MiTek Industries South Africa shares insight on why prefabricated timber roof trusses are the go-to engineered roof structure in most circumstances
Used in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors in Southern Africa, prefabricated timber roof trusses are highly popular, says MiTek, a leading roof-truss system supplier in SA and globally.
Boasting a manufacturing facility in Gauteng as well as regional offices in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, MiTek supplies the widest range of timber connectors to the local building industry as well as hardware stores and manufacturers of roof-trusses. MiTek marketing manager Hennie Viljoen explains that a prefabricated timber roof is a fully engineered structure that delivers a practical and versatile roofing solution that’s cost-effective and quick to install. ‘When compared with a traditionally built roof, a prefabricated trussed roof will typically deliver considerable material savings, often using 40% less timber than site-made roof trusses,’ says Viljoen.
‘The importance of minimising site waste has never been greater, leading the majority of house builders to prefer pre-manufactured building components,’ he adds.
‘Prefabricated roof trusses are manufactured on-site, in a factory-controlled environment, which ensures that high-quality products are delivered to site with a minimum of on-site work required.’
ENSURING A SAFE STRUCTURAL CONNECTION MiTek-licensed fabricators use industry-leading design and engineering software, with support from the company’s experienced team of technical experts.
All MiTek structural connectors are made from galvanised steel, varying in thickness from 1 mm to 2 mm, depending on the application. Stainless steel products can also be supplied on request. ‘In order to provide the safest solution, MiTek’s sophisticated design and engineering software package analyses the forces that pass through each connection based on the load cases submitted. Globally, MiTek’s 1 mm galvanised M20 connector plate is used widely in the manufacture of roof trusses,’ according to Viljoen.
The appropriate-sized plate is specified by MiTek’s design and engineering software and then pressed into the timber chords of the truss in factory-controlled conditions with state-of-the-art machinery. All MiTek connector plates are manufactured under the ISO9001:2015 guidelines.
HEIGHTENED VERSATILITY FOR ALL SECTORS Ideal for all types of residential roof-structure applications – from small to large spans – timber roof trusses are also well-suited for attics, creating extra living space at a lower overall building cost, a benefit still underutilised in SA.
In the commercial environment, timber roof trusses are suitable for most commercial roof-structure applications up to about 17m clear span. If it is any longer, transport can become challenging. Site splicing is, however, an option. The trusses are also ideal for steep pitched-roof structures.
For the industrial sector, it’s possible to use timber in some scenarios, depending on truss span, roof pitch and so on. But MiTek’s ultra-span light-gauge steel-framing option is generally better suited for industrial roof structures, low-pitch scenarios and low-cost housing roof structures. As Viljoen explains, with special engineering input from MiTek’s professional team of engineers, it’s possible to create very large and unusual timber roof structures (within limitations).