We are all aware of Hurricane Irma being the most extremely powerful catastrophic Cape Verde type hurricane, the most intense observed in the Atlantic since Dean in 2007. Forbes state that the hurricane season has just started and we can confirm Tropical Storm Maria’ appearance recently. On Thursday, Hurricane Maria dumped rain on the Island, Puerto Rico, leaving it in chaos and devastation. Natural Disasters in South Africa

South Africa is known to not have major natural disasters such as hurricanes and intensive storms, but recently we experienced disasters that left South Africans in some disarray. From 2016 until now, our country has suffered the impact of the following two disasters –

  • June 2017 – Knysna Fire
  • November 2016 – Johannesburg Flood
Disasters might not hit South Africa as frequently as with other countries, but that doesn’t mean that precaution should be neglected. We don’t know for sure what nature has planned for South Africa, especially with Global Climate Change occurring. Roof Truss Provision for Possible Natural Disasters – Storms

Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses, an SABS approved Roof Truss Manufacturer, wants to assure you of stable roof truss structures designed with correct, revised, wind load.

Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses are licence holders of MiTek and MiTek Design Software, who will release the latest version of the MiTek 20/20 Software in September/October 2017.

The South African Design Code SANS 10160-3 was revised in 2011 and include the following:
  • The change of the loading code to be more in line with EC5 (European Loading Code),
  • Reduction of Tributary Area Loading,
  • Increase in mandatory point load to 1kN,
  • A revised wind section to be more in line with EC5.
The previous version of the MiTek S.A Software MiTek 2020 included wind loading and now, the revised wind loads as per requirements of the Code have been included.

The revised wind load enables extensive methods in calculating the wind pressure on the buildings with a lot more emphasis on the effect of the wind on exposed overhangs, gable end walls and ridges.

The net effect of the revised wind loads is an improved design on normal roof areas with the emphasis on edge and end areas. Standard details of ridges, gables, and overhangs are considered with the revised loading. The software also enables you to check these areas, if required.

The software will regularly be updated with the latest Code requirements to offer you the best solution for your roof truss project/s.

Contact Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses and speak to our experienced designers as early as possible regarding the design of your roof. Our designers will work with you to reach the ideal solution. To complement the design service, our package includes (if required) full working drawings and design calculations to local authority requirements.

012 111 0343 | tenders@kelbrick.com

Earthquakes, we see how devastating they can be to the earth and humanity. Our structures often come down so easily and as a result, many livelihoods are ruined. Luckily for us, South Africa hasn’t been on mother nature’s bad side just yet but earthquakes are increasing in our country.

The strength, or magnitude, of an earthquake is measured using the Richter scale. … Earthquakes measuring around 7 or 8 on the Richter scale can be devastating.

There is always reason to take precaution and invest in a roof that will last through anything – even an earthquake!

We cannot stress this enough, the best materials to make a roof earthquake friendly are the materials being light-weight. Lightweight roof covering also includes Concrete Roof tiles.

Lightweight roofs advantages:

  • Cost savings in budget and materials,
  • Savings on foundation design,
  • The ability to adapt roofing without having to vacate the property,
  • Reduced installation times, with less potential disruption to property owners and neighbours,
  • Increased durability and extreme weather performance, compared to many of the heavy duty alternatives,
  • Allows better use of variable lightweight materials,
  • And there are also environmental benefits too; which includes the reduction in carbon emissions through massively more efficient transportation costs.
The forbidden city in China has been standing for over 600 years and has survived more than 200 earthquakes! This building has special brackets called dougong, which supports the beams and holds the columns in place! These brackets are the key to holding this structure together for so many years!

Make sure your roof lasts with Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses.

You’ve decided that it’s time to install a solar panel for you to benefit as much as colleagues, friends, family and other people do. But where do you really begin with the process before just hopping into every possible solar panel store? Let us assist you…

Your largest home energy expense is heating and cooling. Installing solar panels could reduce your energy costs with added benefits such as lower utility bills, higher home value and you’re creating a more efficient home and a healthier planet.

