Well, first of all, you have to ask yourself “what makes a perfect floor joist?”
The first thing that comes to mind is precision. If you are designing a multi-dwelling unit or MDU for example, you are dealing with literally hundreds of joists across multiple floor areas. Small differences in measurement, distortions in the wood, these can add up to unforeseen discrepancies during construction.
This must be addressed at the factory level. At our Triforce manufacturing plant, all raw materials are inspected before and after being milled into highly accurate parts, then assembled robotically.
There are many advantages to lightweight joists. They are easier to maneuver, faster to carry around in the workplace and easier to install. Typically, one worker can carry two Triforce joists at a time, compared to two workers for a single Truss joist.
How do we achieve this? Mostly by doing away with metal connectors. The Triforce joist is built with four components held together by high-performance adhesive: Chords, webs, posts and OSB panelling. The chords are grooved to fit the other components. Web locations have 5 grooves which optimize the strength of the connection when the adhesive is added. The triangular configuration of the webs creates maximum strength for minimal weight.
The advantages of an open design are immediately clear to any tradesman who has spent time drilling holes into I-Joists. It’s tedious and unrewarding work that needs to be done within strict manufacturer’s guidelines. The open design does away with drilling and allows much greater freedom to run HVAC ducts or wiring. The result is a happier tradesman and faster installations.
Again, this has everything to do with manufacturing procedures. Open joist Triforce assembly is entirely robotic but the process also has multiple levels of QA throughout, to ensure perfect measurement, alignment and precision. Finally, this culminates in a load test during which every single joist is tested. We destroy the joists that fail, making sure only proven units reach the jobsite.
Barrette Structural produces approximately 40 million linear feet of joists per year, ensuring wide availability throughout multiple distributors.