Construction Concerns: I-Joists

Article and photos by Gregory HavelManufactured wood I-joists have been in common use since the 1970s. They are advertised as providing the same or greater strength as dimensional-lumber joists while using less material and being lighter in weight. They are also advertised as being straighter than dimensional lumber and therefore better for level floors and ceilings. These statements about this material are true under normal conditions but not in structure fires.The top and bottom chords of a manufactured I-joist were originally 2 x 4 or 2 x 3 dimensional lumber, with a groove cut in one face of each for attaching the web with glue. The web of the manufactured I-joist was originally plywo...

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