from a distant location, or can it be
obtained from local sources? Does the
material contain toxic ingredients or
generate unhealthful emissions, or is
it free of such health concerns?

Information about building materials and products can come from different sources and take various forms:
• It may be self-reported by the product manufacturer, or it may come
from an independent, trusted third
party.
• It may take the form of a neutrally
expressed, transparent disclosure of
material attributes, or it may gauge the
merits (or demerits) of such attributes
and provide a rating of the material’s
sustainability.
• It may address a limited scope
of concerns, or it may describe the
full range of impacts of a material
throughout its life cycle from raw
materials extraction to end-of-life disposal or repurposing.
The industry-standard Product
Data Sheet (PDS) is a simple example of manufacturer self-reported
information. The PDS provides a
description of a product, its material makeup and physical properties,
and guidelines for use. It may also
include information relevant to sustainability concerns, although this is
not its primary purpose. The scope
of information provided in a PDS
is left entirely to the manufacturer,
and the information is not independently verified.

Other Sustainable Building Programs and Standards
There are many programs and standards offering alternative pathways to sustainable building construction,
suitable to various building types, objectives, and construction markets. For example, the U.S. National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building
Standard addresses both single-family and multi-unit
residential building types. The International Green Construction Code is a model code that puts green building
standards into a legally enforceable format that is useful
for municipalities that wish to mandate sustainable construction. CALGreen is the sustainable construction code
for the state of California. Green Globes certifies new
and existing sustainably designed buildings in the United
States and Canada. The Building Research Establishment

Environmental Assessment Method, or BREEAM, does
the same for buildings constructed in the United Kingdom and other European countries. The Passive House
Standard, implemented in many places around the
globe, emphasizes dramatic reductions in the energy consumption of residential and commercial buildings. The
International WELL Building Institute’s WELL Building
Standard certifies building construction with regard to
human health and well-being criteria. In addition, professional organizations and government agencies offer
programs to support sustainable building, such as the
Architecture 2030 Challenge and ASHRAE’s Standard
for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings, to
name just two.

Buildings and the Environment

Environmental labels, also called
ecolabels, are third-party environmental ratings. An example is the Green
Seal Standard GS-11 for Paints and
Coatings. Green Seal is an independent organization that develops
sustainability standards and certifications. For a paint product to be certified to its standard, the product must
meet minimum performance criteria, be free of toxic ingredients, and
not exceed content limits on volatile
organic compounds (VOCs). (VOCs are
air polluting and unhealthful chemical compounds that are released in
particularly heavy concentrations
from wet-applied products as they
dry.) By relying on this certification, the designer can confidently
make environmentally responsible
choices, without having to perform
in-depth investigations of individual products.
Product disclosures are another
form of reporting that provide transparent information about material
ingredients and manufacturer practices. For example, the International
Living Future Institute’s Declare
label describes a product’s origins,
its material ingredients, and end-­of-­
life disposal or recycling options. By
providing this information in a standardized format, designers can more
easily compare the relative attributes
of alternative materials or products
and make better-informed choices.
Like a Product Data Sheet, the
Declare label is self-reported by manufacturers, albeit with an option for
independent auditing to verify accuracy. Unlike ecolabels, product disclosures do not rate the sustainability
of the product—it remains up to the
user to interpret the information provided for this purpose.
Environmental Product Declarations
(EPDs) describe the full, life-cycle
environmental impacts of building
materials and products. An example
is the Western Red Cedar Lumber
Association’s Typical Red Cedar
Decking Product Declaration. This
10-page document describes this
product’s material characteristics and

quantifies—in some detail—environmental impacts throughout its
life. For example, for every 1 square
meter (11 square feet) of decking
harvested, milled, trucked to the construction site, installed, maintained
through its useful life, and then disposed of at the end of its life, this declaration reports the following:
• 73 MJ (70,000 BTU) of nonrenewable energy consumed
• 6.8 kg (15 pounds) of CO2 equivalent global warming potential
• 86 L (23 gallons) of fresh water
consumed
Additional information in the
report quantifies materials consumption, smog production, ozone
depletion, acidification and eutrophication potential, waste materials
generated, and more. Information
about the standards to which this
information is prepared and independent verification of the results
are also included. While this document does not provide an environmental rating, it can be used, for
example, in comparing Western red
cedar to some other material, such as
recycled plastic decking, to assess the
relative environmental consequences
of choosing one of these materials
over the other.
In relative infancy are Environmental Building Declarations, or EBDs.
As life-cycle data become available
for the majority of materials and
products used in construction, the
same type of life-cycle analysis can be
applied to whole buildings, allowing
the environmental impacts of alternative building designs to be meaningfully compared.
Much of the environmental reporting provided by product manufacturers
is developed according to the international series of standards designated
ISO 14020, which establish guidelines
for the development and use of environmental labels and declarations. By
relying on information produced to
common, accepted standards, designers
and builders can have the greatest

/ 9

confidence in the consistency and relevance of the information provided.

The Material Life Cycle and
Embodied Impacts

Preparation of environmental prod­
uct and building declarations dep­
ends on the accounting of the
environmental impacts of materials
and products throughout their life
cycles. This begins with raw materials extraction, continues with manufacture, construction, and use, and
finishes at end of life when a material is disposed of or put to a new
use. Such a life-cycle analysis (LCA),
or cradle-to-grave analysis, is one of
the most comprehensive methods
for quantifying the environmental
impacts associated with materials and
buildings. Through each life-cycle
stage, impacts are tallied: How much
fossil fuel, electricity, water, and other
materials are consumed? How much
solid waste, global warming gasses,
and other air and water pollutants
are generated? The total of all these
impacts describes the environmental
footprint of the material (Figure 1.3).
The concept of embodied
energy also derives from life-cycle
analysis. Embodied energy is the sum
total of energy consumed during a
material’s life cycle. Because energy
consumption frequently correlates
with the consumption of nonrenewable resources and the generation
of greenhouse gasses, it is easy to
assume that materials with lower
embodied energy are better for the
environment than others with greater
embodied energy. However, in making such comparisons, it is important
to be sure that the comparison is
functionally equivalent. For example,
a material with an embodied energy
of 10,000 BTU per pound is not necessarily environmentally preferable to
another with an embodied energy of
15,000 BTU per pound, if 2 pounds
of the prior material are required
to accomplish the same purpose as
1 pound of the latter. The types of
energy consumed for each material,
such as fossil, nuclear, or renewable,

10 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

Figure 1.3

Western Red
Cedar Decking
Life Cycle
Extraction
Construction of
logging roads
Operation of
logging
equipment
Felling of trees
Delimbing
Log transport to
mill
Manufacture or
Processing
Log storage
Sorting
Debarking
Sawing
Seasoning
Planing
Packaging
Transportation
Shipping to
construction site
Installation
Sawing
Nailing
Finishing
Disposal of cutoffs
and waste
Use and
Maintenance
Cleaning
Refinishing
Repair

Environmental
Impacts
Fossil fuel
Nuclear energy
Renewable
energy
Biomass energy
Fresh water
Ancillary
materials

Nonhazardous
waste
materials
Hazardous
waste
materials
Global warming
Acidification
Eutrophication
Smog
Ozone

Disposal or
Recycling
Removal
Transport
Disposal in landfill

should also be considered, as impacts
differ from one energy source to
another.
Embodied energy and other
life-cycle effects may sometimes be
calculated for only a part of the material life cycle. A cradle-to-gate analysis begins with materials extraction
but extends only as far as when the
material leaves the factory, excluding
the effects of transportation to the
building site, installation, use, maintenance, and disposal or recycling.

