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Roof Truss Failures
August 7, 2009
8:28 am
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rosso
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Conarb,

The truss manufacturer is protected by the fact that the trusses are installed by laborers. The manufacturer''s responsibility is protected by the fact that no truss system is installed correctly. Ergo, the manufacturer''s warranty is voided and they are off the hook.

Take TJIs for example; all attachements to top plates have splits; because the nailing is done incorrectly. You can''t cut them because they are already barely long enough, and, the only solution is replacement of the TJI. Ain''t going to happen.

The entire industry is corrupt; and nothing is going to, or can, be done to correct it.

I''m at the point where I am just beating my head against a brick wall; and so are you.

I think I''ll just join the Homebuilder''s Association; get them to, make their puppet municipal government appoint me as the Building Official; and go fishing and play golf.

Also, have the HBA pay for my seminars that I will attend frequently; and of course all the ICC function. Heck, the builders will just have to take pictures of the work and e-mail them to me for approval; because, I won''t have time for inspections.

I''m not bitter, no I''m not bitter; screw it!

Uncle Bob

August 7, 2009
8:05 am
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constructionarbitrator
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The industry creates a product, get''s ANSI approval creating standards, the product fails over time, sometimes extended periods of time. How long should a product be designed to perform prior to failure? Here is the Australian problem again:
[QUOTE]Between 1970 and 1997 a number of prefabricated roof trusses were constructed using nail plates which have since proven faulty. The risk is that the nail plate, or steel connectors, used a particular form of nail which can work its way loose over time. Trusses using these faulty nail plates can potentially separate from the timber at the truss joints, and depending on the load they are bearing lead to failure of the roof structure.[/QUOTE]Many products are getting approved that are faulty, what responsibility does the AHJ have in approving such products? It''s interesting that they give:

Owner responsibilitiets
Building designer responsibilities
Truss designer responsibilities
Truss manufacturer responsibilities
Contractor responsibilities

They assign responsibilities to even the poor owner, but no responsibility to the agencies they approved the products that are proving faulty on a worldwide basis. It will be interesting to see what Australia does from a liability perspective, particularly with firemen suing.

August 7, 2009
7:24 am
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boo1
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Standard Responsibilities in the Design Process
Involving Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusse
WTCA 1-1995

http://www.sbcindustry.com/ima...../dresp.pdf

August 6, 2009
8:06 pm
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rickastoria
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A multi-ply wood truss - circa 1940s era. (Estimate around WWII or just after WWII era.

http://wildstar.x10hosting.com.....nstruction exceeding the minimum requirements.JPG
http://wildstar.x10hosting.com.....russ/2.JPG
http://wildstar.x10hosting.com.....russ/3.JPG

Photos taken before remodeling.

August 6, 2009
7:02 pm
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constructionarbitrator
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Even if the trusses are installed without damage, attics are hot even with code compliant ventilation, the heat twists wood like douglas fir, when douglas fir gets hot over the years it twists, and struts twisting in one difection and chords twisting in the other can push the plates out. Apparently the trusses I installed in the 50s with glued plywood gussets have survived because the glue and nails restrains the lumber from twisting, the gang-nail plates don''t restrain the lumber from twisting, these problems surfaced in about 5 years but didn''t get bad enough to require replacement until 30 years later.

In roofs with cedar shakes and shingles the twisting occurred without sagging because the struts still remained between the chords, with heavy tile some of the struts were pushed over the chords.

I''ve had no problems with heavy timber trusses with steel plates bolted through, and some twisting is evident, but the through bolts restrain the timber from twisting too much.

August 6, 2009
3:58 pm
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rickastoria
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It all depends on the situation.

August 6, 2009
3:26 pm
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boo1
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Metal plate connected (MPC) wood trusses issues are common. They are susceptible to damage if allowed to flex out of plane. Flexing most often occurs during improper unloading or erection without spreader beams. This can result in lumber splitting or tooth pull-out of the connector. It is common in the field to hammer them back in place without the required engineering guidance. Codes lack provisions governing truss repairs.

Engineering judgment becomes critical in the determination of what is acceptable.

August 5, 2009
7:17 pm
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drp
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Upstream, the AIA.

August 5, 2009
5:47 pm
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jdrobysh
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I would note the code reference as needing correction and cotinue to review.

If I found, for example, the snow load was substantially less on the plans than we require, I would note that and recommend double checking the spans. I wouldn''t bother to check the spans on that submittal, I''d wait for the revisions.

