Creating an Energy Heel Truss

Reference Number: KB-00032
Last Modified: March 11, 2022

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect PremierVertical SeparatorHome Designer Professional


How do I create an energy heel truss?

Truss with a raised heel


For energy efficiency, some areas recommend an energy heel, or raised heel, so that there is not a cold spot in the intersection where the roof meets the wall. An energy heel raises the roof, and allows for more insulation to reach the outside wall.

In this article, we will build build a basic gable roof over a 20' x 30' structure, create a single energy heel truss, then replicate the truss across the roof.

To build the roof

  1. Click Build> Roof> Build Roof from the menu.

  2. On the Roof panel of the Build Roof dialog that displays:

    Roof panel of the Build Roof dialog

    • Check Build Roof Planes.

    • Check Trusses (no Birdsmouth).

    • Uncheck Automatic Birdsmouth Cut.

    • Specify the Raise Off Plate (+) of Birdsmouth (-) value to the height you want the energy heel.

      For the purposes of this example, we used 12".

  3. Click OK to close the dialog and generate the roof planes based on these settings.

To build the energy heel truss

  1. Click Build> Framing> Roof Truss from the menu.

  2. Click and drag to draw a roof truss.

    Roof truss being drawn in floor plan

  3. If prompted that the layer "Framing, Roof Trusses" is not displayed, click Yes to turn on the display of this layer in the current view.

  4. Using the Select Objects tool, select the roof truss, then click the Open Object  edit button.

  5. On the General panel of the Roof Truss Specification dialog that displays:

    Roof Truss Specification dialog

    • Check Energy Heel.

      Starting in X14, trusses can be setup to have the "Energy Heel" option selected by default. To do this, navigate to Edit> Default Settings, select the Framing category, then click Edit. In the Framing Defaults dialog, select the Trusses panel, then place a check in the "Energy Heel" box.

    • Check Force Truss Rebuild.

    • Click OK.

To replicate the truss across the roof

  1. Move  the truss to the edge of your structure.

    Note: If you receive a message stating that the "Roof and ceiling planes cannot be found or they are too close together", the truss has been moved too far and is not bearing on the wall properly. Zoom into the area and move the truss so that it is located on the main framing layer of the wall.

  2. With the truss still selected click on the Multiple Copy  edit tool.

    Multiple Copy is not available in Home Designer Pro; instead, use the Transform/Replicate edit tool. As an example, if you wanted to create 6 copies all separated a certain distance from each other, you would check the Copy box, set the Number of Copies to 6, then check the Move box and set the X Delta to be 24". Negative values can also be set for each of the Deltas if needed.

  3. Click on the Multiple Copy Interval  edit button and verify that the All Trusses is set to the desired spacing and click OK.

    Multiple Copy dialog

  4. Move your cursor over the Move  edit handle of the truss. You will notice that your cursor changes to the Multiple Copy  cursor.

  5. Click and drag across your plan to place trusses at regular intervals.

    Copying multiple trusses at 2 foot intervals

  6. Navigate to 3D> Create Perspective View> Perspective Framing Overview  to see the results.

    Perspective Full Overview of energy heel trusses
    Perspective Full Overview of energy heel trusses