Life-cycle analysis of Western red cedar decking. The underlined life-cycle stages
(Extraction, Manufacture or Processing, etc.) are applicable to any building
construction material LCA. The activities listed under each stage here are specific to
the example of Western red cedar decking. For other materials, other activities would
be listed. The right-hand column lists the types of environmental impacts associated
with this material, both resources consumed (such as energy and water) and pollutants
and wastes emitted (such as global warming gasses and nonhazardous waste). Though
not included here, the LCA also quantifies these impacts so that one material can be
readily compared with another.

Though less comprehensive, such
analyses can still provide a useful basis
for comparison between products.
For example, for many materials,
the difference in embodied energy
between a cradle-to-grave and cradle-­
to-­gate analysis is small, as most of the
energy expenditure occurs prior to
the material’s installation, use, and
eventual disposal.
The concept of embodied effects
can also be applied to other measured inputs or outputs from a life-­
cycle analysis. For example, embodied
water refers to the fresh water consumed as a consequence of building
with a particular material.
While life-cycle analysis represents the most generally comprehensive materials assessment method
currently available, it does not necessarily address all impacts arising from
the use of a material or product. LCA
of wood products, for example, does
not capture the loss of biodiversity,
decreased water quality, or soil erosion caused by poor forestry practices. In this case, these concerns
are better addressed by sustainable
forestry certification programs. Or,
although global warming potential
is quantified in a material environmental product declaration, the
ultimate consequences of that effect
for ecosystems, wildlife populations,
and human well-being are not fully
described.

Health Impacts of
Building Materials

Much like the sources of information
available for the assessment of material
environmental impacts, information

useful to understanding the human
health-related impacts of materials
and products can also be provided in
various formats.
Similar to environmental product
declarations, health product declarations
(HPDs) may be prepared by the product manufacturer or an independent
agency. The standard for creating
HPDs is defined by the HPD Collaborative, an independent organization with representation from many
construction industry stakeholders.
HPDs provide reliable and consistent
information about material ingredients and associated human and environmental health hazards. They list
the material contents of the product
being reported and indicate associated hazards, such as the presence
of persistent bio-accumulative toxic
compounds, carcinogens, respiratory irritants, neurotoxins, and more.
Like EPDs, HPDs are not a certification or rating tool—that is, they do
not, in themselves, assess the healthfulness of a product. They do, however, provide important information
in a standard format that can be used
to make health-related comparisons.

Other Sustainable Material
Attributes

Products with a high recycled materials
content help to divert waste materials
that would otherwise be disposed of
in landfills or by incineration. Recycled content can be distinguished as
either preconsumer or postconsumer.
Preconsumer recycled materials originate as byproducts of manufacturing
processes. For example, when a glass
manufacturer reclaims broken glass

Buildings and the Environment

during its manufacture and reprocesses this waste into new glass, this is
preconsumer recycled waste. Postconsumer recycled materials are generated
by end users of a material. A gypsum
board manufacturer recycling used
newsprint into paper facing for its
board products is an example of postconsumer recycled wasted. When
assessing recycled content in the
LEED system, preconsumer waste
is counted at only half of its weight
or cost, while postconsumer waste is
counted at its full value.
Bio-based materials are produced
by agricultural or animal biological
processes. Examples include cornstarch derived from grain and used
as an ingredient in the manufacture
of gypsum wallboard, or resins made
from wood lignin, starch, or other
plant proteins used as substitutes for
traditional petroleum-derived resins
in the manufacture of composite
wood products. Bio-based materials
are biodegradable or compostable,
and carbon-neutral (meaning they
have little if any impact on global
warming). Their production can contribute to employment in rural areas.
And when cultivated and harvested
in a sustainable manner, they are a
renewable resource that can reduce
dependence on irreplaceable fossil
fuels. However, the production of bio-­
based materials occupies arable land
and requires fresh water, fertilizer or
feedstock, and energy. Determining
the potential benefit of a bio-based
material requires analysis of the environmental impacts throughout the
material’s life cycle and comparing
those to the impacts of alternative
materials.
Some bio-based materials are rapidly renewable, that is, they are grown
and harvested in a relatively short time
span. LEED defines rapidly renewable materials as those harvested
within a 10-year or shorter cycle.
Regional, or locally sourced, materials are produced near the construction site. Relying on locally sourced
materials reduces energy consumption and emissions associated with

materials transportation. And it contributes to the economic well-being
of the community in which the
building is being constructed. LEED
defines regional materials as those
extracted, manufactured, and purchased within 100 miles (160 km) of
the construction site.

Materials Assessment Within
Sustainable Building Programs

Within LEED, the Living Building
Challenge, and other sustainable
building programs, material attributes can be evaluated in relation to a
range of environmental, health, and
social impact considerations.
Energy performance. Appropriate
materials choices and design can
reduce heat losses through the
building enclosure, moderate
peak heating and cooling loads,
and support passive heating and
cooling strategies, all of which
can contribute to reductions in
building energy use.
Building and material life-cycle impacts.
Adaptive reuse of existing buildings, salvaging materials from existing buildings for use in new ones,
and design of new structures for
future disassembly and materials
repurposing are ways to reduce the
demand for new raw materials and
reduce the volume of waste going
to landfills or incineration.
Life-cycle analysis reveals the fullest
range of environmental impacts
and embodied attributes of materials used in building construction. As the energy required to
operate buildings continues to
decrease, embodied energy and
global warming potential of materials themselves are becoming a
larger share of a building’s energy
consumption and global warming
profile, and increasingly important
targets for continued reductions in
these measures.
Material and production attributes.
Transparently disclosing material ingredients, recycled content,

/ 11

rapidly renewable or bio-based
materials content, and the geographic source of raw materials
encourages the selection of products that reduce environmental
impacts. The Declare label, previously discussed, is one such
example of a materials disclosure.
Another is the Cradle to Cradle
Products Innovation Institute’s
Cradle to Cradle Certification,
which provides information about
material ingredients, reutilization,
and environmental impacts.
Unhealthy materials and emissions.
Health-related disclosures can
identify material ingredients or
compounds used in manufacture
that are hazardous to humans or
the environment. Health Product
Declarations provide transparent
disclosure, but without rating. The
Living Building Challenge Red List
identifies materials to be excluded
from Living Buildings because
these materials are severely polluting, bio-accumulating, or harmful
to factory workers, construction
workers, or building occupants.
Coatings, sealants, adhesives, wood
composites, insulation materials,
wall and floor coverings, ceiling
materials, and furniture are just
some of the potential sources of
chemical air pollutants that can be
harmful to construction workers or
building occupants. For wet-applied
materials, in which the majority of
VOC emissions occur shortly after
the product is installed, the chemical VOC content is limited and may
be self-reported by the manufacturer or established by third-­party
certification. For broader, general
emissions compliance of materials
and products, third-party testing
is required by both LEED and the
Living Building Challenge.
Responsible industry practices and
social impacts. Manufacturers may
self-report or provide independently verified information about
raw materials extraction, land
use, labor practices, community

12 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

relations,
and
manufacturing
processes. For example, the Forest
Stewardship Council certifies sustainable forestry and timber harvesting operations. The Natural
Stone Council’s 373 Sustainability
Assessment for Natural Dimension
Stone does the same for sustainable
quarrying and production of stone.
The International Living Future
Institute’s JUST program provides a format for product manufacturers to disclose information
about social justice practices,
such as supportive employee policies, local community support,
and socially responsible activities.
LEED also recognizes company
efforts to address local or regional
social and economic priorities.

