QUESTION: (SPRING2012) When CSA G40.21 300W steel strip is specified as the material for light braces in a building structure, can commercial grade steel products be used instead? What if they are supplied with a test report showing yield stress values matching or exceeding 300 MPa?

ANSWER: No. The reasons include:
a) Commercial grade steel sheet and strip are not produced to meet mandatory mechanical properties, such as minimum yield point, tensile strength and elongation; and
b) Strength levels reported on mill test certificates should not be used as the basis for design. See Clause 5.1.2 of CSA Standard S16-09.

QUESTION: (SPRING2011) In accordance with the National Building Code, steel building systems shall be manufactured by companies certified to CSA A660 “Certification of Manufacturers of Steel Building Systems.” Does this requirement apply to all steel fabricating plants?

ANSWER: No, CSA A660 does not apply to all steel fabricating plants. A steel building system (SBS) features steel for the structural components plus related accessories engineered and designed as a total building system, commonly referred to as “pre-engineered buildings” for which the manufacturer is responsible for both the structural design and fabrication of the building system. Since the designer of the steel building system is also the seller, there is no independent third-party representing the interests of the public. CSA A660 ensures that the SBS manufacturer is complying with the applicable building codes and design standards, and the public is protected.
The vast majority of structural steel fabricators in Canada are only involved with fabrication of building structures that are designed by engineers employed by others. These fabricators are not required to be certified to CSA A660. They are certified to CSA W47.1 (welding). Some are also certified to CISC Quality Certification Program for Steel Structures. For information on CISC Certification Programs, visit the CISC website at