Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Journal News)   Apart from the whole "house burning down in five minutes, killing everybody inside" part, engineered wood is a wonderful modern construction material   (lohud.com) divider line 46
    More: Sad, garage doors, Hudson Valley, Rockland County, Ramapo, engineered wood, Lipton, composites, structures  
•       •       •

2679 clicks; posted to Business » on 03 May 2012 at 10:47 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2012-05-03 08:21:21 AM  
Many of the supports holding up the home of Thomas and Donna Sullivan, like much recent construction, were engineered wood products: several pieces of wood or wood composite fastened together with glue or metal plates.

Those pieces are stronger than their individual parts. But the fire that killed a mother, a father and two of their three children also highlighted a downside of the material. The upside, said the fire marshal, is that now we've got our very own Batman candidate.
 
2012-05-03 09:10:22 AM  
lulz doglover
 
2012-05-03 09:17:59 AM  
The best part is that this POS website has decided to use the same paywall model as the New York Times.

I'm sure that will work out swimmingly.
 
2012-05-03 10:56:48 AM  
This is the kind of thing I like to point out in threads where people talk about wanting a new build home in an HOA subdivision because they're so much better, and how you won't have to replace the wiring, the windows aren't drafty and the very bottom layer of paint won't have any chance of having lead in it.

I'd rather change the wiring and windows in an older build than have something that will collapse six minutes after a small fire starts. They even say right in TFA that builders like to build on the cheap as much as possible.
 
2012-05-03 10:57:08 AM  
Anyone who busy a house with a floor structure made of this stuff:


www.woodaware.info

is a fool.
 
2012-05-03 11:02:47 AM  

Philip Francis Queeg: Anyone who busy a house with a floor structure made of this stuff:


[www.woodaware.info image 525x394]

is a fool.


Not if you hose it down with asbestos before putting drywall over it!
 
2012-05-03 11:03:22 AM  
1978-80.

No aluminum wiring, no lead based paint, ABS sewage lines, grounded electrical, moderate GFCI protection. REAL WOOD CONSTRUCTION.

/csb
/professional home inspector, grew up in the antique home resto biz
 
2012-05-03 11:05:54 AM  
Who builds a home out of Caramel? I mean it sounds tasty but you're just asking for trouble!
 
2012-05-03 11:08:36 AM  

buzzcut73: This is the kind of thing I like to point out in threads where people talk about wanting a new build home in an HOA subdivision because they're so much better, and how you won't have to replace the wiring, the windows aren't drafty and the very bottom layer of paint won't have any chance of having lead in it.

I'd rather change the wiring and windows in an older build than have something that will collapse six minutes after a small fire starts. They even say right in TFA that builders like to build on the cheap as much as possible.


The biggest single problem along these lines is pre-fab roof trusses. They are made up of short pieces of lumber held together with relatively light-gauge metal connectors. Those start to fail fairly early in the fire, making it risky for firefighters to vent the roof, leading to the build-up of more heat, fire, and toxic smoke inside the building.
 
2012-05-03 11:08:54 AM  
ICF people. ICF.
 
2012-05-03 11:10:43 AM  

ThatGuyGreg: The best part is that this POS website has decided to use the same paywall model as the New York Times.

I'm sure that will work out swimmingly.


You'd be surprised how badly the catty locals want access to comment on these articles.
 
2012-05-03 11:11:42 AM  
Something strange just happened. I learned something on Fark.
 
2012-05-03 11:13:20 AM  
Other than custom builds by owners that are willing to specify and pay for quality, nothing that gets built today will still be standing in 100 years from now (and many less than 50 years). But if it looks good and costs less people will still keep buying crap. Hell, that and cheap labour is what the whole economy of China is based upon.
 
2012-05-03 11:14:30 AM  
This is why sprinkler systems are now being required?
 
2012-05-03 11:20:02 AM  
As an architect I'm getting a kick out of this.

I've used the engineered materials for over a decade. There is nothing wrong with using them if you provide for additional fire protection such as sprinklers. Sure it's more expensive. Lose the imported tile, you don't need a toilet that washes your ass, your showerhead does not need to spray perfume and have LED lights. You need sprinklers.
 
2012-05-03 11:24:08 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: As an architect I'm getting a kick out of this.

I've used the engineered materials for over a decade. There is nothing wrong with using them if you provide for additional fire protection such as sprinklers. Sure it's more expensive. Lose the imported tile, you don't need a toilet that washes your ass, your showerhead does not need to spray perfume and have LED lights. You need sprinklers.


