The International Building Code (IBC) categorizes buildings into five types of construction, and each has different parameters. The purpose of categorizing various types of construction is to establish a basic level of safety for occupants in the event of a fire and  preservation of the property itself. Buildings can be categorized into five different types of construction


This type of structures are high-rises. High-rises are usually defined as buildings more than 75 feet tall, with some agencies making amendments for buildings that are 35—55 feet tall. This structures are constructed of concrete and protected steel (steel coated with a fire-resistant material, most often a concrete mixture), and are designed to hold fire for an extended amount of time in order to keep the fire at bay in the room and/or floor of origin.


This type of construction is typically found in new buildings and remodels of commercial structures. The walls and roofs are constructed of non-combustible materials. Specifically, walls are usually reinforced masonry or tilt slab, while roofs have metal structural members and decking. The top of these roofs are often covered with lightweight concrete, foam, an insulated membrane or a combination of these materials.


This type of buildings have non-combustible walls and a wood roof. Older construction buildings may consist of unreinforced masonry and have a conventionally framed roof, while newer buildings will have lightweight roof systems supported by reinforced masonry or tilt slab. The most common types of roof systems in a commercial setting of Ordinary construction include parallel cord truss and panelized roof systems.

Heavy Timber

This type of construction is found in older buildings and utilizes large dimensional lumber for structural members and interior elements.



This type of construction is found in many modern homes. The walls and roofs are made of combustible materials–most commonly wood. If the walls are wood-framed, the roof usually is as well. Rooftops are ceramic tile or asphalt shingles placed over lightweight trusses and OSB.

Ultimately, the type of construction drives the building’s use, occupant load, square footage, height, proximity to other structures, windows, exit placements, fire resistance, and the need for sprinklers. We will work with you to clearly determine the type of your contracture project and your needs and requirements.

We can manage and construct your residential building construction, industrial construction and commercial building construction.