Bracing for Impact with BCSI B3 and B7

Industry News,

Originally Published by: SBCA Magazine — August 22, 2023
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Impact of Methods of Bracing, Restraint, and Anchoring on Design 

Constructing a building's structural frame through the installation of manufactured components is a multifaceted task that demands meticulous planning, strict adherence to industry standards, and compliance with codes and regulations. This intricate process begins well before any lumber is cut, plates are pressed, or trusses are transported to the job site. The foundation for a safe and successful installation is laid during the design phase. As the design elements come together, detailed information and instructions are meticulously developed as part of the construction documents (CDs), serving as a guide for contractors and crews. This is further supplemented by the truss submittal package provided. 

Architectural and engineering designers wield significant influence in ensuring the integrity and safety of a building's structural system. Their design decisions cast a ripple effect throughout the project's lifecycle, carrying a weight that necessitates a thorough consideration of the countless nuances inherent in a project's parameters. One such critical consideration involves the implications of bracing, restraint, and anchoring methods outlined in the CDs and supplementary documents. Enter the Building Component Safety Information (BCSI) handbook, a comprehensive resource empowering designers to make well-informed decisions that pave the way for seamless success across every stage of the process – from inception and installation, to the creation of enduring structures that align with clients' visions. 

Central to comprehending and navigating the intricacies of bracing, restraining, and anchoring methods for truss systems is the BCSI guide. A focal point of this guide is the BCSI-B3, which delves into means and methodologies for the permanent restraint and bracing of chords and web members. Likewise, BCSI-B7 directs readers through the nuanced process of handling, installing, and bracing 3x2 and 4x2 parallel chord trusses, commonly known as floor trusses. 

Determining the optimal method for the permanent restraint or bracing of individual truss members, alongside selecting the right method to anchor or restrain to counteract collective lateral movement of all truss members, entails one of three approaches: 

  1. Standard Industry Details: This approach entails adhering to established industry standards for lateral restraint and diagonal bracing, as prescribed by BCSI-B3 and BCSI-B7.
  2. Reinforcement Substitution: Instead of conventional bracing methods, viable alternative reinforcement techniques can be utilized to counteract buckling. Examples include T-Reinforcements, L-Reinforcements, or proprietary alternatives.
  3. Project-Specific Design: Building designers and registered design professionals have the latitude to tailor designs for truss member lateral restraint and bracing to suit the specific demands of a project. 

It's important to underscore that these approaches align with the regulations articulated in Section 2303.4 of the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) and ANSI/TPI 1-2014. 

In essence, BCSI acts as a value-added companion for building designers, fostering heightened awareness and guiding better design decisions. This, in turn, forges a smooth path to consistent success across every phase of the process – from inception to installation, resulting in the creation of capable and enduring structures that remain true to the original design intent.