Dr Geoff Thomas, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington
In the past, timber was seen as a poor construction material because of its flammability. However, with modern design and construction techniques this is rarely the case. This paper discusses the methods for ensuring light timber and heavy timber multi-storey buildings achieve the required fire ratings. For light timber frame structures the thicknesses and density of wall and ceiling linings required for fire safety are generally less than those required to meet acoustic requirements. Although more care is required to avoid fires during construction, modern timber buildings are as safe in fire as their steel or reinforced concrete counterparts.
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