Wood Trusses - Wood WORKS

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Wood Trusses Strength, Economy, Versatility I n t e r n a t i o n a l Building series NO. 2

Introduction Wood trusses are engineered Wood trusses are widely used in frames of lumber joined single- and multi-family residen- together in triangular shapes tial, institutional, agricultural and by galvanized steel connector commercial construction. Their plates, referred to commonly high strength-to-weight ratios as truss plates. permit long spans, offering greater flexibility in floor plan layouts. They can be designed in almost any shape or size, restricted only by manufacturing capabilities, shipping limitations and handling considerations. Metal plate connected roof wood trusses and increasingly, trusses were first introduced into wood floor trusses are being the North American market in used in residential and the 1950’s. Today, the majority commercial applications. of house roofs in Canada and the United States are framed with Wood truss use is not limited to North America. They are gaining acceptance around the world and are widely used in Europe and Japan. 2 I n t e r n a t i o n a l Building series NO. 2

We’ve Come a Long Way The first light frame trusses In the 1950’s the metal connector were built on site using plate transformed the truss nailed plywood gusset plates. industry by allowing efficient These trusses offered prefabrication of short and long acceptable spans but span trusses. demanded considerable time to build. In North America the wood truss industry has grown to the point where more than 60% of residential roofs are now built with wood trusses. In Canada, approximately 95% of new houses are built with wood roof trusses. When the advantages of wood trusses are considered, it is not surprising that their use is increasing throughout the world. Strength: Trusses provide a strong and efficient wood system specifically engineered for each application. Economy: Through effi- Research has led to cient use of wood and by pro- improved materials, design viding a system that is quickly procedures and manufacturing installed in the field, wood technologies for wood trusses. trusses provide an economical framing solution. Truss plates used to con- nect the wood pieces together Versatility: Complex shapes and unusual designs are easily accommodated using have been optimized for strength and cost. wood trusses. The versatility of wood trusses makes it an and grading technologies have excellent roof framing system evolved to allow more efficient in hybrid construction where use of the wood resource. wood trusses are commonly used with steel, concrete or Lumber manufacturing Computers have been masonry wall systems. widely used to optimize truss turing process more efficient. Environmental: Wood, design and make the manufac- the only renewable building material, has numerous environmental advantages. Wood trusses enhance wood’s environmental advantages by optimizing wood use for each specific application. Improvements in materials, design and manufacturing technologies have increased wood truss competitiveness. W o o d T r u s s e s S t r e n g t h , E c o n o m y , Ve r s a t i l i t y 3

Wood Truss Technology Truss Design the building designer or builder In North America, designs will contact the truss fabricator are based on the structural and installation of a truss. A The truss design is initiated by who will supply a fully requirements of the Building truss is designed for a specific the building designer who must engineered truss. The truss Codes using design standards application, manufactured specify; the shape and span of plate manufacturer usually referenced in the Building Codes in accordance with the truss the truss, where the truss will be designs the truss on behalf of and approved material properties: design, delivered to the supported and what the loads the truss fabricator. building site and safely on the truss will be. Typically, There are a number of steps involved in the production installed in accordance with the design. Figure 1: Truss Nomenclature and Common Truss Shapes Pitched (triangular) Truss Roof Trusses: Light trusses are manufac- Fink Panel length tured to suit virtually any Lateral bracing Top chord Webs roof profile. Pitched or flat, they are only limited to the Panel point load arrangements and the Bottom chord support locations. Truss plate Mono Panel length Clear span Overall lenght Scissors Level return overhand Parallel Chord (flat) Truss Flat Trusses: Panel point Top chord Truss plate 4 Web Bottom chord Bearing point Room-in-Attic Flat trusses, also known as parallel chord trusses, are an alternative to conventional wood floor joist systems and are a competitive option to open web steel joist systems. Panel length Clear span Overall lenght Built-in camber I n t e r n a t i o n a l Building series NO. 2 Parallel chord floor trusses may be designed with varying chord and web arrangements and bearing support details.

Structural analogues and methodology have been Truss bearing and uplift requirements, and developed and standardized by the National Associations representing the manufacturers Truss member bracing requirements. of the metal plate connectors. Lumber design values are determined in accordance with the wood design standards. Truss connector plates are proprietary and each plate has different structural properties. Design values for truss plates are developed through tests and analyses in accordance with referenced standards. Approval of the design values is overseen by National certification organizations. Truss design is facilitated by the use of computer software that designs all truss members and connections and produces a design drawing with all the essential truss information. Truss Materials Wood Laboratory Testing of Wood Trusses All lumber used in trusses is graded using either a visual and 38 x 64 mm for webs. The plate manufacturers carry out a process or machine stress rating size of the members increases series of tests to determine the in accordance with national according to loading, span and design properties for each type standards. In the visual grading truss spacing. In some long-span of plate. process, each piece of lumber is applications, multi-ply trusses are visually examined and the wood used to increase capacity. growth characteristics that could Many sizes and gauges of connector plates are manufactured. grade is based on the size of Truss plates The most common plates use 16, 18 or 20-gauge (US affect the strength and stiffness of the member. Each piece of The truss connector plates are Standard Gauge) sheet steel, machine stress rated lumber proprietary products. They are in widths of 25 mm to 250 mm undergoes a stiffness evaluation made of galvanized steel and and lengths up to 600 mm. in addition to a visual evaluation. manufactured by high speed stamping machines that punch The stamping results in teeth The minimum size of lumber out the plate teeth and shear the with dimensions varying from used is 38 x 89 mm for chords plate to the required size. Truss 6 mm to 25 mm. Included on the drawing (see Figure 2) is: The truss geometry, 5 The loads used in the truss design, Species, size and grade of all wood members, Size and location of all connector plates, Truss Connector Plates W o o d T r u s s e s S t r e n g t h , E c o n o m y , Ve r s a t i l i t y

