What Is A Bar Joist?

Are you curious to know what is a bar joist? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a bar joist in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a bar joist?

When it comes to constructing buildings, various structural elements play crucial roles in ensuring strength, stability, and efficiency. One such component that is commonly used in commercial and industrial construction projects is a bar joist. If you’re curious about what a bar joist is and its significance in the construction industry, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will explore the fundamentals of bar joists, their purpose, and their benefits in building design and construction.

What Is A Bar Joist?

A bar joist, also known as an open-web joist or a steel joist, is a lightweight, engineered structural member commonly used in the construction of roofs, floors, and mezzanines. It consists of a series of parallel chords, usually made of steel, connected by diagonal web members, forming a truss-like configuration. This design creates an open-web structure, providing strength while minimizing the weight of the joist.

The Purpose Of Bar Joists

Bar joists serve multiple purposes in building construction:

  1. Load Distribution: Bar joists are engineered to efficiently distribute the weight of the building’s superstructure, such as walls, floors, and roofs, to the supporting columns or load-bearing walls. The open-web design allows for effective transfer of loads, reducing the need for additional support columns or walls.
  2. Clear Span Capability: Bar joists can span significant distances without the need for intermediate supports. This feature enables architects and engineers to create large open spaces within a building, facilitating flexible floor plans and accommodating various functional requirements.
  3. Mechanical and Electrical Integration: The open-web design of bar joists provides ample space for routing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. This allows for easy installation of HVAC ducts, electrical conduits, and other utilities, contributing to efficient building design and construction.

Benefits Of Bar Joists

The use of bar joists offers several benefits in construction projects:

  1. Cost-Efficiency: Bar joists are lightweight, allowing for easier handling, transportation, and installation. Their efficient load distribution capability reduces the need for excessive material, resulting in cost savings in both construction and foundation design.
  2. Design Flexibility: Bar joists’ clear span capability provides architects and designers with greater flexibility in creating open, versatile spaces within a building. This adaptability allows for customization to suit specific project requirements and aesthetics.
  3. Speed of Construction: The lightweight nature and prefabricated nature of bar joists contribute to faster construction times. They can be manufactured off-site and delivered ready for installation, reducing on-site labor and construction time.
  4. Structural Integrity: Bar joists are engineered to withstand the loads and forces imposed on them, ensuring structural integrity and long-term durability of the building. Their truss-like configuration provides strength and stability, enhancing overall building performance.


Bar joists are integral components in modern construction, offering a lightweight, efficient, and cost-effective solution for load distribution and structural support. Their open-web design, clear span capability, and versatility contribute to flexible building design and enable the integration of mechanical and electrical systems.

Understanding the purpose and benefits of bar joists allows architects, engineers, and construction professionals to make informed decisions regarding their inclusion in building projects. With their ability to optimize material usage, facilitate open spaces, and streamline construction processes, bar joists continue to be a reliable choice in commercial and industrial construction.

The Key To Unlock Door Of Knowledge


What Are Bar Joists Used For?

BAR JOIST is framing members that support low-slope or flat ceilings and floors. Their makeup includes a pair of parallel chords connected by a series of intersecting supports known as the web.

What Is The Difference Between A Bar Joist And A Truss?

The joist supports the load which the floor is built to bear. A truss is used to support the roof.

What Is Another Name For Bar Joist?

Therefore steel bar joists or also known as open web steel joists for framing floors and roofs offer many advantages when compared to a wood truss or steel beam system.

What Is The Difference Between A Bar Joist And A Purlin?

A purlin is part of a roofing structure that directly supports/anchors roof covering materials. It can be either timber or steel. A joist is part of the structural framework of flooring or ceiling.


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