Structural Strikes Again…

Well it happened…structure.  Never fun when the nuts and bolts of a thing start getting in the way of each other, but that’s what we had happen here.  First, let’s back up.  This week has been going very well.  Our crew has been trucking along on mock-ups, CDs, and material research.  Unfortunately, things can’t go on perfectly forever.  Often in architecture, the structural engineer comes in as the voice of reason.  Well, that’s about what happened yesterday.  We were informed by our structural engineer, John, that we would need to add…basically a bunch of junk into the corner of our trusses and beef up the gauge steel we were using.  That wasn’t going to work.  Not only did it create a visual collision at the corners of our trusses, it also caused a physical one with the restrictions of only being able to place the bolts through the post in about an inch and a half space.  For those of you not intimately familiar with how these trusses are joined to the posts, this was going to cause the bolts to intersect with each other inside of the post rather than bypass as the offset we had intended would have allowed.

Being the visual young people we are, we set to on the trusty old dry erase board to figure out a solution.  Below is the solution we came up with as well as the process we went through to get there all in one drawing!

IMG_5367Make sense to you?  Good!  Glad you could follow along.  For those of you that don’t appreciate the beauty of process, allow me to illustrate the solution with a little cleaner drawing.

IMG_5368Essentially, what we have here is the solution.  A simple steel plate welded to areas where the truss is pinned to the column.  That simple plate is doing a lot for us though.  It gives us the flexibility of placing our bolts within a 6″ area rather than a 1 1/2″ and it removes the need for a gusset.  We will still need to weld a tab above the bolt connection to provide a little extra rigidity to the frame, but that is much better than what almost happened.

With this little problem resolved, we can begin to move forward with the second round of mock-ups and fabrication of the final trusses!  Or can we…  As you may have guessed, things are never that simple.  One last step remains.  How are the cross members to be placed along the truss?  We need to space them a little further from the perimeter than we currently have them.  Currently, we are drawing out truss designs for what feels like the hundredth time, but as long as we can find that one great layout, it will be worth it.  All we need to do is decide on that pesky geometry and commit to the design.  After that, it really is off to the races! Just need to make sure we pay attention to all our measurements and notes so that everything fits when it all comes together.


Well, we’ve come to the end of another one of our lovely discussions.  I know, I know, the time went by too fast, but rest assured, we will continue to keep you fully informed as to the progress we are making.

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