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Steel Groups Weigh in on ‘Buy America’
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 31, 2012 at 2:42 PM.

roger_ferch_interview_metalminer1.jpgWith transportation infrastructure spending a key issue in Congress, MetalMiner (a sourcing and trading intelligence website for global metals markets) recently interviewed Roger Ferch, NSBA executive director and Jennifer Diggins, director of public affairs for Nucor Corp., to get an update on the Buy America legislation and its effect on U.S. manufacturers.


In the interview Ferch discusses how contractors on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project skirted Buy America provisions to procure structural steel and labor from China, potentially costing hundreds or even thousands of jobs for U.S. steel industry workers. NSBA has been active in voicing its objections to purchasing foreign steel and off-shore fabrication for U.S. domestic projects such as the Bay Bridge project.


Watch Ferch’s video interview segment on the MetalMiner website at


In Diggins’ interview she clarifies common misconceptions of the Buy America legislation, and offers her perspective on how prospective U.S. presidential candidates would serve the country’s manufacturing industry and job creation.


Watch Diggins’ video interview segment on the MetalMiner website at


NSBA and AISC encourage the steel community to take action on Buy America issues and contact their local representatives through the NSBA/AISC Legislative Action page at

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Two Important Deadline Extensions
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 31, 2012 at 9:56 AM.

If you haven’t had the time to take advantage of the following AISC opportunities, or weren’t aware they were available to you — don’t panic! The deadlines to participate have been extended:


  • Recently work on an innovative steel building project? Entries for AISC’s 2012 IDEAS2 Awards program are now due on Friday, February 3, at 5 p.m. Central Time. There is no fee to enter for AISC members. More information about the program and how to enter can be found in our previous news post.


  • Brewing any ideas that can help advance steel building design and construction? AISC is seeking proposals for research projects aimed to improve the safety and economy of steel building design and construction, including the development of innovative structural steel systems. Proposals will be awarded in 2012 and the research will be conducted in 2012 and 2013. The deadline for notice of intent to submit a proposal has been extended to 5 p.m. Central Time on Friday, February 10. The complete proposals are still due March 5. You can find additional information and links to enter in our previous news post.

P.S. — Speaking of deadlines, remember that you can still save money on your 2012 NASCC: The Steel Conference registration by signing up early. Register this week and save $90 or more. Details are at

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Registration Deadline Nears for Student Design Competition
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM.

Students are encouraged to register as soon as possible for the 12th annual Steel Design Student Competition sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). Teams must register by February 15, 2012, to participate in this year’s competition, although registration information may be modified until submission of the final project. Entries are due May 24, 2012. There is no fee to enter. Each team must have a faculty sponsor.


Two categories of competition are being offered again this year. Category I challenges architecture students to design a Culinary Arts College in an urban setting. “Steel construction offers students great benefits in this endeavor,” the program materials state, “as it is ideal for covering long-spans without sacrificing flexibility and aesthetic lightness, multi-story buildings, quick delivery and assembly in congested urban environments.” Category II provides an open design option.


Steel should be used as the primary structural material for entries in either category, with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design. The structure also should include at least one space that requires long-span steel structure.


There are three possible prizes in each category. Winning students and their faculty sponsors will receive cash prizes totaling $14,000.


Learn more about the ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition on the AISC website at, where links also are available to the full competition program including registration and all the rules and guidelines.


To view the winning entries from 2011 on the ACSA website, click here.

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Steel Shots: New Season of Student Bridge Engineering Prowess Begins
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 27, 2012 at 2:28 PM.


Student team members from the University of Texas at Arlington hustle to erect their steel bridge entry at this year’s first Student Steel Bridge regional competition held at the University of Houston earlier this month. Photo: James Williams


Eleven universities from Texas and Mexico gathered at the University of Houston, January 13-14, to showcase their engineering talent and teamwork in the first ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge regional competition of 2012. Now in its 21st year, the competition convenes engineering students from across North America to build their designed and fabricated steel bridges under the pressure of the clock.


This year’s design requirements challenge students to construct a cantilevered short-span bridge that can carry specified patterns of loads without exceeding sway and deflection limits. Teams can display different approaches to structural support for their bridges while striving for the shortest time under specific building constraints.


Categories of competition are construction speed, stiffness, lightness, economy, display, and efficiency. The teams with the best combined rankings across all six categories earn overall award recognition.


“This competition is such a good learning experience for the students,” said James Williams, P.E., Ph.D., professor of civil engineering at University of Texas at Arlington and the team’s faculty advisor. “They get to design, fabricate, and build a real project and get to see how it holds up to the design loads.  Plus, they learn to work as part of a team.”


Throughout the year, student teams work for months perfecting the design, fabrication, and construction of each bridge. To reach the national event, each team must place among the top schools in one of 18 regional competitions held across the country each spring. There are plenty of opportunities to attend one of these exciting events! View the schedule of upcoming regional competitions (including host school contact info) on ASCE’s website at


The 2012 National Student Steel Bridge Competition finals will be held May 25-26 at Clemson University in South Carolina. Interested in becoming a judge for the national competition? Contact for information.


Learn more about the 2012 SSBC at or

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Building Energy Use Drops More Quickly Than Expected
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 26, 2012 at 5:44 PM.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the Early Release Overview of its Annual Energy Outlook 2012  on January 23, projecting that residential and commercial building energy use is expected to decline more rapidly in the next couple of decades than originally thought. EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) projections since 2005 illustrate that estimates for energy consumption to 2030 have dropped by nearly 70% due to considerable movement within the building sector to improve building design and efficiency.


