A recent article in the Charlotte Observer described how floor trusses were involved in two separate safety incidents in student housing complexes in the city of Charlotte, NC. They both happened within a year of each other.
If anything, the incidents prove the importance of quality control.
In both cases, the floor began to sag during a student party. In one case, the owners had to empty the units and complete repairs over the summer months.
There isn’t enough detail about the problem. Interestingly though, the engineer speaking to the Charlotte Observer calls out the repair drawings. They indicated crews were repairing connections that hold together the wood that forms the floor trusses. For Trusses, that type, one improperly mounted plate can cause trouble for the entire unit.
Did they mishandle the trusses? Were they defective? Or braced during installation? Did the amount of people in the apartment exceeded safety codes? It is even possible that excessive vibration (though this rarely happens) shook the plates loose. Or perhaps the trusses got exposed to excessive moisture before their installation? We’ll probably never find out for sure.
Quality control was pushed aside at some point. In our industry, Whether it is manufacturing, transportation, storage or installation, If you don’t have an adequate quality control system ingrained in your processes, your are taking a chance with people’s safety.
Through the voice of the interviewed engineer, the article expresses the concern that people in the wood construction industry are cutting costs at the expense of safety. As professionals in the industry, we have the duty to be up front about the quality and quality control on our products, and that we are doing our part.
We take quality control seriously
As a joist manufacturer, we take quality control extremely seriously. For example, in our plant, there is a quality controller on every single production shift. We also have fully automated manufacturing. In our opinion, the article contains erroneous views about automation. 100% robotic manufacturing has helped us attain unprecedented levels of quality and consistency in production.
Our attention to quality and quality control even enables us to exceed several aspects of the ASTMD5055 standard. ASTDD5055 includes evaluation of joist capacities for shear, reaction, moment and stiffness. We also comply with the US ICC-ES (ESR-2999), and Canadian CCMC (CCMC-13474-R) standards.
Finally, Being in the wood construction industry is just like being in any other. Put safety and quality ahead of everything else. If you aren’t you are heading for trouble.