Volume 5, Number 1, Winter 2000

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CCMC facilitates use of steel framing in home construction

The Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) has created a mechanism whereby it will become easier for builders to construct homes and small buildings using steel framing, thus providing greater choice for both builders and homebuyers.

This "mechanism," which includes a technical guide prepared by CCMC as well as manuals based on the guide developed by the Canadian Sheet Steel Building Institute (CSSBI), will facilitate the use of lightweight steel framing products in the type of building now covered by the National Building Code of Canada (NBC), Part 9, without the need for engineering involvement currently required for each and every project.

At the request of the Canadian Sheet Steel Building Institute, CCMC prepared a technical guide that established performance criteria to address heat transfer, air leakage, condensation control and structural performance of lightweight steel floor and wall assemblies, including vibration criteria for floor joists. The guide also provides performance requirements for fire- or sound-rated assemblies.

Based on these performance criteria, CSSBI developed a set of requirements for steel stud and joist construction equivalent to those currently in place in Part 9 of the code. These requirements have been incorporated into the CSSBI Installation Manual, which outlines how lightweight steel framing products are combined to form a complete building system, and the CSSBI Member Selection Tables. CSSBI has also developed a quality assurance manual governing the manufacture of these products. (Copies of these publications can be obtained from CSSBI.)

Each manufacturer of lightweight steel framing will have its own proprietary products evaluated by CCMC against these requirements to determine compliance. Once this evaluation has been successfully completed, the manufacturer can market its products to the construction industry as meeting the Part 9 requirements.


Prefabricated steel-frame housing systems are also available on the market. To respond to requests from manufacturers of these proprietary systems, CCMC has created guidelines that stipulate the performance criteria these systems must meet to obtain a successful evaluation. While most performance criteria are similar to those for lightweight steel buildings framed on site, additional testing and evaluation is required to determine the basic structural properties and mechanisms of failure of these prefabricated systems.

Specific questions can be directed to Mr. Alphonse Caouette at (613) 993-6917, fax (613) 952-0268, or e-mail CSSBI can be reached at (519) 650-1285, fax (519) 650-8081, or e-mail