And, while many green buildings do
outperform conventional buildings,
a significant number also underperform expectations.
Building commissioning (abbreviated Cx) is a process used to ensure
that performance expectations are
realized in finished buildings. Commissioning begins with the definition of performance objectives at the
start of design. As design progresses,
these objectives are used to guide
decision-making and review progress
at interim milestones. Close to the
end of construction, actual performance is verified through on-site testing. Finally, operational guidance is
provided to ensure that the finished,
occupied building will continue to
perform as intended. Building commissioning is traditionally associated
with the testing and verification of
The Impact of
heating, ventilating, and air condiSustainable Buildings
tioning systems in new buildings.
Sustainable building practice is pro- With sustainable design, the emphaducing measurable, positive results sis is on integrated, whole-building
in building performance. Post-­ performance, addressing a broader
occupancy evaluations of U.S. build- range of building systems and objecings constructed to LEED standards tives. An effective, fully documented
show reductions in energy consump- commissioning process is a prereqtion and greenhouse gas emissions uisite to achieving LEED certificain the range of 25 to 35 percent in tion. Under the Living Building
comparison to national averages. Challenge, a full year of operational
Additional improvements also are data, showing successful compliance
with design and performance objecseen in such areas as reduced water
consumption, lowered operating tives, must be collected before Living
Building certification is awarded.
costs, increased occupant satisfaction, higher property values, and
more. Sustainable building also creates new challenges. New or refor- The Work of the
mulated materials may prove to be Design Professional
less durable than those they replace.
Innovative products from unique A building begins as an idea in somesources may be difficult to source or one’s mind, a desire for new and
more costly. Or inexperience with
ample accommodations for a family,
green building technologies may many families, an organization, or an
lead to design or construction errors. enterprise. For any but the smallest
Ensuring that sustainable buildings buildings, the next step for the owner
meet their performance expecta- of the prospective building is to
tions is another important challenge. engage the services of building design
While average performance, as noted professionals. An architect helps to
above, exceeds that of conventional organize the owner’s ideas about
buildings, it is also true that the per- the new building while various engiformance of individual buildings
neering specialists work out concepts
deviate greatly from these averages. and details of foundations, structural

support, and mechanical, electrical,
and communications services.

The architect should
have construction at least as
much at his fingers’ ends as a
thinker his grammar.
—Le Corbusier, Towards a New
Architecture, 1927

This team of designers, working
with the owner, then develops the
scheme for the building in progressively finer degrees of detail. Drawings, primarily graphic in content,
and specifications, mostly written, are
produced by the architect/engineer
team to describe how the building is
to be made and of what. These drawings and specifications, collectively
known as the construction documents,
are submitted to the local government building authorities, where they
are checked for conformance with
various codes and regulations before
a permit is issued to build. A general
contractor is selected, who then plans
the construction work in detail. Once
construction begins, the general contractor oversees the construction
process and hires the subcontractors
who carry out many portions of the
work, while the building inspector,
architect, and engineering consultants observe the work at intervals to
be sure that it is completed according
to plan. Finally, construction is finished, the building is made ready for
occupancy, and that original idea—
which may have been initiated years
earlier—is realized.

Environmental and Land Use
Regulations
For many buildings, the first step in
the legal approval process may be an
environmental impact assessment.
Concerns related to both the natural and built environments may be
addressed, including, for example,
potential impacts on water resources,

The Work of the Design Professional

natural habitats, protected species,
air and water pollution, municipal
water and sewer systems, transportation systems, urban open space,
community facilities, neighborhood
character, and more. Impact assessments identify potentially undesirable outcomes, create opportunities
for stakeholder input, and provide a
legal framework for proposing mitigating measures. The scope of issues
addressed and level of effort required
to complete an impact assessment
can vary dramatically depending on
the size of the project and complexity
of the issues involved.
In many locations, buildings must
also comply with land use regulations
called zoning ordinances. These govern
the types of activities that may take
place on a given piece of land, how
much of the land may be covered by
buildings, how far buildings must be
set back from property lines, how many
parking spaces must be provided, how
large a total floor area may be constructed, and how tall the buildings
may be. In larger cities, zoning ordinances may include fire zones with
special fire-­
protection requirements,
neighborhood enterprise districts with
economic incentives for new construction or revitalization of existing buildings, or other special conditions.

Building Codes
Local governments also regulate
building activity by means of building
codes. Building codes protect public
health and safety by setting minimum
standards for construction quality,
structural integrity, durability, livability, and especially fire safety.
Most building codes in North
America are based on one of several model codes, standardized codes
that local jurisdictions may adopt for
their own use as a simpler alternative
to writing their own. In Canada, the
National Building Code of Canada is published by the Canadian Commission
on Building and Fire Codes. It is the
basis for most of that country’s provincial and municipal building codes.

In the United States, the International
Building Code® (IBC) is the predominant model code. This code is published by the International Code
Council, a private, nonprofit organization whose membership consists of
local code officials from throughout
the country. It is the basis for most
U.S. building codes enacted at the
state, county, and municipal levels.
Building code–related information in this book is based on the IBC.
The IBC begins by defining occupancies for buildings as follows:

/ 13

• U Utility and Miscellaneous: agricultural buildings, carports, greenhouses, sheds, stables, fences, tanks,
towers, and other secondary buildings

