April 1, 2009
Steel Framing Conference Offers an Opportunity for Growth in Residential and Mid-Rise Construction
Lower insurance rates, termite resistance, improved performance during high wind and seismic events, and reduced cycle time are some of the many advantages cold-formed steel offers over competing materials in the mid-rise and residential markets. Part of our industry’s challenge is to train engineers, architects, code officials, and other construction professionals on these advantages, especially for key market segments that offer significant growth potential.

The aforementioned challenge is significant, but the opportunities for our industry to make major inroads training professionals are at least equally significant. Now is the time when visionary professionals and firms, facing the pressures caused by the recession and credit crunch, focus on honing their skills and knowledge-base, re-loading their capabilities for the eventual economic resurgence.

“We see learning as something that can be our competitive advantage,” Naomi Berkove of Chicago architecture and engineering firm OWP/P told the Chicago Tribune in March. OWP/P has seen its business slow, but the firm has heeded the advice of experts who recommend that firms use their new-found down time to develop skills. These businesses should emerge stronger when the economy picks up, experts say.

The 2009 California Steel Framing Forum and CFSEI National Annual Conference, May 20 – 21 in Anaheim, Calif. is just one of the many opportunities you can take advantage of for valuable training. The California Steel Framing Alliance (CASFA), and the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI), the technical council of the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA), are hosting the Conference with attendees expected from throughout the United States.

Open to all construction disciplines, the sessions will address topics including green building, code changes resulting from the transition from the 1997 Uniform Building Code to the 2006 International Building Code, newly revised cold-formed steel standards, and inspections of cold-formed steel framing including steel trusses. A special half-day educational program “Codes and Code Officials Day” is scheduled from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., May 20, to be followed by a dinner reception.

“Advancements in steel framing technology, and innovative design and code changes that have resulted from these advancements, create a need for continued training and education for professionals," said Mark Nowak, President, Steel Framing Alliance. "Cold-formed steel framing is well-aligned with trends emerging in the marketplace and meeting changing customer demands so it’s important to provide opportunities for professionals to learn about advancements and grow their knowledge.”

SFA is a passport provider of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)/Continuing Education System (CES) program and participants will have the opportunity to earn up to 11.25 Learning Units. Professional Development Hours (PDH) will also be offered.

The conference will also provide you with the opportunity to contribute directly to the technical and policy issues at a national level. Both the CFSEI Lateral Task Group and Fire & Acoustic Task Group will meet during the conference to continue their efforts to address important challenges facing the industry in the 21st century.

“Small businesses in any industry stand to gain from updating their skills, sharpening their focus and mentoring new leaders within the organization,” business consultant Rena Klein, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, told the Chicago Tribune. Engineers, architects and other building industry stakeholders have been hit particularly hard by the recession, giving them an unexpected opportunity to take a step back, regroup and position their firms for future growth. Therein lies an opportunity for our industry as well.

Registration and additional program information for the 2009 California Steel Framing Forum & CFSEI National Annual Conference is available online at and

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Brought to you by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) on the first Wednesday of each month, Framework Online arms you with the latest news and commentary on the steel framing and construction industries. In addition to industry headlines, trends and project profiles, Framework Online provides information and ideas that will better enable members to increase their participation in the residential and commercial construction markets.