One alternative that offers significant savings when it comes to building construction is using a Steel Joist and deck system. Steel joists are open web, light-weight trusses with a triangulated web structure and parallel chords that are proportioned to span between bearing points.

steel joist of a building

Steel Joist Basics

What Constitutes the Main Components?

  • Upper Chord

A horizontal or angled element that creates the top edge of a truss. Both compressive and bending pressures are applied to this part.

  • Lower Chord

The horizontal (and inclined, as in scissor trusses) component defines a truss’s lower border and, when necessary, supports ceiling loads. Tensile and bending forces are applied on this part.

  • End Web

Members form triangular patterns that generate truss motion by connecting the top and bottom chords. The only bending forces that may be applied to the members are axial compression or tension forces. Moreover, the area of a beam or structural part known as the bearing seat is where loads and forces are transmitted.

Why Choose Steel Joist Framing?

For supporting floors and ceilings in a number of building types, steel joists framing offers an effective framing. They are affordable, light, and have a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio. For cost-effectiveness, the size of the supporting structural parts and the size of the building’s base can be lowered because steel joists are lighter than wooden trusses.

What Are the Kinds of Steel Joists?

It is important to know that there are two different kinds of steel joists: cold-formed and hot-rolled. Although cold-formed joists are more expensive than hot-rolled ones, they are thicker and stronger. Hot-rolled joists can be more affordable and thinner, but they’re not as sturdy.

The Steel Joist Institute has produced guidelines for the design and construction of steel joists, also known as open web steel joists, which are normally made of hot-rolled or cold-formed steel with a yield strength of 50 KSI.

steel joist of a bridge construction

The Steel Joist Institute: What Is It?

In order to address the lack of consistent joist standards across the industry, the Steel Joist Institute (SJI) was established. It is a group of active joist producers and other people and organizations involved in the sector.

The Institute still upholds the building codes for steel joists today. Additionally, the SJI offers educational opportunities for professionals working in the construction industry by way of a collection of printed publications, design tools, and live and recorded webinars.

Steel Joists: How Are They Installed?

The handling and installation of joists require careful consideration of a variety of factors. These can include the joist dimensions, sheer number, equipment height and reach, and the requirement for temporary bracing.

According to a field service specialist, “certain joist installation has particular criteria, such as needing the application of loads to the joists before the bottom cords can be tied in.” When a final weld is needed instead of a bolted connection, certified welders need to be available.

To ensure that it is structurally sound, strict adherence to the manufacturer’s advised installation procedure is required. A verification mechanism must be in place whenever welding is necessary to inspect welds and document that all work is done according to plans and specifications.

Moreover, the stability of the steel joist and its specialized function in the overall structure are the main factors that influence how it is installed.

What Are Joist Girders and Column Joists?

Column joists, tie joists, strut joists, or OC joists are all terms used to describe joists that support steel columns but are not already constructed in two dimensions. To ensure the integrity of the column during building, column joists must be field-bolted to the column.

Unless another technique of erection is employed that offers the same stability and is specified in the site-specific erection plan, column joists that span more than 60 feet must be set in tandem with an adjacent joist with all bridging installed. If a joist cannot be built directly at a column due to constructability, another method of supporting the column joists must be constructed on both sides close to the column.

Primary structural members known as joist girders are often supported by columns but may also be supported by other structural components. The manufacturer must design the joist girders so that they can be installed without the requirement for bridging during erection and that they must be installed one at a time.

To aid in overturning prevention, the bottom chords of the joist girders extend past a vertical stabilizer plate at the column. But always remember that the bottom chord should not be attached to the stabilizer plate unless specifically stated in the joist placement plans or the contract paperwork.

steel joist of hotel construction

Where to Get Quality Steel Joists

Industrial, commercial, and other specialty projects all make use of steel joists. At Miami Metal Deck, we have quality steel joists that will match your preference. Contact us today!