When starting something new, it is a good idea to start small, work out the kinks and make the inevitable mistakes on a small scale before expanding a product or a process. Businesses do not start off as Fortune 100 companies. Musicians do not purchase Stradivarius violins or P. Mauriat saxophones before they spend hours of practice honing their skill. Churches begin meeting in school gymnasiums before breaking ground on their first small building, with hopes to expand as their memberships grow. Such has been the case with cold-formed steel trusses.
When steel trusses were first introduced as a framing option for commercial and institutional projects, they were used in areas of relatively short spans. For example, small mansard trusses on a store front or a small office building with sloped roofs. These trusses paved the way for larger and more complex roof shapes. Today, it is safe to say that the cold-formed steel truss industry has advanced to the point where architects are taking advantage of the strength capabilities and design flexibility of CFS trusses to regularly stretch the envelope with longer clear spans, complex intersecting roof planes and girders supporting large roof areas. One example of starting small and growing is the First Baptist Church of Lake St. Louis.