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AISC and ASE Host Staggered Truss Presentation and Construction Tour
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on March 31, 2008 at 3:24 PM.

Not surprisingly, Friday, February 8 was a cold, cloudy day in Chicago—not the best day to spend outdoors. But that didn’t stop nearly 200 engineers, contractors, and others in the steel industry from taking an open-air construction site tour in the city’s River North neighborhood. And that’s because it wasn’t just any site. The project, a 17-story Staybridge Suites hotel, will be the first staggered truss steel building ever constructed in Chicago.


The tour began with a breakfast presentation, sponsored by AISC and the Associated Steel Erectors. While filling up on a hearty breakfast to prepare them for the cold, participants were provided with an overview of the project by AISC’s midwestern regional engineer, Tabitha Stine, and members of the construction team: Duke Miglin of owner/developer Miglin Properties LLC; structural engineer Socrates Ioannides of Structural Affiliates International, Inc.; architect Matt Dumich of Valerio Dewalt Train; Scott Robbins of steel fabricator/erector K&K Iron Works; and Jeff Rodgers of the project’s general contractor, Walsh Construction Company.


While high-rise residential and hotel projects are often constructed with concrete, Stine noted that a staggered truss system—which works in tandem with precast concrete plank—can weigh 20% to 30% less, be erected quicker, and allow for more column-free space than when using a concrete framing system for the same project. AISC’s Steel Solutions Center provided the project team with a conceptual design study featuring the staggered truss concept in 2003.


According to Robbins, the project will use 815 tons of structural steel in the form of approximately 1,500 erectable pieces. There will be 115 steel trusses and 100 columns in the building.


After breakfast, participants were bused to the jobsite a few blocks away and were given the opportunity to walk through multiple levels of erected steel framing. Construction began in the summer of 2007, and the building is scheduled to open later this year. The finished structure will house more than 200 suites.


For more information on the Staybridge Suites staggered truss project, including photos, PowerPoint presentations from the breakfast, and a live webcam, visit For more information on the staggered truss structural framing system, please go to or contact the AISC Steel Solutions Center at 866.ASK.AISC or

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