Modern Steel Construction » Steel in the News » March 2010

Archive for March 2010

Back to all posts

April MSC Preview
Posted by Alison Trost on March 31, 2010 at 9:00 AM.

Cyber InnovationThe Cyber Innovation Center in northern Louisiana incorporates a “force protection” design. Each of the spoke towers has a steel framework to actually provide facility security as well as making an architectural statement.


To read more about this project and find out what’s coming up at the 2010 NASCC: The Steel Conference, see the April issue of Modern Steel Construction. The digital edition will be available here tomorrow, April 1. 

Bookmark and Share

Louisville Arena Topped Out and On Schedule
Posted by Alison Trost on March 30, 2010 at 8:29 AM.

Yesterday a “topping off” ceremony was held at the Louisville (Ky.) Arena to mark the installation of the last piece of structural steel. The arena is the future home of the University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball teams. This 22,000 seat venue is set to open in November and officials with the project manager M.A. Mortenson Co. promise that the project will be completed by late October.


To see photos of the event click here.


The project has also gone green, according to, with the installation of high-efficiency toilets, low-flow shower heads, energy efficient windows and a light-colored roof, which allows for heat gain in the summer and reduced heat loss in the winter.


For more information on the event read the article by Business First by clicking here.


To learn more about structural aspects of the project check out the March 2010 issue of Modern Steel Construction.

Bookmark and Share

Useful Information Found in steelTOOLS
Posted by Alison Trost on March 29, 2010 at 8:25 AM.

Join the conversation at AISC’s new file-sharing, information-sharing website, steelTOOLS.  

There are more than 169 steelTOOLS utilities available for downloading which include discussion blogs where you can connect and share ideas with your peers. There are also special interest libraries where users can post files. Some libraries include:
o    A pocket reference to W shapes by Depth, then Flange Width
o    Welding Capacity Calculator
o    Moments, Shears and Reactions for Continuous Bridges
o    Video: Bridge Erection at the SeaTac Airport

If you’ve got questions or answers, and would like to communicate with others in the industry, sign on to This is a FREE service so why not get involved?

Bookmark and Share

Steel Shots: Cooper River Bridge Run
Posted by Alison Trost on March 26, 2010 at 8:30 AM.

Steel Shots: Cooper River Bridge Run

This 2006 photo shows the first Cooper River Bridge Run across the massive Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in North America. The first Bridge Run, held in 1978, crossed two parallel older bridges, portions of which can still be seen here. Photo: Daan Muller


Tomorrow is the annual Cooper River Bridge Run. This year 38,335 runners registered for the 10K event. This sellout crowd makes the 2010 event the largest run to date.


From 2005 through 2009 I sailed for the College of Charleston and was able to experience the grandeur of this massive structure. Of course I was using the bridge for it’s functional purposes-driving over it to practice every day then sailing under it. But it’s a cool thing when you realize that a bridge is not just a way to get from point A to B but it also defines a place.


To all you runners, enjoy the view!


For a complete article on the Arthur J. Ravenel, Jr. Bridge from Modern Steel Construction, click here.


To watch the race live on Saturday morning, click here for the webcams at

Bookmark and Share

Epic Performance Relies on Steel and Logistics
Posted by Alison Trost on March 25, 2010 at 3:12 PM.

Do you have any idea what it took to stage a recent production of Prokofieff’s operatic version of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”? Start with a massive turntable with a huge steel skeleton. Then add more steel for a framework built on the turntable to support a sloping stage floor. Of course, you’ll need 8,000 bolts and nuts to hold it all together

The Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra’s production of this huge endeavor was imported from St. Petersburg, Russia, for two shows in March at Washington’s Kennedy Center. It was one of the “most complex logistical tasks in the center’s history,” according to Washington Post staff writer Peter Marks. Click here to read the full article.

Bookmark and Share

Hotel Deadline for 2010 NASCC: The Steel Conference
Posted by Alison Trost on March 24, 2010 at 1:26 PM.

There are only two days left to book your accommodations for NASCC at the discounted rate. To book your room at the Gaylord Palms for NASCC, go to The block of rooms will be released after March 27, so if you haven’t already booked your hotel, do it today!

Bookmark and Share

Convenient Shape Data Tool
Posted by Lauren DiPalma on March 24, 2010 at 8:26 AM.