The IBC’s purpose in describing
occupancies is to identify different degrees of life-safety hazard in
buildings. For example, a hospital,
in which patients are bedridden and
cannot escape a fire without assistance from others, must be designed
to a higher standard of safety than
a hotel or motel occupied by able-­
bodied residents. A large retail mall
• A-1 through A-5 Assembly: public building, containing large quantities
theaters, auditoriums, lecture halls,
of combustible materials and occunightclubs, restaurants, houses of pied by many users varying in age and
worship, libraries, museums, sports physical capacity, must be designed to
arenas, and so on
a higher standard than a warehouse
storing noncombustible materials and
• B Business: banks, administrative
occupied by relatively few people who
offices, college and university buildings, post offices, banks, professional are all familiar with their surroundings. An elementary school requires
offices, and the like
more protection for its occupants
• E Educational: schools for grades
K through 12 and some types of child than a university building. A theater,
with patrons densely packed in dark
day-care facilities
spaces, requires more attention to
• F-1 and F-2 Factory Industrial:
emergency exits than does an ordiindustrial processes using moderate-­ nary office building.
flammability and noncombustible
These occupancy classifications
materials, respectively
are followed by a set of definitions for
• H-1 through H-5 High Hazard:
construction types. At the head of this
occupancies in which toxic, corrosive,
list is Type I construction, made with
highly flammable, or explosive materihighly fire-resistant, noncombustible
als are present
materials. At the foot of it is Type V
• I-1 through I-4 Institutional: occu- construction, which is built from
combustible light wood framing—the
pancies in which occupants under the
least fire-resistant of all construction
care of others may require assistance
during a building emergency, such as types. In between are Types II, III,
and IV, with levels of resistance to fire
24-hour residential care facilities, hosfalling between these two extremes.
pitals, nursing homes, prisons, and
With occupancies and construcsome day-care facilities
tion
types defined, the IBC proceeds
• M Mercantile: stores, markets, serto
match
the two, stating which occuvice stations, salesrooms, and other
pancies
may
be housed in which types
retail and wholesale establishments
of construction, and under what limi• R-1 through R-4 Residential: aparttations of building height and area.
ment buildings, dormitories, fraternity
Figure 1.4 is a simplified summary of
and sorority houses, hotels, one- and
starting values in the IBC for maximum
two-family dwellings, and assisted-­ building height and area per floor for
living facilities
many combinations of occupancy and
• S-1 and S-2 Storage: facilities for the
construction type. Once the values
storage of moderate- and low-hazard
in this table are adjusted according
materials, respectively
to other provisions of the code, the

14 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

Type of Construction
Type I

Occupancy

Heightb

A-1

Storiesc
Aread
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area
Stories
Area

A-2
A-3
A-4
A-5
B
E
F-1
F-2
M
R-1
R-2
R-3
R-4
S-1
S-2

Type II

Type III

Type IVa

Type V

A

B

A

B

A

B

HT

A

B

Ue

160

65

55

65

55

65

50

40

U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U

5
U
11
U
11
U
11
U
U
U
11
U
5
U
11
U
11
U
11
U
11
U
11
U
11
U
11
U
11
48,000
11
79,000

3
15,500
3
15,500
3
15,500
3
15,500
U
U
5
37,500
3
26,500
4
25,000
5
37,500
4
21,500
4
24,000
4
24,000
4
U
4
24,000
4
26,000
5
39,000

2
8,500
2
9,500
2
9,500
2
9,500
U
U
3
23,000
2
14,500
2
15,500
3
23,000
2
12,500
4
16,000
4
16,000
4
U
4
16,000
2
17,500
3
26,000

3
14,000
3
14,000
3
14,000
3
14,000
U
U
5
28,500
3
23,500
3
19,000
4
28,500
4
18,500
4
24,000
4
24,000
4
U
4
24,000
3
26,000
4
39,000

2
8,500
2
9,500
2
9,500
2
9,500
U
U
3
19,000
2
14,500
2
12,000
3
18,000
2
12,500
4
16,000
4
16,000
4
U
4
16,000
2
17,500
3
26,000

3
15,000
3
15,000
3
15,000
3
15,000
U
U
5
36,000
3
25,500
4
33,500
5
50,500
4
20,500
4
20,500
4
20,500
4
U
4
20,500
4
25,500
4
38,500

2
11,500
2
11,500
2
11,500
2
11,500
U
U
3
18,000
1
18,500
2
14,000
3
21,000
3
14,000
3
12,000
3
12,000
3
U
3
12,000
3
14,000
4
21,000

1
5,500
1
6,000
1
6,000
1
6,000
U
U
2
9,000
1
9,500
1
8,500
2
13,000
1
9,000
2
7,000
2
7,000
3
U
2
7,000
1
9,000
2
13,500

See this figure’s caption for information about new Type IV construction types to appear in the 2021 IBC.
Height: Roof height above grade in feet (1ft = 0.3048 m).
c
Stories: Number of stories above grade.
d
Area: Area per floor in square feet (1 sq ft = 0.0920 m2).
e
U: Unlimited.
a

b

Figure 1.4
Simplified height and area limitations for common occupancies, from the 2018 IBC. In use, these values are further modified
according to additional provisions to arrive at the final allowable height and area for any particular building. For the purposes of
this book, many of these modifications are simplified or ignored. For information about new Type IV construction types related to
tall mass timber buildings that will appear in the 2021 IBC, see Chapter 4.

The Work of the Design Professional

maximum permitted size for a building
of any particular use and type of construction can be determined.
Consider, for example, an office
building. Under the IBC, this building
is classified as Occupancy B, Business.
Reading across the table from left to
right, we find immediately that this
building may be built to any desired
height and area, without limit, using
Type I-A construction.
Type I-A construction is defined in
the IBC as consisting of only noncombustible structural materials—masonry,

concrete, or steel, for example—and
meeting certain requirements for
resistance to the heat of fire. On the
other hand, wood, being combustible, is (barring a few exceptions)
not permitted for use in this construction type. Looking at the upper table
in Figure 1.5, reproduced from the
IBC, we find under Type I-A construction a listing of the required fire resistance ratings, measured in hours, for
various parts of our proposed office
building. For example, the first table
row indicates that the structural frame,

/ 15

including such elements as columns,
beams, and trusses, must be rated at 3
hours. The second row also mandates
a 3-hour resistance for bearing walls,
which serve to carry floors or roofs
above. The third row indicates that
exterior walls must also comply with
the requirements of Table 602, which
gives fire resistance rating requirements based on proximity to adjacent buildings or properties. (Table
602 is included in the lower portion
of Figure 1.5.) Minimum requirements for interior nonbearing walls and

TABLE 601
FIRE-RESISTANCE RATING REQUIREMENTS FOR BUILDING ELEMENTS (HOURS)

TYPE I
A
B
a
a
2
3

BUILDING ELEMENT
Primary structural frameg (see Section 202)
Bearing walls
Exteriorf,g
Interior

3
3a

2
2a

TYPE II
Ad
B
1
0
1
1

TYPE III
Ad
B
1
0

0
0

Nonbearing walls and partitions
Exterior

2
1

2
0

TYPE IV
HT
HT

TYPE V
Ad
B
1
0

2
1/HT

1
1

0
0

See Table 602

Nonbearing walls and partitions
Interiore

0

0

0

0

0

0

See
Section
602.4.6

0

0

Floor construction and associated secondary members
(see Section 202)

2

2

1

0

1

0

HT

1

0

Roof construction and associated secondary members
(see Section 202)

1½b

1b,c

1b,c

0c

1b,c

0

HT

1b,c

0

TABLE 602
FIRE-RESISTANCE RATING REQUIREMENTS FOR EXTERIOR WALLS BASED ON FIRE SEPARATION DISTANCEa, e, h
FIRE SEPARATION DISTANCE =
X (feet)

TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION

OCCUPANCY GROUP Hf

X < 5C

All

3

2

1

IA
Others
IA, IB
IIB, VB
Others

3
2

2
1

1
1

2
1
1

1
0
1

ld
0
ld

All

0

0

0

5 ≤ X < 10
10 ≤ X < 30
X ≥ 30

OCCUPANCY
GROUP F-1,M, S-1g

OCCUPANCY
GROUP A, B, E, F-2, I, R, S-2g, Ub

For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm.

