Factors dictating the economy of trusses.

Some of the general factors dictating the economy of trusses relating to truss type, spacing, span-to-depth ratios, pitch, etc. have already been discussed earlier.

However, factors such as the location of the structure, contractors’ experience and material availability may have a significant effect on the choice of truss type and details adopted. When designing trusses for overseas locations, particularly the developing countries or for remote areas with difficult access, the designer should consider the following:

• Material available locally, i.e. weldable or unweldable steel
• Preferred connections, i.e. welded, bolted or riveted
• Maximum size of elements that can be transported to site
• Method of erection, capacity and type of plant available
• Use of rolled, compound or fabricated sections
• Redundancy of structure in case of overloading and lack of maintenance
• Experience of local contractors
• Simple design with maximum repetition.

The designer should always try to maximize the use of local materials, labour and expertise so as to avoid expensive importation of materials and trained manpower.

In addition, the relative costs between materials and labour should be reflected in the design.

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