Types of Building Systems

  • Modular — Single sections installed in a larger structure to multiple sections providing the structure — can be 70-90% complete upon delivery. Accredited third-party inspections assure code compliance.
  • Panelized — Open or closed frame, structural insulated panels (SIP), sandwich panels, precast concrete, cross-laminated timber — except for open frame, third-party inspections are used to insure assembly of components.
  • Log — Random length (all decisions for placement done in the field by experienced builders), precut (corners, wall openings, etc. cut in a factory according to customer-approved plans), and handcrafted (first crafted and assembled off-site, then reassembled on site). Quality assurance is provided by accredited third-party grading programs.
  • Timber frame, post & beam — Timbers are joined to form the structure.
  • Post-Frame — Uses pressure-treated solid wood posts or laminated columns to support girts and trusses without concrete masonry or conventional studs of wood or steel. It transfers loads to the ground or to a concrete pier and utilizes an interlocking frame that can handle greater loads than stud-wall construction.
  • Components — Prefabricated roof trusses, insulated concrete forms (ICF), and other methods are available to improve material management, labor efficiencies, and quality of construction on site.

Some of the Associations Supporting Building Systems

  • Modular Building Institute — Founded in 1983, the Modular Building Institute (MBI) is the international non-profit trade association serving modular construction. Members are manufacturers, contractors, and dealers in two distinct segments of the industry – permanent modular construction (PMC) and relocatable buildings (RB).
  • NAHB’s Building Systems Councils (BSC) — The leading resource for the concrete, log and timber, modular and panelized home building industries, comprised of six councils:
    • Associate Members Building Council
    • Concrete Home Building Coalition
    • Log and Timber Homes Council
    • Modular Home Building Council
    • Panelized Home Building Council
    • Systems Builders Council
  • National Frame Building Association — the only national trade association that promotes the interests of the post-frame construction industry and its members.
  • Structural Building Components Association — Founded in 1983, representing manufacturers of engineered floor, wall and roof structural components, offering testing, research and comparative studies.
  • Structural Insulated Panel Association — Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a high performance building system for residential and light commercial construction. The panels consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, typically oriented strand board (OSB). SIPs are manufactured under factory controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design. The result is a building system that is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective.

Click BUILDING SYSTEMS 2019 NEBOEA for the PowerPoint presentation on Building Systems at the 2019 New England Building Officials Education Association Conference.



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