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Wood or Timber roof trusses are widely used in USA, Canada and other countries because of its advantages over other trusses, as it offers great flexibility in plan layout.
Be it a residential, industrial, commercial or an institutional building, roof of any kind of structure is the most important component of a building as it protects its occupants from the external elements.
It is also the largest and the most expensive structural component of a building so investing some thoughts and knowhow in the design and planning of a roof to create an aesthetically pleasing and sound structure that can safely carry the induced loading, while offering acceptable longevity and an attractive appearance for the lifespan of the building is nothing but logical.
There are basically two kind of material that is prevalent around the globe for fabrication of trusses: Steel and Wood. While steel trusses have the advantages of ease of handling and erection, there are also some huge drawbacks like high material and maintenance cost and low thermal resistance. Timber/Wood trusses on the other hand have a longer list of advantages and a shorter list of disadvantages.
The high strength-to-weight ratios of timber trusses permit long spans, offer greater flexibility in floor plan layout. They can be molded into almost any shape and size restricted only by manufacturing capabilities and handling considerations.
Today, most the house-roofs in USA, Canada and Australia are framed with timber trusses and increasingly, timber trusses are being used in residential and commercial applications. They are gaining acceptance around the world and are being used widely in Europe and Japan. Incorporation of steel (truss connector plates) in the timber trusses further revolutionized the whole industry. Timber frames with wide-spanning trusses, or softer timbers may require steel for structural support and it can be incorporated either visibly or invisibly into a frame depending upon a person’s aesthetic considerations.
A truss connector plate or a Gusset plate is a thick galvanized steel-sheet that is used for connections at the joints; it is fastened to a beam with bolts. Plates can help support heavier structural loads than timber alone, which allows for wide-spanned truss designs. They can also be used to provide shear resistance and other types of force.
Advantages of Timber Roof Trusses
When the advantages of timber roof trusses are considered, it is not astonishing that their use is increasing throughout the world.
1) Flexibility and Versatility
Timber roof trusses are very versatile and compatible with other structural products. They can be linked to other trusses, or amalgamated with other components, such as glulam and steel beams.
The Long spans without intermediate supports create large open spaces that architects and designers can use that with complete freedom. Moreover, the partitions can be moved without compromising the structural integrity of the building.
Timber exhales in Co2, grabs the carbon for itself and releases the Oxygen into the environment. It doesn’t stop here! Fifty percent of Timber by weight is carbon stashed safely away. Compared to other buildings, timber consumes much lesser energy to process and minimize air and water pollution. Furthermore, Timber is the only renewable construction material and helps define sustainable development very strongly.
In most cases, timber roof trusses can be installed without the use of heavy machinery. They are light in weight and can be easily handled and lifted into place. Moreover, the time consumed in developing a timber frame is amazingly low thus condensing a project’s life-cycle.
Timber trusses do not contribute to waste generated at the site and make clean-up work less costly. Pilferage is also reduced since the timber roof trusses generally cannot be used in the other projects.
4) Durability and strength
Timber trusses eliminate majority of the on-site framing problems. Accurate fabrication and constant quality control assure trusses are uniform in size and shape and provide required structural integrity to a building. Timber trusses can also be used in concrete formwork, scaffolding and falsework for industrial projects.
5) Energy Efficient
Timber trusses are energy efficient. They have excellent thermal properties, especially when compared with other framing materials such as steel. They create large cavities that are easy to insulate and hence are an excellent insulator.
6) Aesthetical Freedom
Timber trusses have almost unlimited variety thus providing the user with a great leeway to experiment with the aesthetic features of a building. Many restaurant chains choose to expose their corporate identity in the roof design of their buildings.