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Large Steel Columns for a Large Stadium
Posted by Alison Trost on March 18, 2010 at 3:31 PM.

Steel deliveries have begun for the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand, which is set to open in August 2011. More than 300 loads will be delivered in coming months for the huge sports arena.

To read more about the project in the Otago Daily Times, click here. (Be sure to click and enlarge the photo – those are huge roof support columns.)

To see renderings of the stadium, viewed from various angles, click here.

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Conference on Codes in Structural Engineering to Convene in Croatia
Posted by Alison Trost on March 17, 2010 at 1:22 PM.

With an eye toward obtaining an overview of the present state of structural engineering codes worldwide, the IABSE-fib Conference 2010 will be held May 3-5, 2010, in Cavtat, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia.

Keynote speakers include David Nethercot, from the U.K., who will present “Adopting the Structural Eurocodes: How to Achieve the Maximum Benefit,” and Mike Schlaich, of Germany, whose talk is entitled “Interaction between Research, Education, Codes and Practice.”

A list of all the accepted papers is available, along with a conference schedule, registration materials and travel information, on the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering website,

The joint conference is being supported by numerous design and construction industry organizations, including the American Institute of Steel Construction.

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Sustainable Programs at NASCC / Structures Congress
Posted by Jim D'Aloisio on March 17, 2010 at 9:13 AM.

Still haven’t registered for the 2010 NASCC: The Steel Conference / Structures Congress, May 12-15 in Orlando? Here’s a summary of the sustainability-related program offerings, to entice you:


ES1 - Sustainability in your Steel Design Class/Architecture & Construction Management Curriculums

Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – noon 


H10 - Structures and Energy-Efficient Building Envelopes

Thursday 4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. 


Q1 - Educating Structural Engineers in Sustainability: Professional and Academic Perspectives

Friday 1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. 


F11 - LEED, Follow, or Get Out of the Way! How the Sustainable Building Movement Is Changing the Way We Do Business

Friday 1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


Hope to see you there!


For more information visit


Meet the MSC contributing web editors

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Future City designed by Davidson IB Middle School wins National competition
Posted by Alison Trost on March 16, 2010 at 8:45 AM.

Eight middle school students from Davidson IB Middle School, Davidson, N.C., won the national championship for their future city of Mamohatra. They choose to locate this city on an island off the coast of Madagascar, using Mamohatra, the Malagasy word for “revival,” as the city’s name. (Malagasy is one of Madagascar’s official languages.)

The city was designed using SimCity software and in order to qualify for the competition the city must survive for 150 years or longer. The competition is judged on affordability, environmental impact and cost.

More than 33,000 students from 1,100 middle schools participated in the competition, which started last fall.

To see the winning team, click here.

To learn more about the competition, visit

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Draft Bridge Fabrication Standard for Public Review
Posted by Alison Trost on March 15, 2010 at 9:06 AM.

A draft of a new AISC Certification Standard for Steel Bridges will be available for public review during a 45-day period beginning March 15, 2010. This is the initial public review of a new standard under development by an AISC Certification Committee Task Group. A copy of the draft standard and instructions for submitting comments will be available on the AISC website,, under the News tab.


The Certification Standard for Steel Bridges is expected to be completed in mid-2011. Once that occurs, the standard will be implemented as the criteria for the AISC Certification Program for Steel Bridge Fabricators, replacing the current checklist-based criteria.


The standard-based Steel Bridge Fabricator Certification will strengthen confirmation to owners, the design community, the construction industry, and the public that a certified steel bridge fabrication facility has the personnel, organization, experience, procedures, knowledge, equipment, and commitment to produce fabricated steel of the quality required for steel bridge construction.


Comments submitted during this public review period, which concludes April 29, 2010, will be given full consideration by the AISC Certification CommitteeTask Group.

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Steel Shots: A Burrs-eye View
Posted by Jennifer Jernigan on March 12, 2010 at 4:57 PM.


