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Steel Roof Trusses

Commercial and Residential Use of Steel Roof Trusses

A truss is a structure composed of one or more triangles connected at joints called nodes. The triangle is used because it is the most simple geometric shape which will not distort when the length of the sides are fixed. The joints rare referred to as nodes. Trusses are used in roof structures in order to distribute the weight of the roof evenly on the load bearing walls of the building. The most common use of steel roof trusses is in commercial buildings; more than 20 percent of commercial structures utilize steel roof trusses.

During the past few years, residential builders are starting to use steel roof trusses in the construction of homes.

Advantages of Steel Roof Trusses

The use of steel roof trusses by homebuilders results from the unique characteristics of steel as compared to wood. Steel is lighter than wood thus putting less load and stress on the walls supporting the roof. Steel roof trusses are resistant to both fire and termites, thus there is less maintenance for the homeowner. Steel tends to expand and contract significantly less than wood, meaning there are fewer issues with the structure settling. There is a high level of flexibility in the design utilizing steel roof trusses allowing seamless integration into the existing roof structure in remodeling projects. Prefabricated steel roof trusses are quickly and easily installed, meaning less labor cost for the contractor and homeowner. These advantages contribute to the popularity of steel roof trusses with commercial builders.

Specifications Needed When Ordering a Steel Roof Truss

Contractors and builders order steel roof trusses from manufacturers. The most basic information required is the roof span, and whether or not there is roof or attic mounted heating and air conditioning apparatus. The presence of HVAC equipment affects the stresses put on the roof structure so the design of the truss must consider this factor. The truss manufacturer needs to know whether the attic area will be used as living or storage space and the architectural details planned for the roof. The steel roof truss manufacturer needs to know the location of the structure in order to ensure compliance with local building codes. Additionally, the contractor needs to communicate the number of windows and doors as a proportion to the total wall area. The other information required by the manufacturer of the steel roof trusses includes the wind exposure category, the building category, the span of the roof, the desired pitch of the roof and the building plans.

Environmental Advantages of Steel roof trusses

The use of steel as opposed to wood can be an element of green building practices. Building roof trusses with pre-manufactured steel roof trusses result in significantly less waste as compared to sites built using lumber. The innate resistance of steel to fire and insect damage means the homeowners uses less chemicals such as fire retardants and insecticides, thus there is less toxicity in the air of the home and a decreased chance of these toxins seeping into the water table. The only drawback to steel roof trusses in eco-friendly construction is the amount of energy required to produce the steel.


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