December 1, 2010
2010 Snapshot: SFA Efforts To Strengthen And Expand The CFS Market

Throughout 2010, the Steel Framing Alliance has continued its efforts to represent the cold-formed steel (CFS) industry on a wide variety of issues. We continue to focus on removing technical, market and regulatory barriers and promoting advantages of CFS in the marketplace through policy, regulatory and research initiatives.

With the new year almost upon us, now is a good time to take a few minutes to look back at what we achieved in 2010:

Building Codes and Standards: This year, much of our efforts was focused on building codes and standards. Our efforts have been directed at energy and green/sustainability issues as well as the more traditional structural and fire code requirements.  We have worked at the national level in the United States as well as in key states such as Florida, New York, and Hawaii to develop proactive code changes.  We have also defended CFS against attempts to limit our position in the mid-rise markets and to impose unnecessary special inspections for CFS framing.  Recently, we expanded to assist  the Canadian steel industry in a response to the proposed new energy code requirements that will create a challenge for steel framing compliance.

Research Projects: SFA-sponsored research results,  made its way into multiple codes and standards this past year, helping to  address some of the more significant issues and opportunities facing our industry.  Earlier this year, we finished research projects that resulted in improvements to slab anchorage requirements and methods to fasten siding through the very thick foam insulation layers required in newer energy codes.  Later in the year, we initiated two other research projects: one to determine framing factors used to calculate the energy efficiency of wall assemblies, and the other to assess Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools being proposed by regulators as a way to select the most environmentally-friendly building materials.

While many SFA-sponsored research projects concentrate on general matters that are relevant throughout North America, some of this year’s developments focus on more specific areas.  After nearly two years, SFA was able to get ASTM to establish a subcommittee under their Sustainability Committee E-60 to develop a standard for construction in areas subject to Formosan termite infestation.  The results will be particularly useful for communities in the Gulf Coast region.

Educational Resources: We continue to expand our educational resources through the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI).  Along with organizing a highly successful annual meeting and expo in May in Atlanta, CFSEI launched a webinar series that is surpassing expectations and will become a regular feature for delivering evolving information to practicing engineers.  CFSEI also produced several new Tech Notes this past year. (See sidebar)

CFS Awareness: To showcase how CFS has been used successfully, SFA has been using case studies to target potential users of steel framing.  In 2010, we began developing case studies illustrating the cost savings, shorter cycle time, insurance savings, and other benefits of CFS framing in hotels, apartments, and other mid-rise buildings.  Several of the case studies have been published in national industry magazines targeting building owners and financial officers.  This outreach effort has resulted in increased awareness of CFS and has also helped to engage the building community to consider CFS for their future construction projects.  To build on this momentum, starting in January 2011, we are launching an advertising campaign targeting mid-rise hotels, apartments, and dormitory housing.  Throughout 2011, we will continue to work to increase awareness of CFS in target markets (See next story to find out how you can help).

Besides undertaking specific initiatives to respond to changes in the market, we have also set in place a mechanism to quickly develop appropriate industry responses to key issues. For example, in October, we convened industry experts from our membership to address two significant issues facing the industry—responding to the wood industry’s expansion into the four to six story markets and developing advanced systems to address energy performance of CFS walls. These are just a few examples of our activities and the work we are aggressively pursuing on your behalf.

Keep a lookout for updates on these and many other activities through Framework Online, our monthly e-newsletter designed to keep you current in a concise but information-packed format.

Looking forward to a successful 2011!

Mark Nowak
President, Steel Framing Alliance

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2011 Dues Renewal
SFA would like to wish all our members Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

CFSEI 2010 Tech Notes And Webinars – At A Glance

Technical Publications

  • Updated Technical Note on Welding of Cold-Formed Steel Framing
  • Updated Technical Note on Top Track Load Distribution Members
  • New Technical Note on Local and Distortional Elastic Buckling Loads and Moments for SSMA Stud Sections (publication expected this month)
  • New Technical Note on Steel Roof Deck Diaphragms on CFS Framing  (publication expected this month)
  • New Technical Note on Clip Angles Used in Cold-Formed Steel Construction  (publication expected this month)

Web-Based Seminars

  • Beginners Guide to the Direct Strength Method for Cold-Formed Steel Design
  • Cold-Formed Steel Design using the 2009 International Building Code
  • Cold-Formed Steel Connection Design: 2007 AISI and 2009 IBC

For more information on CFSEI resources, visit

Ambrose Engineering, Inc.
Cedarburg, WI
Caruso Construction Services,LLC.
Groveland, FL
GypSteel Ind
Niteroi, Brazil
Robert T. Haug
Lakeland, FL
Structural Wall Systems
Khobar, Saudi Arabia

January 12-15, 2011
NAHB International Builders' Show 2011
Orlando, FL More


February 7-8, 2011
STEEL Doing It Right
San Diego, CA More


May 23-24, 2011
MASFA Expo & CFSEI Annual Conference
Annapolis, MD



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Brought to you by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) on the first Wednesday of each month, February through December. Framework Online arms you with important news and commentary on the cold-formed steel (CFS) framing and construction industries.