Even though more homeowners consider installing solar panels, a lot of concerns still exist about whether the roof trusses will accommodate and support a solar panel system. Before you draw up the blueprint do an energy audit first. This will calculate the amount of solar energy you need to produce to break even the amount you use.

It’s important to ensure that your roof trusses are going to be strong enough take the added weight of the solar panel (also known as PV or thermal) system. You must be prepared for another estimated 14kgs to the dead load of the roof and bear in mind that it will be mounted to one side of the roof. This could cause unbalancing if the roof truss structure is unsecured.

But this is only one concern. Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses touches on the main concerns with possible points to look out for before installing a solar panel.

General Concerns about Roof Trusses and Solar Panels:

1. Was my roof designed to carry the extra weight of solar panel? This is the most important question you must ask yourself and if in doubt revert it to a Structural Engineer, Roof Inspector or manufacturer. Very important is that when you put on a new roof is to inform the manufacturer of the kind of solar panel system you want to install, for the designer of the roof to make provision therefore.

2. Will the solar panels cause my roof to leak? If your roof is old or in a poor condition, it would be best to consult a licenced roofing inspector to determine if you need to replace the roof before installing a solar panel. You wouldn’t want to remove and reinstall the solar panels if that’s the case. It can be done, but financially not advisable.

3. Is my roof strong enough? First, ensure that your roof has a ‘solar window’ – the ability to absorb sunbeams and is not covered in shade most of the day. If you live in a rented department or a multi-unit building, consider a shared or community solar. As already mentioned most solar panels add an extra 14kgs to your roof. Most modern roofs are designed to carry an extra load of at least 100kgs per square metre.

4. Will the solar system damage my roof or cause it to break? When your roof is assessed and strong enough and the solar panels are installed the solar panels will help protect your roof from wear and damage. Solar panels are durable and sturdy with a 20 to 25-year guarantee. It can withstand hail and extreme weather conditions and help block ultraviolet rays.

5. Is my roof large enough for solar panels? This depends on the size of the array you want to be installed. If you doubt that your roof is large enough, you can always consider other possible locations. Even though the roof is the most common and best location, solar panels could also be installed as shade awnings, ground mounts, poles, a detached garage or the ground

6. What type of roof do I need to install a solar panel system Solar panels can be installed on any type of roof. The type of roof is not as important as the strength of the roof composite and tile. Concrete Tiles, IBR or Corrugated Sheeting roofs are ideal with minimal complexity. It would be best to consult both the solar installation constructor and the licenced roofing inspector at the same time.

Contact Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses with assistance on your roof truss inspection.

Ultra-span roof trusses are trending within the roof truss industry… why? It’s light weight and cost-effective and that is why Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses as a fabricator of MiTek provides ultra-span steel roof trusses in Brits and Gauteng-areas. We offer Commercial Steel Roof Trusses and Residential Steel Roof Trusses.

What are the benefits of ultra-span steel roof trusses?

  • All materials utilised are Galvanised coated to a minimum Z200 specification. The steel material suppliers are prepared to give a 50-year warranty if there is a roof covering and ceiling in place.
  • Ultra-span can be used at the coast, but the site should be at least 500m from the shoreline. Due to salt spray, any site that is within 500m to 10km from the coast should not only have the roof space enclosed by the roof covering and ceiling but any eaves or barge overhangs should also be enclosed.
  • The different metals in sheeting products affecting galvanised steel are stainless steel, copper and brass.
  • The roof design guarantee is for the lifetime of the roof. The steel manufacturer’s guarantee is for 50 years, as long as the conditions noted in Q1 and Q2 are observed.
  • Roofs of 40m clear span have been successfully designed. However, loading conditions will impact on the spans achievable.
  • Steel as a material is 100% impervious to any insect or fungus attack.
  • Steel, especially light gauge steel, is fully recyclable and as such represents one of the most environment friendly materials.
  • The Ultra-Span® roof structure will act like a partial “Farday” cage during lightning – safely sending any static energy into the support structure and foundations.
  • TV and radio transmission waves will simply pass through all the structural elements.
  • The Ultra-Span® light gauge steel structure is 100% non-combustible (that means it cannot contribute to a fire). In conjunction with the appropriate roof covering and ceiling covering – the roof structure the structure could be deemed to have fire resistance.

