Illustrating Value

Editor's Message

Illustrating Value

The worth of one’s efforts is sometimes a difficult thing
to communicate to others, whether they be customers,
employees or, in SBCA’s case, members.

It helps to have a concrete example that illustrates the value your work provides.

Take Bob Mochinski. He’s the engineering manager for Littfin Truss in Winsted, Minnesota. Recently, changes to the building code were making his life difficult. “The new energy code here in Minnesota now requires one-and-a-half inches of continuous insulation on the exterior of the building foundation,” explained Mochinski. “The exterior walls are all 2x6, and the sill plate and walls cantilever out over the foundation wall so that the exterior wall sheathing matches the foam sheathing profile.”

As is the case with some new code provisions, it wasn’t entirely clear how to properly implement the new insulation requirement. Minnesota building officials appeared confused on how the new detailshould be framed. “As a component manufacturer, it wasn’t my responsibility to provide an answer,” said Mochinski. “However, I want to keep my customers happy. When they directed building officials to me for answers, I wanted to be able to help them out.”

Fortunately, Mochinski knew about SBCA’s Research Reports (SRR) through recent articles in SBC Magazine and SBC Industry News. SRR No. 1505-03 “Use of Cantilevered Sill Plates with Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses to Align with Varying Thicknesses of Exterior Sheathing” addresses this very issue. “This document made it very clear exactly what the code was requiring and how it could be framed,” said Mochinski. “I sent it out, and the building officials were satisfied and moved on.”

Well, almost all of them moved on. One building official wasn’t entirely satisfied. However, when SBCA was able to provide a simple way to get an engineer-sealed report to that specific building official, the problem completely went away. That provided concrete value to Mochinski. “If SBCA hadn’t created Research Reports like this one, I’d have to hire an engineer to take care of it,” said Mochinski. “More importantly, I was able to save considerable time for my customer and for myself.”

Time is increasingly precious as we head into the summer construction months. That said, I hope you’ll spare a few minutes to find the value in this issue, which covers everything from quality control in the design process to designing for greater performance. We also have a fascinating feature on how one component manufacturer is capturing market share with a unique side business that adds value to a more typical truss package.