The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI) presented three Design Excellence Awards on May 19 during the 2015 CFSEI Expo held at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. The winners were: a) First Place—ClarkDietrich Engineering for AQ Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pa.; b) Second Place—DSi Engineering, LLC for Elan Westside Apartments, Atlanta, Ga.; and c) Third Place—CEMCO for Plaza at Pearl City, Pearl City, Hawaii. The CFSEI Design Excellence Award recognizes small and large projects that exemplify excellence in the structural design of new or renovated structures utilizing cold-formed steel products.

“Congratulations to each of these companies for overcoming significant design challenges with innovative solutions utilizing cold-formed steel framing,” said Maribeth Rizzuto, managing director of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute. “There are so many creative ways to use cold-formed steel framing for mid-rise building projects, and we received many excellent submissions for this award. It was difficult to make the final selections. We greatly appreciate all of the entries that were sent in.”

About the Projects

First Place—ClarkDietrich Engineering—AQ Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pa.

The original property was a four-story structure in downtown Philadelphia that had been abandoned for 23 years. Aquinas Realty Partners purchased the property with a vision to raze the existing building and create a new 12-story luxury apartment complex. The construction team had to find a way to install exterior, cold-formed steel stud framing in very tight quarters and within a high traffic area, with an expedited construction timeline. The team initiated off-site panelization and developed details with Building Information Modeling (BIM), which required modeling every stud and track on the exterior of the building. The project was completed in December 2014.

Second Place—DSi Engineering, LLC—Elan Westside Apartments, Atlanta, Ga.

The project scope was an eight-story building with 197 apartments and 11,000 square feet of retail space, with six of those stories consisting of load-bearing cold-formed steel framing on top of two levels of concrete parking structure. The contractor faced the challenge of a very short construction timeframe. DSi developed a single innovative BIM model that provided structural framing drawings, layout drawings, shop drawings and material rolling information. Fabricated cold-formed steel walls and truss panels were used to expedite the construction process. The project was completed in April 2014.

Third Place—CEMCO—Plaza at Pearl City in Pearl City, Hawaii

Plaza at Pearl City is a 107,000 square foot assisted living facility constructed of four levels of load-bearing cold-formed steel wall framing on a single level of concrete podium. Three of these assisted living facilities had already been built, but this was the first project to utilize this structural system. The load-bearing cold-formed steel system combined with a framed floor system with Structo-Crete panels enabled the builder to reduce the dead load of the structure compared to traditional building materials. Panelization consistency was critical to success as well as the ability to meet a tight construction deadline. The project was completed in September 2014.

All CFSEI award entries were judged by a panel of cold-formed steel professionals 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 2015 CFSEI Expo was attended by architects, builders/contractors, engineers, and other construction industry professionals. The event provided opportunities for education, networking, and an exposition featuring state-of-the-art innovations, technologies, and principles in cold-formed steel framing. This is the only event of its kind dedicated to the cold-formed steel framing industry and is held on an annual basis.

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