Crazy and Complicated Truss Designs – Part 5

Crazy and Complicated Truss Designs – Part 5

Continuing on with the “Crazy and Complicated “ article series, I recently stumbled across a design that does not initially come off as crazy or complicated until I started designing the house. To provide background on the project, the Structural Engineer – to the best of my knowledge – drew the job in a rival software program, which after years of previous experience of using it, did not surprise me that the software allowed some of the trusses to run.

To start, one of my favorite trusses on the job initially looks rather simple, but required structural fascia to stabilize. Without the structural fascia on both ends of the truss, the truss becomes a single point-bearing truss and runs into stability issues. However, MiTek’s rival passes this truss without the structural fascia as a single point-bearing truss. Now, I am not trying to bash any software, but I felt it was important for those reading to understand how different each program analyzes trusses. You just cannot have a single bearing on a truss and achieve unbalanced loading per the building code requirements!


Back to the fun of the variety of trusses that made this job a wee bit on the crazy side and maybe complicated, how about some balcony floor trusses with a pocket girder and a recess for blinds. It just blows my mind that they were more concerned about the blinds than the depth of the truss at a critical location: the bearing point.



If the balcony floor trusses with recesses and pockets for girders does not get your heart pumping, how about roof trusses with recesses for blinds and an inverted level return!


Or the short span attic trusses with webs that the shop foreman is likely going to take a walk to the office to ask, “WHY?”


Although this job does not rival some of my craziest or most complicated trusses, this job stood out from the common run of a mill houses with a uniqueness of its own and I felt compelled to share it with you. Yet again, this shows that the age of electronic home design has brought our willingness to send out trusses that extend our realm of thinking.

Fortunately, a common trending of builders framing down ceilings has been occurring, saving the bottom chord of the trusses from looking like the Rocky Mountains; however, how long are home owners going to want to lose the ceiling heights when they have 10’-0” walls or higher with much lower ceiling heights?

Either way, just another day at the office for me!

View Part 1 in this series here.

View Part 2 in this series here.

View Part 3 in this series here.

View Part 4 in this series here.

Stay tuned for Part 6.

Neil Laporte

Project Manager – Gould Design, Inc.

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