With an excess number of Roof Trusses (herein after called trussed rafters) there has been, to date, no known failure of a trussed rafter “ex-factory” condition, a remarkable safety record. Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses provides you with the information on how trussed rafters work, their strengths and their limitations. Common misunderstandings are examined that will hopefully costly and obstinate modifications.
Trussed rafters are defined as triangulated timber frameworks positioned at close centres (generally 600mm) to form roof structures. Trusses are engineered to suit the application requested. Roof Truss manufacturers use very sophisticated software (known as the system owners) such as MiTek to design the trusses, produce quotations, manufacture information and produce data.
The advantage of trussed rafters is that it enables architects the freedom with the layout of the upper floor by avoiding the need for internal load bearing walls. Consequently, the ground floor layout and upper floor layout need no longer harmonise. The 7 Deadly Sins

Mistreating trusses can be costly and disruptive to subsequently repair. Below the 7 sins are briefly discussed.

1. Not knowing how trusses function:
A fundamental understanding of how trusses are designed and manufactured will greatly assist the process of specifying and assessing trusses. Timber has an excellent strength to density ratio, making it an ideal structural material. The most effective option to joint timber to mobilise its full strength is the use of connector plates. The plates are pressed into the timber. Connector plate performance is normally set out in an Agreement Certificate, which will set out the acceptable force per nail and the permissible stress in the plate. The most important characteristic of trussed rafters requiring understanding is the action of a framework. Beams carry load by bending, frameworks carry loads by direct force i.e. stretching or compressing. There is some bending in the top chord and in the bottom chord (due the application of the roof and ceiling loads). The effective span of the top and bottom chords is reduced due to the presence of internal webs. Notes: As with any process, there are fixed costs associated with truss rafter manufacture. A truss is so much more than the sum of its parts. Any alteration to a truss once manufactured is likely to be involved and costly. Surveyors and Inspectors need to be vigilant in spotting unauthorised alterations.

2. Unauthorised alterations:
The adage ‘think twice, cut once’ has never been truer than when applied to trussed rafters. trusses are much more than the sum of their parts, and any alteration is likely to destroy the framework action of the truss rendering it of insufficient strength to carry the loads applied. Notes: When inspecting trussed rafter roofs, be on the lookout for the removal of any internal webs or any other alteration to the trusses where bolts, nails or screws have been used to fix members. Such an addition to a roof structure would generally indicate than some other member has been removed. Trussed rafters need to be ordered correctly to suit the site conditions and no reliance should be made on subsequent site alterations other than those referred to above such as overhangs. Drilling or notching of attic trusses is likely to weaken them and should not be undertaken in any circumstances.

3. Insufficient bracing:
Various sources of information provide guidance on the bracing of trussed rafter roofs. All the support statements regarding standard trussed rafter bracing do make clear that the bracing is dependent upon the presence of a plasterboard ceiling. In garages or exposed trusses where there is no ceiling applied to the underside of the trussed rafters, diagonal bracing should be used. Another situation where specific bracing requirements need to be considered is mono pitch trusses. The highest end of the truss would generally not be fixed to any structural item and therefore diagonal bracing along the plane of the end verticals is the requirement for stability. It is also worth noting that the diagonal running down to the corner of the high end carries a similar force to the rafter at the eaves and is likely to require some restraint. Trussed rafter manufacturers would normally provide such bracing information with their trussed rafter supply although it is the author’s experience that such bracing is often omitted. Notes: Properties built during the 1960s and 1970s frequently do not have diagonal bracing and all the necessary longitudinal bracing. Even if the roof shows no signs of any deformation it is important that such bracing is added retrospectively. The advice provided by trussed rafters manufacturers should be carefully adhered to and bracing in non-standard situations should be applied.

