CFSEI Announces 2013 Design Excellence and Construction Innovation Award Winners

WASHINGTON, DC, June 4, 2013 —The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI) is pleased to announce the recipients of its Design Excellence and Construction Innovation Awards, which were presented recently during the 2013 CFSEI Annual Expo and Meeting at the Hilton Financial District Hotel in San Francisco, California. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in creative design, technical innovation, and best practices in the use of cold-formed steel framing and are presented in two categories – Design Excellence and Construction Innovation.

The Design Excellence category recognizes small and large projects that exemplify excellence in the structural design of new or renovated structures utilizing cold-formed steel products. The 2013 winner is:
• ClarkDietrich Building Systems, for the Western Connecticut State University Visual and Performing Arts Building.

The Construction Innovation category recognizes the use of an innovative product, process, tool, technique, machine or methodology to advance the cold-formed steel industry. There were two awards presented in 2013 to:
• ClarkDietrich Building Systems, for the use of Blazeframe™ fire-stopping system in a University of Massachusetts Lowell student housing project in Riverside, MA. 
• Lakeshore Toltest Corporation (LTC), for construction of the Garraf Oil Field Housing and Support Facilities in southern Iraq. 

“Each of these projects presented significant design challenges, and we were impressed with the innovative ways that these challenges were solved,” said Maribeth Rizzuto, LEED AP-BD&C, managing director of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute. “Congratulations to these project teams, who benefit all of us involved in the industry by advancing the use of cold-formed steel design solutions in the marketplace.”
About the Projects
Western Connecticut State University Visual and Performing Arts Building (ClarkDietrich Building Systems). 
This 137,000 square-foot project includes a 350-seat concert hall, 350-seat theater, state-of-the-art rehearsal and studio art facilities. While the size of the building is impressive, it’s the architectural features that made it a unique and complex challenge for the design of cold-formed steel applications including a large mock-up structure, a 96-foot soaring wall, an interior 40-foot plenum, and trapezoidal and triangular windows.

“Our work on this project truly represents the best of ClarkDietrich’s offerings. We would like to extend a special thank you to CONN Acoustics in Newington, Connecticut for trusting us with their design needs,” said Robert Warr, P.E., LEED AP, Director of Engineering Services for ClarkDietrich Engineering Services LLC.  “It is only with top-quality contractors like them that we are able to receive this distinguished accolade.” For more on ClarkDietrich, visit

University of Massachusetts - Lowell (ClarkDietrich Building Systems). This new construction build for a multi-story student housing unit needed a product that would allow the contractor to meet a tight turnaround schedule for framing the interior walls, especially the fire-rated assemblies. The contractor selected ClarkDietrich’s BlazeFrame™ system, an innovative new steel framing, fire stop combination product that allows contractors to simultaneously frame and fire seal interior walls.    

“By using Blazeframe™, the contractor was able to incorporate several construction steps into one assembly while ensuring a building that is code compliant with a fire-rated wall system,” said Robert Warr. “This provided significant cost and time savings for the contractor, allowing him to save time within a very tight construction schedule.” For more on ClarkDietrich, visit

Garraf Oil Field Housing and Support Facilities (Lakeshore Toltest Corporation). Cold-formed steel was used to construct air-conditioned accommodation facilities, a project management office, management housing, a dining facility, a recreational gymnasium, and workshops for a fully functional 300-person work camp located in a remote and isolated region in southern Iraq. The workers were constructing an oil field production facility. The camp was constructed with an on-site FrameCAD machine using approximately 100 tons of rolled steel for fabrication and a concrete batch plant. LTC used local workers in the construction of the cold-formed steel buildings and trained them in reading construction plans, using construction equipment, assembling and fabricating steel panels, and the installation of interiors.

“LTC has a long history of actively supporting the local workforce by hiring and training local workers,” explained Thomas C. Corning, LTC Chief Operating Officer. “By investing in the local workforce, we promote stability at the worksite and help to ensure quality by promoting high standards and continuous improvement in the community.” For more information on Lakeshore Toltest Corporation, visit

The CFSEI award entries were judged on demonstrated excellence and achievement in the use of cold-formed steel based on the following criteria: design creativity, technical innovation, system efficiency and economy, constructability, complexity of problems solved, and design integration. The entries were judged by a panel of five cold-formed steel professionals, including two CFSEI member professional engineers, a professor of structural engineering, a licensed architect, and a licensed contractor.

The 2013 CFSEI Annual Expo and Meeting was attended by architects, builders/contractors, engineers and other construction industry professionals. The event provided opportunities for education and networking and an exposition featuring state-of-the-art innovations, technologies and principles in cold-formed steel framing.  Hosted by the West Chapter of the CFSEI, this is the only event of its kind dedicated to the cold-formed steel framing industry. 

The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute comprises hundreds of structural engineers and other design professionals who are finding a better way to produce safe and efficient designs for commercial and residential structures with cold-formed steel. CFSEI members work together to develop and evolve industry standards and design methods, produce and issue technical bulletins, and provide seminars and online training to improve the knowledge and skills base of engineers and design professionals. For more information, visit

In photo: Accepting CFSEI awards for Design Excellence and Construction Innovation for ClarkDietrich Building Systems are (l to r): Gary McAfoose, Peter Hanson, Clifton Melcher, and Robert Warr.

Maribeth Rizzuto
Tel: 412.521.5210

Debbie Bennett
Tel: 202.452.7179