2018 Code Hearings Address Truss Member Restraint/Bracing

Code change committee hearings were held April 17-27, 2016.  The code change process allows many different interests to submit proposals that are heard by the committees of the International Codes Council (ICC).  The ICC is responsible for the I-Codes, including the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC).  Individual truss member restraint/bracing was the subject of numerous proposals.

One proposal submitted by the Nation Council of Structural Engineers’ Associations (NCSEA) would not allow individual truss member restraint/bracing to be installed using standard industry details in high wind locations, locations with ground snow loads 30 psf and higher, and where more than one permanent restraint is required on any single truss web member.  This proposal, if passed, would require project specific permanent individual truss member restraint/bracing design by any registered design professional in areas of high wind and snow loads, and on projects where a single truss web member requires more than one permanent restraint.  SBCA staff and others testified against this proposal.   After hearing the testimony, the IBC Structural Committee voted to disapprove.

Another NCSEA proposal was to modify ANSI TPI 1 by deleting Section 2.3.3.2 and revising Section 2.3.5.5.   Deleting Section 2.3.3.2 Absence of Truss Restraint/Method or Details removes reference to BCSI-B3 and BCSI-B7.  The revision would change Section 2.3.5.5 Information on Truss Design Drawings, item (o) from “Required Permanent Individual Truss Member Restraint location” to Required permanent individual truss member restraint location and the method and details of restraint/bracing to be used.”  This would require the truss designer to specify the restraint/bracing methods and details on the truss design drawing (TDD).  SBCA staff testified in opposition to this proposal. The committee voted to disapprovel.

NCSEA submitted a proposal to change IBC Section 1705.5.2 to say “Special inspections of wood trusses, with overall height of 60 inches or greater, shall be performed to verify that the installation of the permanent individual truss member restraint/bracing has been installed in accordance with the approved truss submittal package.  For wood trusses with a clear span of 60 feet or greater, the special inspector shall also verify during construction, that the temporary installation restraint/bracing is installed in accordance with the approved truss submittal package.”  Using this criterion, special inspections would be required on the majority of truss jobs.  Special inspections bring up a number of questions.  How many?  Who inspects?  When does the inspection take place?  What is the cost?  How does the inspection affect the construction schedule?  The list of questions can go on and on.  There was a lot of testimony given including testimony against by SBCA staff.  When the votes were tallied, the IBC Structural Committee voted to approve this proposal.

The IBC committees do not make the final determination on the code changes.  There is a public comment period coming up this summer.  SBCA staff will submit public comments as part of the process to overrule the committee’s decision on the special inspection proposal.  Public Comment Hearings will be held October 19-25, 2016, at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, MO. 

SBCA realizes that trusses need lateral restraint/bracing.  The reason statements submitted with the proposals said that trusses were being installed without the required member restraint/bracing. The code change proposals are not directed at the trusses, but at the fact that the required restraint/bracing is not being installed.  As Component Manufacturers, let’s make sure we are doing everything possible to make sure the required temporary and permanent individual truss member restraint/bracing is being installed.  Continuing education of customers, building designers, employees, installers, inspectors, and others involved in the building process is necessary to make sure trusses are installed properly including the restraint/bracing.  Marking and labeling restraint/bracing locations on the trusses is also necessary.  All, temporary and permanent, truss member restraint/bracing needs to be installed properly and all restraint/bracing information needs to get to the installation crew.