Figure 2: Sample of a Truss Shop Drawing 6 I n t e r n a t i o n a l Building series NO. 2

Truss Manufacture The factory manufacture of light frame trusses is demonstrated in Figure 3. Since wood trusses are custom made, the variety of roof pitches and location of lumber members entails complex cutting patterns. Each member must fit snugly in place. The computer design of trusses generates fabrication instructions. These indicate the size and grade as well as the precise cutting patterns for each of the chord and web members. The type, size, location and orientation of the Truss Handling, Installation and Storage Trusses are strong in the vertical position but can be damaged at the plate joints if bent in the lateral direction. Trusses should be unloaded in bundles and stored on level ground, but never in direct contact with the ground. Trusses should always be protected from the elements. During unloading and erection, proper lifting equipment must be Once the pieces have been cut use heavy rigging equipment. on opposing faces at the joints and pressed into the lumber using hydraulic presses or rollers. When the pressing of the plates has been completed, the trusses are checked for plate tooth penetration and moved to a storage area. Trusses must be braced to designer or the building ensure safety and performance. designer. Permanent bracing To do so, trusses are placed provides lateral support to according to installation compression web and chord procedures and guidelines members and prevents overall provided by the truss fabricator. lateral displacement of the During construction, the installer roof assembly. tions provided by the truss provides temporary bracing to keep the trusses plumb and correctly spaced and to prevent damage or collapse caused by lateral loads such as wind. Permanent bracing is also prevent damage. Trusses less than 6 m can be installed by identical truss plates are placed installed according to specifica- used to ensure safety and to connector plates are also indicated. and arranged using a template, Truss Bracing hand while trusses over 18 m Groups of trusses can be assembled on the ground and lifted together into position. This prevents lateral strain on the joints and resists wind loads prior to final installation of sheathing or permanent bracing. Figure 3: Manufacture of Light Frame Trusses Material receiving and storage Automated truss design and cutting schedules Cutting of members Template outline Truss assembly Plate placement Plate pressing Bundling and shipping W o o d T r u s s e s S t r e n g t h , E c o n o m y , Ve r s a t i l i t y 7

Wood Truss Advantages and Applications Flexibility and Versatility 7. Vaulted ceilings are 8. Wood trusses are very using simply installed connections easily made: bottom chords versatile and compatible with to join the roof to the walls. of pitched trusses can be other structural products. They can Long spans without interme- sloped, or parallel chord be connected to other trusses, or 9. Hinged connector plates diate supports create large pitched trusses bearing on combined with other components, used with mono-pitch trusses open spaces that architects supports at different elevations such as glulam and steel beams. allow modular homes to be and designers can use with can be used. Attic trusses are In North America, wood roof assembled with conventional complete freedom. Partitions designed to provide living areas trusses are commonly supported roof pitches, greatly enhancing can be moved without within the roof space. on concrete or masonry walls their appearance. compromising the structural integrity of the building. 1. Truss shapes have almost unlimited variety, thus allowing for distinctive roof shapes. 2. Many restaurant chains choose to expose their corporate 1 identity in the roof design of their buildings. 3. Metal plate connected trusses are used to create arches of all types. 4. Wood trusses used in specialized applications such 3 as agricultural and commercial buildings provide spans exceeding 25 m. 8 5. As a testament to their strength, wood trusses are used in concrete formwork, scaffolding and falsework for industrial projects. 6. The open web configuration of roof and floor trusses allows easy placement of plumbing, electrical, mechanical and sanitary services. I n t e r n a t i o n a l Building series NO. 2 4 WTCA 2 WTCA

8 8 6 5 9 WTCA 9 7 8 W o o d T r u s s e s S t r e n g t h , E c o n o m y , Ve r s a t i l i t y