But I have real wood and a toilet that washes my ass!
 
2012-05-03 11:41:19 AM  

Ebbelwoi: ICF people. ICF.


Was coming here to say the same thing.

Still looking for land to build my dream home.

Thinking of foot think walls...
 
2012-05-03 11:44:28 AM  

GoldDude: Other than custom builds by owners that are willing to specify and pay for quality, nothing that gets built today will still be standing in 100 years from now (and many less than 50 years). But if it looks good and costs less people will still keep buying crap. Hell, that and cheap labour is what the whole economy of China is based upon.


The major reason for engineered lumber is the lack of large trees to make structural support beams, also the trend of people wanting huge open rooms, it has little to do with costs and more to do with home builders aversion to steel.
 
2012-05-03 11:58:18 AM  

Tom_Slick: GoldDude: Other than custom builds by owners that are willing to specify and pay for quality, nothing that gets built today will still be standing in 100 years from now (and many less than 50 years). But if it looks good and costs less people will still keep buying crap. Hell, that and cheap labour is what the whole economy of China is based upon.

The major reason for engineered lumber is the lack of large trees to make structural support beams, also the trend of people wanting huge open rooms, it has little to do with costs and more to do with home builders aversion to steel.


Yet building with steel is only a slight change in methods. I don't like using steel studs for homes because I don't have any faith that the home owner won't do something stupid and bend a stud. The energy code also thinks that steel studs are eleventyonebrazillionOMGterrorists bad for you.
 
2012-05-03 12:07:23 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: The energy code also thinks that steel studs are eleventyonebrazillionOMGterrorists bad for you.


Not if you put the insulation on the outside of the studs where it belongs.
 
2012-05-03 12:16:59 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: As an architect I'm getting a kick out of this.

I've used the engineered materials for over a decade. There is nothing wrong with using them if you provide for additional fire protection such as sprinklers. Sure it's more expensive. Lose the imported tile, you don't need a toilet that washes your ass, your showerhead does not need to spray perfume and have LED lights. You need sprinklers.


As a fire fighter, I'm getting a kick out of your kick. A 13D system may save a family's lives, but is not designed to save the house.

Engineered wood scares the hell out of me. Luckily, I work in a city mostly made up of legacy housing, lots of balloon frame, a good deal of platform, and very little wood truss. We try to pay attention to construction in our district, and we've seen a couple going up that are lost as soon as a fire starts.
 
2012-05-03 12:21:29 PM  

doglover: Many of the supports holding up the home of Thomas and Donna Sullivan, like much recent construction, were engineered wood products: several pieces of wood or wood composite fastened together with glue or metal plates.

Those pieces are stronger than their individual parts. But the fire that killed a mother, a father and two of their three children also highlighted a downside of the material. The upside, said the fire marshal, is that now we've got our very own Batman candidate.


How the Fark is any of this shiat code? I thought flame retardance was a major requirement of any material approved to build a house with.

A couple years ago, a guy I knew built a piece of burnable art-work out of the scrap lumber he had left from building his house. We soaked that thing in kerosene and lit it with a flame thrower and it wouldn't stay lit worth a damn. We ended up needing a sustained blast from a hot air balloon heater (basically a portable jet engine) to get ti to ignite and even then it took like 8 hours to fully engulf.
 
2012-05-03 12:25:18 PM  

lizyrd: Smeggy Smurf: As an architect I'm getting a kick out of this.

I've used the engineered materials for over a decade. There is nothing wrong with using them if you provide for additional fire protection such as sprinklers. Sure it's more expensive. Lose the imported tile, you don't need a toilet that washes your ass, your showerhead does not need to spray perfume and have LED lights. You need sprinklers.

As a fire fighter, I'm getting a kick out of your kick. A 13D system may save a family's lives, but is not designed to save the house.

Engineered wood scares the hell out of me. Luckily, I work in a city mostly made up of legacy housing, lots of balloon frame, a good deal of platform, and very little wood truss. We try to pay attention to construction in our district, and we've seen a couple going up that are lost as soon as a fire starts.


*Looks Post* thinks there's something familiar about the writing style *looks at Fark handle*

*waves hi to the Liz*
 
2012-05-03 12:33:55 PM  
The good part is a whole lot of yuppie scum live in that tinder box construction so when one of them burns down the neighborhood actually improves.
 
