A closer look at roof trusses
The design and specification of a roof structure is extremely important when it comes to an architect’s vision of a roof and to ensure that the structure lasts as long as possible. A roof’s structure, although not always visible, is just as important as the roof covering, the structure ensures that the building is properly enclosed and always protected by all weather elements. And when an architect comes up with that one-of-a-kind roof, designing the structure can become quite the challenge.
Co-owner of Giant Engineering, Edward Curry, pointed out that there’s certain criteria that needs to be kept in mind and oftentimes these aspects will be playing a big part in what the final product is going to look like. He also explains that wind plays a big role, along with the classification and height of a building. You will also need to ensure that the roof has effective water flow in order to prevent leaks.
Curry also states that the specifications on roofs have changed quite a bit over the last 20 years, however, we will still see certain materials being specified that are not longer compliant to the new SANS standards. He advises that it is imperative that architects consult with the designers of the roof in order to assist them with their specifications and design.
Steel vs Timber
Aesthetically speaking, when working with exposed roof trusses, Curry has suggested that timber is the more appealing material to use, after all, it is more beautiful to look at. However, he also mentions that timber and steel can be combines into one design, for example, a timber truss with steel runners and battens.
Dave Anderson, roofing engineer and managing director of Hi-Tech Nail Plate says that timber is usually the most economical solution for the smaller clear spans of up to 15m and the conventional hot-rolled structural steel is the preferred solution for the very large clear-span applications.
The roof pitch and covering of the specified roof also plays a big role in the determination of the best truss solution. Roofs that have concrete tiles are much more suited to timber construction along with many other roof types, Visit the Gautruss website on www.gautruss.co.za to find out more about timber roof trusses and what we have to offer.