If You Build It, Promotion Will Follow

Editor's Message

If You Build It, Promotion Will Follow

In this issue, we take a look at the Framing the American Dream (FAD) project and the value it has for component manufacturers (CMs). This FAD overview lays the foundation for future articles in which we’ll go into greater depth on specific benchmarking data. A comment from Jack Dermer, president of American Truss, sums it up: “Now that the latest study is completed, the next step is for component manufacturers to look at their own markets and find different ways to talk about the study so it’s applicable to their own unique situations.”

Indeed, over the past two months as I’ve presented the FAD data to SBCA chapters around the country, it’s become very clear that while CMs agree the study is incredibly valuable, what they take from it varies greatly. For instance, in states like Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, where roof trusses dominate the market, a majority of the discussion focused on wall panels. By pointing to the comparative data, CMs have a great opportunity to convince builders that using panels makes sense from both a labor-savings and an energy-efficiency point of view.

For CMs in states like North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri (as well as Dermer’s home state of Texas), where stick-framing is still prevalent, data from the FAD study holds considerable potential. In the Carolinas, CMs were interested in using the data to advocate for a better framing solution when builders insist on stick-framing the roofs of buildings along the coast. In Missouri, there was interest in approaching builders to promote the benefits of componentizing both the roofs and walls. CMs commented there was considerable market share to be captured through componentizing both systems.

In Arizona, where roof and floor trusses are the norm, and even wall panels have a foothold in the market, there was a lot of interest in floor panels. Floor panels were used in the latest FAD study to show how innovation can help builders frame projects faster in markets where seasons dictate the construction cycle and labor is costly. In markets that already incorporate crane delivery, one of the biggest logistical challenges—moving the heavy floor panels into place—is not difficult to overcome. However, Keith Azlin, general manager at U.S. Components in Tucson, points out: “Floor panels help solve the builder’s labor shortage problem by shifting the responsibility to us.”

We hope you enjoy the FAD feature. We look forward to sharing additional details in future articles.