Behan Bros.

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Middletown, RI

For 45 years, Behan Bros. has set a standard of excellence in general contracting and construction management in Rhode Island and beyond. With past projects ranging from expansive luxury homes to large and technically demanding commercial structures, owners and architects rely on Behan Bros. for our quality service and results.

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Learn About Custom Precut Rafters

The Breakers Welcome Center café entrance
Café entrance of The Breakers Welcome Center at the Newport Mansions in Rhode Island. Photograph courtesy of the Preservation Society of Newport County.

The Completed Building

National Building Products in Warwick and our manufacturing division, Reliable Truss, are proud to have been part of this important project. The unusually shaped framework, made with 200 custom precut plywood rafters, became a uniquely beautiful structure.

Designed by Alan Joslin of Epstein Joslin Architects of Cambridge, MA, the Welcome Center was built by Behan Bros. of Middletown, RI, with more than 25 sub-contractors involved in the construction. Construction began in May, 2017 and was completed on time and on budget.

“This is an investment in Newport, in Rhode Island, in our history and in our economy,” said Governor Gina Raimondo at the ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening on Thursday, June 14, 2018. “I am proud of you and filled with gratitude for your commitment to Rhode Island, and on behalf of the people of Rhode Island, I thank you.”

Four hundred and fifty thousand (450,000) people a year visit the former Vanderbilt mansion, which is now a National Historic Landmark and an icon of America’s Gilded Age. The Breakers Welcome Center provides them with information, tickets, light refreshments, and restrooms.

The $5.5 million Welcome Center introduces visitors to the Newport Mansions inside a light-filled, park-like pavilion, inspired by late 19th century garden conservatory architecture, embedded in a newly rehabilitated historic garden.

Learn About Newport Mansions

Detailed Planning

Fabrication of the curved rafters required meticulous planning by in-house engineers. The precut rafters were designed to incorporate both the exterior and interior curves, each with a unique radius.

Reliable Truss manufactured 200 of these 3-ply laminated 1/2" CDX plywood rafters. Detailed placement diagrams were provided to the builder.

We completely model the structure in three dimensional software to be sure of a precise fit.

Included with the Reliable Truss staff of over 30 component designers are two registered engineers, which means that we not only can conceptualize solutions, but we can also immediately validate them.

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Framing Components

As experts in wood trusses since 1954, Reliable Truss and Components designs and manufactures every type of truss, wall panels, floor panels, and custom components like the custom precut plywood rafters shown here.

Experience enables us to determine the most cost-effective methods, anticipate issues and provide fast solutions to keep your project on schedule. The state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Reliable Truss represent our commitment to excellence in providing our customers with additional solutions.

With the strength of engineered wood products, our innovative solutions with framing components delivered to jobsites ready to install helps your workforce to build superior structures faster and reduces waste disposal on jobsites.

Builders across New England trust us to help them build more profitably.

Rafters Interior View

Close-up of interior side of custom precut curved rafters with coordinated cutouts for duct work and pipes made by Reliable Truss shown under construction, March 2018.

Behan Bros. installed the 200 custom precut plywood rafters in the Breakers Welcome Center at the Newport Mansions in Rhode Island.

“Everything fit perfectly.”
Lou Frederick, Project Manager, Behan Bros.

Finished Interior View

The beautiful shape of the building is made possible by the strong framework, which includes the custom precut rafters by Reliable Truss.

Behan Bros. did a wonderful job building the extraordinary Breakers Welcome Center. Everyone involved can be proud of this special building, which will be enjoyed by millions of visitors over the coming years.

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