Long spans without intermediate supports create large open spaces architects and designers can use with complete freedom. Partitions can be moved without compromising the structural integrity of the building. Framing a roof with wood trusses can be accomplished in half the time required for a conventional rafter based system. In addition to flexibility and cost effectiveness trusses are used for the following reasons:
- Truss shapes have almost unlimited variety, thus allowing for distinctive roof shapes.
- Many restaurant chains choose to expose their corporate identity in the prefabricated metal plate connected wood truss roof design of their buildings.
- Metal plate connected trusses are used to create arches of all types.
- Wood trusses used in specialized applications such as agricultural and commercial buildings provide spans exceeding 25m (80').
- As a testament to their strength, wood trusses are used in concrete formwork, scaffolding and falsework for industrial projects.
- The open web configuration of roof and floor trusses allows easy placement of plumbing, electrical, mechanical and sanitary services.
- Vaulted ceilings are easily made: bottom chords of pitched trusses can be sloped, or parallel chord pitched trusses bearing on supports at different elevations can be used. Attic trusses are designed to provide living areas within the roof space.
Wood trusses are very versatile and compatible with other structural products. They can be connected to other trusses (i.e. girder trusses) or combined with other components, such as glulam, LVL, PSL and steel beams. In North America, wood roof trusses are commonly supported on concrete or masonry walls using simply installed connections to join the roof to the walls.
- Hinged connector plates used with mono-pitch trusses allow modular homes to be assembled with conventional roof pitches, greatly enhancing their appearance.