August 5, 2009
Green Building Advances To The I-Codes For Commercial Construction

It has been a very active couple of months for sustainable and green building standards and rating programs. The Steel Framing Alliance has been very busy trying to promote, protect and defend the attributes of steel framing in all of the initiatives.

Until recently, the majority of sustainable/green programs have been voluntary. However, it was only a matter of time before the regulatory sector of the building industry entered the commercial construction arena. In just the past three months the International Code Council (ICC) announced and seated a Sustainable Building Technology Committee of 29 members (including one member representing the steel industry) charged with the responsibility of developing the International Green Construction Code® (IgCC).

Although its not completely clear how each of the different green building codes, standards, and programs will impact building construction, the introduction of the ICC into the equation certainly raises the stakes. Intended to be a comprehensive set of practices, the IgCC will be available for jurisdictions to adopt and use in concert with the other I-Codes.

The IgCC will cover buildings not already being addressed by the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS). The NGBS was developed in 2008 by the International Code Council and the National Association of Home Builders and covers all residential construction including single-family homes, apartments, condos, land development, and remodeling and renovation.

With a very aggressive schedule to present a draft for public comment by the end of March 2010, the committee held the first meeting and reviewed a resource document prepared by the ICC staff. The document includes many of the same provisions currently found in other rating systems and programs, covering energy efficiency, materials and resources, etc., but written in code language. SFA will continue to actively participate with this initiative, providing a voice for cold-formed steel framing. To view the resource document being used by the IgCC committee as a starting point for their code development, visit

In addition to the IgCC development, other organizations such as ASHRAE and ASTM have continued with the development of sustainable standards. In each instance the Alliance has worked with our industry partners to stay on top of the developments and advocate for steel framing. A brief review of recent activities follows:

ASHRAE 189.1 – Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Residential Low-Rise Buildings – SFA responded to the 3rd public draft of the proposed standard with 14 comments covering everything from the scope of the document, energy provisions, and use of Life Cycle Assessment. In addition, this proposed standard duplicates the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) in the area of scope by including residential buildings already covered by the NGBS. SFA objected to the scope duplications and requested that ASHRAE remove residential from their document. Mid-rise and other residential buildings would thus fall under the more flexible NGBS. We have received the committee’s response to our comments and are in the process of reviewing for additional response.

ASTM E-60.01 (WK 23556) New Standard specification for Minimum Environmental, Social, and Economic Requirements for a Building Promoting Sustainability. – Here again the Alliance reviewed and offered comment on 19 provisions in the draft. While much of what we commented on mirrors the same inefficiencies that we find in the other proposed standards, this particular draft attempts to include an economic analysis without providing a base standard for determining the service life of a building. Additionally we objected to the language in the durability provision on the same grounds. We were advised by ASTM staff that there would be no response to our comments because the committee pulled the first draft and will be releasing a new one in the near future.

The situation with sustainable/green building remains very fluid and it is anyone guess how it will end up. Continued due diligence on the part of our industry is necessary to maintain and expand our place in this market.
If you would like to discuss any of the items mentioned in the article or additional SFA sustainable/green building activities please contact or 412-521-5210.

Source: Steel Framing Alliance

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Steel Framing Alliance
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During the first half of 2009, CFSEI published the following new Technical Notes and Design Guides:
Vertical Lateral Force Resisting Systems: Boundary Elements (TN L300-09)
Header Design Guide (TN W200-09)
Design of Clip Angle Bearing Stiffeners (TN F100-09)
Roof Framing Anchorage Forces: MWFRS or C&C (TN L200-09)
Three additional notes are undergoing review and are scheduled for release in August:
Concrete Bearing Strength for Cold-Formed Steel Stud Walls
Top Track Load Distribution Members
Designing Cold-Formed Steel Using the Direct Strength Method.
Check out the “Members Only” section of our website for more access to these resources.
- Catlow Consulting
Las Vegas, NV
- Hambro Structural Systems
Deerfield Beach, FL
- Nagamine Okawa Eng., Inc.
Honolulu, HI
- ThermaChannel
Portland, OR
- Wenco Inc.
New Carlisle, OH
- ZJS Engineering Ser., Inc.
Fontana, CA

August 11, 2009
CFS Lateral Design Guide Presentation
Atlanta, GA More


September 20-22, 2010
Steel Structures 2010 Culture & Sustainability International
Istanbul, Turkey More


October 6-8, 2009
METALCON International
Tampa, FL


October 11-13, 2009
USGBC Greenbuild Conference
Phoenix, AZ


October 17-20, 2009
AISC COS Meetings
Chicago, IL



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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.