2012-05-03 12:44:15 PM  

Philip Francis Queeg: Smeggy Smurf: The energy code also thinks that steel studs are eleventyonebrazillionOMGterrorists bad for you.

Not if you put the insulation on the outside of the studs where it belongs.


There are several problems with that. Rigid foam only comes so thick. 2" thick foam makes for a far more difficult install job for siding. Or if you're using EIFS the woodpeckers will nest in it. Then you have warranty issues. All trim used with EIFS must be non-metallic or it voids the warranty.

lizyrd As a fire fighter, I'm getting a kick out of your kick. A 13D system may save a family's lives, but is not designed to save the house.

Engineered wood scares the hell out of me. Luckily, I work in a city mostly made up of legacy housing, lots of balloon frame, a good deal of platform, and very little wood truss. We try to pay attention to construction in our district, and we've seen a couple going up that are lost as soon as a fire starts.


If I were king for a day one of the things I would do would be to mandate that all houses that use an engineered floor have a special marker placed outside the house. Something similar to the blue turtles marking fire hydrant locations.
 
2012-05-03 12:47:24 PM  
I'm toying with building my own house. Having grown up around blue collar people, including builders, cops, and firemen, I'm thinkin' that steel framing may be worth the money. There's also a kind of concrete/stucco some black lady on the east coast invented that is so fire resistant, you can use it to build a kiln.

I look at engineered wood as something that can swell up and turn into a mushroom farm the minute there's any water incursion.

And, yeah, buildings are often built to last something like 20 years now. What a waste of materials.
 
2012-05-03 01:09:37 PM  

Kyoki: 1978-80.

No aluminum wiring, no lead based paint, ABS sewage lines, grounded electrical, moderate GFCI protection. REAL WOOD CONSTRUCTION.

/csb
/professional home inspector, grew up in the antique home resto biz


Mine was built in 1906, and it's a freaking tank. All hardwood studs, 2x4 rough cut in the walls in a 12" center and 2x6 rough cut floor runners, also on 12" centers. The wind can be blowing 60 mph outside, and you don't hear a thing. I did have to replace most of the doors and windows, replace the siding, and I've redone a lot of the electrical, including a new modern service. All told, I probably have ~$60k invested in it, including purchase price, remodeling costs, and adding a big 3 car attached garage. It's been a lot of work to get it to where I want it, but it's already over 100 years old and, with proper upkeep, it will still be standing 100 years after the new houses in the development across the way dissolve into sawdust and glue.
 
2012-05-03 01:12:29 PM  
Are people using engineered wood as a substitute for engineered building plans?

Obviously 2 short pieces of wood bolted together are going to have a different mode of failure than one long continuous piece of wood.

So how has this fact escaped anyone with a single semester of Materials Science? Is this a case of contractors cutting corners?
 
2012-05-03 01:24:28 PM  

mod3072: Kyoki: 1978-80.

No aluminum wiring, no lead based paint, ABS sewage lines, grounded electrical, moderate GFCI protection. REAL WOOD CONSTRUCTION.

/csb
/professional home inspector, grew up in the antique home resto biz

Mine was built in 1906, and it's a freaking tank. All hardwood studs, 2x4 rough cut in the walls in a 12" center and 2x6 rough cut floor runners, also on 12" centers. The wind can be blowing 60 mph outside, and you don't hear a thing. I did have to replace most of the doors and windows, replace the siding, and I've redone a lot of the electrical, including a new modern service. All told, I probably have ~$60k invested in it, including purchase price, remodeling costs, and adding a big 3 car attached garage. It's been a lot of work to get it to where I want it, but it's already over 100 years old and, with proper upkeep, it will still be standing 100 years after the new houses in the development across the way dissolve into sawdust and glue.


Similar situation here, built in 1914. House is really tough, had my neighbour's house burn down, all of six feet away, neighbour on the other side who was farther away had their siding melt and catch fire, dripping into their attic. My house did not even get singed. Of course the previous owners did some... interesting renovations. I found ancient "knob and tube" wiring spliced to aluminum wire (no junction box, just wrapped in fabric electrical tape) which was later spliced to copper. Wood chip insulation, wire so old the insulation cracked right off when touched. big ass loops of live wire just coiled above the heat ducts. It needs foundation work and I'd like to replace the siding and possibly the insulation in the walls, already did the ceiling. Still I wouldn't trade this place for two houses built in the last ten years.
 
