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Decorative Character of Modern Plastic Floor Coverings
Thermoplastics are artificial compounds which at certain processing temperatures may be shaped as often as required. The basic substance, polyvinyl chloride, is a tasteless and odourless powder. Through the addition of softeners in the finishing process the flexible, break-proof plastic material is obtained.
With “Pegulan” the completely homogenous floor covering results from the fusion of a number of calendared plastic folia. The material is built up in layers, and by virtue of its practically indestructible surface offers great resistance to wear and tear. Testimonials from several scientific institutes confirm the excellent material qualities of the covering.
Long life, decorative effect, and simple and inexpensive maintenance are the qualities expected from a floor covering. This material meets these demands to a high degree, while the range of colours and the qualities of the material are eminently suited to contemporary interior decorative art.
Well chosen tints in the home should help to promote comfort, good temper and efficiency. The many possible combinations of surface which present themselves allow of the achievement of a well balanced effect even when an arrangement of strong tints is chosen.
This plastic floor covering is available in length approximately 55 and 60 in. (140 and 150 cm.) wide, and in tiles approximately 11½ and 13½ in. (29 and 34 cm.) square. There are many tasteful shades.
The covering, by virtue of its nonporous surface is readily kept clean and meets all the demands of modern hygiene. It is ready for use as soon as it is laid. The high durability of the durelastic p.v.c. material is particularly valuable where heavy wear is anticipated.
In addition, this floor covering is heat insulating, noiseless, elastic, slip proof and light- and flame-resistant. It resists alkalis, acids, oils and fats. It is easily cared for and kept clean, a small amount of polish and a dry mop being all that is needed to impart a shine.
Construction Fire Safety
by Mat Chibbaro, P.E.
Buildings of all types, while under construction, renovation or demolition, are both more susceptible to fire and at greater risk of the effects of fire. A wide variety of ignition sources increase the likelihood of fires starting. Concentrations of combustible materials, incomplete compartmentation and other passive systems, and unfinished fire protection systems allow fire to spread unimpeded. Wind conditions can increase the rapidity of fire spread.
This places at greater risk the workers occupying such buildings and the emergency responders that may be called upon to operate within or near them. Accident statistics and reports tell a tale of many construction workers being killed or maimed over the years by fires and explosions. In May 2008, 14 employees were injured in a natural gas explosion in a hotel under construction in California.
In 2007, two fire-fighters were killed at a fire incident during the demolition of the Deutsche Bank Building in New York City.
Typically, building and fire codes, such as those promulgated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council (ICC), contain comprehensive lists of the provisions that are to be followed during construction. However, being model standards or codes, they tend to focus more on the "what," and give less attention to the "who," "how" and "when" of implementation. This article presents protection and prevention features of different phases in construction, and discusses ways that the fire protection engineering profession may contribute to efficient and effective implementation of these features.
An important concept affecting the efficiency of a project is the creation of lines of communication between the various stakeholders.
First, a fire protection engineer can serve as a liaison between disciplines. There is a network of fire safety-related interrelationships between structural fire protection; architectural layout; mechanical, HVACR and plumbing systems; fire suppression systems; electrical features; and fire alarm, detection and control systems. The fire protection engineer is in a unique position to understand how these items work together to achieve overall fire safety goals and thereby work to coordinate them.
The fire protection engineer can also consult with the owner on various concepts. One is the plan for partial occupancy if the owner expects to do this in stages. In some cases, the owner or their insurer will desire protection above and beyond what the fire and building codes require.
Two critical alliances that must be built early, and maintained through a project's life, are those that link the design team with both the code authorities and the emergency response organization in the project's jurisdiction. In some cases, this can be done with one alliance - when the code authority has the ability to speak for the responders within the same fire department or fire brigade. Certainly, the two roles are different - code authorities need to do enforcement, while the responders are in need of information for preincident planning.
Early and regular contact with code authorities can establish communication that is vital to efficient incorporation of code requirements, both those that address construction hazards and those that apply to the finished building. Jurisdictions frequently have amendments to the model codes. Both the base codes and local amendments can be interpreted to accommodate a wide array of sites and structures. The earlier the authority's interpretations and expectations can be learned, the more efficiently the design and construction phases can proceed. This, in turn, translates into cost savings for the owner or developer and valuable time saved for all parties.
Emergency responders face significant challenges during a fire situation in any occupied building. They must deal with an extremely dynamic environment, with limited information on the fire, its byproducts and the building occupants. These challenges are compounded in a building under construction because the protection features and systems are constantly changing, as is the building itself. The more information they have at hand when an incident occurs, the better their decision-making can be, especially during a rapidly unfolding situation.
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