What Is a Purlin in Construction?

January 25, 2024

In construction, a purlin is an important structural component that helps to pass roof loads to other major structural elements. It also enhances the stability and functionality of a building by preventing sagging or collapsing of the roof. Read on to learn more about what is a purlin, the different types of purlins, and the benefits of using them in construction projects.

A purlin is a horizontal beam used to support rafters or the roof deck of a building, such as metal sheeting, wood panels, and other materials. It is often used in steel buildings, but it can also be found in wood-frame structures. Purlins are usually installed between rafters, although they may replace closely spaced rafters in some cases.

One of the biggest advantages of using purlins is that they help to distribute the weight of the roof more evenly, which can significantly reduce stress on the main rafters or trusses. This allows for more flexibility in the design of the roof and can result in a more stable, durable, and energy-efficient structure.

In addition, because purlins are made from lightweight materials, they can be easily installed and handled. This can save time and effort on the construction site, which can lead to significant cost savings for the project. Lastly, because of their innovative design, steel purlins can be formed to be thinner than other traditional rafters, without compromising on strength or durability. This can also reduce the amount of material required for fabrication, which can further decrease costs.


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