Figure 1.5
Fire resistance of building elements, excerpted from the IBC. Types I and II construction restrict the building structure to
noncombustible materials, that is, steel, concrete, and masonry. Type V construction allows any material, including wood. Types
III and IV allow combinations of internal wood structure surrounded by noncombustible exterior walls. Additional provisions have
been omitted for simplicity. For information about new Type IV construction types related to tall mass timber buildings that will
appear in the 2021 IBC, see Chapter 4.
(Tables 601 and 602 excerpted from the 2012 International Building Code, Copyright 2011. Washington, DC: International Code Council.
Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. www.ICCSAFE.org)

16 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

partitions, which carry no loads from
above, and for floor and roof construction are defined in the other rows of
the table.
Taking a closer look at Tables 601
and 602 in Figure 1.5, we see that Type
I-A construction is the least vulnerable
to fire: It is constructed of noncombustible structural materials and with
the highest fire resistance ratings.
Reading across the table, we see other
construction types, some with lesser
fire resistance ratings and some with
fewer restrictions on the use of combustible materials. At the far right of
the table, we find Type V-B construction, in which any structural material
is permitted, both noncombustible
and combustible, and no fire protection is required. These differences are
reflected in Figure 1.4, in which the
least vulnerable construction type,
Type I-A, is permitted the greatest
height and area, and other increasingly vulnerable types are limited to
progressively lesser heights and areas.
Once fire resistance rating
requirements for the major parts of a
building have been determined, the
design of these parts can proceed,
using building assemblies meeting
these requirements. Tabulated fire
resistance ratings for building materials and assemblies come from a
variety of sources, including the IBC
itself, as well as from catalogs and
handbooks issued by building material manufacturers, construction
trade associations, and organizations
Figure 1.6
Fire resistance ratings for a steel floor
structure (top) and column (bottom), taken
from the Underwriters Laboratories’ Fire
Resistance Directory. In the floor assembly,
the terms “restrained” and “unrestrained”
refer to whether or not the floor is
connected to its supporting structure in
such a way that it is, or is not, prevented
from expanding longitudinally when
subjected to the heat of a fire.
(Reprinted with permission of Underwriters
Laboratories Inc.)

concerned with fire protection of
buildings. In each case, the ratings
are derived from large-scale laboratory tests carried out in accordance

with an accepted standard protocol to
ensure uniformity of results. (The most
important of such tests, ASTM E119,
is described more fully in Chapter 22

Design No. A814
Restrained Assembly Rating—3 Hr.
Unrestrained Assembly Rating—3 Hr.
Unrestrained Beam Rating—3 Hr.
1
A

2

3
2½˝
1½˝ 3¼˝

A

Section A-A

¾˝

4

12˝

2½˝
5

2½˝

Beam—W 12 × 27, min size.

1. Sand-Gravel Concrete—150 pcf unit weight 4000 pcf compressive strength.
2. Steel Floor and Form Units*—Non-composite 3 in. deep galv units. All 24 in. wide, 18/18
MSG min cellular units. Welded to supports 12 in. O.C. Adjacent units button-punched or
welded 36 in. O.C. at joints.
3. Cover Plate—No. 16 MSG galv steel.
4. Welds—12 in. O.C.
5. Fiber Sprayed*—Applied to wetted steel surfaces which are free of dirt, oil or loose scale
by spraying with water to the final thickness shown above. The use of adhesive and sealer
and the tamping of fiber are optional. The min and density of the finished fiber should be
11 pcf and the specified fiber thicknesses require a min fiber density of 11 pcf. For areas
where the fiber density is between 8 and 11 pcf, the fiber thickness shall be increased in
accordance with the following formula:
Thickness, in. =

(11) (Design Thickness, in.)
Actual Fiber Density, pcf.

,

Fiber density shall not be less than 8 pcf. For method of density determination refer to
General Information Section.
*Bearing the UL Classification Marking.

Design No. ×511
Rating—3 Hr.
4

1
5

6

2
8
3
7

1. Steel Studs—15∕8 in. wide with leg dimensions of 1-5/16 and 1-7/16 in. with a ¼-in. folded
flange in legs, fabricated from 25 MSG galv steel, ¾- by 1¾- in. rectangular cutouts punched
8 and 16 in. from the ends. Steel stud cut ½ in. less in length than assembly height.
2. Wallboard, Gypsum*—½ in. thick, three layers.
3. Screws—1 in. long, self-drilling, self-tapping steel screws, spaced vertically 24 in. O.C.
4. Screws—15∕8 in. long, self-drilling, self-tapping steel screws, spaced vertically 24 in. O.C.,
except on the outer layer of wallboard on the flange, which are spaced 12 in. O.C.
5. Screws—2¼ in. long, self-drilling, self-tapping steel screws, spaced vertically 12 in. O.C.
6. Tie Wire—One strand of 18 SWG soft steel wire placed at the upper one-third point, used
to secure the second layers of wallboard only.
7. Corner Beads—No. 28 MSG galv steel, 1¼ in. legs or 27 MSG uncoated steel, 13∕8 in. legs,

The Work of the Design Professional

of this book.) Figure 1.6 shows examples of how such ratings are commonly
presented.
In general, when determining
the level of fire resistance required
for a building, the greater the degree
of fire resistance, the higher the
cost. Most frequently, therefore,
buildings are designed to the lowest
level of resistance permitted by the
building code. Our hypothetical
office building could be built using
Type I-A construction, but does it
really have to be constructed to this
high standard?
Let us suppose that the owner
desires a three-story building with
30,000 square feet per floor. Reading
across the table in Figure 1.4, we
can see that in addition to Type I-A
construction, the building can be of
Type I-B construction, which permits
a building of 11 stories and unlimited
floor area; or of Type II-A construction, which permits a building of 5
stories and 37,500 square feet per
floor. But it cannot be of Type II-B
construction, which allows a building
of only three stories and 23,000
square feet per floor. It can also be
built of Type IV-HT construction but
not of Type III or Type V.
Other factors also come into play
in these determinations. If a building
is protected throughout by a fully
automatic sprinkler system for suppression of fire, the tabulated area
per floor may, in many cases, be tripled for a multistory building or quadrupled for a single-story building.
The rationale for this permitted

increase is the added safety to life and
property provided by such a system.
A one-story increase in allowable
height is also granted under most
circumstances if such a sprinkler
system is installed. If the three-story,
30,000-square-foot office building
that we have been considering is provided with such a sprinkler system,
a bit of arithmetic will show that it
can be built of any construction type
shown in Figure 1.4 except Type V.
If more than a quarter of the
building’s perimeter walls face public
ways or open spaces accessible to firefighting equipment, an additional
increase of up to 75 percent in allowable area is granted in accordance
with another formula. Furthermore,
if a building is divided by fire walls
having the fire resistance ratings specified in another table (Figure 1.7),
each divided portion may be considered a separate building for purposes of computing its allowable area,
which effectively permits the creation
of a building many times larger than
Figure 1.4 would, at first glance, indicate. (For the sake of simplicity, additional considerations in determining
the allowable building height and
area in the IBC have been omitted
from these examples.)
The IBC also establishes standards for natural light; ventilation; means of egress (exiting during
building emergencies); structural
design; construction of floors, walls,
and ceilings; chimney construction;
fire-protection systems; accessibility
for disabled persons; and many other

