Simpson Strong-Tie donated product and provided technical expertise for the CFS-NEES project, a series of earthquake tests for cold-formed steel-framed buildings. As part of the final phase of a three-year, National Science Foundation-funded research project led by Johns Hopkins University, the purpose of the tests is to better understand the overall system performance of cold-formed steel-framed buildings and to develop performance-based design methodology for seismic resistance.

As a manufacturer of lateral systems for seismic resistance, Simpson Strong-Tie served on the project’s advisory board and donated connectors and fasteners for the two-story cold-formed steel building.

Using the shake table at the University of Buffalo’s Earthquake Engineering Research Center in New York, the structure has been subjected to simulated earthquakes that range in magnitude of 44 to 100 percent of the 1994 6.7-magnitude Northridge, California, earthquake.

“Ultimately, these tests are designed to help make cold-formed steel construction more economical, while reducing the likelihood of structural collapse in regions with seismic activity. Our commitment at Simpson Strong-Tie is to use research and testing to develop products that help people build safer, stronger structures. Collaborating on this project was a way for us to demonstrate that commitment and help support practical and cost-effective building solutions,” said Randy Daudet, Simpson Strong-Tie cold-formed steel product manager and member of the project’s advisory committee.

All phases of the testing have been completed, with the final test completed on August 16 simulating 100 percent of the Northridge earthquake. For more information about the project, visit the project website at or blog at

The project is a six-university, multi-industry collaboration led by Professor Ben Schafer with the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins from a National Science Foundation award for the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Research competition. The title of the project is, “NEES-CR: Enabling Performance-Based Seismic Design of Multi-Story Cold-Formed Steel Structures.”

The analysis and testing for the project began in late 2010 at Johns Hopkins and University of North Texas, with the focus now at the University of Buffalo where the final phase of testing is taking place. Additional university collaborators include Bucknell University, McGill University, and Virginia Tech.