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Re: GSBN:Whole House Truss System - SB

At 1:33 PM -0600 1/22/04, Joyce Coppinger wrote:
Hello everyone,

There once was an architect names George Swanson in Fairfield, Iowa, who was
using a whole house truss system for straw-bale construction. Does anyone
have anything current about George Swanson and the whole house truss system?

Any help or referrals will be greatly appreciated!

Yes, George is a neighbor of mine. I don't think he's officially an architect, btw.

George always has some intriguing ideas, but implementation is sometimes a little short of the mark. He's left a number of clients unhappy. I'll spare you the stories.

I'm not familiar with the whole-house truss you speak of.

One of his current favorites is to use those metal faced SIP-like panels from commercial walk-in refrigerator manufacturers as the entire roof - structure, ceiling, insulation, and exterior in one easy to install set of panels, with no trusses or other muss or fuss. Neat idea.

It's not a perfect system though. Owners have complained about leaks between the panels (there's a lot of expansion and contraction on a roof in general, and the texas sun is not kind.). According to one resident, there are gaps between the roof and wall that he can see sunlight through. That might just be bad detailing. A local architect noted that the foam used tends to get brittle with heat, and wondered about the long term ability of such a roof to stay up by itself. And the manufacturer advises putting actual metal roofing over the panels, as they're not intended for use as roofing themselves (George doesn't do that).

So it's an interesting idea, and possibly one with potential, but there are a number of questions unanswered. Nothing new there I guess.

George's website is http://www.geoswan.com . I don't know if there's anything about either roofing system on his site.

Bill Christensen

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