2012-05-03 01:37:35 PM  

Jormungandr: mod3072: Kyoki: 1978-80.

No aluminum wiring, no lead based paint, ABS sewage lines, grounded electrical, moderate GFCI protection. REAL WOOD CONSTRUCTION.

/csb
/professional home inspector, grew up in the antique home resto biz

Mine was built in 1906, and it's a freaking tank. All hardwood studs, 2x4 rough cut in the walls in a 12" center and 2x6 rough cut floor runners, also on 12" centers. The wind can be blowing 60 mph outside, and you don't hear a thing. I did have to replace most of the doors and windows, replace the siding, and I've redone a lot of the electrical, including a new modern service. All told, I probably have ~$60k invested in it, including purchase price, remodeling costs, and adding a big 3 car attached garage. It's been a lot of work to get it to where I want it, but it's already over 100 years old and, with proper upkeep, it will still be standing 100 years after the new houses in the development across the way dissolve into sawdust and glue.

Similar situation here, built in 1914. House is really tough, had my neighbour's house burn down, all of six feet away, neighbour on the other side who was farther away had their siding melt and catch fire, dripping into their attic. My house did not even get singed. Of course the previous owners did some... interesting renovations. I found ancient "knob and tube" wiring spliced to aluminum wire (no junction box, just wrapped in fabric electrical tape) which was later spliced to copper. Wood chip insulation, wire so old the insulation cracked right off when touched. big ass loops of live wire just coiled above the heat ducts. It needs foundation work and I'd like to replace the siding and possibly the insulation in the walls, already did the ceiling. Still I wouldn't trade this place for two houses built in the last ten years.


My wiring isn't that bad, thankfully. The house was originally a farmstead, and the electrical wiring didn't get added until much later. It's the older "rag" wire, but it seems to be holding up okay. I've replaced a lot of it, but I'm not too worried about what remains.

When I re-sided mine a few years ago, I used concrete siding. I love it. 50 year warranty, never needs paint, doesn't dent, bend, melt or blow off in the wind. I have a friend with a relatively new house that has vinyl siding, and he hates it. He's fighting it constantly.
 
2012-05-03 02:11:43 PM  
I can chime in with the old construction. We live in a farmhouse built in 1896. The center columns in the basement are sections of trees about 3' in circumference. All the joists are chestnut and there aren't two studs that are set apart the same distance. :)
Lots of bad wiring that I've replaced over the years. The roof is metal and you can see all the trees that hold it up in the attic.
Drafty as hell, you can tell which way the wind is blowing by looking at the curtains. Wouldn't have it any other way. No radon problems in our house.
We burn wood for heat, the house has two chimneys. I cut the wood on the property, so heating is very inexpensive.
 
2012-05-03 02:12:11 PM  

GoldDude: Other than custom builds by owners that are willing to specify and pay for quality, nothing that gets built today will still be standing in 100 years from now (and many less than 50 years). But if it looks good and costs less people will still keep buying crap. Hell, that and cheap labour is what the whole economy of China is based upon.


Just want to point out something: This isn't new. We see survivor bias even now for homes from 1912. Only the homes that were built unusually strong for the time and 'got lucky' survive.

Contents Under Pressure: I'm toying with building my own house.


I am as well. My 'dream house' currently features foam block & concrete construction, metal roof, and solar water heating. Enough insulation that it shouldn't require any additional heating/cooling for wherever it's built. Other features include a nice big bath, at least 3 inches deeper and 1 wider than current. In the basement/man cave I'd have a gun vault and 20-100 yard firing range, with the distant end with the shot trap/backstop extending out into the back yard area to function as an alternate entry/exit. At least a 2.5 car garage - Leaning towards 2 cars + 1 car worth of workshop. Preferably make it 'extra deep' with a smaller door to the back yard so I easily walk out the lawn mower and such.

I'd insulate all the interior walls and floors for noise, and have conduit run for the wires - seperate runs for power&data. Each room should have a network, phone, and cable drop. cable closet should be in the under-stair storage room.
 
2012-05-03 04:44:03 PM  
My 1960 Block Construction house frowns on these shenanagins.
 
2012-05-03 04:49:16 PM  

ThatGuyGreg: The best part is that this POS website has decided to use the same paywall model as the New York Times.

I'm sure that will work out swimmingly.


I'm also gonna go ahead and blame the little popover thing in the corner for making the browser run super slow and then crash horribly.
 
