Truss: Composition and Types

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  • What is a Truss?

Let’s start with the basics. It is a triangular-shaped architectural element used to support pitched roofs and is particularly suitable for roofs with large spaces without intermediate supports. The truss not only allows you to cover large spans, but gives the structures greater rigidity.

  • The constitutive elements of the Truss

The truss in its primordial configuration is composed of only three elements: two inclined top chords and a lower tie rod, called bottom chord. Over time, however, additional elements have been added to give greater rigidity to this architectural element. The king post, which is the vertical beam usually placed in the center of the truss directly below the ridge, which can never rest on the chain because it would compromise the static nature of the truss (however it is often connected to it with a metal “U” bracket); the struts, which are two inclined beams in the opposite direction to the top chords and rest on the lower part of the king post. They have the function of support and section breaker (= which decreases the inflection span) for the top chords.



  • The types of Truss
  1. Simple: the one previously described, consisting of top and bottom chords
  2. With king post: it is the simple one with the addition of a king post
  3. Classical / Palladian style: formed by bottom chord, top chords, king post and struts
  4. Double bottom chord / Compound: it is generally used in structures with large spans (typically non-residential) and due to its composition the name speaks for itself
  5. Asymmetrical: it is a simple or Palladian truss with sides with different inclinations
  6. Composed in the Palladian style: it is a more articulated Palladian truss because it has multiple queen posts and consequent struts
  7. Mixed: the one made with different materials which typically can be wood and steel is thus defined



The truss most used today remains the Palladian one, but with wood and many years of experience we can create all types of this spectacular architectural element, so if you want one for the structure of your dreams, don’t wait, contact us now!

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