The Formation of The Framersí Council Standard#2

Engineered Lumber Products, Delivery Package, Standard Contents

Written by Scot Simpson

We, as part of the construction industry, work in a very unique environment. Unlike other industries that typically are stationary and work within familiar guidelines, construction always is moving and the players continually changing. If you ever have done a job when the owner, architect, engineer, general contractor, subcontractors and all the material suppliers were starting a new project, never having worked together before, you can understand the uniqueness of the construction industry. Fortunately, this is not the norm, however, the parties are always changing and if you add to this mix a continuous flow of new products and new codes, you can see why achieving any kind of organization on a job site becomes a monumental task.

This organization battle is an everyday effort for members of the Framersí Council. Desiring to win that battle one step at a time, the council has worked with engineered lumber product suppliers and general contractors to develop an engineered lumber products delivery package standard.

Although the need for this standard did not exist until recently, it all started in 1968 when Trus Joist Corporation first used I-joists as a commercial product. It was a new product quite different from the dimension lumber that was being used. Needless to say it was a hard sell. Not only did the owners and builders have to be sold on the advantages but the framers had to be taught how to use them. Trus Joist realized a major effort would be required to establish I-joists as a viable product and quickly set about making it easy to use them. The I-joist packages were delivered complete with blocking, web stiffeners, hangers, bevel plates, rim joists and a set of plans that identified each item in the system. Every item in the list was identified so its location could be found on the I-joist plans. If there were any problems, a salesman always was close by.

Things have changed, however, from a marketplace where the goal was to make the product easy to use so it would be accepted to one where the product is accepted and economics becomes the major concern. In other words, who can sell the I-joist package for the lowest price. Because there are no real guidelines telling a supplier what has to be included in an I-joist delivery package, the easiest way to reduce the cost is to cut services. Identifying marks, web stiffeners, hangers, blocks, bevel plates and the I-joist plans are among the first things that begin to be excluded.

When a framer bids on a job he only has access to structural drawings and does not know what will be delivered with the package. He can find himself on a job site waiting for the I-joist package, not knowing exactly what will arrive. When it does arrive, it may or may not include a set of I-joist plans identifying items. And since I-joists are not covered in the codebooks the way dimension lumber is, his framing experience is his only guide. Since all I-joists are not equal, experience usually is not good enough.

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I-Joist package delivery to job site

Needless to say, if you are waiting on an I-joist package you expected to come complete, and it arrives missing parts, it totally disarranges your organization process.

The Framersí Councilís contention is that the best way to determine allocation of work is who can do it most economically. It is even more important to make sure whoever is doing the work knows before they bid on the job what they will be expected to do.

Due to the nature of our industry there is no organization or mechanism to establish a standard for organization of I-joist packages. The Framersí Council has taken the initiative to provide this organization. It has worked with I-joist suppliers and general contractors to develop a standard for I-joist delivery packages. The main goal is to develop a standard for work within established procedures. Another goal is to have the standard assign the work to the most economical partner in the total operation.

The overall objective is to have the general contractors and framing contractors know exactly what they are bidding on and what they can expect will be delivered, and to have the I-joist suppliers know what they are expected to supply.

This standard will be accepted only if it is used. So we ask that you use it. General contractors should specify that they want bids according to the Framersí Council Standard #2. I-joist suppliers and framing contractors should state clearly that their bids are in compliance with the standard. Architects, engineers and specifiers should include it in their specifications.

The Framersí Council Standard is as follows:

Framers Council Standard #2

Engineered Lumber Products, Delivery Package, Standard Contents

(1/10/02) revised 2/7/08

1. Placement drawings shall be provided showing the location of materials, including but not limited to the following: I-joists, blocking, web stiffeners, beams, headers, hangers and rim boards.

2. Indicate all openings in the floors on the placement drawings.

3. Provide all standard on-center blocking panels (pre-cut) as shown on the placement drawings.

4. Include all nail flange hangers for engineered lumber connections.

5. Include web stiffeners as required.

6. Include all beveled bearing plate necessary to support I-joists.

7. Bundle and label deliveries per building and per unit.