Why steel is a good trussing alternative
SEE ALSO :Mystery of Sh124m eyesore in Kapsabet“Levels and alignments are easy to achieve because the trusses are well fabricated and its not heavy but easier to load and not easily distorted too,” says Kiute. Green choice Building with steel truss is a green choice; they make strong and beautiful homes and buildings, while protecting the environment. Murthy says that steel recycling programmes reduce solid waste. Murthy argues that when you frame a house with wood, you use approximately 40 trees. When you frame a house with steel, you use approximately 11 recycled cars. “It is lightweight and compact, thus reduces transportation costs greatly. This means less manpower is required compared to timber,” adds Temet. Her views are supported by Maurice Akech, General Manager Research, Business Development an Capacity Building at the National Construction Authority. Prefabricated “Due to its ability to be prefabricated in the factory or off-site, the speed and quality of construction is greatly enhanced. The steel is faster to fabricate and the only site activity is the assembly of various steel parts, which is done quickly through bolting. There is also the aspect of less-skilled labour being used on site, making it cost-effective. This ensures that homeowners can occupy their new homes early,” he says. He adds that for commercial developers, the return on investments can be achieved much earlier compared to timber construction, which will take a longer duration to construct. Safal Mitek requests interested clients to send architectural drawings for the building to the company after which, their engineers will design the roof structure free of charge to establish the quantity of material required and thereafter provide a quotation. “There is no deterioration of quality in long exposure to weather, therefore no maintenance costs,” says Kiute, who adds that light gauge steel trusses do not require treatment and grading unlike in timber. It can also be used for any type of roof, with all kinds of roof covers like iron sheets, clay/concrete tiles, and stone coated tiles among others. “Steel has higher strength to weight ratio compared to timber. This means that steel can span over large distances using smaller quantity. The impact of weight on the design of heavy foundation for the building is reduced, hence saving on cost of the foundation. The fewer quantities used also result in plenty of space in the roof void,” says Akech. “Light steel gauge technology is suited for complex roofs. There is also no need for large storage space on site as the various pieces are made on demand and are brought ready-made and get fixed into the final position. This eliminates the need for investing in heavy security and pilferage of materials from the site,” says Akech. Strength Manufacturers use high strength steel sheet, with coated material thicknesses. Different profiles are produced by roll forming the sheet into Z, C or U-shaped sections, or other more complex shapes. These profiles are joined using rivets, screws or bolts. Assembling steels into trusses could take place in a factory, or the sections could be bundled, or ‘flat packed’, transported to be assembled on site – the latter option is often selected for remote building sites, as it reduces the cost of transport. The cold-formed sections are rolled into long standard lengths, cut to size and assembled in a jig, similar to the timber truss process. Alternatively, the trusses could be produced on specialised roll-forming.
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