Now if it was 35# instead of 40#? I''d probably run the rafters thru the tables, chances are they''ll work.

August 5, 2009
3:30 pm
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rosso
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Mark,

I think I understand how you feel about your plan drawings; however, it is up to the Building Official on whether or not he will accept the plans, and have them reviewed; and, corrected.

If the builder/owner has broken some kind of agreement between ya''ll; that is between you and them.

If I received a set of plans that had a statement that "they were prepared under UBC requirements and my Building Official said; "Review them and make the corrections" that is exactly what I would do.

Whether or not to accept a set of plans; is the Building Officials responsibility. You could visit our office, and discuss the plans with him; but, I believe he would tell you that you need to talk to the builder/owner.

Could the Building Official reject the plans? Yes, but, I would not reject them, when I was a Building Official, because there is a statement in the General Notes that "''discrepancies between these plans and state or local codes are the responsibility of the BUILDER!".

Because that is exactly who I would be sending the plans to for corrections; the Builder; unless we an agreement for me to contact the Architect or Engineer for corrections.

When I was a Building Official; I had a chain restuarant call me; that was putting in a restuarant in my city; and, said their plumbing plans were UPC and would they have to make any changes and use the IPC. I told them that was ok; just buy me a copy of the UPC. They agreed and I got a free copy of the same year UPC (Note: my state accepted the UPC and IPC codes).

Come to think of it, I don''t rememeber seeing a set of plans that did not have to corrected.

Uncle Bob

August 5, 2009
3:13 pm
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markbot85
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I probably shouldn''t have mentioned stock plans. That''s another whole issue.

I''m not totally against them. I''ve seen some really well prepared stock plans. I had one project many many years ago where the client purchased a set of stock plans. After receiving them, they realized their mistake as they needed a daylight basement to make it work on the site. For that project, I only did a site plan and a foundation plan for the daylight basement to work with the plans they had (calcs from me for basement only). The rest was built according to the stock plans.

The first thing I do these days when a potential client calls, is try to determine what kind of design budget they have.

I learned my lesson when I was younger. I would get a call from someone. First step would be to set up a meeting at the site. I thought it was good for them to get to know me before discussing fees and for me to see the site. It''s not! I''ve wasted a half day here or there meeting with prospective clients only to find out that they knew they could buy a set of stock plans for $500 and thought maybe they could get custom plans done for $800-$1,000. It doesn''t work that way, so I now talk with potential clients enough on the phone to subtly determine if they have budget for custom plans.

Lastly, it''s my experience that most states allow non-licensed designers to design residential single family. I don''t have any heart ache over that and I don''t even see that as my competition. I have a local designer who has sent clients to me on projects he can not legally do. I''ve also returned the favor and sent single family projects to him when I don''t have the time to do them. Most of my architect friends don''t do any single family projects. Single family has only been about 10 - 15 % of the projects I have worked on in the last 10 years.

August 5, 2009
2:34 pm
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markbot85
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sp_Print Print Post Post #12

UB, I guess I''m not following you completely.

I agree, from a building department stance, whoever is the permit applicant is the responsible party.

If you receive a set of plans from national homebuilder A and it states on the drawings, they were prepared under UBC requirements and the current code is is IBC, do you review them and make a correction list or just reject them with one note "Plans to be prepared in accordance with 2006 IRC" or whatever the current code is?

I would hope you would just reject them and not waste your time.

I have a couple custom house plans that I completed years ago, but to date, have not been built for one reason or another. My clients have prints of these projects. If one of my clients went and submitted one of these today for permits, I wouldn''t want them reviewed for permits until I''ve reviewed them to current codes. If a plans examiner did review them (signed-off with or without corrections), I''d be setting up an appointment to talk with you about your reviewing them.

August 5, 2009
1:22 pm
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jdrobysh
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sp_Print Print Post Post #13

Hamurabi had it right... 🙁

August 5, 2009
1:18 pm
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alabamatide
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sp_Print Print Post Post #14

When it comes to code violations on the plans, the Architect will lose every time.

If the code violation is with complete ignorance, disregard or contempt of the code, they could be fined and/or have their license revoked.

Jail time is possible if the building occupants were injured by the Architect''s actions, particularly if those actions were done with malice or depraved indifference.

