What is a steel truss roof, and why do you need one?
For definition context: a steel truss roof is a triangulated system of interconnected elements. Typically trusses were made out of timber or steel, although over time steel became more popular in buildings.
A steel truss roof is typically used for a few different reasons, including:
It can support larger loads
A steel roof truss has a high strength-to-weight ratio. This also allows for roof designs that can have a longer span. That, in turn, is why you typically will see a warehouse predominantly made of steel.
A steel roof truss can support a lot of weight, and do so over a long amount of space. That makes it almost essential for a project such an event arena or airplane hangar.
A steel truss roof increases life expectancy of the structure
… and often by a factor of 2-3x as compared to a flat roof solution. Steel trusses can handle both pressure and tension with limited amounts of maintenance.
It’s hard to get uniformity from timber because of its natural growth environment (i.e. from trees).
Steel trusses are made pre-fabricated in factories with high levels of quality control. If you need steel trusses for a roof and order them, what you ordered is what arrives. That’s not always the case with timber.
Fast and easy
Some advantages of the steel truss and steel truss roof in terms of speed and ease include:
- Steel trusses can be flat packed
- Lightweight, so cranes not always necessary
- Requires no special tools or training to install, increasing speed
- Much of the work is pre-assembled off-site
- A steel truss roof is easier to put in during inclement weather
First, you need to understand wind uplift rankings.
There are several different ranking systems and none is perfect. In general, wind uplift is what happens when air moves rapidly over a surface. (That’s how airplane wings work.)
When buildings get tested for wind uplift, it’s essentially a safety measure on how secure the building would be in times of a hurricane or other high-wind event.
A steel truss roof can be engineered to withstand a very high wind uplift — including hurricane-force winds.
Additionally, because steel trusses have a strong resistance to pressure, they are preferred in areas of the world with heavy snow loads during the winter. The roof won’t cave in that situation.
Don’t believe us? Consider modern design!
Steel truss roofs are everywhere these days, including:
- Joint Editorial in Portland, Oregon
- AnalogFoik in London, England
- A factory converted into a family home in Melbourne, Australia
For all the reasons above, steel trusses are very popular in the modern design ecosystem.
The bottom line on a steel truss roof
It is almost universally going to give you several advantages, including:
- Flexibility across different kinds of projects
- Weather resistance
- Pest resistance (oh yes, that too!)
- Fast/easy install
If you’re considering a new home or office project, consider a steel truss roof as nearly essential.
If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.