The final Annual Energy Outlook 2012 will be issued later this spring.

Saving Costs

The 2011 AEO forecasts that American consumers will spend $3.66 trillion less on energy between 2012 and 2030 than was originally projected in 2005. If, by 2030, we embrace efficient building technologies, these savings will top $6 trillion.

More Buildings, Less Energy

In 2005, the AEO forecasted an increase in total U.S. building floor area of 51.9% from 2005 to 2030, with energy consumption and CO2 emissions increasing by 44.4% and 53.1% respectively. While the AEO 2011 projects a slightly lower building floor area increase of 38.6% over this same time period, the projected energy consumption and related carbon emissions from the building sector are dramatically less than projected in 2005.


A movement that is making strides to reduce building energy consumption in the building sector is the 2030 Challenge. Developed by Architecture 2030, a non-profit organization dedicated to slowing and reversing the growth rate of greenhouse related emissions in the building sector, the program encourages the global architecture and building community to adopt various building energy reduction targets to achieve industry-wide zero net energy use by 2030.


To learn more about the 2030 Challenge, visit

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New Version of Tekla BIMsight Available for Tablet Computers
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 25, 2012 at 1:10 PM.

tekla-bimsight_v14.jpgThe latest version of Tekla’s free construction collaboration tool, Tekla BIMsight 1.4, is now available for use on the job site. The software offers a dedicated user interface for Windows tablet computers and features enhanced presentation tools. You can choose which interface is best suited for your working environment, desktop or tablet.


“We developed this version from conversations with our users and the industry and we will continue this practice in the future,” said Stephen Jones, Tekla BIMsight product manager. “Tablet computers are becoming an integral part of construction industry workflows and BIM creates huge opportunities for more effective interaction between the construction site and the office.”


Want to learn more?
Join Tekla’s free webinar tomorrow, January 26. This one-hour introductory presentation on BIMsight 1.4 will be hosted twice from Paris at 9 a.m. CET and 3 p.m. CET. You can search for which times the webinar begins in your time zone by visiting the registration site at (ie 9 a.m. Eastern Time)


Learn more about the latest version of Tekla BIMsight and download the software for free at Video tutorials and a customer support forum are also available on the website.

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DiMicco Wins AISC Leadership Excellence Award
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 24, 2012 at 3:37 PM.

dimicco-headshot_300_edited.jpgDaniel R. DiMicco, chairman and chief executive officer of Nucor Corporation, is the recipient of AISC’s prestigious Robert P. Stupp Award for Leadership Excellence. The award, presented on a selective basis by AISC, honors individuals who have provided unparalleled leadership in the steel construction industry. It will be presented to DiMicco at the 2012 NASCC: The Steel Conference at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center in Dallas, April 18-20.


“Dan is an exemplary leader in the steel construction industry and a strong advocate for domestic manufacturing jobs,” said Roger E. Ferch, P.E., AISC’s president. “He served as an instrumental ambassador of producer support on the AISC Board of Directors and has championed technological advancements in steelmaking and environmental leadership in the industry.”


For more information, you can read the press release on the AISC website at

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IDEAS2 Entries Due Next Week
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM.

Recently work on an innovative steel building project? Remember to enter it in AISC’s IDEAS2 Awards Program. Entries are being accepted through Tuesday, January 31, 2012, and there is no entry fee for AISC members.


More information about the program and how to enter can be found in our previous news post.

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Schuff Steel Expands Eastward
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 23, 2012 at 2:38 PM.

Phoenix-based Schuff Steel Company, an AISC member, has opened an office in Murray Hill, N.J., to provide steel fabrication and erection expertise to the metropolitan New York construction market. Executive vice president Stephen Isaacson is overseeing the new sales and management office, which was opened in December. Isaacson has been in the steel construction industry in the New York area for more than 35 years. A subsidiary of Schuff International, Inc., Schuff Steel plans to self-perform erection services in the New York City market, while providing fabricated steel from its existing facilities in the Midwest and Southeast regions.


For more information, you can read the press release on the Schuff Steel website at

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Steel Shots: A Beam of Hope
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM.


A 31-ft steel beam carries messages of hope from nearly 1,000 cancer survivors and family members at the OSU Medical Center expansion site. Click on the photo to link to a brief video of the beam erection and installation last December.


Ever wonder if anybody cares about that steel framework once the building is complete? Even though it may not be visible for long, the recently erected “Survivor Beam” at OSU is likely to hold a special place in the hearts of many for years to come.


More than 1,000 cancer survivors and family members inscribed wishes of strength and hope on the specially painted beam before it was hoisted into place on December 22, 2011, to become part of the new Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and critical care tower, part of The Ohio State University Medical Center expansion project. The “Survivor Beam” was fabricated by AISC Member Cives Steel Company and erected by AISC Certified Erector Runyon Erectors.screencapture-osu-1.jpg


You can watch a minute-long YouTube video showing people signing their messages on the beam and the beam rising to its special place on the building.


Scheduled to open in 2014, the $1.1 billion cancer hospital and critical care center involves 11,000 tons of structural steel that workers began erecting in August. When it opens, the 20-story, 1.1 million-sq.-ft building will be one of the 15 tallest hospitals in the U.S. and one of the 25 tallest in the world.


Learn more about the expansion project and its progress by viewing our previous news post from last November. You can also find current information, additional videos and a project timeline on the OSU Medical Center Expansion blog.

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