Proposed Course on LGS Home Building. (fwd)
From: Franklin Wayne Poley (
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 21:26:10 -0600
If anybody has Cohousing experience relevant to this proposal I would 
appreciate hearing from you. Anybody used LGS on a co-housing project?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 15:31:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Franklin Wayne Poley <culturex [at]>
To: gaglia [at]
    daviel [at], fryh [at], jenny_kwan [at]
Subject: [falsecreek] Proposed Course on LGS Home Building.

From: Franklin Wayne Poley <culturex [at]>

A. Gagliano, M.P.
Minister for CMHC

Dear Office of the CMHC Minister: I appreciate the reply which I got from 
Dr. Tremblay at CMHC informing me that "sweat equity" could be used for 
at least part of a building like the new DERA Building. Could you also 
please pass this request on to the relevant department? I would like to 
know if there are any CMHC grants which might cover the cost of the LGS 
Demonstration/Educational Kit mentioned below. 
  I have also sent this first draft of the proposed LGS course to 
FalseCreek and Steel lists for constructive critical review.


NAME FOR PROPOSED COURSE: Light Gauge Steel Building System for 
Do-it-Yourself Home Builders.

SUMMARY FOR CALENDARS, ADS etc.: Light Guage Steel (LGS) frames provide 
greater strength and durability than conventional wood frames. They are 
also so precise that all components of a complete home can be cut and 
drilled in a prefab factory and sent to the site in a kit. On site a 
laymen using simple tools can assemble a complete, quality home. Some 6% 
of new homes built in the US are now LGS which is double the percentage 
of four years ago. This course will teach you how to acquire and assemble 
LGS kits.

CURRICULUM MATERIALS: (The following are now being considered)-
(1) "National Training Curriculum for Residential Steel Framing" from the 
American Iron and Steel Institutions (AISI). URL <>.
(2) Jordons Commons Project, Habitat for Humanity 
<> which used LGS. Instructional materials are now 
being sought.
(3) Earth-Sense-Steel Archives and Listserv, 
(4) Canadian Institute of Steel Construction web site 
(5) National Association of Home Builders web site <>.
(6) Internet basics will be taught in the first class so that all 
students can access these internet resources and others mentioned below. 
(7) LGS Demonstration Kit. I will ask then local colleges to purchase an 
LGS kit for a one bedroom cottage, 20 ft. x 30 ft. Perhaps a grant can be 
obtained from CMHC. During the LGS course the kit would be assembled and 
then disassembled and stored for future educational use. I will ask 
Earth-Sense-Steel for a quote on the kit.

PREREQUISITES: Ability to use simple tools (hammer, saw, wrench) and to 
follow instructions in English vernacular, both written and oral.

COLLEGES: BCIT and Vancouver Vocational are obvious first choices but any 
educational institution might consider offering the course.

FEASIBILITY: Though LGS homes are now built in large numbers by 
do-it-yourselfers especially in the US I don't yet have a specific 
address of a home which has been assembled completely using the kit approach.
Dave MacKinnon of the Canadian Steel Construction Council emailed me on 
Sept. 11, 1998 to say "This approach is being used by some builders in 
Southern Ontario". The final proof of feasibility will be provided when 
the details of a kit are set out and then the kit is assembled for 
educational purposes. Meanwhile the approach seems logical based on the 
great precision of steel. I canvassed a couple of dozen steel experts 
from links found on the Canadian Institute of Steel web site. Three 
replied to state clearly that LGS is sufficiently precise to permit off 
site precutting of components. In addition to Mr. MacKinnon they are 
Steve Fox, P. Eng. <sfox [at];> and Michel De Spot, P.Eng.
<mdespot [at];>. None of the 
experts canvassed said this approach would not be feasible.
   The web site provides a list of LGS 
Canadian and US contractors. Only four Canadian are listed and they are 
all in Ontario. There are only a few LGS homes in BC such as the home 
described on Mr. De Spot's web site. However this is a growing industry 
as US stats especially reveal and the new steel web site tells us 
"Builders interviewed nationwide have affirmed that framing with steel is 
commonly less expensive than traditional framing." Thus I would expect 
this industry to grow in BC and the vocational colleges should be 
interested in staying ahead of that growth. 


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