The BFS design team in Shelby, Alabama “collaborate on anything that doesn’t sit right,” says Thom Patton. One result: a roof that rests perfectly on a school building after a simplified build and easy install process.

Dan Morris—a field service engineer at Apex Technology—and Kelly LaBlance—a technical manager with Builders FirstSource—are both convinced that developing and maintaining a design QC process has helped their companies. Their expertise in analyzing designs and finding creative solutions to solve or even prevent problems was on display as they guided BCMC attendees through common design mistakes and the issues they cause in the field. 

The Industry Testing Subcommittee is making plans to keep SBCRI busy in the coming year.

Many potential complaints and problems can be mitigated by an astute truss technician during the design phase.

Truss industry standard of care items are contained throughout ANSI/TPI 1,* The National Standard for Metal Plate Connected Wood Truss Construction. The focus of this article is ANSI/TPI 1 Chapter 2, Section and companion Section, which require a truss designer to prepare truss design drawings (TDD) based on design criteria and requirements set forth in the construction documents. The truss industry should expect to get this information from the building designer (BD), which may include the building owner, contractor or a registered design professional (RDP). Particularly when there is an RDP for the building, the design community expects the truss industry to design components that conform to the truss framing plan and specified design parameters within the construction documents, unless instructed otherwise in writing.


When designed and installed correctly, components can greatly reduce the time and materials required to frame a structure. 

  • Understanding how the computer software automatically loads a truss can help designers avoid unintended consequences when optimizing trusses.
  • When fascia loads are missing from a project, there is incorrect loading on the jack trusses, sub girders and the corner girder/hip jack.
  • Missing loads can lead to extensive repairs and may even require that the trusses be revised. 

BCMC session evaluations indicated that the BCMC Committee hit a home run in choosing the topics they did. Take a few moments to catch up on what you might have missed at this year's show.

  • When analyzing a girder truss, the Truss Designer needs to keep in mind the assumptions the truss analysis program makes regarding reaction capacities.
  • It is the Building Designer’s responsibility to verify the capacity of the bearing surface, but the Truss Designer must ensure that the truss-to-bearing connection has a chance of being made without crushing.
  • The article provides a series of concepts to use if a truss needs to be designed without knowing the bearing surface type and its feasibility of providing adequate support for the trusses.