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[SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Roof Truss shop drawings

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>     I would value other opinions on the review of  residential roof truss
>shop drawings by the engineer of record. 

Tom:

Your question opens up many a can of worms concerning the prefabricated
truss industry and maybe this is the place to air things out.  The ICBO 
people informed me a couple of years ago that there were some problems
and our local building official tightened up the submittal requirements 
here after some problems were brought to his attention.

The engineer of record may require on his drawings that the truss company
provide him with calculations and drawings, but unless he follows this up,
he may never get them.

There was a comment about trusses being supported by walls which are not
bearing walls; this has happened.

But there are some other subtle things going on.  The design for "lateral 
bracing that may be required to reduce the length of individual truss is
determined as part of the wood truss design and is the only requirement for
bracing that will be shown on the truss design.  Lateral bracing details,
including method of connection and transfer of member buckling forces to
the structure are to be determined by the BUILDING DESIGNER.  Lateral
bracing is to be supplied in the size specified and installed at the location
specified by the BUILDER or ERECTION CONTRACTOR.  The BUILDING DESIGNER must
ascertain that the specified lateral bracing is properly installed and that
this bracing is sufficiently anchored or restrained by diagonal bracing to
prevent its movement."  -  This is from Appendix B, Commentary on Bracing from
TPI-85, recommened design practice the Truss Plate Insititue.  This is not 
in the UBC.

Question:  Have you ever been provided loads of the lateral bracing so that
you could provide connections and resisting members by your local truss
supplier?

Going on.  Do you provide details of how non-bearing walls are to be framed
under prefabricated trusses?  The only detail that I know of is in the
Simpson catalog - and this is not usually a problem - unless you are in 
snow country with 100 psf+ snow loads.  Then this can be a problem if your
contractor connects the top of a wall in the between web points of a bottom 
chord and doesn't provide a method to allow the truss to deflect.

Further.  I think there may have been a discussion about this topic here
before, I know it was well discuss the the twdwelling group on Compuserve, 
but the problem is seasonal truss uplift due to the difference in relative
humidity between chords.  A real problem when the truss starts to bow upward
and starts pulling apart the taped joints at the interior walls.  You client
gets real skittish from the noises as well as watching the cracks grow at
the ceiling-wall joints.  Sometimes this is misinterpreted as settlement of
the interior footings!  There is more information in a paper put out by
the Small Homes Council-Building Research Council, University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, Techical Note 18 by Donald Percival - title:  "Ceiling-
Floor Partition Separation"  What Is It and Why Is Is Occuring?"

This problem can be made worse by the contractor not providing adequate
ventilation.  I usually see a note on drawings specifying so much area of
ventilation per the roof area of the building; but maybe it's time to start
actually specifying the various openings and making sure that it's done.

If you don't get to review the final truss design from the fabricator, then
how do you know if he provided the correct loads.  There is a case pending
presently where the designer missed three foot eaves with snow loads over
200 psf!

It might be a good idea to inspect the truss's installation.  We found one
project where the electrician had run his wiring through the bottom chord of
a truss.  

A final troubling thought concerning the design of heel joints; the code 
(Sec. 2343.3) refers you to Table 23-III-PP for connector capacity 
reductions for spans up to 35 feet. What is done when the span is greater 
than 35 feet?  Supposively, the various truss designers have this taken 
care of in their computer programs.  I've only reviewed and compared one 
program and this required manual input to model.  The problem is the heel
joint eccentricity and I have not seen an ICBO metal plate report that
indicates that their plates can resist a moment connection.

Again, most engineers will not run into there problems unless the trusses
are used in a highly loaded situation and maybe you won't encounter these
questions until you get into court.


Neil Moore, S.E.


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