When you are building a structure with a roof, and exterior walls, how you support it can play a significant role in the interior design of the building. A truss roof design offers support that starts on the outer walls and spans the structure with a minimal need for interior support, leaving more open space in your building. 

Roof Trusses

A truss roof uses an engineered support system made from wood or steel, triangulated to spread the weight of the roof over a large area. The ends of the trusses sit on the outer walls of the building, and when engineered correctly, the load can be spread over the span without additional support. 

In new home construction, the truss roof uses a pitched design, and trusses set just a few feet apart can hold more weight. The building trusses are typically wood construction, and individually they will not support the roof. However, when used together and clad with a sheet material like plywood, the trusses become very strong and will hold up the roofing material and things like snow or debris that falls on the roof outside.

Large homes with long roof spans may not be able to completely support the roof with trusses alone, so using the interior walls as additional supports can help distribute the weight and increase the span length.

Laminated Materials

Engineered lumber materials are wood products laminated together for additional strength you can not get from a traditional truss roof configuration. Combining the laminated materials with the engineering and design of a truss may allow you to carry more weight over a larger area. However, the math needs to be perfect to ensure the material will do the job. 

If the roof is flat, engineered lumber can be a great option that allows the creation of beams that are lighter and stronger than traditional materials and are cheaper to produce. 

Steel Truss Systems

Commercial buildings often have truss roof designs that use steel trusses that look more like traditional beams but use triangulation to support the roof over a large area. This allows the space inside to have fewer support columns and works well for warehouse or manufacturing-style buildings.

Commercial retail spaces are also commonly built this way, and as a result, a tenant leasing the space can remove the interior walls and replace them with other ones that change the feel of the space entirely. Truss roof designs have changed over the years as technology has made it easier to develop better engineering and create more robust support systems and larger open spans under a pitched or flat roof.