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Steel Shots: Times Square
Posted by Alison Trost on December 31, 2010 at 10:48 AM.


The slow descent of a brightly illuminated ball on the steel-framed One Times Square building in the heart of New York City has marked the close of one year and the beginning of another since 1907. Photo: Countdown Entertainment LLC.


As the country counts down the last few seconds of each year, many eyes focus on the world-famous New Years Eve crystal ball that slowly descends to welcome in the new year.


But did you know that this iconic tradition is all atop a steel framed building? Located on a tiny triangular lot at the intersection of New York’s 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street, the 25-story One Times Square building is clad in multi-story electronic advertisements and has become a well-known symbol of New York City.


Originally constructed to be the headquarters of The New York Times, the structure was the second tallest building in Manhattan upon its completion in 1904. For more info on the One Times Square building click here.


Even though today the building is mostly vacant, all attention is drawn to it each December 31st as the world welcomes in the new year.


Happy New Year to all MSC readers, from the MSC staff!


P.S. — If you’re curious about the 6-ft-diameter ball itself, check out the information on the Architectural Lighting website by clicking here.


And to see the New Years ball through the ages, visit

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New Bridge Welding Code
Posted by Alison Trost on December 30, 2010 at 12:39 PM.

The American Welding Society has published a revised edition of its D1.5 Bridge Welding Code. The new standard, which is known as AASHTO/AWS D1.5M/D1.5:2010, supersedes the 2008 edition. It addresses the need for a common welding specification for the fabrication of steel highway bridges by welding that can be used with minimal modification by the departments of highways and transportation in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that make up the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The 478-page book is available at 888.935.3464 or for $264. AWS members can purchase the code book for just $198.

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Seismic Research on Cold-formed Steel Construction
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 29, 2010 at 9:39 AM.

The American Iron and Steel Institute Seismic Code Team is partnering with Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Texas on two research projects to improve the seismic performance of cold-formed steel for light-frame construction. The projects have received grants from the National Science Foundation.


“Both of these NSF-sponsored research projects will advance cold-formed steel light-frame design in buildings, bringing it to the next level by equipping engineers to utilize modern performance-based seismic designs for cold-formed steel,” said Jay Larson, P.E., managing director of AISI’s Construction Technical Program. “AISI will provide technical support and guidance for the projects. We will also disseminate the findings to the research and practicing engineering communities to accelerate technology transfer of these advancements to the marketplace.”


Benjamin Schafer, P.E., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins, received a $923,000 grant to study ways to improve the seismic performance of buildings that use CFS light-frame construction for their primary structure. His research team includes personnel from JHU, Bucknell University, and Devco Engineering.


Cheng Yu, Ph.D., assistant professor and coordinator of the Construction Engineering Technology Program at the University of North Texas, received a $400,010 NSF CAREER grant to provide comprehensive research on cold-formed steel sheathed shear walls, with the goal of achieving enhanced ductility and strength for low-cost building construction in high-seismic and high-wind areas.


For ongoing information about the projects, visit

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Abandoned Warehouses Get a Facelift in Steel
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on December 28, 2010 at 9:17 AM.

Moveable steel spruces up the two warehouses forming the Wycoff Exchange in a neighborhood of Brooklyn. Using steel with laser-cut perforations allows this structure to provide security, while also focusing heavily on artful influences of the neighborhood. The holes in the steel facade allowed for LED lighting to illuminate the structure at night.


The exterior of the 100-ft-long, 2-in.-thick, 18-ft-tall steel facade was fabricated from weathering steel which provides the more rustic look, while the interior layer is a shiner stainless steel. Mimicking the concept of airport hangar construction, this facade folds in half to open the warehouse during business hours. At night the facade folds down to provide security and illuminate the structure, providing an aesthetic quality far superior to the previous abandoned warehouse.  


To learn more about the structure, and to view a slideshow of the building, visit the website, or click here.

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Happy 75th Anniversary Huey P!
Posted by Alison Trost on December 27, 2010 at 10:47 AM.

On December 16, the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans celebrated 75 years. Today the bridge is well into a massive widening project. Read about the expansion in the September issue of MSC by clicking here


hueyp2.jpgFor a more historical look back at the original construction watch a video segment from WVUE’s Heart of Louisiana by clicking here. For headlines about the bridge from 1935 read various articles by clicking here.


