Fabricating Custom Truss Systems: Unistrut vs. Structural Steel

Unlike industrial applications where primary consideration is given to strength, most commercial applications involving Unistrut require solutions that combine strength, cost-effectiveness, and aesthetics.  Our work designing and fabricating a truss support system for a Pittsburgh museum illustrates how we incorporate each of these considerations into installations for our commercial and institutional clients.

Most museum renovation and remodeling projects are complex because the facility typically remains open during construction.  In this case, the museum's architects recognized fabricating a truss system on-site would present significant challenges.  Building a truss system using structural steel would require welding, a process that contaminates the air with dust and fumes.  This fabrication method would also require contractors to move large, structural beams through multiple exhibits adjacent to the work area.  Finally, there were aesthetic concerns.  Using traditional, structural steel fabrication techniques would limit the architect’s ability to achieve the desired look and feel while adding time and expense to the project. For these reasons, the architects opted for a truss system designed using Unistrut Channel.  The finished product consists of five 20’ sections of modular truss fabricated using P5501, P1000, P1001, P4101, P1031, P2324, P2787 channel, P2097 and P2108 angle fittings, and P2228, P2346, and P1012 5/8” channel nuts.  Each modular section of the truss system was pre-assembled using cut to length sections of Unistrut channel here in our shop.  With this work complete, we shipped the truss sections to the museum for final assembly.

Unistrut Truss

Our truss solution was superior to the proposed structural steel system for a number of reasons.  Each section of truss was easily moved to the installation area with minimal disruption to the other open exhibit, and there was no need to weld on-site.  Thanks to the versatile nature of Unistrut, the architects also achieved a modern look that is both pleasing to the eye and significantly less expensive than structural steel fabrication.  Finally, the truss system met all desired specifications and load ratings, complimented the design features of the building, and the entire installation took less than 8 hours.

Whether you simply need engineered drawings and materials or a turnkey approach that includes design, fabrication, and installation, Unistrut Service Company delivers value. To learn more about custom truss systems or to discuss your project, contact Unistrut Service Company for additional information."