4. Overloading / under loading:
10s of thousands of houses carry a heavy tile such as plain tiles but have only been designed for concrete interlocking tiles. The difference in weight between a plain tile and a concrete interlocking tile is not great, in respect of the actual load carried by the rafters the difference is marked. The choice of tile covering can be randomly with decisions often being made at site level late in the contract. Manufacturers inevitably will assume that trusses will be carrying concrete interlocking tiles and they normally clearly mark their quotations and specifications to say so. Another problem that can arise with trussed rafter roof coverings is where light weight coverings are used such as asbestos and slates. Typically, the slates are used for large span low pitch roofs where uplift is particularly significant. The use of truss clips is essential for smallish roofs and double truss clips can be needed where large spans are used. Notes: Always be on the lookout for existing roofs that seem to have substantial amount or significantly heavy items stored in them. Books and paper create high loadings. It is important to decide what loading the trussed rafter should be designed for and to communicate such information to the truss rafter manufacturer.

5. Poor site handling and storage
The precise design and careful manufacture of trussed rafters is often undermined by poor site practice. Furthermore, poorly planned unloading and storage. Trusses are bundled together in the factory to enable them to be lifted as one unit. On large well organised sites, a storage facility is put in place into which trusses can be unloaded and stored in an upright position, and then picked off as and when required. On a well organised site, a small crane is often hired to enable the bundled trusses to be lifted directly from the lorry onto the wall plates of the building. However, in many other instances trusses are simply laid flat upon the floor. Such a practice is satisfactory if the trusses have a firm and level support of the ground. A frequent practice on small building sites is for trusses to be manhandled from the ground up over the first-floor scaffolding and onto the roof. It is inevitable trusses can sometimes bend under their own self weight over the scaffolding handrails. Notes: Keep an eye out for poor storage procedures and insist that trusses are checked when they appear to have been victim from such situations. Specifications for trussed rafters should require the builder to pre-determine the methods by which trusses will be stored on site or if they are to be hoisted directly onto their bearing points. Notes for builders, plan and decide whether to construct proper storage facilities or whether to hire a crane and lift the trusses directly onto the wall plates (recommended).

6. Poor manufacture and poor construction:
Not all trussed rafter manufacturers subscribe to a quality assurance scheme for eg. SABS. However, this does not guarantee the trusses are free from fault. The design of truss rafters will normally include a plate positioning tolerance of 5mm. Very few buildings would have wall plates that are totally and truly parallel to each other and even fewer where the distance over wall plates is exactly as assumed in the design. It is important that such measurements are taken in several locations to determine the widest distance. A complicated roof may have a special wide web to facilitate hanging a special metal bracket for an incoming load from say a girder or a purlin. In such circumstances, careful planning of the unloading and hoisting to roof level of the trusses needs to be carried out. It is essential that the side on which the wide web is located is identified early on to ensure the trusses are loaded onto the roof in the right orientation. Notes: Check that major incoming loads to trussed rafter girders have a suitable hanger fixed to a suitable web. Check that valleys are constructed in a way to distribute the load on the underlying trussed rafters and that the underlying trussed rafters have some fixings to their top chord. When writing specifications for trussed rafters, require trusses to be ordered with the specified tolerance at the heel. plan unloading and erecting procedures carefully particularly where asymmetric girders are used properly construct valleys to ensure loads are distributed evenly on the underlying trusses and that there is restraint to the top chords of the trusses.

7. Poor specification:
Trussed rafter technology and more importantly the power of the software to design and draw trussed rafter roofs have increased significantly over the last two or three decades. Specifiers often want eaves details to align with window heads etc. Often designers and specifiers complain that they cannot finalise the eaves detail until they know the top chord size of the trussed rafter. Top chord sizes for most span / pitch combinations are in fact not decided by design but using tables of tested spans. Very often the preferred eaves detail will involve the ceiling being placed above the wall plate level, known as a raised tie truss. The trussed rafter industry decided a long time ago that such movement must be limited and generally works on a figure of 6mm at each eave. Very often to enable a feasible design to be executed the trussed rafter designer will specify a timber supplement to the rafter referred to as a scab. In extreme cases, there may be a scab either side. A trussed rafter manufacturer will provide details of the scabs and details of how they should be nailed. For the above reasons raised tie type roofs are limited in what can be achieved with trussed rafters where there is say a hip end or a big intervention to the line of trussed rafters by say a large roof light. Notes: Always be on the lookout for poorly executed loft conversions where the original roof was standard trussed rafters. Always be wary of designs (not supported by a trussed rafter manufacturer’s calculations and details) where excessive raised tie distances or excessive room widths are specified. always be aware of the limitations of attic trusses and the limitations of raised tie trusses. Where very large room widths are required or a very complicated roof plan results it may well be cheaper to have internal load bearing walls and / or major purlins (glulam or steel).

Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses has been manufacturing roof trusses for 31 years and considers the above mentioned seven sins as significant when designing, manufacturing and constructing roof trusses. As the first approved SABS and SANS 1900 Roof Truss Manufacturer in South Africa since 2002 (15 years), Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses experiences 7 unexpected inspections from SABS and can boastfully confess that no fault has ever been recorded on our design, manufacturing processes, or the quality of our roof trusses. Trussed rafters provide a very economic form of roof structure and can generally be built very quickly. Discipline needs to be exercised in the specification of trussed rafters and particularly in their erection. Be always wary of trussed rafter raised tie roofs where the limitations of what can be achieved may make a design unfeasible using factory made trusses. Building Control inspectors and surveyors always need to be on the lookout for unauthorised alterations to trussed rafter roofs. Building Inspectors always need to be vigilant for poor storage and poor erection practices. Laying trusses flat on uneven ground is unfortunately a common practice that the author has witnessed many times. Despite all the above, trussed rafters are still the structural solution of choice for residential properties and for an increasing number of commercial properties. Their use allows elegant economic solutions to be formed.

Some may pretend that they are perfect in every way, but unfortunately the perception of our perfection differs widely. This is certainly true among roof truss manufacturers within the roof truss industry.

What is a perfect roof truss manufacturer? A perfect and most beneficial roof truss company is SABS approved and doesn’t hold back the proof of SANS 1900 certification.

Being SABS approved means that all equipment, materials, processes and software are inspected at least 7 times a year, without prior notice. Whereas to other roof truss memberships with ITC, roof truss manufacturers only receives an inspection visit once a year with notice of inspection day (lets one think…)

Yes, it’s very clear what to look out for… but there also seems to be a confusion about roof truss companies being SABS approved when they only use SABS approved wood. SABS approved roof truss manufacturers is certified on everything, even remotely relevant roof truss products used within the manufacturing process.

Be aware that a lot of roof truss manufacturers associated with International Roof Truss Systems falsely state on their websites to be SABS approved – as most of them play around with the words and creates an impression that the final roof truss is SABS approved. Here is an example “We are a member of the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa and are a licenced by International Truss Systems (Pty) Ltd. who are accredited with SABS ISO 9001.”

How do you find out which roof truss manufacturers are really SABS certified and which are putting up a front? You can do a check on whether a roof truss manufacturer is SABS certified, by typing in the manufacturer name here, (or under Search by Commodity type in “roof trusses”) under the SABS Certified Products section. If the company appears (see below as with Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses), then you know that you’ve got the real deal, if not…well then you know you won’t get value for your money.

If you ask us, the roof truss designing and manufacturing process is pretty interesting. (But of course, we may be a little biased.) The exact process will vary by manufacturer and product, but in general, there are a few steps that stay consistent no matter where you are. Here’s an overview of the steps in the roof truss manufacturing process:

