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REGION'S LARGEST BUILDERS CONFERENCE FORGES, STRENGTHENS INTEREST IN HOMES FRAMED WITH STEEL

 SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Building industry officials are calling this year's Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) a watershed event in forging and strengthening interest in the use of steel in home construction.
 "Steel Central" -- a special area featuring steel framing techniques and informational displays and booths -- drew several thousand homebuilders, architects and subcontractors from California to China. The builders conference showcased steel for the first time in its 35- year history in response to the surging interest in this alternative building material.
 "This year's conference marks a watershed for steel, solidifying its long term acceptance and future in the homebuilding industry," said Gary Hambly, president and chief executive officer of the Building Industry Association of Northern California. "Lumber prices are going to continue to accelerate, so this framing innovation is going to be commonplace."
 Homebuilders' interest in steel has surged as lumber prices have gone through the roof. Since last year at this time, lumber prices have increased 23 percent, and as recently as last March hit an all-time weekly average high of $506 per thousand board feet -- a year-to-year increase of nearly 60 percent.
 As a result, a 1992 National Association of Homebuilders survey in the Western U.S. found that 45 percent were considering using steel in new construction. Steel-framed development are being built across the state, including the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, the Central Valley and the Inland Empire.
 "I think the exhibit at PCBC went a long way to establishing the long term use of steel in home construction," said Alan Jaffe, a developer and president of this year's builders conference, the second largest industry trade show in the nation. "Throughout history, steel has signified strength. But builders in the 1990s are also discovering that steel means quality, stability and value."
 An estimated 7,000 people, including representatives of the top 250 manufacturers and suppliers in the U.S., attended the builders conference June 17-19 at the San Francisco's Moscone Center where "Steel Central" was the biggest draw.
 This year's Pacific Coast Builders Conference marks the first time that California's major steel producer, framing manufacturers and equipment suppliers have collectively participated in a major homebuilding industry event that showcased steel.
 -0- 6/24/93
 /CONTACT: Larry W. Williams or Jim Zelinski of Healy-Williams & Co., 415-546-6166/


CO: Pacific Coast Builders Conference ST: California IN: CST SU:

TM -- NY005 -- 5279 06/24/93 11:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 24, 1993
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