June 4, 2008
CFSEI West Chapter Launches in June With Seminars on Recent California Code Changes

Engineers in the western United States will finally be able to take advantage of programming locally that focuses specifically on the structural design of safe and cost-effective cold-formed steel-framed structures with the launch next month of the West chapter of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI). CFSEI’s newest chapter will kick off its activities on June 17th in Los Angeles/Orange County with a three-city seminar tour in California on new lateral design requirements in the state’s recently adopted California Building Code. CFSEI serves as the technical institute for the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA).

CFSEI West plans to coordinate several presentations throughout the year on important topics affecting cold-formed steel design in the western U.S., which will be available in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah. According to Lou Zylstra, the chapter’s interim president, these seminars should provide engineers in this region with a much-needed forum for informative discussions, networking and resources.

“There’s been a need for an engineer’s organization in the western states that focuses on cold-formed steel design issues that are unique to the environment found in this area of the country,” Zylstra said. “After significant planning and organizing, the West Chapter is officially established and rolling out events. We encourage any engineer from this region to take advantage of what we have to offer and get involved.” Zylstra, who is president of Zylstra & Associates Engineering, Inc., also serves as president of the California Steel Framing Alliance.

California’s Building Standards Commission (BSC) recently adopted the 2006 International Building Code (IBC) which set new provisions for cold-formed steel framing in the California Building Code. The new changes have also resulted in the BSC’s adoption of several new framing standards, including the American Iron and Steel Institute’s (AISI) “Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Framing – Lateral Design, 2004 edition.” Prior to the adoption of the new code, California’s expired building code was based on the 1997 Uniform Building Code (UBC).

Jeff Ellis, P.E., S.E., senior engineering project manager for Simpson Strong-Tie Co. in Brea, Calif., and a recognized expert on the cold-formed steel lateral design implications of California’s new code, will be the featured speaker for each of the evening seminars and dinner meetings. The other two sessions will take place on June 18th in San Diego and June 19th in San Francisco.

“Many engineers and designers in California would benefit by not only learning about the lateral design provision changes in the state’s new code and how they affect their designs, but also by familiarizing themselves with the AISI Standards,” Ellis said. “The CFSEI West Chapter seminars along with the new Technical Note on this topic should prove to be invaluable resources for those engineers who already have some familiarity in this area as well as those being exposed to it for the first time.”

In addition to authoring the CFSEI Technical Note L000-08 published last month, “Changes from the 1997 UBC to the 2006 IBC for Lateral Design with Cold-Formed Steel Framing,” Ellis also serves as chairman of the AISI Committee on Framing Standards’ Lateral Design Subcommittee, which developed the 2004 Standard adopted into the California Building Code and published an update to that Standard last year. The immediate past president of CFSEI, he continues to serve on the Institute’s Board of Directors.

Admission to CFSEI West Chapter’s lateral design code changes seminar, which includes dinner, is $35 for CFSEI members and $40 for non-members in advance. Tickets purchased on-site will be charged an additional $10.

Membership in the CFSEI West Chapter is open to any CFSEI member in the Western region and there are no chapter dues for those who join in 2008. Licensed engineers and architects who qualify may join both CFSEI and the CFSEI West Chapter for $100 in 2008, and receive all benefits of those memberships, which includes a complete library of existing CFSEI Technical Notes, complimentary copies of the CFSEI Newsletter and new Technical Notes, listing in the “Find and Engineer” Directory and access to an online library of downloadable technical resources.

Detailed location and venue information for the June dinner seminars is available on the CFSEI West Chapter’s Web page at For more information about the CFSEI West Chapter, contact Brian Berger at (910) 431-3115 or

Source: Steel Framing Alliance, May, 2008




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