August 5, 2009
12:49 pm
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rickastoria
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JD: Washington is similar to Oregon. Regardless of registration requirement, any design professional (any person in commercial/professional practice of designing buildings) needs to hold themselves to the same professional standard of care regardless of license. Must have the license/registration & stamp if the project requires it but even on exempt project - the person preparing the plans have the responsibility to comply with codes for plans submitted. The builder also has responsibility to comply with code for the actual construction. BOTH has responsibility. Who ever is Design Professional of Responsible Charge (Architect, Engineer, Building Designer, Home Owner, or Contractor) in the permit paperwork is responsible for the plans complying with code.

Which means the person in charge of the preparation of plans is responsible for the plans. That liability is illegal to be removed from except for leaving a project and someone else accepts responsibility. There are explicit rules about architect handing over responsibility to another.

A Contractor is responsible for construction and code compliance of construction. Code compliance is not just the compliance of plans but also the built structure. A contractor who takes on design would need to have responsible charge over the preparation of plans.

August 5, 2009
12:48 pm
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alabamatide
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sp_Print Print Post Post #16

UB brings up a very good point about the responsibility requirements on the permit application vs. the contractual requirements between an Architect and Owner.

Many Architect''s use AIA documents when entering into Owner/Architect agreements for design work. Often, AIA A201 General Conditions are made apart of the agreement between the Owner/Architect/Builder parties. If so, it would behoove Architect''s to read, and read again, AIA A201 article 3.2.3. as it pertains to responsibilities for code compliance, linked here for reference:

http://www.aia.org/contractdoc.....AIAS076835

August 5, 2009
12:36 pm
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jdrobysh
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sp_Print Print Post Post #17

Mark - "Now, if this is a stock home plan purchased for building a single residence, there really isn''t any design professionals in the loop and it would come down to the builder/owner."

Maybe in Washington (and some other) State(s). NYS does not provide a blanket exemption from DP seal/signature for SFD. Anything over 20K in NYS requires a seal and signature per State Education Law.

Other than Zoning, we have no ''more restrictive local standards'' to comply with. NYS seal SHOULD mean you can design to NYS Codes, JMHO.

My understanding is that plans and specifications need to demonstrate compliance with the codes in order to be acceptable. Yes, we do review and provide comments to the DP, owner and usually builder.

It is the DPs responsibility to put it all on the plans - or am I missing something?

August 5, 2009
12:33 pm
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rickastoria
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That is why stock plans kind of business should not be legal as an architect or building designer has a responsibility top clients and plans needs to meet the codes for each site.

Stock designs is not what people should be paying for but for plans that are designed to code and for permits. $20 for a stock artistic rendering. No more than that. If you want more money - then you prepare a plans based on the artistic concept that is code compliant.

Stock Plans is like passing off schematic/conceptual plans as construction plans.

It isn''t ready for plan review for any jurisdiction except for if you are incredibly lucky.

I don''t make stock plans but may prepare a few conceptual drawings for purpose of giving a client something for inspiring and a tool to gauge what they want. Everything is basicallyy custom. The laws and building code variability requires buildings to be custom and so does site requirement. You can''t design it for Southern California and expect it will work on the hills of Coastal Oregon.

{EDIT: Maybe I''m being harsh and plans are more than just schematic drawing but it often isn''t ready for target. If you''re licensed, be an ARCHITECT not an artist. Yes art is part of being an Architect not only what an architect is. Same with Building Designers. I would expect more from us building design professionals.)

August 5, 2009
12:27 pm
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rosso
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sp_Print Print Post Post #19

Mark,

I appreciate your taking responsibility for your plans.

"Before these out of town companies submit plans in your jurisdiction, they should be edited to requirements for your area."

We do; that''s why we do a plan review.

" A better note would say discrepancies shall be brought to the attention of the architect."

Here we are talking about who is responsible to the AHJ. The plans designer is responsible to the builder/owner.

The permit holder; builder/owner; is legally responsible to the AHJ for code compliance; not the person who drew the plans.

As for the major National Builders that I listed above. There is no way that they are going to draw separate plans for each and every AHJ that they build in. They depend on the plan review of the AHJ to let then know what changes are necessary to meet the local code requirements.

Uncle Bob

August 5, 2009
12:10 pm
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alabamatide
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sp_Print Print Post Post #20

Another good reason not to buy stock home plans.

This brings up the "plan stamping" issues that...well, that grounds been covered 🙂