September 2, 2009
Lumber Producers and Their Associations Prepare Code Change Harmful to Wood Truss and I-Joist Markets

Madison, WI— In what is a very significant action by the U.S. and Canadian lumber industry, through a code change initiative advocated by their trade association AF&PA’s American Wood Council, the lumber industry has developed an IRC code change proposal that provides a substantial competitive advantage to solid sawn floor joist applications when compared to all wood and steel engineered floor applications. If enacted, this code change will negatively impact the competitiveness of U.S. and Canadian structural building component (SBC) and I-joist manufacturers and distributors, who represent, at the market’s peak in 2006, $15 billion worth of lumber and engineered wood products purchases and $1 billion in galvanized sheet steel purchases.

The code change will cause a large increase in the cost of all floor systems that use anything other than 2x8, 2x10 or 2x12 floor joists. In summary, this code change states:

  1. Floor trusses, I-joists and steel joists of all types will be required to have a minimum ½” gypsum wallboard membrane applied to them in all basement applications.
  2. 2x8s and deeper solid wood floor joists will be allowed to bypass this requirement through an exception.
  3. 2x8s and deeper composite lumber joists such as LVL and PSL will be allowed to bypass this requirement through an exception.
  4. Other exceptions to the need for a minimum ½” gypsum wallboard membrane include:
    1. The floor is over a crawl space
    2. Sprinklers are installed,
    3. The floor system is tested using ASTM E119 and provides a minimum 15 minute fire resistance rating.
    4. A portion of the floor is not greater than a 10’ by 10’ room size.

SBCA President Ben Hershey expressed his concerns. “Never before have we seen such an onerous code change proposal. This directly affects not only the membership of SBCA, but other suppliers of engineering components. Without the support of test data, nor an evaluation of the cost impact to a residential home, AF&PA has proposed a change that only benefits lumber producers. This change is certainly not supportive of the efforts toward green building and the efficient use of raw materials in a home.”

The SBC industry hopes that future actions by lumber suppliers in this matter speak loudly in support of the potential lumber sales that exist by supporting SBC manufacturers.

Click here to view the code change.

Source:, August 24, 2009




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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.

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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.