This wide-flange section on the fabricator’s beam line has been cut to length and holes have been drilled for bolted connections on each end. The next step is deburring and grinding. The burrs are collected and recycled into new steel products along with the other scrap pieces.


Drilling holes in structural steel is not an easy task. But advances in drilling technology over the years have made the drilling itself easier, as well as speeding set up and production. Today’s spade bits offer coating options that allow fabricators cut more holes, more quickly. They also often have replaceable cutters, which eliminates the need for sharpening.

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Design-Build Contracting Seminar
Posted by Alison Trost on March 11, 2010 at 10:45 AM.

The American Society of Civil Engineers will host a Design-Build Contracting seminar in Chicago on May 20-21, 2010. The two day seminar will be broken up into a Pre-Award phase on day 1 and a Post-Award phase on day 2. CEU credits can be earned by attending this event.


For more information on the event, download the brochure. To register for the seminar, click here.

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Going Beyond Traditional Fabrication
Posted by Alison Trost on March 10, 2010 at 11:05 AM.

AISC and NSBA member Oregon Iron Works, Clackamas, Ore., is looking beyond traditional fabrication tasks and diversifying its capabilities to include manufacturing streetcars. As the first U.S. streetcar manufacturer in six decades Oregon Iron Works already has 13 streetcars on order.


The company’s other out-of-the-box productions include manufacturing steel bridge girders, hydroelectric systems, unmanned seaplanes, space-launch platforms, and nuclear-containment equipment. All along, the key to the firm’s success has been its ability to be open minded about green technologies and how they mesh with its capabilities.


Oregon Iron Works recently signed on to develop North America’s first commercial ocean wave energy system. Once again, going green has proved to be a good way to overcome the economic downturn: the company is looking to hire 150 or more new employees.


Click here for a recent article about Oregon Iron Works, from “The Oregonian.”

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Steel Construction by Hand
Posted by Alison Trost on March 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM.

Preserving a historic property in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, was the only viable option for creating a new multi-family town home. In order to keep its existing 5,000-sq.-ft footprint, the structure needed to be a renovation. If the developer chose to demolish and rebuild, zoning requirements would shrink the new building size by half.

The project was also in tight quarters and did not allow for heavy machinery to assist in the renovation. Therefore most of the structural steel skeleton was installed by hand.

Current building codes posed a second obstacle – meeting newer seismic requirements. The solution was to place the entire building on jacks so a new foundation could be could be put into place that would support new steel columns and beams.

The job took about five months to complete by hand, but in the end the historic heritage school is now one of the sturdier buildings in town.

For more information click here.

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Whip out your pencil and calculate the savings (meanwhile, get ready to set your clocks ahead)
Posted by Tom Klemens on March 8, 2010 at 10:10 AM.

For most of the U.S., this is the last week of Standard Time. I’ve already set my alarm for 2 a.m. next Sunday morning (not really, but it sounds pretty earnest) when we’ll “spring ahead” an hour.


Funny - just when I’ve begun to remember to think about which side of the train I should sit on so I don’t have the sun in my eyes for the 30-mile trek into the city each morning, I get a reprieve.


I usually catch the 6:49 heading southeast into Chicago, and since February 15th that has been increasingly after the sun came up. Just last Wednesday, March 3rd, I stopped momentarily to appreciate a colorful (6:24) sunrise as I was backing out of the driveway. This week I’ll continue to carefully choose a seat on the right side of the morning train. Of source, even though next Monday we’ll be back to boarding in the dark (for a week), the sun still will rise long before we arrive in town.


For a good explanation of what’s behind the switch to Daylight Saving Time, visit


If you prefer to dig into it yourself, start with the U.S. Naval Observatory’s table of sunrise and sunset times for your locale (they offer times for more than 22,000 locations) by going to
. And while you’re there, take advantage of the curious explanations for things like why the shortest day of the year doesn’t coincide with the earliest sunset.


Welcome to the sure signs of spring, and remember (most of you) to change your clocks next weekend.

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