Faces of the Industry
Faces of the Industry
•|• How did you get into doing truss design and/or get started in the components industry?
I graduated from college with a degree in construction management and engineering. Designing trusses seemed like the perfect fit to use that knowledge. I started with Latham Truss, then went on to be a co-owner of Western Wood Fabricators, but when we had to close our doors four years later, I came to Homewood.
•|• What is your favorite part about working in the components industry?
Designing components. I enjoy having the ability to continually evolve their layout and application. There is a lot of room to innovate and it gives me the opportunity to influence changes in construction.
•|• What do you think about the concept of “green” building?
Unfortunately, “green” has become a fad word. Green can mean simply using recycled materials, or making sure your lumber comes from within a few hundred miles, but there are a lot more “green” opportunities for improving the house.
•|• What term do you prefer instead?
I think component manufacturers can play a significant role in green building standards, and collaborating with engineers and builders to meet the demands of changes to the energy code, in providing “advanced framing” options.
•|• What’s an example of advanced framing?
For instance, on the net-zero home in Sacramento, we eliminated the headers above all the windows and doors and raised the heel heights of the roof trusses. We took a lot of wood out of walls (which is certainly “green”), saving the builder money on the cost of materials, and made more room for insulating the walls and roof at the connection points.
•|• Why isn’t everyone doing this, then?
Builders, architects and engineers are focused on how the building comes together. Telling a builder they can build a house without headers is going to challenge a basic assumption they make about how houses are constructed. Their initial reaction is going to be, “that won’t work.” A big challenge for component manufacturers is to convince the builder, or architect or engineer, that it will work.
•|• What’s the trick in convincing them?
The easiest route is having done it before and having an example to show them. Beyond that, you really need to be involved on the ground-floor, during the initial design phase. If you can work with the architect or engineer from the beginning, it’s a lot easier to convince them to put it in the original plans, as opposed to getting them to change it later. We are all used to selling a product, but in this case, we are also selling a concept.
•|• If you could change one thing about how the residential construction industry works, what would it be?
To increase communication between all the players within the residential construction industry and create a greater sense of team without discounting any part of process. Every aspect is vital to completion of the project.
•|• What do you do to relax?
I do a lot of biking, hiking, golf, anything that gets me outdoors. I also like to watch my boys play sports.