Deep Rafters for a Massachusetts Passive House

A mocked-up model of the jack rafter and hip assembly sits on the ground at the Auburndale Builders job site in Wayland, Massachusetts.

Framers test-fit blocking for nailing in a wood I-joist rafter.

With the LVL carrying ridge beam supported temporarily by scaffolding, a framer gets ready to receive the LVL rafters that will form the site-built supporting truss assembly for the ridge and hips.

A four-wheel-drive all-terrain forklift lifts a wood I-joist rafter up to the framers.

The massive framing members for the hip roof are too heavy to move by hand. Here, an all-terrain forklift raises a wood I-joist rafter up to the roof.

A framer catches the end of a wood I-joist common rafter, which will be attached to the face of the LVL ridge with structural fasteners. The rafters in this section of the roof are supported by the ridge beam as well as by the floor framing at the lower end.

A view of the structural connection for the lower end of the double LVL rafter that forms one leg of the supporting truss that carries the home's LVL structural ridge beam.

Another view of the connection at the foot of the site-built LVL truss that supports the building's main LVL roof ridge.

A view of the framing intersection at the base of the site-built truss used to support the building's main LVL roof ridge. Meeting the truss from the left at this base connection is a massive LVL valley rafter.

In order to achieve the desired headspace beneath the vaulted ceiling under the roof assembly, carpenters built a double two-by raised plate assembly to catch the feet of the wood I-joist rafters.

A view of the connection between the wood I-joist common rafters and the carrying ridge beam, early in the construction of the roof frame.

A view of the connection between the LVL truss chords and the structural LVL ridge beam during construction.

Framers position an LVL rafter used to define a dormer opening in the roof.

These very deep LVL timbers are not manufactured to fine tolerances. The two LVLs used to make this double hip rafter varied by more than a quarter inch. Here, framers use clamps to align the top edges of the two sticks.

A view of the fourteen-pitch hip roof assembly under construction.

An LVL header supports the lower end of two wood I-joist cripple rafters to create a dormer opening in the roof frame.

A framer guides an LVL hip member into place in the roof frame. Obviously, the carpenter is not physically carrying the massive wood member — the forklift is supporting the weight of the manufactured timber.

A carpenter positions the foot of a wood I-joist commont rafter during roof framing.

A view of the apex joint of the site-built truss system where the truss connects to the structural ridge.

Production manager Mike Dutra standing at the base of an LVL valley rafter for the massive roof frame during construction.

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