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RE: Joist girder stabilizer plates in existing building.

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Designing with Vulcraft – Steel Joists, Joist Girders and Steel Deck by James M. Fisher, Michael A. West and Julius P. Van De Pas by Nucor Corporation.  I have the 2nd edition (2002) and will answer your question.


It states the “stabilizer also serves to laterally brace the bottom chord after erection.”



Gary W. Loomis, P.E., Senior Structural Engineering

Master Engineers and Designers, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Harold Sprague [mailto:spraguehope(--nospam--at)]
: Monday, September 24, 2007 11:00 PM
Subject: RE: Joist girder stabilizer plates in existing building.


This should be verified by the manufacturer, but from my discussions with manufacturers, the stabilizer plates are both for erection and for the in place stabilization of the compression elements.  A truss is comprised of compression and tension elements.  The compression elements require that they be stabilized in the in plane and out of plane direction.  This is accomplished by the stabilization plates, the out of plane stiffness of the chords, and / or with bridging. 

Harold Sprague

> Subject: Joist girder stabilizer plates in existing building.
> Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 15:42:05 -0800
> From: Scott.M.Haan(--nospam--at)
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> I just did an inspection on an existing roof and noted the joist girders did
> not have bottom chord stabilzer plates. Is this mainly an erection issue or
> should I recommend they be retrofitted on an existing building?
> Thanks.
> Scott.
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