The Louisiana TIMED Program project manager is inviting people to share their personal stories about the Huey P. Long Bridge. You can do so on the project website by clicking here.


Want to stay up to date with the Huey P. Long bridge? Follow @hueypbridge on twitter! or click here

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Steel Shots: January Preview
Posted by Alison Trost on December 24, 2010 at 11:04 AM.


The roots of Modern Steel Construction magazine go back to 1930, when AISC launched Aminsteel News to keep members informed about the fledgling organization’s work. By 1938, it had morphed into The Steel Constructor, which included association news and technical updates. By 1944, it was supplanted by Steel Construction Digest, a newsletter with a reach extending for the first time beyond the association’s membership. Then…


In 1961 Modern Steel Construction was born. For the next half century, MSC chronicled the growth of the fabricated structural steel industry. Whether it was the first North American use of high-strength steel or the industry shift to A992, MSC illustrated the trends in steel design and construction through thousands of pages of project profiles, technical reports, and new product information.


In its January 2011 issue, MSC takes a look back over five decades of industry progress, presenting a timeline of notable events. Be sure to check back on January 1 to view the electronic version of the magazine.

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New Edition of Structural Steel Standards Collection
Posted by Alison Trost on December 23, 2010 at 8:42 AM.

503-11-small.jpgThe 2011 edition of the Selected ASTM Standards for Structural Steel Fabrication is now available. This 579-page volume includes 63 ASTM standards relating to structural steel fabrication selected by AISC.


The compilation was last published in 2008. The new edition includes updated versions of many of the standards as well as two that have been added to the collection since then: ASTM A1065/A1065M-09, Standard Specification for Cold-Formed Electric-Fusion (Arc) Welded High-Strength Low-Alloy Structural Tubing in Shapes, with 50 ksi [345 MPa] Minimum Yield Point, and ASTM F1136-04, Standard Specification for Zinc/Aluminum Corrosion Protective Coatings for Fasteners.


The book is available only in a print version. The cost is $225 for AISC members and $450 for non-members. For more information and to purchase online through the AISC bookstore, click here or go to


The individual standards in this compilation were published and are copyrighted by ASTM International. For additional information and support, visit

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One WTC Steel Reaches Halfway Point
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 22, 2010 at 9:37 AM.

There is a new spirit at the 1 World Trade Center site as steel construction has met the halfway point for the building, also known as the Freedom Tower. Watch the online video and view a live camera image of the steel erection reaching more than 600 ft above ground at


The Associated Press reported that steel at the building reached the 52nd story on Thursday December 16. The tower is slated to stand at 104 stories with an antenna reaching hundreds of feet higher, bringing it to a symbolic 1,776 ft - the tallest in the country.


AP reported that it takes so long for workers at the rising tower to return to the ground that a Subway sandwich shop built out of shipping containers is being raised along with the building by a hydraulically powered platform.


According to AP the skyscraper is one of several envisioned at the site along with a Sept. 11 memorial, transit hub, and performing arts center. The memorial, with reflecting pools set above the footprints of the fallen towers, is expected to open by the 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks.


Stay informed about 1 WTC plans and construction progress at

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AIA Appoints New CEO
Posted by Alison Trost on December 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM.

robert-ivy.jpgThe American Institute of Architects has appointed Robert Ivy, a Fellow of the AIA, as its new executive vice president and chief executive officer. He will assume his new role on the first of February.


Ivy has been the editor-in-chief of McGraw-Hill’s Architectural Record since 1996. Among other accomplishments, he led the magazine to a 2003 National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Prior to joining McGraw-Hill, he was a principal with Ivy Architects and the managing partner with Jackson, Miss.-based Dean/Dale, Dean and Ivy for nearly 14 years.


For more information from the AIA website, click here.

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Comments Sought on Addition of Prequalified Moment Connection
Posted by Alison Trost on December 20, 2010 at 9:32 AM.

Supplement No. 1 to 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. This document adds an additional prequalified connection, the ConXtech ConXL moment connection, to the standard.


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


All comments are due by January 31, 2011 and should be submitted to Keith Grubb using the comment form attached to the downloaded document. Send your completed comment form to Keith A. Grubb, P.E., S.E., American Institute of Steel Construction, 1 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60601, or by email to


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