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World Trade Center Construction Video
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 11, 2014 at 4:05 PM

1wtc-construction-video-image.jpgThe design and construction of the World Trade Center, of which the Twin Towers were the centerpieces, marked a dramatic change in skyscraper innovation. The PBS website provides an 18-minute video, Building the World Trade Center, produced by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1983 with original footage of the steel-framed towers under construction.


To learn more about the engineering behind the World Trade Center, read an illustrated essay, Towers of Innovation.


Today, as the nation commemorates the 13th anniversary of 9/11, the World Trade Center site is largely rebuilt. Updates on its construction progress can be found at



One World Trade Center (1WTC), completed last July, is the tallest of the four buildings planned as part of the Ground Zero reconstruction master plan for Lower Manhattan. And it is indeed the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere with an overall height, from ground level to the top of the spire, of 1,776 ft. At 1,368 feet above ground, the main roof is designed to be the same height as the original towers.


In recognition of its particular accomplishments in structural engineering, 1WTC has been selected to receive this year’s AISC IDEAS2 Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering. In honor of this achievement, members of the project team will be presented with awards from AISC during a ceremony to take place at the tower next Wednesday, September 17. Read more about 1WTC in MSC’s May 2014 IDEAS2 issue.

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Student Steel Design Competition Winners Announced
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 10, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Thirteen skyrgyzstan-china-border-crossing-design.jpgtudent design projects from universities across North America were honored in the 14th annual Steel Design Student Competition for the 2013-2014 academic year. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by AISC, the program challenges architecture students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. A total of $14,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the winning students and their faculty sponsors.


Students submitted designs in two categories that required steel to be used as the primary structural material and with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design.

interject-design.jpgThis year’s Category I competition, titled “Border-Crossing Station,” challenged students to design a border-crossing station sited on a boundary between two countries. (Steel offers great benefits in this endeavor, as it allows for longer spans and more creativity.)


Two projects received top honors in this category: “Kygyzstan-China Border Crossing,” designed by Donovan Dunkley, Vail Nuguid and Alexia Sanchez from City College of New York; and “Interjection,” designed by Kyle Marren from Ryerson University.


Category II was the open submission design option and permitted the greatest amount of flexibility. First place in this category went to “Searching for Daylight in a Diagonal Urban Grid,” designed by Zahra Hosseinabadi from North Carolina State University.



For more information about the competition and to view the complete list of winners and their steel designs, see AISC’s announcement.


Next year, the competition celebrates its 15th anniversary. The full competition program for the 2014-2015 academic year is now

available at










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Vote for Your Favorite Structural Steel Sculpture
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 9, 2014 at 4:50 PM

AISC members spent all summer creating scintillating structural steel sculptures, and now’s your chance to vote for your favorite! Secure your choice sculpture a spot at the 2015 NASCC: The Steel Conference, March 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn., in three steps:

1. Log-in to your Facebook account ( and visit
2. “Like” the image of your favorite sculpture (or sculptures); you can choose up to five.
3. Share the best sculptures with your Facebook friends so they can vote too.

The five sculptures with the most “likes” will be sent to NASCC, where attendees will vote for the winning sculpture.

vote-now-button.jpgVoting ends this Friday, September 12, at 5 p.m. CT.






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Construction Employment Hits Five-Year High
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 8, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Construction industry employment reached a five-year high in August as the sector added 20,000 jobs and its unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, the lowest rate for August in seven years, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). However, AGC cautioned that the latest figures reinforce survey results it released recently, which showed that many contractors are having a tough time finding enough qualified workers.


“Construction employment growth has been accelerating and is broad-based,” said Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “The increase in the past 12 months was the largest since 2006 and was spread among residential, nonresidential building and heavy construction.”


Construction employment totaled 6,068,000 in August, the highest total since May 2009, with a 12-month gain of 232,000 jobs or 4%, more than double the 1.8% growth rate for total nonfarm employment, Simonson noted. The number of workers who said they looked for work in the past month and had last worked in construction fell to 678,000 in August. That was lower than in any August since 2007, when many contractors were forced to delay projects because they couldn’t find qualified workers.


“These job numbers, along with data this week on construction spending in July and reports from the Federal Reserve and the Institute of Supply Management, point to continued recovery by the construction sector,” he said. “However, the fact that the number of unemployed experienced construction workers is now at the lowest August level since 2007 means more contractors may soon have trouble filling key positions.”


AGC is urging elected officials to act on the measures the association outlined in its Workforce Development Plan to make it easier to establish career and technical education and training programs.


“As contractors are starting to find it is easier to get work, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hire qualified workers,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s CEO. “We need to make it easier for schools, local associations and private firms to establish programs that expose students to, and prepare them for, high-paying careers in construction.”

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Steel Shots: Staying Afloat
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 8, 2014 at 10:18 AM

A new convenience store, located just south of the Arizona-Utah border near the beginning of the Grand Canyon, keeps its head above water with an innovative structural steel framing system. The flotation portion of the structure consists of wide-flange beams and HSS that are designed as a truss system to evenly distribute loads throughout the platform. Photo: Aramark


Heading down to the corner store for a gallon of milk is a bit different experience at Lake Powell’s Wahweap Marina.


That’s because the store floats. Situated between the marina’s docks and houseboats, the 6,655-sq.-ft building - which houses the Wahweap Marina Store, a restaurant and office space - is supported by a 10,144-sq.-ft floating platform. The structure is topped with a 1,425-sq.ft covered deck on the second floor that allows visitors to relax and drink in their surroundings.


Read more about this floating steel convenience store in the current September issue of MSC (available now!).



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