2012-05-03 04:59:21 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: Philip Francis Queeg: Smeggy Smurf: The energy code also thinks that steel studs are eleventyonebrazillionOMGterrorists bad for you.

Not if you put the insulation on the outside of the studs where it belongs.

There are several problems with that. Rigid foam only comes so thick. 2" thick foam makes for a far more difficult install job for siding. Or if you're using EIFS the woodpeckers will nest in it. Then you have warranty issues. All trim used with EIFS must be non-metallic or it voids the warranty.

lizyrd As a fire fighter, I'm getting a kick out of your kick. A 13D system may save a family's lives, but is not designed to save the house.

Engineered wood scares the hell out of me. Luckily, I work in a city mostly made up of legacy housing, lots of balloon frame, a good deal of platform, and very little wood truss. We try to pay attention to construction in our district, and we've seen a couple going up that are lost as soon as a fire starts.

If I were king for a day one of the things I would do would be to mandate that all houses that use an engineered floor have a special marker placed outside the house. Something similar to the blue turtles marking fire hydrant locations.


EIFS is the devil's siding.

I agree with your last proposal.
 
2012-05-03 06:55:51 PM  

Magorn: *Looks Post* thinks there's something familiar about the writing style


Do you mean the overuse of commas, or the fact that I don't explain myself very well?

Smeggy Smurf: If I were king for a day one of the things I would do would be to mandate that all houses that use an engineered floor have a special marker placed outside the house.


It would be nice. In some cases engineered floors are failing under fire conditions after 6 minutes. Six minutes, assuming the fire was noticed and reported early, is right about the time I would be entering the house to begin an attack. There are several documented cases of fire fighters moving two steps into the house and then taking the express route to the burning basement. New construction is starting to dictate much more conservative tactics when fighting fires. People who build houses with huge open spaces and structural components made from Elmer's glue and wood scraps are going to see them burn to the ground while fire fighters try to put it out from the outside and protect neighbors' homes. We've come a long way in the last 100 years. Our goal used to be to hold the fire to the building of origin and not let the block burn. Technology steadily improved, and now the goal is to hold the fire to the room or even the area of origin. These new buildings have us going backward.

I can't blame the builders, the architects or the engineers. Their goal has never been to build a structure that stands up to a major fire. They want to build faster, cheaper buildings and they've succeeded.
 
2012-05-04 01:41:52 AM  
My retirement home: straw bale, passive solar, toilet that washes my ass, and a compass in the stock.
 
2012-05-04 02:01:44 AM  
I just noticed that Weyerhauser recently announced that their TJIs (wood I-beams) will now be available with an intumescent coating to meet the new code requirements for fire-resistance.
 
2012-05-04 04:33:14 AM  
little ticky tacky boxes

they burn down pfft

How do you like your lives now, yuppies?
 
2012-05-04 08:49:38 AM  

lizyrd: Magorn: *Looks Post* thinks there's something familiar about the writing style

Do you mean the overuse of commas, or the fact that I don't explain myself very well?

Smeggy Smurf: If I were king for a day one of the things I would do would be to mandate that all houses that use an engineered floor have a special marker placed outside the house.

It would be nice. In some cases engineered floors are failing under fire conditions after 6 minutes. Six minutes, assuming the fire was noticed and reported early, is right about the time I would be entering the house to begin an attack. There are several documented cases of fire fighters moving two steps into the house and then taking the express route to the burning basement. New construction is starting to dictate much more conservative tactics when fighting fires. People who build houses with huge open spaces and structural components made from Elmer's glue and wood scraps are going to see them burn to the ground while fire fighters try to put it out from the outside and protect neighbors' homes. We've come a long way in the last 100 years. Our goal used to be to hold the fire to the building of origin and not let the block burn. Technology steadily improved, and now the goal is to hold the fire to the room or even the area of origin. These new buildings have us going backward.

I can't blame the builders, the architects or the engineers. Their goal has never been to build a structure that stands up to a major fire. They want to build faster, cheaper buildings and they've succeeded.


Speaking as an Architect, we should be blamed, along with the engineers and builders. We have sacrificed safety for cost to an unacceptable extent. As professionals with an obligation to protect the health safety and welfare of the public we fail when we specify and install these systems.
 
2012-05-04 09:16:03 AM  

Ebbelwoi: ICF people. ICF.


That. ICF kicks ass.
 
