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Archive for May 2008

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Non-Residential Market Remains Active, but Construction Costs Continue to Increase
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on May 2, 2008 at 12:43 PM.

Turner Construction Company, in its quarterly market forecast, announced that construction costs increased 1.48% over fourth quarter 2007 and 4.96% over first quarter 2007. Turner has issued this quarterly forecast for more than 80 years.


According to Karl F. Almstead, the Turner vice president responsible for the Turner Building Cost Index, “The non-residential construction market remains active in spite of the residential market slowdown and the uncertainty in the credit markets. The perception that there may be an economic slowdown has lead to an easing of pricing pressure and an increase in competition among trade contractors in some markets. However, in major metropolitan markets such as New York City, the available volume of work continues to drive pricing upward.”


Almstead also expressed that the industry is still facing a shortage of skilled labor, as well as uncertainty of the availability and cost of materials, adding that the pressure on construction costs in the non-residential markets will continue to result in cost increases over the next several quarters.


The Turner Building Cost Index may or may not reflect regional conditions in any given quarter. The Cost Index is determined by several factors considered on a nationwide basis: labor rates, productivity, material prices, and the competitive condition of the marketplace.

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SJI Updates Reference
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on May 2, 2008 at 12:43 PM.

An updated version of Technical Digest No. 11 is now available from the Steel Joist Institute. The guide illustrates procedures for the structural engineer to properly analyze, design, and specify open-web steel joist and joist girder moment frames to resist wind and seismic lateral loads. The design methodology provided is limited to single-story structures subjected to wind and seismic loads; however, the design procedures are applicable to multi-story moment frames subjected to wind loads.


Offering an extensive update to the previous edition, this second edition covers the importance of the relationship between the specifying professional and the joist manufacturer, describes the analysis requirements for modeling the moment frame, and provides design methodology for lateral wind loads and seismic loads. To order a hard copy, download an electronic copy, or download an order form, visit

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Deepest Beams Yet
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on May 2, 2008 at 12:42 PM.

Nucor Corporation announced today that Nucor-Yamato Steel Company is introducing 44-in.-deep wide-flange structural shapes, becoming the first mill in the Western Hemisphere to produce sections to this depth.


Nucor-Yamato Steel Company, a joint venture between Nucor Corporation and Japan’s Yamato Kogyo Company, is introducing four 44-in.-deep sections: W44×335, W44×290, W44×262, and W44×230. The maximum length for these sections is 120 ft. The first production rolling of the W44 sections is scheduled for the week of May 25, 2008 and will be included in future rolling schedules.


These beams are of particular interest to the highway bridge market for use as “stringers” (primary bridge beams), horizontal load-carrying members that carry the bridge deck and roadway surface.


Until now, the deepest sections available from U.S. mills had been Nucor- Yamato’s W40×431 sections. The W40 sections and other deeper rolled beams have been seeing increased use in bridges, particularly in the Midwest.

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Girs Inc. Honors Thornton Tomasetti’s Brazil
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on May 2, 2008 at 12:39 PM.

Girls Inc. honored Aine Brazil at the annual Girls Inc. New York Celebration Luncheon at the New York Hilton on March 13th. A powerful gathering of more than 1,000 business and community leaders committed to the Girls Inc. mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, the event recognizes women and men who, by their work and example, are creating a better future for girls.


As one of 11 managing principals of Thornton Tomasetti, Inc., Aine Brazil helps guide the international engineering firm of 650 employees in the design of high-rise office and residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, and other projects. After 30 years in the field, her accomplishments include leading the design of the following Times Square properties: 5 Times Square, Times Square Tower, and 745 Seventh Avenue, all totaling over three million sq. ft. She is also responsible for the 975-ft-tall Comcast Tower in Philadelphia and the tallest building in New Jersey.


Brazil holds a B.S. degree from the University College in Galway, Ireland and a M.S. degree in engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. She was the first president of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAONY), a past board member of Women Executives in Real Estate New York (WX), and a member of the NYC Mayor’s Commission for the Adoption of a Model Code. She has been featured in the New York Times and also in Crain’s New York Business’ “New York’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business.”

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