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“Hey, what should I be specifying now?”

Posted on May 29, 2012 by RedBuilt

by Paul Drace, P.E. - Director of Marketing at RedBuilt Glad you asked… Given significant changes recently among manufacturers of EWP, it’s no surprise that lately I’ve been fielding many questions related to engineered wood structural systems for commercial projects. Changes in the industry—manufacturers exiting, others re-branding, and yet others, like RedBuilt™, “entering” the market—have caused some confusion for designers and contractors alike. Questions like “What is equivalent to what was specified?” or “What should I specify now?” come to mind.  The uncertainty can be unnerving.  So, to help mitigate some of the confusion with respect to RedBuilt™ and our products, the following information should prove useful … A brief history lesson… Saying RedBuilt™ has “recently entered the market” is a bit of an understatement.  The reality is we are a 50-year-old start-up. Yes, we have a new name, but we, and our name, are rooted in 50-years of innovative EWP history. In 1960, Harold Thomas, also known as “Red” (our namesake), crossed paths with an architect and self-taught inventor named Art Troutner.  Together they came up with a revolutionary wood and steel composite open-web truss for roof and floor systems.  These trusses offered dramatic improvements and advantages in weight, strength, cost, and ease of installation over dimensional lumber and steel alternatives. Red and Art pioneered the new category of engineered wood products in commercial construction. Their company—called Trus Joist®—thrived in the design and manufacturing of engineered roof and floor systems for commercial construction. They continued their innovations with the invention of the wood I-Joist and Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), and the business expanded rapidly beyond its roots into other areas including residential construction. In 2000, the company was acquired by the Weyerhaeuser Company. The parent company’s core business model was commodity standardization and high throughput.  They accomplished this by selling structural framing materials to residential contractors through retail lumberyard dealers and distributors. Ideal for residential, but not so ideal for the commercial construction industry. It was also during this period that Weyerhaueser bundled the original Trus Joist® product line under a new brand they called, iLevel®. As time passed, the commercial division experienced little growth. Why? Success in the commercial business required a high degree of consultative, personal service and engineering skills, coupled with customized manufacturing and the flexibility to source directly to jobsites. This created conflict with the parent company…and an opportunity. Going back to the future… In 2009, a group of former Trus Joist® executives, along with our co-founder, recognized the 50-year successful legacy and potential of the original Trus Joist® commercial division, and they acquired it from Weyerhaeuser to operate as a stand-alone business.  And, with its sole mission to serve the needs of commercial construction customers, a new, independent company was established and named RedBuilt™, after founder Harold “Red” Thomas. RedBuilt re-launched the former commercial division product line, received all code-approvals and certifications, and today our products are known as the “Red” series—Red-I™ I-Joists, Red Open Web Trusses, RedLam™ Laminated Veneer Lumber, RedPlank™ Scaffold Plank, and RedForm™ Concrete Forming. Back to its roots, RedBuilt today is the premier supplier of structural solutions to the commercial and industrial construction industry, providing engineered wood roofing and flooring systems for commercial applications including retail, office, school, warehouse and high-end residential projects. Central to RedBuilt’s past and future success is our involvement in every aspect of the project from inception through installation:

  • Work directly with specifiers to help create optimal solutions.
  • Provide a customized, job-specific framing solution that is shipped directly from the manufacturing facility to the job site.
  • Support jobsites directly during installation.
What’s happening today? Weyerhaeuser recently discontinued its iLevel® brand and now markets its products under the old Trus Joist® brand name. Understandably, this has created some confusion for specifiers in commercial and industrial applications. When you specify RedBuilt—you ensure all the advantages that come from the leading supplier of engineered wood structural systems for commercial structures: Experience and technical know-how…
  • On average, RedBuilt completes 2,000 projects annually—that’s more than 20,000 in the last decade alone!
  • 14 year average tenure for both our Manufacturing and Engineering teams.
  • Technical Sales team average tenure of 17 years.
  • Maintain archives of projects dating back as far as the 1960’s.
  • Our technical representatives know you and your project specifically and can help ensure your project requirements are met.
  • Jobsite support – Both pre- and post-installation to position the project for seamless installation.
  • Lifetime warranty – We’re so confident in our products and services, that we offer a lifetime warranty.
These translate into peace-of-mind and a problem-free process for you, our customers. Our experience means our customers get the needed structural solutions, support and products the first time, every time…Fewer rework loops, greater efficiency, and an improved bottom line for you. RedBuilt is much more than just the engineered wood products we produce. It is our history, our experience, and our commitment to our customers’ satisfaction that make the difference. RedBuilt product conversion charts These conversion charts will help you to identify the appropriate RedBuilt I-Joists and Open-Web truss products that meet your specific needs: I-Joist Conversion Table


Equivalent Designation

Available Depths

LVL Flange




9-1/2", 11-7/8", 14"-20"

1-1/2" x 1-3/4"



TJI® L65

11-7/8", 14"-30"

1-1/2" x 2-1/2"



Tapered TJI® L65


1-1/2" x 2-1/2"



TJI® L90

11-7/8", 14"-30"

1-1/2" x 3-1/2"



TJI® H90

11-7/8", 14"-30"

1-3/4" x 3-1/2"




11-7/8", 14"-32"

2-1/2" x 3-1/2"


Open-Web Truss Conversion Table


Discontinued Designation











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Comments are closed.

Thanks Duane!  It certainly can be confusing.

By pdrace on 2012 06 16.

Great article, Paul. Nice job of laying it all out!

By Duane Bolt on 2012 06 15.

Paul - Outstanding job!!!!!

By Mike Hayley on 2012 06 05.