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RE:Wood Truss Bracing

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If the majority of us think that the way the wood truss suppliers currently design and build trusses leads us down the road to  unsafe structures, we should join forces and express our concerns. Individually, we just sound like a bunch of whiney little kids. I am confident that working together as a group, we can get this changed. A coordinated letter writing campaign could be very effective. Working thru several professional organizations is also a possibility. We could enlist the help of building inspectors and insurance companies also. 
If the truss people start hearing from structural engineers, building inspectors and insurance companies all over the country on this issue, they are going to sit up and take notice.
I do not do residential work but the same problems exist in commercial construction.
Jim K.
 ----Original Message-----
From: Rand Holtham, P.E. [mailto:rand(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 7:50 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Residential Truss Bracing

I usually specify that lateral bracing of the web members is prohibited unless shown on the drawing. If a web member gets to be over 6' long l/d =50 then we note the lateral bracing on the drawings. This forces to use heavier members otherwise the truss guy will put bracing for the webs all over. Of course the top and bottom chord is braced by sheathing or strapping are these are carfully noted on our drawings
However if no engineering documents are present and a home owner buys a roof truss system who fills in the gap then? The carpenter? I think its a pretty chicken note from TPI and it can be dangerous to the public. City officials should watch this because I believe they bear the responsibility in the absence of a design professional.
Rand W. Holtham, P.E.
Sigma Engineers, Inc.
Beaumont, Texas
From: "Chris Banbury" <cbanbury(--nospam--at)>
To: <
Subject: RE: Residential Truss Bracing

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We have similar difficulties.  The TPI-95 document is referenced by the =
state statues here in Florida. By default the document requires the EOR =
to design lateral bracing as located by the truss design engineer.  The =
individual truss drawings should indicate the location of any required =
lateral truss bracing. Diagonal bracing and gable end bracing seems to =
fall to the EAR entirely.

However, the document also states that it is not intended to supercede =
the contract documents (drawings/specs/etc).  This can be an important =
clause to defending your intent on how the design =
responsibilities/liabilities should be assigned.=20

The truss designer/supplier, however, may argue that they are _only_ =
responsible for doing what is in their sub-contract and are not bound by =
the contract documents.  It would then fall to the GC to make sure that =
the requirements of the contract documents had been put into the =
truss-designers sub-contract. There is a helpful discussion about this =
in the May 2003 Structure magazine.