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Using Engineered LVLs in a Code-Prescribed Building

olandsns | Posted in Building Code Questions on

I am designing my own small outbuilding, which is a 400 sq ft suite, with a 200 sq ft loft. I am in BC Canada.

The building is designed IAW Part 9, prescriptive solutions, however, I have had a supplier spec LVLs for a structural ridge beam and floor beam. The span table calls for 5 – 2 x 12 or 2 1.75x 12 lvls..

My question is, in order to use an engineered component, do I have to provide a schedule B and have the entire building approved by an engineer? Same if I wanted to truss an otherwise part 9 building?

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  1. walta100 | | #1

    The only real answer to your question will come from your local authority enforcing the code.

    Any other opinions be they right or wrong are irrelevant as the local authority gets the final word and fighting them will cost more money than the engineer to make them happy.


    1. olandsns | | #3

      Thanks Walter, you are very right, haha.

  2. Expert Member
    Akos | | #2

    Generally anything not prescriptive needs a stamped engineering drawing. You only need the specific item drawn up and stamped, not the whole project. Same for trusses.

    Our code include span tables for glulam beams, might be an easier option if you can source them.

    1. olandsns | | #4

      Thank you. This is what I had assumed in my design, but the building department seems to want the whole plan now reviewed and signed off. I may have an engineer interested in this work, but 7 out of 8 I have spoken with are only interested in designing the entire building from scratch.

    2. olandsns | | #5

      I may have a solution with the glulam tables like you say. Much appreciated for this tip.

  3. plumb_bob | | #6

    This is part of a larger conversation about what will need engineering in the future in BC. Past practice was for engineered products like trusses and other structural components to come with sealed documents from an approved producer, and the sched B was not needed.

    Now the push is for any engineered product to come with a schedule B, and the required field review by the engineer of record. Also, there is a push for the entire building to be reviewed by an engineer if there is any engineered products. This will mean any house with trusses will need the entire house designed and field reviewed by an engineer.

    1. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #7

      Sounds like governmental regulatory creep. We have that here too in the slightly less frozen north south of your border. The building department want the seal so that they can point the finger and get themselves off the hook. It complicates a lot of things that don’t really need to be complicated. For a slightly humorous (and incredibly annoying) story about this, I had a set of plants I drew up rejected for using the wrong shade of green to show the city storm drain, and my bold line (showing the bee facility) wasn’t “bold enough”. I still have the rejection letter from the city engineer. There was some other shenanigans pulled by that particular city engineer that a threat to involve my companies legal guys cleared right up…

      Anyway, there are engineering firms that specialize in consulting work and you probably need one of those firms to avoid the “we want to design everything” problem. I have found that structural engineers in particular always seem to know a firm like this in any particular area, so you might try contacting a structural engineer and asking for a referral if the particular engineer you call can’t or won’t take on your specific project.


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