  • Design: It all starts with design. After being contacted by a builder or developer, the truss manufacturer will start the design process. Knowing what the truss will be used for, how big it must be, where it will be supported, and more, our designers will then utilize their expertise and design a truss that meets the client’s requirements, as well as all relevant Building Codes.
  • Wood and plate selection: The truss design also specifies the type of timber to be used and the type of truss plates to be used. There are variety of different types of timber and plates, and the correct wood and plates must be used in all cases. At Kelbrick’s, all of our timber and plates are clearly segmented out and organized. Once the design is approved, our team will pull the timber and plates and begin manufacturing.
  • Template making: To make the manufacturing process more efficient and accurate, the next step is template making. With the design, the manufacturer sets up a template that outlines what pieces need to be used where, how they fit together, and where plates should be placed. Different manufacturers use different systems, but at Kelbrick’s we use a MiTek system with a cutting list that shows the correct placement of the plates.
  • Cutting: Ready to begin manufacturing? It all starts with cutting the wood. No matter how the manufacturer chooses to cut it, the important thing is that the proper timber is selected, and then cut to fit the design. Pieces must be cut accurately in order to fit tight tolerances and complete manufacture.
  • Assembly: Once all the wood is cut, it’s time for assembly. Cut pieces of wood is inserted into the template and checked to make sure they match the design. After that, the truss manufacturer places the truss plates and readies for final pressing.
  • Pressing: The final step in roof truss manufacturing is pressing. With wood cut and assembled and truss plates in place, the entire roof truss assembly is run through a hydraulic press and inspected. At that point, the truss is completed and ready for shipping!
Do that process hundreds of times a day and you have a good sense of what a day on the shop floor at Kelbrick’s looks like. It’s quite a process, but we enjoy it greatly and pride ourselves on our expertise in truss design and manufacturing.

Now you know how roof trusses are made. If you’d like to purchase roof trusses or other products from Kelbrick’s, or if you just have a question, don’t hesitate to reach out! Call us at 071-676-3404.

You’re searching for roof truss manufacturers and as you search on Google you actually find various manufacturing websites and they seem to be legit, because of the SABS approved ISO 9001 logo on their sites…
But, do you accept quality through only a SABS approved mark you see on a company’s website rather than the actual certificate of approval??

If not, you should. As most of these roof truss manufacturers misguide clients who is searching for only the best in roof trusses and everything that goes along with it. These manufacturers make use of suppliers that uses software for roof truss design which can be associated with the SABS mark, but cannot claim to be SABS approved. Most of them plays around with the words and creates an impression that the final roof truss is SABS approved.

Would you be furious to discover that the roof truss manufacturer you chose pretended to be only the best…that they’ve been using the SABS approved as a cover-up to gain more sales??

Yes, you would because it’s equivalent to fraud – you won’t get value for your money…if you do come across a roof truss manufacturer that falsely claims to be SABS approved, report it immediately. ITC also seems to be an impotent institution for not confronting its members and system suppliers in this regard.

Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses wants to ensure that you choose the roof truss manufacturer that uses SABS approved timber because it is an industry requirement. In fact, the whole manufacturing process of roof trusses should be SABS approved. Make sure the manufacturing company possesses the SANS 1900 certificate in order to place the SABS mark on their roof trusses.

Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses became the first Roof Truss Manufacturer in South Africa to obtain the prestigious permit (SANS 1900) from SABS to apply the SABS certification mark on all the Roof Truss products we manufacture – ask us and we’ll provide the proof.

Kelbrick’s Roof Trusses was recently approached by Nico Jacobs from Rhino 911 (Rhino911NPO Facebook) to assist in designing, building and installing a helicopter hanger roof in Kameeldrift Country Estate in Brits. To keep with the aesthetics of the estate, the hanger had to have a truss-assisted tile roof.

The roof truss structure of 15 metres with concrete roof tiles covering, were erected from 21st to 24th October 2016 and the tiles were laid on 2nd and 3rd of November 2016.

There are only 20,000 rhinos left in Africa and losing some three a day to poaching, rhinos would be extinct in the wild within 10-20 years. With the new hanger sorted, Nico’s rhino poaching protection with the Bell 407 Helicopter can continue without further concern about his assets.

This is just another example that Kelbrick can tackle any new challenge head-on – no matter what kind of roof trusses or the purpose.

Donations to the Non-profit Rhino 911 Organisation: Banking Details:
FNB (First National Bank)
Account Name: Rhino 911
Branch: Brits
Branch code: 260146
Account Number: 6265 5167 495