/ 17

important aspects of building design.
In addition to the IBC, the International Code Council also publishes
the International Residential Code for
One- and Two-Family Dwellings (IRC), a
simplified model code addressing the
construction of detached one- and
two-family homes and townhouses
of limited size. Within any particular
building agency, these codes may be
adopted directly in their model form.
Or, as is more common, they may be
adopted with amendments, adjusting
the code to suit the needs of that jurisdiction while still retaining its overall
structure and intent.
The building code is not the only
code with which a new building must
comply. Energy codes establish standards of energy efficiency for buildings, affecting a designer’s choices
of windows, heating and cooling
systems, and many aspects of the
construction of a building’s enclosing walls and roofs. Because of the
significant environmental impacts
associated with building energy consumption, the development of more
stringent energy codes that require
buildings to consume less energy is
one of the important contributors to
improving building sustainability.
Health codes regulate aspects
of design and operation related to
sanitation in public facilities such as
swimming pools, food-service operations, schools, or healthcare facilities.
Fire codes regulate the operation and
maintenance of buildings to ensure
that egress pathways, fire-protection
systems, emergency power, and other

TABLE 706.4
FIRE WALL FIRE-RESISTANCE RATINGS

Figure 1.7
Fire resistance requirements for fire walls, according
to the IBC. For more information about fire walls,
see Chapter 23. (Table 706.4 excerpted from the 2012
International Building Code, Copyright 2011. Washington, DC:
International Code Council. Reproduced with permission. All
rights reserved. www.ICCSAFE.org)

GROUP

FIRE-RESISTANCE RATING (hours)

A, B, E, H-4, I, R-1, R-2, U

3a

F-1, H-3b, H-5, M, S-1

3

H-1, H-2

4b

F-2, S-2, R-3, R-4

2

a. In Type II or V construction, walls shall be permitted to have a 2-hour
fire-resistance rating.
b. For Group H-1, H-2 or H-3 buildings, also see Sections 415.6 and 415.7.

18 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

life-safety systems are properly maintained. Electrical and mechanical
codes regulate the design and installation of building electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems.
Some of these codes may be locally
written, but, like the building codes
discussed earlier, most are based on
national models. In fact, an important task in the early design of any
major building is determining what
agencies have jurisdiction over the
project and what codes and regulations apply.

Other Constraints
Other types of legal restrictions must
also be observed in the design and
construction of buildings. Along
with the accessibility provisions of
the IBC, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes accessibility
to public buildings a civil right of
all Americans, and the Fair Housing
Act does the same for much multifamily housing. Together, these equal
access standards regulate the design
of entrances, stairs, doorways, elevators, toilet facilities, public areas,
living spaces, and other parts of many
buildings to ensure that they are
usable by members of the population
with special access needs. The U.S.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) controls the design
of workplaces to minimize hazards
to the health and safety of workers.
OSHA sets safety standards under
which a building must be constructed
and also has an important role in the
design of industrial and commercial
buildings.
Fire insurance companies exert
a major influence on construction standards. Through their testing and certification organizations
(Underwriters Laboratories and
Factory Mutual, for example) and
the rates they charge for building-­
insurance coverage, these companies offer financial incentives to
building owners to build hazardresistant construction. Federal labor
agencies, building contractor associations, and construction labor

unions have standards, both formal
and informal, that affect the ways
in which buildings are built. Contractors have particular types of
equipment, certain kinds of skills,
and customary ways of going about
things. All of these affect a building
design in myriad ways and must
be appropriately considered by
building designers.

Construction Standards and
Information Resources
The tasks of the architect and the engineer would be much more difficult
to carry out without the support of
dozens of standards-setting agencies,
trade associations, professional organizations, and other groups that produce
and disseminate information on materials and methods of construction,
some of the most important of which
are discussed in the following sections.

Standards-Setting Agencies

ASTM International is a private organization that establishes specifications for materials and methods
of construction accepted as standards throughout the United States.
Numerical references to ASTM standards—for example, ASTM C150 for
portland cement, used in making
concrete—are found throughout
building codes and construction
specifications, where they are used
as a precise shorthand for describing
the quality of materials or the
requirements of their installation.
Throughout this book, references to
ASTM standards are provided for the
major building materials presented.
In Canada, corresponding standards
are set by the Canadian Standards
Association (CSA). The International
Organization for Standardization (ISO),
an organization with more than 160
member countries, performs a similar role internationally.
The American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) is another private
organization that certifies North
American standards for a broad range
of products, such as exterior windows and mechanical components

of buildings. Government agencies,
most notably the U.S. Department
of Commerce’s National Institute of
Science and Technology (NIST) and the
National Research Council Canada’s
Institute for Research in Construction
(NRC-IRC), also sponsor research
and establish standards for building
products and systems.

Construction Trade and Professional
Associations

Design professionals, building materials manufacturers, and construction trade groups have formed a
large number of organizations that
work to develop technical standards and disseminate information
related to their respective fields of
interest. The Construction Specifications Institute, whose MasterFormat™ standard is described in the
following section, is one example.
This organization is composed both
of independent building professionals, such as architects and engineers, and of industry members. The
Western Wood Products Association,
to choose an example from among
hundreds of trade associations, is made
up of producers of lumber and wood
products. It carries out research programs on wood products, establishes
uniform standards of product quality, certifies mills and products that
conform to its standards, and publishes authoritative technical literature concerning the use of lumber
and related products. Associations
with a similar range of activities exist
for virtually every material and product used in building. All of them
publish technical data relating to
their fields of interest, and many of
these publications are indispensable
references for the architect or engineer. In some cases, the standards
published by these organizations
are even incorporated by reference
into the building codes, making
them, in effect, legal requirements.
Selected publications from professional and trade associations are
identified in the references listed at
the end of each chapter in this book.
The reader is encouraged to obtain

The Work of the Design Professional

and explore these publications and
others available from these various
organizations.

MasterFormat and Other Systems of
Organizing Building Information

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) of the United States, and
its Canadian counterpart, Construction Specifications Canada (CSC), have
evolved over a period of many years
a comprehensive outline called MasterFormat for organizing information
about construction materials and
systems. This format is used for the
written construction specifications
for the vast majority of large building
construction projects in these two
countries. It is frequently used to
organize construction cost data, and
it forms the basis on which most trade
associations’ and manufacturers’
technical literature is cataloged. In
some cases, MasterFormat is used to
cross-reference materials information
on construction drawings as well.
MasterFormat is organized into
50 primary specification divisions
intended to cover the broadest possible range of construction materials
and buildings systems. The portions
of MasterFormat relevant to the types
of construction discussed in this book
are as follows:
Procurement and Contracting
Requirements Group
Division 00—Procurement
and Contracting
Requirements
Specifications Group
General Requirements Subgroup
Division 01—General
Requirements
Facility Construction Subgroup
Division 02—Existing
Conditions
Division 03—Concrete
Division 04—Masonry
Division 05—Metals
Division 06—Wood, Plastics,
and Composites

