The Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) has published “Thermal Design and Code Compliance for Cold-Formed Steel Walls, 2015 Edition,” a resource that updates the 2008 edition of “Thermal Design Guide for Exterior Walls.” The new design guide is available to download free of charge at the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute Web site at

The updated guide integrates the results of extensive hot box tests of cold-formed steel wall assemblies to provide the most up-to-date and accurate methods for determining the thermal performance of wall assemblies. It also addresses compliance paths and requirements for the two most widely used energy codes and standards in North America?the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

The design guide is set up into four chapters that examine: 1) background and overview of the Energy Code, 2) base code U-factors for cold-formed steel assemblies, 3) methods for determining U-factors of cold-formed steel walls, and 4) code compliance options and examples.

“Architects, engineers, designers and builders should have this resource at their fingertips because it provides the most up-to-date technical information on the thermal performance characteristics of the different types of cold-formed steel assemblies used in buildings,” said Maribeth Rizzuto, LEED AP – BD+C, Director of Education and Sustainable Construction for the Steel Framing Alliance and Managing Director of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute. “It will assist them in complying with major energy codes and standards requirements, and will also inform them about prescriptive and performance compliance alternatives, including approaches that can yield more cost-effective designs.”

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