2012-05-04 10:10:06 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: You need sprinklers.


Wow... first architect I've heard not straight up complain about fire protection systems.

lizyrd: It would be nice. In some cases engineered floors are failing under fire conditions after 6 minutes. Six minutes, assuming the fire was noticed and reported early, is right about the time I would be entering the house to begin an attack. There are several documented cases of fire fighters moving two steps into the house and then taking the express route to the burning basement. New construction is starting to dictate much more conservative tactics when fighting fires. People who build houses with huge open spaces and structural components made from Elmer's glue and wood scraps are going to see them burn to the ground while fire fighters try to put it out from the outside and protect neighbors' homes. We've come a long way in the last 100 years. Our goal used to be to hold the fire to the building of origin and not let the block burn. Technology steadily improved, and now the goal is to hold the fire to the room or even the area of origin. These new buildings have us going backward.


In college, I did a research paper comparing dimensional lumber and engineered lumber... amazing results. The when the EL failed, it failed catastrophically with the floor basically pancaking. The DL fail was much slower and provided a bit of a warning before collapsing.

/ Fire Protection Engineer
// Great fun getting graded for burning stuff

pyrowebdesigns.com
 
2012-05-04 10:44:18 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: As an architect I'm getting a kick out of this.

I've used the engineered materials for over a decade. There is nothing wrong with using them if you provide for additional fire protection such as sprinklers. Sure it's more expensive. Lose the imported tile, you don't need a toilet that washes your ass, your showerhead does not need to spray perfume and have LED lights. You need sprinklers.


Firefighters jumped through all sorts of hoops and did all they could to make residential sprinklers mandatory in the latest International Residential Building Code, so States like mine could add amendments to the law adopting it that make the mandatory sprinklers optional.

They are going to kill people in the name of "Property Rights"
 
2012-05-04 11:04:17 AM  

weiserfireman: Smeggy Smurf: As an architect I'm getting a kick out of this.

I've used the engineered materials for over a decade. There is nothing wrong with using them if you provide for additional fire protection such as sprinklers. Sure it's more expensive. Lose the imported tile, you don't need a toilet that washes your ass, your showerhead does not need to spray perfume and have LED lights. You need sprinklers.

Firefighters jumped through all sorts of hoops and did all they could to make residential sprinklers mandatory in the latest International Residential Building Code, so States like mine could add amendments to the law adopting it that make the mandatory sprinklers optional.

They are going to kill people in the name of "Property Rights"


We're in the same state. I wasn't aware that it had been made optional. I've been doing commercial work since right before the housing market collapsed. I fully support people's right to be stupid as long as they don't hurt somebody. Let them burn. Just put out a marker in front of the house that says this house is unsafe for firefighters.
 
2012-05-04 11:11:30 AM  

lizyrd: As a fire fighter, I'm getting a kick out of your kick. A 13D system may save a family's lives, but is not designed to save the house.


I'm ok with this. Saving the lives is the important part.

However, I have witnessed many a fire contained or extinguished by residential sprinklers. Having the sprinklers helps prevent the fire from growing to a point where extensive fire damage can occur.
 
2012-05-04 05:27:54 PM  

weiserfireman: Firefighters jumped through all sorts of hoops and did all they could to make residential sprinklers mandatory in the latest International Residential Building Code, so States like mine could add amendments to the law adopting it that make the mandatory sprinklers optional.


Well, at an average cost of $1.61 per SF, it's not cheap. Median square footage of a SFH is 2,169, so you're looking at $3.5k, on average. Then outside of a fire it's another maintenance item and something that could go wrong. I can see why people aren't happy.

The article mentions that annual insurance savings are $22. Assuming insurance companies know the relevant savings for sprinkler systems(lower loss of property/life), it seems they don't value sprinkler systems that much if they're only going to give a .6% discount on the install cost. Indeed, I typically use a 5% cost of capital rate, so the $3.5k would have to save $175/year to be 'worth it'. Even if I use a 2.5% 'discount' because I would indeed rather save a life than property, which wouldn't reflect quite as much in property insurance, it's still not worth it.

I'm forced to wonder if that $3.5k wouldn't be better put towards more fire resistant materials. For example, my ICF constructed dream house isn't going to fail from a fire very quickly at all, but it IS at a premium. Requiring fire sprinklers in the house would more likely force me to fall back to the cheap engineered wood that DOES need sprinklers for safety.
 
Displayed 46 of 46 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report