Breaking Down BCSI

Industry News,

Originally Published by: SBCA Magazine — June 27, 2023
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An Introduction to Building Component Safety Information

Over the next several weeks and months, SBCA will take a look at its Building Component Safety Information (BCSI) guide in a series of articles. This series explores the segments of the BCSI Guidebook covering a wide array of topics to provide in-depth insights, practical tips of the trade, and real-world applications for building professionals including but not limited to, architects, designers, specifiers, engineers, home builders, contractors, framers, component manufacturers, inspectors, developers, educators, and practitioners throughout the residential building industry. From fundamental aspects such as safely handling Trusses to more intricate installation techniques like temporary and permanent bracing— This deep dive into all things BCSI serves as an easily digestible educational medium for promoting construction safety practices, addressing common challenges, and enhancing the awareness and adoption of readily available and accessible innovative building component system solutions.

BSCI Safety Information

This first installment serves as a high-level introduction to the BCSI Guidebook for industry professionals and potential users involved in the planning, design, specification, production, construction, and inspection of single-family and multifamily residential construction.

When it comes to the construction industry, safety and efficiency are paramount to the realization of any building or structure. Efficiency reduces waste, rework, and time to market leading to lower operational costs, increased profit margins, and happier clients. While job-site safety reduces risk, accidents, liability, and the ever-growing cost of insurance and legal fees for the builder and provides greater peace of mind to the installation crew. All of which results in higher quality builds.

With this in mind, members of the Structural Building Components Association (SBCA) and the Truss Plate Institute (TPI) collaborated in 2003 to develop the first edition of what has become an indispensable resource and go-to reference manual for building industry professionals seeking to understand and adhere to industry standards and building best practices known as the Building Component Safety Information Guidebook or BCSI.  

For more than 20 years SBCA has periodically reviewed and updated the guide by soliciting and incorporating feedback from industry experts and allied organizations, integrating shifts in technology, process, product, and building codes to uphold the merit, validity, and relevance of the information provided within.

BCSI was designed to facilitate the adoption and utilization of offsite construction / on-site assembly solutions. This comprehensive guide promotes safe measures while ensuring optimal structural performance in line with current regulatory requirements. This guide was built upon the foundation of prioritizing jobsite safety and elevated structural performance, encompassing research and insights from prevalent safety documents, adept understandings, and industry standards. The methods recommended are in line with accepted framing construction practices and are tailored to the handling, installing, restraining, and bracing of Metal Plate Connected Wood Truss Building Components. However, it is important to note that the recommendations in the BCSI book should be used in conjunction with the Building Designer's specifications and are not intended to be superior or restrictive. Additionally, it is essential to consult with qualified professionals and adhere to local building codes and regulations for specific projects and circumstances.

BCSI is divided into sections B1-B11, each focused on specific aspects of component handling, installation, bracing, and safety with supplementary information and resources incorporated throughout. It was constructed to be utilized and referenced in a variety of scenarios across a range of user types from planning and design, on-site framing, to post-installation inspection.

Regardless of the role, the best place for any BCSI newbie to begin is at the end. That’s right, flip it over before diving in. The back cover of the guidebook details the subject of sections B1-B11 allowing quick and easy navigation to the most relevant information needed based on the situation at hand. (See Below)

BSCI Image

BCSI Book Sections B1 – B11 Summary Overview

The Summary Overview below highlights the key focuses of Sections B1-B11 that make up the core content of the BCSI Guidebook. Note: BCSI-B6 is not included below as it is reserved for future use and does not contain information.

B1: Guide for Handling, Installing, Restraining & Bracing of Trusses

  • Broad Overview of content further detailed in sections B2-B11
  • Proper techniques for unloading, storing, lifting, erecting, and installing Trusses
  • Protection of Trusses from weather and damage
  • Crane lifting, restraining, and bracing to prevent toppling
  • Installation tolerances to maintain Truss alignment
  • Construction loading and materials placement recommendations

B2: Truss Installation & Temporary Restraint/Bracing

  • Importance of temporary restraint/bracing during Truss installation
  • Options for safe temporary restraint/bracing installations
  • Emphasis on stabilizing lateral restraint with diagonal bracing
  • Efficient and safe erection of the first five Trusses

B3: Permanent Restraint/Bracing of Chords & Web Members

  • Overview of the planes of the Truss that require restraint/bracing
  • Installation guidelines for gable end frame restraint/bracing
  • Individual chord and web member permanent restraint/bracing
  • Web member reinforcement and permanent restraint/bracing for special conditions

B4: Construction Loading

  • Importance of proper restraint and bracing before Trusses support loads
  • Safe stack heights for various construction materials
  • Illustration of good and bad loading practices

B5: Truss Damage, Jobsite Modifications & Installation Errors

  • Information on handling damaged Trusses during construction
  • Addressing mishandling, jobsite modifications, and installation errors

B7: Guide for Handling, Installing & Bracing of 3x2 & 4x2 Parallel Chord Trusses

  • Commonly referred to as Floor Trusses
  • Installation, restraint, and bracing practices for floor trusses
  • Ensuring safe installation and long-term floor performance

B8: Using Toe-Nailed Connections to Attach Trusses at Bearing Locations

  • Using toe-nailed connections for attaching Trusses
  • Uplift and lateral resistance capacities for toe-nailed connections
  • Discussion of alternative connection options when toe-nailing is insufficient

B9: Multi-Ply Girders

  • Various attachment methods and fasteners for multiple-ply girder trusses
  • Ensuring proper attachment and functioning as a single member

B10: Post Frame Truss Installation, Restraint & Bracing

  • Handling, installing, restraining, and bracing flat bottom chord MPCWT (Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses) in post frame construction

B11: Fall Protection & Trusses

  • Safe and efficient Truss installation while meeting OSHA fall protection guidelines
  • Emphasizes that Trusses are not designed to be fall protection anchors

Sections B1-B11 of the BCSI Guidebook are available as B-Series Summary Sheets. Summary Sheets are condensed version of each BCSI section and highlight the main points covered throughout to provide clear, concise information for jobsite users so they can implement the handling, installing, restraining and bracing concepts contained herein more easily. SBCA assembles several of the Summary Sheets and other pertinent documents in its Jobsite Package which should be included in every truss package delivery. The BCSI Book and BCSI Summary Sheets are available to purchase online at the SBCA Shop for further reference and detailed information.