Best Practices: The Art of the RFI

Nothing will ruin your day faster than getting a call from a builder reporting an issue with trusses you’ve designed.  You hear their frustration as they are faced with a potential delay and additional work to implement a fix.  We all desire to eliminate those calls from our daily business, and one way to do so is to work only on jobs with a perfect set of drawings.  You know, the drawings with dimensions that are 100% correct, have no errors in the listed wall heights, the heel heights are clearly spelled out with the location of the HVAC equipment and lines identified, and every load path is well thought out.

The truth, though, is that there’s really no such thing as a perfect set of drawings, because there will always be some area needing further clarification to ensure the trusses you design won’t have issues.  Although this reality is typically viewed as a source of frustration, it can be an opportunity to provide extra value to your customers by helping them resolve issues before they become a problem in the field.  To do this requires a trained eye to identify issues and the use of an RFI (Request for Information) to work through these issues with the appropriate parties involved.  In this article, we will walk through some best practices of using an RFI to help eliminate those calls.
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What Building Professionals Need to Know About Construction Loading

This week’s post was written by Shawn Overholtzer, ICS Business Manager
at Simpson Strong-Tie. 

Understanding construction loading is important as it relates to the acceptable practices in terms of staging and storing construction materials prior to installation. What does “construction loading” mean? This term describes materials and people that are present during the course of construction. It refers to any construction material that is stacked and/or staged on the trusses for any length of time prior to the installation of said materials. This also includes those individuals that are working or walking on the trusses during the course of construction.

One of the most important concepts to understand is that before any construction materials can be loaded on roof or floor trusses, the trusses must be adequately restrained and braced. This must be done in accordance with BCSI-B1 and BCSI-B2. Loading material on trusses prior to adequate restraint and bracing can lead to failure, collapses, injury and even death. This is especially important when structural elements such as roof or floor trusses are involved.
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