Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Open Joist Truss for Modular Cape Roof

Hinged Rafters Improved

It was the mid-1990’s and Brian Ellenberger had just signed an agreement to become the first U.S. Licensed Manufacturer of an innovative new floor joist called OPEN JOIST 2000.  When he introduced OPEN JOIST at the 1996 Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association convention in Harrisburg, it was immediately embraced by off-site builders.  The product had important advantages over solid dimension 2X10’s including strength, open-web access for mechanical systems and, at the time, cost savings. OPEN JOIST floor joists became the standard framing component for dozens of manufacturers and an optional choice for many.


Brian, having innovated hinged roof trusses for 2-box Cape Cod modulars, recognized the opportunity to make an improvement by using OPEN JOIST as the bottom chord of these roof trusses.  Engineering design commenced and industry “firsts” resulted from this new truss’ development.  New hardware was invented to connect different dimension chords and an LSL end block was introduced for strength.  While there was never an “official” name for these trusses, they were immediately dubbed “OJ Capers”.  

OJ Capers are still actively used by manufacturers to enhance their homes and expand finishing options for builders and home buyers.  Because of the open-web bottom chord configuration of these trusses, more options exist for finishing the second story of Cape Cod models.  Plumbing need not be confined to a predetermined chase area.  All mechanical systems are more easily and quickly installed as finish work is completed.  Factory builders appreciated the fact that these trusses stood solidly in roof jigs and the wide flange of the OPEN JOIST chords presented a larger surface for glue and fasteners.  And, of course, there is significant cost savings when shipping two boxes instead of four.

To learn more about OJ Caper roof trusses, contact Dennis Sill at 574-532-6102 or dennis@alleghenystructural.com

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