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02 July 2019

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Home Building

What Are the Components of Roof Trusses?

Are you studying engineering or building?  Our aim is to try to put together useful information on this blog that can those that are studying.

Our first blog is what are the components of Roof Trusses?


Roof trusses are made of many different components and come in a wide range of styles. They also offer several benefits for homeowners. In this post, we’ll define each component of a roof truss. But before we go through its components, let’s have a look at the benefits of having a roof truss.

Roof trusses are becoming more popular over the last few decades, and majority of today’s new residential construction projects are using trusses for roof support instead of the conventional rafters.
There are many reasons why timber roof trusses are having a resurgence in the construction industry.

For starters, they offer a number of functional benefits that many homeowners find to be practical and ideal, including energy efficiency (trusses have excellent thermal properties), eco-friendliness (timber, the material used for roof trusses, is a renewable construction material), durability (timber trusses are naturally sturdy), and versatility (roof trusses can be easily combined with other structural components).
Cost-effectiveness is also another benefit of timber roof trusses that is hard to overlook. You see, roof trusses have the capability to carry a lot of weight on their own. This outstanding load-bearing capability of roof trusses enables builders to attain maximum economy of materials, easily cover wide distances with simple meshes, and save on expensive materials.
Apart from the functional benefits of timber roof trusses, another reason why homeowners choose roof trusses over rafters is that roof trusses look great. The triangular shape it forms, which widely varies from truss to truss, helps add character and style to any home, no matter the size.

In some cases, structures use roof trusses out of necessity.
Sloping roofs are required at places that experience heavy rainfall or snowfall, and roof trusses are used to support sloping roofs. If you noticed, I used property owners instead of homeowners. This is because aside from houses, non-residential structures such as industrial buildings and workshop warehouses also use sloping roofs and roof trusses out of necessity. But in the case of non-residential truss users, they often go for steel roof trusses instead of timber.
Now that you know about the benefits of roof trusses, it’s time to talk about the basic components of roof trusses:
Apex – this is the highest point of roof trusses, where the sloping top chords converge.
Bearing – the bearing is the structural support of trusses that usually come with a timber wall plate
Bottom Chords – the bottom chords (shortened as BC) are the lowest lengthwise member of a truss
Cantilever – a segment of a truss’ structural member that goes beyond its support
Cantilever Strut – a web that connects the bottom chord on top of the bearing point to a cantilevered truss’ top chord
Chord – a main member forming the outline of the truss that is subject to heavy bending moments and axial forces
Clear Span – this is the horizontal distance between the interior edges of supports
Heel – the area on a truss where the top and bottom chords intersect
Joint – the point of intersection of one or more webs with a chord
Nail Plate – the nail plate is a galvanized steel plate often punched to form a nail pattern integral with the plate, and is used to join timber members together.
Node – also known as the node point, the node is the point of intersection of two or more members that form the panels of a truss
Nominal Span – this is the horizontal distance between the supports’ outside edges
Overhang – the extension of a truss’ top chord past the bearing support
Panel – the panel is a truss segment characterized by two adjacent nodes or joints
Plumb Cut – this is the vertical cut located on the end of the top chord, which exists to accommodate vertical installation of the fascia or gutter
Splice Point – splice of the top and bottom chords
Square Cut – perpendicular to the edges of the chord
Stub End – the stub end is a truss type made by the truncation of a traditional triangular truss
Top Chord or Rafter – a horizontal member that forms a truss’ upper edge
Web – a member that affixes the top and bottom chords to create a triangular pattern

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