Here’s to new friends: Rural Builder joins SIPA

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the company he keeps, and that’s a good thing for us. Rural Builder is a member of many terrific associations doing positive work on behalf of the town and country construction industry.Scott Tappa mug.jpg
l First and foremost, there’s the National Frame Builders Association, which represents post-frame builders. We work with NFBA on a number of ventures, from selling booth space at Frame Building Expo to the production of Frame Building News magazine. We keep a seat at the table for NFBA board of directors meetings, and are excited to be a part of several new initiatives that will be announced in the near future.
l We regularly attend events of the Wisconsin Frame Builders Association, generally acknowledged as the most active NFBA chapter. WFBA organizes a top-notch tour, trade show, and conference every January, as well as a popular summer golf outing.
l We are active members of the Metal Construction Association. MCA is a manufacturer-only group and focuses on the use of metal beyond the town and country building industry, and performs important research and marketing work. We are also members of an MCA offshoot, the Metal Roofing Alliance, which promotes the use of metal roofing in residential applications.SIPA.jpg
l The other logo you may have seen at the bottom of our table of contents page is that of WTCA, which represents the structural building components industry. Formerly just the Wood Truss Council of America, WTCA now represents a wide range of structural building component manufacturers.
These organizations represent many different products and disciplines within the rural building industry, and have no shortage of smart, dedicated men and women behind them.
We are pleased to announce that we have joined forces with another association: the Structural Insulated Panel Association. This new partnership is especially exciting because of SIPs’ history with Rural Builder and its future in the industry. Some background:
Last fall, I visited Elk River, Minn., to see Energy House III, where a group of SIPA members contributed to a project house stressing energy efficiency. The ensuing story that ran in our December issue received positive feedback, and we have processed many reprint requests for the section.
This spring, I invited Curt Stendel of Panelworks Plus, who originally invited us to the Energy House, to speak on behalf of SIPA at our company’s second annual Log Home Summit this summer. Curt and the other SIP manufacturers at the trade show saw plenty of builders interested in SIPs, and we began talking with SIPA executive director Bill Wachtler about joining the association.
We are now officially SIPA members. This means you will be seeing more of SIPA in the pages and website of Rural Builder, and more of Rural Builder on SIPA’s website and in its “SIPA Village” at the International Builders’ Show.
Rural Builder does not exist to promote or denigrate particular forms of construction or products, but we aim to arm our builder readers with the information they need to run their businesses as well as they can. This means keeping them informed of innovative, perhaps unfamiliar products like SIPs, and the staggering number of reader responses to SIP product mentions indicates our readers want to learn more.
So you will learn more, and we will learn more. It is an interesting time to be involved with SIPs, as the association aims to quintuple the products’ use in residential buildings by 2010.
We are looking forward to partnering with SIPA in the future to see if that goal becomes a reality. If you know of another building association we might be interested in joining, feel free to e-mail me at or call 800-726-9966, ext. 428.

Scott Tappa, editor

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