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re: Prefab Trusses

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Further information to that already given:

If you are looking for specific information on engineering of plated wood
truss designs, you should obtain the TPI 1-1995 standard, which is the
design specification referenced in most U.S. building codes for such
trusses.  It is available from the Truss Plate Institute (ph#
608-833-5900).  TPI also publishes other relevant information, like
recommendations on handling, installing and bracing wood trusses.  Further
application information and a great handbook on wood trusses is also
available from the Wood Truss Council of America (ph# 608-274-4849, or  There is a lot of work in optimizing the engineering
of these trusses, and most truss designers use specialized software that
they or their vendors have developed to save time, especially with respect
to the connections, and this software often also produces time-saving
output related to non-structural features, like automated drafting,
fabrication and plant management information.  General consulting
structural engineers often find such designs very time-consuming to
complete using general design software that leaves the joint design to be
done manually, but the information required to do those designs is
available using the TPI 1-1995 specification and the ICBO ES evaluation

Light gage cold-formed steel (CFS) trusses typically use screws.  Gussets
may also be required depending on the member and truss configurations.
Many of the commercially available trusses use proprietary sections that
are unique, and some also use proprietary screws.  Trusses with these
proprietary materials are often provided in a manner similar to that for
plated wood trusses, i.e. optimized software etc....

One common trigger for steel instead of wood is if there is a requirement
for non-combustible construction.

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