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Although this topic was not discussed in the paper, it is a

topic that does merit attention. It should be mentioned at
the outset that this condition is a long running topic of
discussion among engineers and contractors and probably
will continue to be debated. For example, in our own
practice we have designed and detailed buildings both ways,
with the choice chiefly depending upon each contractor's
preference for sequencing the construction operation. The
advantages of placing a joist next to and parallel to the wall
is that the roof deck may be placed prior to the wall being
in place. Disadvantages are:

Structural Details in Industrial Buildings

(3rd Quarter, 1981)

Discussion by Christopher Marx

I applaud Mr. Fisher for writing about a subject which I
believe has been overlooked for too long. Perhaps it is
viewed by many as being too simple, but there have been
many failures of single-story industrial buildings.
I can think of only one common problem omitted from
the paper, which I would like to see discussed. That is
where to place the first joist parallel to a rigid (masonry or
tilt-up) wall, and how best to brace the wall.
My reason for writing concerns the connection of a joist,
or joist girder, bottom chord to a column. I agree that such
attachment to one side of a brittle wall is very apt to crack
the wall; but mainly this should not be done, because there
is little if any structural benefit. Speaking now of columns,
it seems to me that Mr. Fisher has jumped to a conclusion
that bottom chord extensions must be treated as Type 1
Construction, fully rigid. Why; is Type 2 Construction
eliminated? Isn't it possible to detail the connection to be
"simple" for gravity loads, and design the extended ends
for lateral loads only ? I believe the condition is somewhat
akin to a seated connection upside down. If a relatively
flexible angle (rather than the rigid stabilizer plate shown
in Fig. 1 of the paper) is used, there will be sufficient deformation to prevent a fully rigid condition from developing.
Most certainly I agree that "the designer should not
create continuity" arbitrarily, but I disagree that this type
of connection must be designed for gravity loads. The author's comments would be most appreciated.

1. Money is spent for an extra joist which is many times

not needed structurally, since the wall could support
the deck.
2. Due to the amount of camber in long span joists,
adjustable height connections are required to connect
the roof deck to the wall.
Also, the designer should be careful to consider the vertical and longitudinal movement of the joist relative to the
rigid wall in order to prevent roofing tears and flashing
problems. In either case, the deck must be positively attached to the wall if the roof diaphragm is being used to
laterally brace the wall.
Mr. Marx's second point is relative to the discussion
about bottom chord extensions as Type 1 construction. The
author did not mean to imply that this must be the case. The
author's concern was one of cautioning engineers against
arbitrarily creating such situations. There is no question
that with proper design and detailing, connections approaching Type 2 construction as well as Type 1 construction can be successfully created. For many years Butler
Manufacturing Co. has used an elastomeric pad between
the bottom chord of their trusses and a side wall column.

Discussion by James M. Fisher

Mr. Marx has mentioned two major points in his discussion of the paper. The first point concerns the positioning of the first roof joist parallel to a non-load-bearing
masonry or tilt-up wall. The two aproaches under consideration are (1) locating a joist immediately behind the
wall or (2) locating the joist one deck-span away from the
wall, with the deck at the wall supported by other means.
Christopher Marx is a Consulting Engineer, New Haven,
James M. Fisher is Vice President, Computerized Structural
Design, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Fig. 1. Bottom chord ofjoist girder at column


Because this pad has a low stiffness, its insertion reduces

the compressive force in the bottom chord of the truss and
also reduces the moment in the side wall column. Although
this connection detail is patented by Butler Manufacturing
Co., other details that allow "flexing" can be used. For
example, an end plate type connection can be used at the
end of the bottom chord (see Fig. 1). By detailing a gap in
the systefri, the joist girder, joist, or truss will not generate
moments when subjected to gravity loads. However, when
subjected to wind loads, the windward connection will try
to open and the four bolts will act to transmit force.