Last month's dramatic fire, which destroyed a huge luxury apartment community still under construction in Montrose, dramatically illustrates much of what is wrong with multifamily residential construction in modern-day America. To effect a slight savings, real estate developers, builders and architects increasingly are using building materials that actually contribute to fire disasters. Building codes in Houston and many other cities compound the problem by not requiring stronger fire barriers. Like the Montrose project, new multifamily residential structures are commonly made up of wood-frame buildings with gypsum wallboard on the inside and masonry, artificial stucco, simulated wood siding or a combination thereof on the outside. This is usually done legally and in accordance with generally accepted building codes, which is part of the problem.
|State||Published - Apr 2014|