Hate using tables for detailing and connection design? Find all of the critical detailing dimensions for 240 standard shapes using the Alcott Structural Steel Detail Guide. Just turn the pointer to the W-shape you are using, and find all of the dimensions you need.


To go straight to the online order form click here


Meet the MSC contributing web editors

Bookmark and Share

Controlled Rocking Frame System Withstands Powerful Earthquake Test
Posted by Tom Klemens on March 23, 2010 at 9:37 AM.

A newly proposed steel-framed system designed to allow buildings to sway with the motion of earthquakes and then return to their original positions may help avoid lasting damage to buildings in future earthquakes. The system is based on a groundbreaking study, led by researchers from Stanford University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and was successfully tested on the world’s largest shake table in Japan last summer.


Principal researchers include Gregory G. Deierlein, director of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford, and Jerome F. Hajjar, professor and Narbey Khachaturian Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UIUC. The research team also included students and faculty from both universities, and collaborative researchers from Japan.


The American Institute of Steel Construction contributed technical support and funding; Tefft Bridge and Iron, an AISC member, provided steel fabrication for the project; and Infra-Metals, an AISC member, donated a significant amount of materials and financial support for a pseudo-dynamic test at UIUC.


The Controlled Rocking Frame system is designed with a self-centering steel structure and engineered with replaceable shock diffusers that absorb energy as the building moves Shake Table Videolaterally and vertically, shielding the rest of the framing from damage. According to an article published by UIUC, tests have been very successful. When a two-thirds scale model of a multi-story building was shaken on top of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake simulator, the only damage recorded in the frame was right where it was supposed to be—in the replaceable fuses.


“In moderate to large earthquakes, today’s buildings can sustain significant damage throughout their structural framing systems,” explained Hajjar. “While they are designed to accept this damage and not collapse, many structures are permanently damaged after such an event. In extreme cases, they may need to be condemned, even if they were designed to satisfy the building code.”


The controlled rocking test results prove the worth of this pioneering performance based seismic technology, which can make buildings more resilient in earthquake prone communities, and keep them habitable after earthquakes happen. This project also shows the value and importance of international research collaboration and large-scale design method testing before actual earthquake events occur.


To view a video of the shake table testing, click here. More information on the Controlled Rocking Frame project is available from the Stanford University website at  and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign website.

Bookmark and Share

Prequalified Moment Connection Standard Available for Public Review
Posted by Alison Trost on March 22, 2010 at 8:20 AM.

The 2010 AISC standard Prequalified Connections for Special and Intermediate Steel Moment Frames for Seismic Applications (AISC 358-10) is now available for public review. A consolidation of the existing Prequalified Connections standard (ANSI/AISC 358-05) and its supplement (ANSI/AISC 358-05s1-09), the 2010 standard includes all five prequalified moment connections, as well as minor revisions for consistency with the upcoming 2010 AISC Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (AISC 341-10).


The draft standard is available for review by downloading the document at A paper copy of the standard can also be requested for a fee of $15 by contacting Janet Cummins at 312.670.5411 or by e-mailing


The existing 2005 AISC 358 standard and supplement can be downloaded at and


Please use the comment form available at Submit your comments to Keith Grubb at All comments are due by May 3, 2010.

Bookmark and Share

Steel Shots: Campus Sculptures
Posted by Alison Trost on March 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM.

Steel Shots: Campus Sculptures

This steel sculpture on the campus of the University of Colorado Denver, gives students a true visual understanding of steel framing and steel connections.


Originally created by Duane Ellifritt, professor emeritus from the University of Florida, the AISC Steel Sculpture was designed to be a visual teaching aid that shows a variety of members and connections. It consists of 25 steel members, 43 connection elements, more than 26 weld groups, and more than 144 individual bolts.


These sculptures are located on 130+ campuses across the U.S., and most have been donated by local fabricators.


To see if a school near you has a steel sculpture, see the list in the Faculty and Students section of the AISC website.


AISC will be happy to provide the plans for the sculpture to anyone interested in building a sculpture. E-mail Shanna Quinn to receive a copy.


To see more of the sculptures at various schools, visit the AISC Education flickr page or the American Institute of Steel Construction facebook album.

Bookmark and Share