Division 07—Thermal and
Moisture
Protection
Division 08—Openings
Division 09—Finishes
Division 10—Specialties
Division 11—Equipment
Division 12—Furnishings
Division 13—Special
Construction
Division 14—Conveying
Equipment
Facilities Services Subgroup
Division 21—Fire Suppression
Division 22—Plumbing
Division 23—Heating,
Ventilating,
and Air
Conditioning
(HVAC)
Division 25—Integrated
Automation
Division 26—Electrical
Division 27—Communications
Division 28—Electronic Safety
and Security
Site and Infrastructure Subgroup
Division 31—Earthwork
Division 32—Exterior
Improvements
Division 33—Utilities
These broadly defined divisions
are further subdivided into sections,
each describing a discrete scope of
work often provided by a single construction trade or subcontractor.
Individual sections are identified
by six-digit codes, in which the first
two digits correspond to the division
number and the remaining four digits
identify subcategories and individual
units within the division. Within Division 05—Metals, for example, some
commonly referenced sections are:
Section 05 12 00—Structural Steel
Framing
Section 05 21 00—Steel Joist Framing
Section 05 31 00—Steel Decking

/ 19

Section 05 40 00—Cold-Formed
Metal Framing
Section 05 50 00—Metal Fabrications
Every chapter in this book gives
MasterFormat designations for the
information it presents to help familiarize the reader with this system, and
to provide guidance on where to look
in construction specifications and
other technical resources for further
information.
MasterFormat organizes building
systems
information
primarily
according to work product, that is,
the work of discrete building trades.
This makes it especially well suited
for use during the construction phase
of building. For example, Section 06
10 00—Rough Carpentry specifies
the materials and work of rough carpenters who erect a wood light frame
building structure. However, finish
carpentry, such as the installation of
interior doors and trim, occurs later
during construction, requires different materials, and is performed
by different workers with different
skills and tools. So it is specified separately in Section 06 20 00—Finish
Carpentry. Defining each of these
aspects of the work separately allows
the architect to describe the work
accurately and the contractor to efficiently manage the work’s execution.
The UniFormat™ standard organizes building systems information
into functional groupings. For example, UniFormat defines eight Level 1
categories:
•
•
•
•
•
•

A Substructure
B Shell
C Interiors
D Services
E Equipment and Furnishings
F Special Construction and
Demolition
• G Building Sitework
• Z General
Where greater definition is
required, these categories are subdivided into so-called Level 2 classes,

20 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

Level 3 and 4 subclasses, and even
Level 5 or higher-numbered sub-­
subclasses, each describing more
finely divided aspects of a system or
assembly. For example, wood floor
joist framing can fall under any of the
following UniFormat descriptions:
•
•
•
•

Level 1: B Shell
Level 2: B10 Superstructure
Level 3: B1010 Floor Construction
Level 4: B
 1010.10 Floor Structural
Frame
• Level 5: B
 1010.10.WF Wood Floor
Framing
• Etc.
UniFormat provides a more
systems-­based view of construction in
comparison to MasterFormat and is
most useful where a broader, more
flexible description of building information is needed. This includes, for
example, description of building systems and assemblies during project
definition and early design, or the
performance specification of building
systems, such as discussed later in
this chapter for design/build project
delivery. UniFormat is also well suited
to organizing construction data in
computer-aided design and building
information modeling systems, which
naturally tend to aggregate information into functional groupings.
(Building information modeling is
discussed at greater length later in
this chapter.)
The OmniClass™ Construction
Classification System is an overarching scheme that attempts to incorporate multiple existing building
information organizational systems,
including MasterFormat, UniFormat,
and others, into one system. OmniClass consists of 15 Tables, some of
which include:
•
•
•
•
•

Table 13: Spaces by Function
Table 21: Elements
Table 22: Work Results
Table 23: Products
Table 31: Phases

•
•
•
•

Table 32: Services
Table 35: Tools
Table 41: Materials
Table 49: Properties

For example, Table 13—Spaces
by Function merges a number of
existing systems for the management of information about rooms
and spaces within buildings, useful
to building owners and facilities managers. Table 21—Elements is based
on UniFormat, and Table 22—Work
Results is based on MasterFormat.
OmniClass is an open standard that
is described broadly by its authors
as “a strategy for classifying the built
environment.” It is based on an international standard for organizing construction information, ISO 120006-2,
and it continues to undergo active
development.
The increasing attention given
to organizational systems like UniFormat and OmniClass reflects the
building industry’s need to manage increasingly complex sets of
data and efficiently share that data
between disciplines, across diverse
information technology platforms,
and throughout the full building life
cycle, from conception to extended
occupancy.

The Work of the
Construction
Professional
Providing
Construction Services
An owner wishing to construct a
building hopes to achieve a finished
project that functions as intended,
meets expectations for quality, costs
as little as possible, and is completed on a predictable schedule. A
contractor offering its construction
services hopes to produce quality
building, earn a profit, and complete
the project in a timely fashion.
Yet, the process of building itself is
fraught with uncertainty: It is subject

to the vagaries of the labor market,
commodity prices, and the weather;
despite the best planning efforts,
unanticipated conditions arise, delays
occur, and mistakes are made; not
infrequently, requirements change
over the course of the project; and
the pressures of schedule and cost
inevitably minimize the margin for
miscalculation. In this high-stakes
environment,
the
relationship
between the owner and contractor
must be structured to share reasonably between them the potential
rewards and risks.

Construction Project
Delivery Methods

In traditional design/bid/build project
delivery (Figure 1.8, left), the owner
first hires a team of architects and
engineers to perform design services,
leading to the creation of construction documents that comprehensively
describe the facility to be built. Next,
construction firms are invited to bid on
the project. Each bidding firm reviews
the construction documents and proposes a cost to construct the facility.
The owner evaluates the submitted
proposals and awards the construction
contract to the bidder deemed most
suitable. This selection may be based
on bid price alone, or other factors
related to bidders’ qualifications may
also be considered. The construction documents then become part
of the construction contract, and the
selected firm proceeds with the work.
On all but small projects, this firm acts
as the general contractor, coordinating
and overseeing the construction process but frequently relying on smaller,
more specialized subcontractors to perform significant portions or even all
of the work itself. During construction, the design team continues to
provide services to the owner, helping
to ensure that the facility is built
according to the requirements of the
documents as well as answering questions related to the design, changes to
the work, verification of payments to
the contractor, and similar matters.

