Building Official Topical Library

SBCA generates a large volume of timely, applicable information to its members and the industry at large on a wide variety of topics. Recognizing it can sometimes be difficult to locate a specific resource among this volume of content, we’ve created a topical library on the most prevalent subjects of interest to component manufacturers today. This topical library pulls together the most relevant articles, news items, best practices and other online resources on each topic.

In the IECC, an air barrier is defined as “Material(s) assembled and joined together to provide a barrier to air leakage through the building envelope. An air barrier may be a single material or combination of materials.” The air barrier is an important part of integrated thermal and moisture control in a building. Many air barrier materials or strategies may be employed in a building that meet code requirements, however it is crucial to understand their interactions within the assembly.

Field splicing is a method used to connect two or more truss sections into a single component. There are many reasons why field splicing may be used. A component may be too large or deep to manufacture, fit on a truck, or handle. A design modification or retrofit may necessitate a field splice, whether due to a change in truss profile or loading. Whatever the reason, field splices are another way to allow for greater flexibility in truss manufacturing, shipping and installation. 

Per ANSI/TPI 1, truss-to-truss connections are under the scope of work of the truss designer.  All other connections between a truss and another structural member (i.e. a wall or foundation) are the responsibility of the building designer.

The potential for extensive damage during a fire event is greatest when a building is under construction because it is largely unprotected.

SBCA supports universal building installation of sprinklers for all types of construction, provided they are cost effective and do not create a competitive advantage for one structural element over another. When it comes to properly locating and designing sprinklers within a building, the IBC and IRC reference NFPA 13, 13D, and 13R (depending on the type of building). The resources below will assist the designer in understanding and implementing sprinkler systems in accordance with applicable building codes and referenced fire protection standards. 

Recent ASTM E119 testing confirm that an unprotected floor assembly constructed of 2x10s or Flak Jacket coated I-joists do not provide “equivalent performance” to a floor assembly that has a ½” gypsum wallboard.

Framing the American Dream data suggests that installing floor trusses requires less framer skill and experience, results in a floor that requires less bearing locations and more effectively accommodates HVAC, plumbing and electrical infrastructure. SBCA, with the help of its members, has developed a wide variety of resources and tools to help component manufacturers design, build and deliver high quality floor trusses to their customers.

A variety of issues can lead to separation of drywall joints in walls and ceilings. Both environmental factors as well as installation and design factors can contribute to situations where gypsum may develop cracks. The issue has become more widespread as homeowners insist on larger rooms and open floor plans that have large clear span areas. By understanding how and why partition separation or ridging and cracking occur, and by following best practices, designers and builders can reduce the risk of unsightly and costly issues with gypsum board and drywall. 

Integrating sprinkler systems into the open webbed configuration of metal plate connected wood trusses can be easy when following best practices. Truss construction can be manipulated with adjustments to panel lengths and web configurations to accommodate most special requirements. However, the Truss Designer needs to account for the additional weight of the sprinkler system and water. Additionally, construction loads encountered during installation need to be accounted for.

No matter the species, component manufacturers (CMs) purchase and rely on the accuracy and reliability of many different lumber design properties, including: bending (Fb); shear parallel to grain (Fv), compression perpendicular to grain (Fc^), compression parallel to grain (Fc), tension parallel to grain (Ft), and modulus of elasticity (E and Emin).

Mold can be found almost anywhere and can grow on virtually any substance, provided moisture is present. Mold differs from decay in that mold does not cause a decrease in the strength properties of lumber, however it can cause discoloration or odors on the lumber. The resources below will provide CM’s and builders with a better understanding of how mold can affect components, legal issues surrounding mold, as well as steps that can be taken to mitigate mold growth.

Permanent bracing and continuous lateral restraint is sometimes required within trussed systems to  provide long-term stability and/or lateral force resistance. Individual structural components are designed to withstand loading conditions within a particular plane, so there are instances where the building designer may specify the use of permanent building stability bracing.

ANSI/TPI 1 Chapter 3 covers quality standards for the manufacture of metal plate connected wood trusses. It requires the use of a manufacturing quality assurance procedure, and period auditing by an approved inspection agency where required by local jurisdiction.

Framing the American Dream data suggests that installing roof trusses completes the task of framing a building’s roof in less time, requires less framer skill and experience and ultimately results in a roof that enables more open and flexible floor plans. SBCA, with the help of its members, has developed a wide variety of resources and tools to help component manufacturers design, build and deliver high quality roof trusses to their customers.

Controlling sound transmission in buildings through wall, floor and ceiling assemblies is important for the comfort level and enjoyment of building occupants as they live, work and play in these buildings. Sound can come from a variety of sources: both internal to the building and environmental noise from the surrounding areas. The resources below explain how sound transmission is measured, and describe assemblies and other methods to limit noise transmission in buildings using components. 

Floor systems in student housing face a very real threat: parties.

During component installation, temporary restraint/bracing provides stability against unintended movement or loading prior to the application of exterior sheathing. Structural components are designed to withstand loading conditions over the course of the life of the structure under normal use conditions.  However, during construction, insufficient temporary restraint/bracing may lead instability and even collapse under certain conditions such as high winds or seismic events.  The resources below provide guidance on issues pertaining to the application of temporary restraint/bracing.

A truss may need to be modified or repaired due to accidental damage, holes or notches made by trades, errors in design or manufacturing, or a change requested by the customer. Trusses are typically designed for a specific application. Therefore, truss repairs or modifications must be analyzed on a case by case basis.

Framing the American Dream data suggests that installing wall panels completes the task of framing a building’s walls in less time, requires less framer skill and experience and ultimately results in a more reliable building envelope. SBCA, with the help of its members, has developed a wide variety of resources and tools to help component manufacturers design, build and deliver high quality wall panels to their customers.