Cold-formed steel (CFS) is challenging engineered lumber as the material of choice for mid-rise structures, says Larry Williams, executive director for the Steel Framing Industry Association. In fact, he adds, CFS could even go higher if the economics align. “We had an engineering study done which shows it is feasible to go 40 storeys with CFS, though economically it isn’t viable,” he states. …The sector took a small hit when building codes in jurisdictions across North America were changed to allow wood-framed structures for mid-rise application. Engineered lumber surged briefly, Williams says, but things have swung back again. It’s rebounding partly because of the economics and partly because of the alleged risks inherent with wood’s vulnerability to combustion, especially during the construction phase, he notes.