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Structure Type Definitions

These definitions will help you when writing your Best Practice story.

Concrete, Reinforced: Structural concrete with reinforcement such as steel bars (rebar) or welded wire mesh.

Insulated Concrete Form (ICF): Hollow rigid foam blocks or panels that are stacked to create exterior walls and insulation; steel bars (rebar) are inserted into the form cavity, which is then filled with concrete to form a reinforced concrete structure.

Light Gauge Metal: Building made with metal studs and joists that are “light gauge” (which refers to the thickness of the metal), usually clad with metal.

Manufactured Housing: A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to utilities.

Masonry, Reinforced: Built-up construction of building units (block, brick, stone) bonded together with or without mortar or grout then reinforced with strengthening material such as steel bars (rebar) or welded wire mesh.

Masonry, Unreinforced/Plain: Built-up construction of building units (block, brick, stone), usually bonded together with mortar or grout but without steel reinforcement.

Metal Building: A structure that is principally metal cladding attached to a metal frame.

Mobile Home: See Manufactured Housing; the term “mobile home” generally refers to older units that usually are no more than forty feet long or eight feet (single) or sixteen feet wide (double). Smaller units may be Recreational Vehicles.

Safe Room: Safe rooms are structures that are designed and constructed to withstand the effects of the high winds and debris generated by tornadoes or hurricanes, such that occupants will be protected. Residential safe rooms usually serve dwelling units and having an occupant load not exceeding 16 persons; community safe rooms are designed for non-dwelling units or more than 16 occupants such as at a school, office building or manufactured home community.

Shear Walls: Load-bearing walls, usually parallel or with short perpendicular sections, that are designed to resist in-plane lateral forces; may be constructed of reinforced concrete, masonry or wood framing.

Steel Frame: A building in which the load-bearing frame (studs and joists) are made of structural steel. They may be either clad with metal panels, reinforced concrete, masonry or other wall materials.

Tilt-up (Concrete Pre-cast): Pre-cast panels, typically constructed of reinforced concrete, that are lifted (tilted) into place on a concrete foundation, usually with steel load-bearing framework.

Wood Frame: Conventional construction (often referred to as “stick-built”), typically residential, in which the load-bearing frame (studs and joists) are wood members usually clad with plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing or panels.

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Last Updated: 
04/28/2018 - 10:08