Informing Design Considerations with BCSI

Industry News,

Originally Published by: SBCA Magazine — August 15, 2023
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Truss Installation Insights for Building Design Professionals

As building construction continues to evolve, the role of a project architect, engineer, and/or designer has become increasingly involved. When it comes to truss installation, the responsibilities of the designer extend far beyond aesthetics. Truss systems are integral components that ensure structural integrity and safety, demanding attention to detail at every stage of the building lifecycle. This article delves into the various facets that building designers have to consider during the design and project development phases that carry through the manufacturing and construction phases. 

Types of Building Designer Professional Based on Project Parameters | The diversity of building projects necessitates a tailored approach to design. Two primary situations dictate the level of involvement and type of design professionals required.  

  • Type 1— Structures Requiring a Registered Design Professional (RDP) | In cases where complexity, scale, and code demand meticulous engineering, an RDP is mandated. professional registered architects and engineers are considered RDPs. These professionals’ contract with and represent the owner to conceptualize the building’s design, functional, and structural systems and coordinate to develop the project plans and prepare the CDs.  
  • Type 2— Structures Not Requiring an RDP | Residential projects where the design, engineering, and regulatory parameters are less demanding may not necessitate an RDP. Here, the building designer might be the owner themselves, partner, or an individual contracted by the owner for design development and documentation. 

Navigating Regulatory Requirements | Steering the complex, often conflicting demands of the various regulatory agencies to ensure the safety and approval of the project is an indispensable necessity of any design professional’s role. Rigorous standards guarantee that structures adhere to safety protocols. Trusses are no exception.  
Example: Stringent requisites come into play when the project design requires trusses with clear spans exceeding 60 feet: 

  • An RDP must oversee the design of temporary installation restraint/bracing and permanent individual truss member restraint/bracing. 
  • Special inspections must be conducted to ensure the correct installation of the above-mentioned restraints. 

Information to Include in Construction Documents | CDs serve as the plan for realizing the overall building design and the layout and coordination between the various systems, i.e., structural, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. The designs detail several critical elements. BCSI provides a comprehensive reference to inform a building’s design and an architect, engineer, or building designer’s process.  

Some of the key elements for truss system designs are: 

  • Truss and structural element orientations and positions. 
  • Comprehensive truss profiles. 
  • Bearing conditions and locations for structural elements and trusses. 
  • Precise magnitudes and directions of all loads, encompassing those from roofing, flooring, mechanical systems, and more. 
  • Anchorage designs capable of countering uplift, gravity, and lateral loads. 
  • Truss-to-structural element connections, excluding truss-to-truss connections. 
  • Permanent building stability bracing, including truss anchorage connections. 
  • Criteria for deflection, including vertical and horizontal thresholds, creep deflection criteria for flat roofs under ponding loads, and differential deflection criteria. 
  • Deflection and vibration guidelines for floor trusses, incorporating strongback bridging and specifications for specific finishes. 
  • Anticipated environmental impacts such as moisture, temperature, and corrosive substances. 

The methods employed to restrain and anchor truss systems are pivotal in ensuring their stability. This topic will be covered in the next article in this series.