Building Trusses in a Market which is Unfamiliar With Them

Back in December I wrote an article about overcoming devastation and how one company and one organization partnered up to accomplish this amazing feat. One Mission Society is making a difference after Mother Nature strikes. You can view the previous article here.

Today I wanted to bring to your attention just how this effort is going is coming along. You see, in Haiti, most of the buildings are made with a concrete roof, stick framing, or steel. Many of the folks in Haiti have never even heard of trusses. This in itself is a challenge to a company looking to provide them!

There is one company working diligently to change that fact. That company is a Maxima S.A. and they have been doing business In Haiti since 1983. This innovative woodworking company has decided to take the market by storm (no pun intended). Beginning with the Bon Repos project, the Haitian market has now been introduced to trusses.

Just like any new product in a market, education is required to the value and successful use of this product. It has been a privilege and an honor to help in this endeavor with Maxima in educating its market.  I would like to share with you today the progress of this Bon Repos church project as it is being erected from ground up.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 1

Erecting a project in Haiti is not that much different when it comes to the concrete as we can see here.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 2

As the essential facility in this community, the Bon Repos church will be the safe haven in case Mother Nature strikes again. This building is designed for 170 mile per hour winds, which are quite a substantial load. This requires concrete gable ends to sustain such a force.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 3

In order to form the rake wall to the plane of the roof, the truss designer provided a truss up against the rake wall.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 3

Here we can see from the other end if we look closely the first truss behind the wall to allow this profile for the rake wall to match.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 5

Since trusses were new to this market, GDI strongly suggested that Maxima use an engineer for the bracing of the webs and the chords (both temporary and permanent). For this, BBD Engineering & Design Firm, LLC was engaged and did an outstanding job. Kent Bice was the engineer and was extremely easy to work with.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 6

The uplift connectors were already embedded in the concrete, so setting the trusses to the correct spacing was quite simple. This made the installation phase go smoothly.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 7

By using the bracing layout and plan provided by Mr. Bice, the builders were able to safely install the trusses and apply the adequate restraints. As we all know, trusses only work as a system. The critical part of that system and achieving the rigidity is the bracing.

After all, when you’re standing on trusses in mid-air, with nothing below except a cured slab, it’s better to be safe than sorry. As we can see here, the temporary bracing was installed correctly.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 8

After having properly installed everything on this “run” of trusses according to specifications, we can see that this project is going up nicely. For a market that has never used trusses before, this could have been a challenge, even a catastrophe. Thanks to the proactive nature of Maxima and their communication with the builder this was avoided entirely.

Bon-Repos-Trusses 9

In any endeavor, it’s not easy to start from ground zero. In the construction business it’s even more difficult. Educating a new market with a product they are unfamiliar with could have been cumbersome, even daunting. Thanks to the visionary leadership of Maxima and their efforts to employ experts in their field, Haiti is well on its way towards learning how to use this amazing product.

I look forward to helping assist and future projects and sharing my experience to help those in attaining knowledge. Thank You Maxima and the Haitian market for this opportunity.

Christopher Gould – President

Gould Design, Inc.