September 2, 2009
Consumers Say Energy Efficiency is Most Important Green Benefit

According to the results of a recent Synovate study, American homeowners are more concerned with energy efficiency and cost-saving measures when building a green home than with any other factor. FreeGreen, the world's leading house- plan provider, commissioned the independent study, focused on consumer perception of how to define green building.

The study reveals a gap between what consumers believe are the most significant green elements and the criteria of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes (LEED-H).

"Green home building standards such as LEED-H and the NAHB green building program are useful guidelines for builders and architects," says FreeGreen CEO David Wax. "This survey indicates that it could be very useful for LEED-H and NAHB to incorporate consumer feedback into their standards to get the best of both worlds, get experts to set the standard in green innovation, and use consumer input to drive the marketing efforts leading to greater adoption.

"The residential market is an entirely different animal from the commercial with everyday consumers driving demand as opposed to developers and governments," Wax continues. "FreeGreen was founded as a resource focused entirely on the residential consumer in helping them choose a floor plan and environmentally friendly materials to build a green home in language they understand and with an emphasis on energy efficiency."
Highlights from the Study

  • Thinking with their wallets. Not surprisingly given the enduring economic crisis, an overwhelming majority (25 percent higher than the next most popular choice) chose energy efficiency, the most obvious money-saver of the options.
  • Education begets conservation. According to the study, those with higher levels of education place more importance on conserving natural resources. Respondents with post-graduate degrees were twice as likely to consider natural-resource efficiency the single most important factor in determining if their home is green.
  • Earthquakes, fires, traffic and natural-resource efficiency. Those surveyed in the western states were nearly 40 percent more likely to be concerned about natural-resource efficiency than their eastern counterparts. This statistic could be linked to the present drought in California, one of the most serious in recorded history.
  • Healthy materials not a priority. Across the board, in every demographic (including families with children), healthy materials ranked remarkably low (from 3 percent to 5 percent), indicating that consumers consider it marginally important.
  • The baby boomers have spoken. By far, the most statistically significant group in the survey with the greatest purchasing power answered the survey in no uncertain terms by choosing energy efficiency as their top priority with regard to greening their homes. Nearly one of every two boomers chose with their wallet, opting to save on their utility bills versus the alternatives.

Source: FreeGreen News Release, August 19, 2009

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Steel Framing Alliance
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The Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) invites all of its members to participate in the Alliance’s 2009 annual meeting. The meeting will be held in Tampa in conjuction with METALCON, the premier metal industry trade show, on October 6, 2009, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida.

Beginning in 2008, the SFA has embarked upon an aggressive campaign to address barriers and promote the advantages of cold-formed steel in construction. The annual meeting will provide members with an update on the activities of the Alliance as well as the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI), the technical council of SFA. Attendees will also have an opportunity to provide input into the bi-annual survey of technology issues that will guide research investment for the next two years.

Featured presenters will include Mark Nowak, president of the Steel Framing Alliance, and John Matsen, president of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute.

Although not required, we would appreciate notification of member’s plans to attend the meeting. Please send a confirmation to if you plan to attend.

We look forward to your participation.

- D-N-L Disaster Recovery Contracting LLC
Pembroke, NC
- Intermat
Newport Beach, CA
- Shell + Meyer Assoc., Inc.
Dayton, OH
- Trabue Hansen & Hinshaw Inc
Columbia, MO
- TranSystems
Maitland, FL

September 9, 2009
Structural Engineers Association of Oregon (SEAO)
Cold-Formed Steel Design Seminar
Oregon City, OR More


October 6-8, 2009
METALCON International
Tampa, FL More


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


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


October 27,28,29, 2009
21st Short Course on Cold-Formed Steel Structures
St. Louis, MO More


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



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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.