The Work of the Construction Professional
Design/Bid/Build Construction

Design/Build Construction

Owner

Owner

A/E

GC

A/E

Subconsultants
Design Team

Subcontractors
Construction Team

Among the advantages of
design/bid/build project delivery
are its easy-to-understand organizational scheme, well-established legal
precedents, and relative simplicity
of management. The direct relationship between the owner and the
design team ensures that the owner
retains control over the design and
provides a healthy set of checks and
balances during the construction
process. With design work completed
before the project is bid, the owner
starts construction with a well-defined
scope of work and a high degree of
confidence regarding the construction schedule and costs.
In design/bid/build project
delivery, the owner contracts with
two entities, and design and construction responsibilities remain divided
between these two throughout
the project. In design/build project
delivery, one entity assumes responsibility for both design and construction (Figure 1.8, right). A design/
build project begins with the owner
developing a conceptual design or

GC

program that describes the functional
or performance requirements of the
proposed facility but does not detail
its form or how it is to be constructed.
Next, using this conceptual information, a design/build organization is
selected to complete the design and
construction of the project. Selection
of the designer/builder may be based
on a competitive bid process similar
to that for design/bid/build projects,
on negotiation and evaluation of an
organization’s qualifications for the
proposed work, or on some combination of these. Design/build organizations themselves can take a variety of
forms: a single firm encompassing
both design and construction expertise; a construction management
firm that subcontracts with a separate
design firm to provide those services;
or a joint venture between two firms,
one specializing in construction and
the other in design. Regardless of the
internal structure of the design/build
organization, the owner contracts
with this single entity throughout the
remainder of the project, and this

Construction Management at Risk

Owner

Owner

A/E

CM

A/E

Subconsultants
Design Team

Construction Manager

Subconsultants
Design Team

Construction Contractors

Figure 1.8

Subconsultants
Subcontractors
Design/Build Entity

Construction Management at Fee

/ 21

CM
Construction
Manager

Construction Contractors

In design/bid/build project delivery
(left), the owner contracts separately
with the architect/engineer (A/E)
design team and the construction
general contractor (GC). In a design/
build project (right), the owner
contracts with a single organizational
entity that provides both design and
construction services.

entity assumes responsibility for all
design and construction services.
Design/build project delivery
gives the owner a single source of
accountability for all aspects of the
project. It also places the designers
and constructors in a closer working
relationship, introducing construction expertise into the design phases
of a project and allowing the earliest
possible consideration of constructability, cost control, construction
scheduling, and similar matters. This
delivery method also readily accommodates fast track construction, a
scheduling technique for reducing
construction time that is described
later in this chapter.
Other delivery methods are possible: An owner may contract separately with a design team and a
construction manager (CM) (Figure 1.9).
As in design/build construction, the
construction manager participates in
the project prior to the onset of construction, introducing construction
expertise during the design stage.
Construction management project
Figure 1.9
In its traditional role, a construction
manager (CM) at fee (left) provides
project management services to the
owner and assists the owner in contracting
directly for construction services with
one or more construction entities. A CM
at fee is not directly responsible for the
construction work itself. A CM at risk
(right) acts more like a general contractor
and takes on greater responsibility for
construction quality, schedule, and costs.
In either case, the A/E design team also
contracts separately with the owner.

22 /

Chapter 1 • Making Buildings

delivery can take a variety of forms and
is frequently associated with especially
large or complex projects. In turnkey
construction, an owner contracts with
a single entity that provides not only
design and construction services, but
financing for the project as well. Or
design and construction can be undertaken by a single-purpose entity, of which
the owner, architect, and contractor
are all joint members. Aspects of these
and other project delivery methods
can also be intermixed, allowing many
possible organizational schemes for
the delivery of design and construction services that are suitable to a variety of owner requirements and project
circumstances.

Paying for Construction Services

With fixed-fee, or lump-sum, compensation, the general contractor or other
construction entity is paid a fixed
dollar amount to complete the construction of a project regardless of
that entity’s actual costs to perform
the work. With this compensation
method, the owner begins construction with a known, fixed cost and
assumes minimal risk for unanticipated cost increases. In contrast,
the construction contractor assumes
most of the risk of unforeseen costs,
but also stands to gain from potential savings. Fixed-fee compensation
is most suitable to projects where the
scope of the construction work is well
defined when the construction fee is
set, as is the case, for example, with
design/bid/build construction.
With cost plus a fee compensation,
the owner agrees to pay the construction entity for the actual costs
of construction—whatever they may
turn out to be—plus an additional
amount to account for overhead and
profit. In this case, the construction
contractor is shielded from most cost
uncertainty, and it is the owner who
assumes most of the risk of added
costs and stands to gain the most
from potential savings. Cost plus a
fee compensation is most often used
with projects for which the scope

of construction work is not fully
known at the time compensation
is established, a circumstance most
frequently associated with construction management or design/build
contracts.
Cost plus a fee compensation
may also include a guaranteed maximum price (GMAX or GMP). In this
case, there is a maximum fee that
the owner may be required to pay.
While the contractor’s compensation remains under the guaranteed
amount, compensation is made in the
same manner as with a standard cost
plus a fee contract. However, once
the compensation reaches the guaranteed maximum, the owner is no
longer required to make additional
payments and the contractor assumes
responsibility for all additional costs.
This compensation method retains
some of the scope and price flexibility of cost plus a fee compensation
while also establishing a limit on the
owner’s cost risk.
Incentive provisions in owner/contractor agreements can be used to
more closely align owner and contractor interests. For example, in
simple cost plus a fee construction,
there may be an incentive for a contractor to add costs to a project, as
these added costs will generate added
fees. To eliminate such a counterproductive incentive, a bonus fee or
profit-sharing provision can provide
for some portion of construction cost
savings to be returned to the contractor. In this way, the contractor
and owner jointly share in the benefits of reduced construction cost.
Bonuses and penalties for savings
or overruns in costs and schedules
can be part of any type of construction contract.
Surety bonds are another form
of legal instrument used to manage
financial risks of construction, most
frequently with publicly financed
or very large projects. The purpose
of a surety bond is to protect an
owner from the risks of default, such
as bankruptcy, by the construction

contractor. For a fixed fee, a third
party (surety) promises to complete
the contractual obligations of the
contractor if that contractor should
for any reason fail to do so. Most
commonly, two separate bonds are
­
issued, one for each of the general
contractor’s principal obligations: a
performance bond to assure completion
of the construction and a payment
bond to assure full payment to suppliers and subcontractors.
With competitive bidding and
fixed-fee compensation, the owner
is assured of competitive pricing for
construction services and the contractor assumes most of the risk for
unanticipated costs. With a negotiated contract and simple cost plus a
fee compensation, the risks of noncompetitive pricing and unanticipated costs are shifted more toward
to the owner. By adjusting project
delivery and compensation methods,
these and other construction-related
risks can be allocated in varying
degrees between the two parties to
best suit the requirements of any particular project.

Sequential versus Fast Track
Construction

In sequential construction (Figure 1.10),
each major phase in the design and
construction of a building is completed before the next phase begins,
and construction does not start until
all design work has been completed.
Sequential construction can take
place under any of the project delivery methods described previously. It
is frequently associated with design/
bid/build construction, where the
separation of design and construction phases fits naturally with the contractual separation between design
and construction service providers.
Phased construction, also called
fast track construction, aims to reduce
the time required to complete a
project by overlapping the design
and construction of various project
parts (Figure 1.10). By allowing
construction to start sooner and by

The Work of the Construction Professional
Year 1
Jan Apr

Jul

Oct

Year 2
Jan Apr

Jul

Oct

Year 3
Jan Apr

Jul

SEQUENTIAL
CONSTRUCTION
Design
Bidding
Construction
PHASED
CONSTRUCTION
Design
Foundations
Shell & Core
Interiors
Bidding
Foundations
Shell & Core
Interiors
Construction
F