What Are Purlins in Construction?

February 23, 2024

Purlins are crucial to the structural integrity of a building, distributing roof loads and enhancing stability. However, many people don’t know what purlins are or what role they play in construction. This article will explore the different types of purlins and their uses, as well as the different forms they can take.

Choosing the Right Purlins

The selection of purlins for your building project should be based on the specific design requirements and specifications for the structure. This includes evaluating the weight of the roof covering materials and expected loads, as well as ensuring that the selected purlins are load-bearing and meet local building codes and regulations.

Once the appropriate purlins have been selected, it’s important to ensure that they are properly positioned and fixed in place. This will help to prevent any issues with the overall stability and performance of the roof system. It’s also a good idea to periodically check and make sure that the purlins are in good alignment, as any misalignments could lead to structural issues and leaks in the roof.

Choosing the Right Purlin Material

The type of purlins chosen will also depend on various factors, such as the anticipated lifespan and environmental conditions. For example, wood purlins may be more susceptible to rot or pest infestation than steel ones. Alternatively, engineered wood products like glulam or LVL can be used to offer the benefits of wood purlins without their potential drawbacks.

For many projects, steel purlins are the preferred option because of their strength, versatility, and affordability. They are typically manufactured from cold-formed steel, which allows them to be formed into complex shapes while retaining their structural integrity and durability. This method of production also helps to keep the cost of the purlins down by minimizing material waste.


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