Nov 16 2012
The first ever industry program to independently certify that cold-formed steel (CFS) connectors consistently meet certain minimum manufacturing quality standards has been approved by the Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA).
In CFS construction, connectors are galvanized steel straps, ties, or angles typically used to hold structural elements of a building together, such as connecting the top of a wall to the roof trusses or attaching walls to the foundation. Connectors are considered "structural elements" that play a crucial role in the design of modern buildings, and help ensure that buildings are safe even when subjected to high winds and seismic forces.
Manufacturers that participate in the SFIA program, titled Manufacturing Compliance Certification Program, agree to comply with the program requirements that govern the materials used to produce the connectors, protection against corrosion, manufacturing tolerances, and marking requirements. A third-party administrator audits each manufacturing facility twice a year to ensure these standards are met. With the approval of this program, the SFIA is now beginning to invite and encourage all companies that manufacture CFS connectors to apply for the program, and has made participation in the program a membership requirement. Selection of the third-party administrator for this SFIA program is underway, with audits to begin in July 2013.
"The tools that are available to builders and designers today have made building construction more precise than ever. This SFIA program provides everyone in the supply chain with the assurance that SFIA-certified products will meet or exceed the specification and performance requirements each and every time," says Bill Courtney, President of the Steel Framing Industry Association and CEO of ClarkDietrich Building Systems. He adds that this is another step forward that the SFIA has taken in leading the unification of CFS manufacturing and construction standards for the industry, and in expanding the market for steel framing products.
Steel Framing Industry Association
The SFIA represents more than 950 members composed of steel mills, coil coaters, processors, roll-formers, fabricators, engineers, material distributors and framing contractors. SFIA promotes using cold-formed steel framing, advocates pro-industry codes and standards, conducts seminars and supports competitiveness through innovation. SFIA provides statistical and trend data for the industry regarding safety, steel usage and prices.