Truss engineering involves the design and creation of trusses that are made from one of several potential materials. Trusses are crafted from straight and slender pieces of material connected at various joints to form a triangular shape. They are primarily used to build a larger structure, with the shape and design of the truss adding strength and weather resistance to the overall structure. Trusses can be designed as planar trusses, which are a two-dimensional shape - used most commonly in roofs and floors - and space trusses which are three-dimensional. Multiple trusses can also be combined.
Some truss engineering firms design and build pre-made trusses to sell to construction and architecture companies. These designs are generally smaller in scale and used for floors and roofs in houses and other relatively small scale buildings. Other firms may design their trusses and build onto the building itself instead of having them pre-made, thereby customizing the look and size to fit a specific structure.
Bridges, skyscrapers, and towers also implement the work of truss engineering professionals. More complex structures such as these require detailed planning and often a more intricate combination of trusses, comprised of multiple units being used at once. Bridges and towers generally combine planar and space trusses that are made from metal, although some bridges are made of wood.