Performance system is simplified. Wood Additional stiffness can Not all truss assemblies require a sheathing can be easily attached be built into the floor truss fire resistance rating. The building Since they were first introduced to the top chord to provide the and floor system to reduce occupancy, the building size, in the 1950’s, metal plate underlay for the roofing mem- floor vibration. number of exits and the use of connected wood trusses have brane or floor finish. Ceilings can demonstrated an excellent track be readily connected to the truss record and are recognized in bottom chords and insulation is fire safety in buildings are spec- Building Codes throughout easily installed in the truss cavity. ified in the Building Codes. Fire-resistance ratings, based North America. Floor Trusses Roof Trusses sprinklers will determine what Design requirements for Wood trusses eliminate Top chords of floor trusses provide a wide 89 mm surface on-site framing problems. for easier nailing and increased Accurate fabrication and constant glue contact area with the sheath- quality control assure trusses are ing material. This helps build a uniform in size and shape and floor system that is stable and provide required structural quiet for the life of the structure. on standardized tests, are a measure of the fire resistance of roof and floor assemblies. Depending on sheathing, ceiling construction, and insulation, truss assemblies have achieved fire resistance ratings up to 2 hours. fire resistance rating is required. Floor truss assemblies can also be optimized to reduce sound transmission. In apartments, this limits noises from upper or lower units. For further information on fire and sound performance refer to “Fire Resistance and Sound Transmission in Wood-Frame Residential Buildings”. integrity to a building. Wood trusses can be con- structed and spaced to optimize Metal truss plate lumber strength and conserve Prefabricated roof truss timber resources. For example smaller dimension lumber is used in the truss webs and the typical Thermal insulation centre optimizes roof framing. When wood trusses are used as the principal framing members, 10 constructing the roof or floor 3 Source: Forintek Canada Corp. and Ministère des Ressources naturelles, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec I n t e r n a t i o n a l Building series NO. 2 Asphalt shingles Cedar shingles Vapour barrier roof truss spacing of 600 mm on Roof sheathing Roofing paper

Cost Effectiveness For example, framing a house Wood trusses are often more two times faster than with economical than steel or conventional wood framing. concrete in pitched or flat All construction has an impact Trusses do not contribute to roof applications. on the environment. We can waste generated at the site minimize the environmental and make cleanup less costly. burden associated with construc- Pilferage is also reduced because job site ready to install, reducing tion by choosing building assem- wood trusses generally cannot construction time significantly. blies that minimize energy use be used on other projects. and emissions. Wood trusses arrive at the Environmental Benefits with wood trusses is more than In most cases, wood trusses can be installed without the use of heavy machinery. They are light in weight and can be easily handled and lifted into place. Wood trusses can be installed by local tradesmen. They require less carpentry labour and, in typical applications, often eliminate the need for iron workers, welders, riggers and other costly trades. Truss fabricators and plate manufacturers can provide guidance and technical support Wood is the only renewable construction material. Framing with wood trusses minimizes the depletion of finite natural resources. Compared to other building materials, wood takes much less energy to process and minimizes air and water pollution. Wood trusses are energy efficient. They have excellent thermal properties, especially when compared with other framing materials such as steel. They create large cavities that are easy to insulate. to designers or builders confronted with design or installation difficulties. This support helps reduce the time invested in completing a construction project. W o o d T r u s s e s S t r e n g t h , E c o n o m y , Ve r s a t i l i t y 11

For more information please contact our office at: Canada Wood Head Office Website: www.canadawood.org Canada Wood China, Beijing Room 1507, Kuntai International Mansion, No.12 B Chaowai Street, Beijing 100020 Tel: (86-10) 5925-1255 Fax: (86-10) 5925-1258 Email: info@canadawood.cn Canada Wood China, Shanghai 425 Hong Feng Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201206 Tel: (86-21) 5030-1126 Fax: (86-21) 5030-3241 Email: info@canadawood.cn Canada Wood Korea 3rd Fl., 203 Bldg., #203-7, Yangjae-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea 137-893 Tel: (82-2) 3445-3835/4 Fax: (82-2) 3445-3832 Email: info@canadawood.or.kr Canada Wood France (Europe) 8 Esplanade Compans Caffarelli, 31000 Toulouse, France Tel: (33-5) 62-30-51-42 Fax: (33-5) 62-30-50-00 Email: europe@canadawood.org Canada Wood Japan Tomoecho Annex-11 9F 3-8-27 Toranomon Minato-ku Tokyo 105-0001, Japan Tel: (81-3) 5401-0531 Fax: (81-3) 5401-0538 Email: info@canadawood.jp Publications in this series: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Moisture and Wood-Frame Buildings Wood Trusses – Strength, Economy, Versatility Fire Resistance and Sound Transmission in Wood-Frame Residential Buildings Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis for Residential Buildings Thermal Performance of Light-Frame Assemblies www.cwc.ca Canada Wood UK Suite 8, St-Albans House PO Box 1, Farnborough, Hants, United Kingdom GU14 6WE Tel: (44-1252) 522545 Fax: (44-1252) 522546 E-mail: office@canadawooduk.org www.naturallywood.com A publication of the Canadian Wood Council. Funding support provided by Canada Wood partners: Canadian Plywood Association Quebec Wood Export Bureau SPF Group

wood trusses. The versatility of wood trusses makes it an excellent roof framing system in hybrid construction where wood trusses are commonly used with steel, concrete or masonry wall systems. Environmental: Wood, the only renewable building material, has numerous environ-mental advantages. Wood trusses enhance wood's environmental

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