Home Builders Reaffirm Commitment to Wood Trusses

Industry News,

Originally Published by: NAHB — June 27, 2023
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In 1999, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) adopted a resolution indicating it would work with industry organizations like the Wood Truss Council of America (WTCA) and the American Wood Council (AWC) “to oppose the restriction or banning of wood trusses, I-joists, and engineered wood products designed, manufactured, and used in accordance with nationally recognized codes and standards.” 

Almost 25 years later, NAHB reviewed, updated, and renewed their commitment to this resolution at their spring meeting in Washington, D.C., on June 10, 2023. Beyond the update to recognize WTCA’s name change in 2007 to the Structural Building Components Association (SBCA), there are several statements in the resolution that serve as potent reminders to component manufacturers on where home builders stand with regard to wood trusses. 

“Whereas, the use of wood trusses and I-joists has been established as an integral component of residential construction and has led to greater flexibility in design and improved home builders’ ability to better serve the needs of home buyers.” 

If there was any ambiguity on how NAHB and its members feel about wood trusses, this statement clears it up. It’s important to note the resolution does not single out roof trusses, but rather encompasses floor trusses (alongside I-joists) when describing them as an “integral component of residential construction.” 

“Whereas, the integral use of wood trusses and I-joists in residential construction has resulted in cost savings to home buyers;    

Whereas, the design and use of wood trusses, I-joists and engineered wood products is an environmentally responsible and efficient use of forest resources and other raw materials;” 

These statements further clarify the primary arguments NAHB and its local affiliates will use when lobbying again any push within local building codes to move away from wood-based construction. 

“Whereas, nationally recognized consensus standards have been developed for the use of wood trusses and I-joists and have been adopted by reference in the model building codes;” 

This is an affirmation of the importance of ANSI/TPI 1 and the fact it continues to be the primary reference standard in the model building code for the component manufacturing industry. 

“Whereas, current, nationally recognized research finds injury risk due to the structural failure of wood trusses and I-joists to be minimal;” 

The home builders affirm what component manufacturers already know, which is that wood roof and floor trusses are incredibly efficient and deliver optimal structural performance in light-frame construction.  Given the sheer volume of construction that has incorporated wood trusses with great success, there is no evidence to suggest their use should be limited in any way. 

It is encouraging that as SBCA and NAHB build closer lines of communication and cooperation on the building code front they would choose to reaffirm their commitment to wood truss construction.