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Given the housing industry's reluctance to adopt new technology, its rapid move to embrace steel framing seems remarkable. In 1991, virtually no steel framing was used in residential construction. By 1993, over 10,000 homes (about one percent of new starts) used steel framing components, and the steel industry has set a goal of having steel framing in 25% of newly built homes by 1997. A big problem with steel, however, is that it loses heat much faster than wood. Heat Loss Here's an example of how serious thermal penalties can be. A group of energy professionals recently tested a steel-framed home in western Oregon. The house had been framed with 2x8 steel studs, 24 inches on-center, and the walls insulated