A truss is essentially a triangulated system of straight interconnected structural elements. The most common use of trusses is in buildings, where support to roofs, the floors and internal loading such as services and suspended ceilings, is readily provided. Trusses are commonly used in a range of buildings including airport terminals, aircraft hangers, sports stadia roofs, auditoriums and other leisure buildings. Trusses are also used to provide large column-free spaces in commercial buildings. The main reasons for using trusses are:
To span large distances
To provide a lightweight solution
To control deflection
To support heavy loads.
Trusses may be exposed within the structure and be fabricated from hollow sections for aesthetic appeal. Large loads may require the use of open sections (UKC, typically) or sections built up from plate. In all cases, the additional fabrication costs make trusses more expensive than conventional beam and column structures.