Roofing guide for the construction of gusset panels published by TRA

The Trussed Rafter Association has issued new guidelines for roofs to prevent poor construction of the spandrel sheets by home builders

New roof guidelines for the use of Spandrel panels were published this week. The document, produced by the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA), provides evidence-based technical best practices for using Spandrel panels. This includes information about the design and structural requirements associated with using Spandrel, as well as the considerations necessary to ensure safety and efficiency.

Spandrel panels are increasingly being used in new buildings, with manufacturers of half-timbered roofs reporting a growing interest in off-site components. It is a quick and easy construction method that can also reduce the work time in height. A recent poll by the NHBC found how popular Spandrel is becoming. 17 percent of the 8,000 new buildings surveyed already used the Spandrel panels.

It is hoped that the new guide will provide advice to ensure that the risks of using spandrel are mitigated while reducing waste and costs.

Further updates expected

The guide was developed by the TRA together with the NHBC and the Structural Timber Association (STA). Further updates are expected to be added to the document following the results of the fire tests currently being carried out by the STA.

Other changes will be made later this year by TRA and NHBC regarding pediment details.

Jonathan Fellingham, Chairman of TRA said, “As prefabricated components and off-site construction become more popular, home builders are increasingly turning to Spandrel panels.

“They offer an ideal solution to the shortage of skilled workers in housing construction and roofing and help improve safety on site, as they require less time at height. Spandrel panels can be installed quickly, and faster installation times also mean lower costs. They also leave little or no waste on the construction site.

“However, TRA members and NHBC inspectors have shared concerns about the quality of construction in some areas. Therefore, it is important that home builders understand best planning and installation practices in order to get the best results.

“We have worked with the STA and NHBC to ensure that the challenges faced by home builders are met so that the installation standard is as high as possible.”

Paul Cribbens, NHBC Standards Manager, added: “As the housing industry moves more and more towards innovative construction, it is encouraging to see the supply chain accepting the challenges and making sure the products work as expected.

“This document is an important first step towards standardizing this innovative construction method.”

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