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Online Voting Open for Tekla’s Global BIM Awards
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 14, 2011 at 12:39 PM.

Vote for your favorite 3D model projects around the world! Online voting for the 2011 Tekla Global BIM Awards is open to the public until Wednesday, November 30. Project entries are winners of the local BIM Awards competition held this past summer and are divided into three categories: BIM, steel, and concrete.



The steel category prevailed for the highest number of competition entries, with 21 model projects. (There are an additional 13 entries in the BIM category and 11 in the Concrete category.) Two of the steel projects are from the U.S.:


  • Treehouse by Detailing Group, Inc., San Diego.


Learn more about this year’s awards program and vote on Tekla’s website at (You’ll also have the opportunity to win an iPad!)

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Steel Shots: Inside the Great Dome of China
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM.


Inside the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Brigham Young University students have the opportunity to travel to China with the university’s MegaStructures study abroad program. This photo from one of the stops shows the support structure for the titanium and ultra-white glass skin of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The opera house, concert hall, and theater are within a steel shell. Photo and description: Scott Watterson


This photo by Scott Watterson, a civil and environmental engineering graduate student at Brigham Young University, received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 AISC Student Photo Contest. Watterson captured an inside view of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Its steel-framed oval shell holds 18,000 titanium plates and more than 1,000 sheets of ultra-white glass, encapsulating three performance venues: an opera house, a concert theater, and a Chinese traditional-style theater.


According to, the oval shell weighs 6,457 tons and is about 212 m (695 ft) long, making it the largest dome in the world. Surrounding the centre is a 35,000-sq.-m (114,829-sq.-ft) artificial lake, with passages and entrances to the centre built underwater. The grounds also feature a 39,000-sq.-m (127,953-sq.-ft) greenbelt area where visitors can experience tranquility in the midst of a bustling city.


Wikipedia states that the architect, Paul Andreu, encountered controversy over the project’s futuristic design in a sacred location, which is west of Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, and near the Forbidden City. He countered that although there is value in ancient traditional Chinese architecture, Beijing must also include modern architecture. His design, with large open space, water, and trees, was specially designed to complement the red walls of ancient buildings and the Great Hall of the People, in order to melt into the surroundings as opposed to standing out against them.


To view additional photos and learn more about the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, visit the Wikipedia website at

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Free Live Webinar on Increasing Project Productivity
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 10, 2011 at 12:16 PM.

Learn how ProjectWise, a project team collaboration system by Bentley Systems (an AISC member), provides real-time integration of infrastructure products such as Revit in a free live webinar, “ProjectWise: Increasing Revit Productivity” next Thursday, November 17 at 1 pm Eastern Time. This 1.5-hour webinar will be presented by Joel Rosenbaum, senior application engineer at Bentley.


ProjectWise helps AEC teams improve quality, reduce errors, and meet and/or exceed project deadlines throughout the lifecycle of a project by delivering integrated solutions for Content Management, Content Publishing, Design Review, and Lifecycle Management. In this webinar you will learn about:

  • Multivendor Software Support: Managed access of design and construction data from Revit, AutoCAD and MicroStation to control versioning, workflows and to streamline information sharing throughout project teams including Change Notifications and Customized Audit Trails for Revit Central Files.
  • Delta File Transfer (DFT): Discover how ProjectWise solves the “big file” problem that traditionally slows productivity across distributed project teams without the need of expensive acceleration devices.
  • Standards management: Manage BIM/CAD standards, Revit Family Data and Templates to ensure that teams create consistent work across the lifecycle of a project.
  • Model review: Learn how to create information rich i-models that are reliable, and optimized for purpose. Easily create 3D PDF for immersive model review.

Register for this free live webinar on Bentley’s website at

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AASHTO LRFD Steel Bridge Design Class
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM.

Want to head somewhere warm this winter while earning up to 19 PDHs? Highway Bridge Services, LLC is sponsoring a Steel Bridge Design Class, “Design of Straight and Curved Steel Girder Bridges Using AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (Latest Edition),” in Miami Beach, Fla., December 8-10, 2011. The curriculum includes gusset plate design, rating steel bridges, global stability, and cross frames.


The first two days of the technical program will be presented by Atorod Azizinamini, P.E., Ph.D., professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Nebraska and a 2011 AISC Special Achievement Award recipient for his development of a new short-span bridge concept using a folded plate and inverted tub configuration. The third day of the technical program will be taught by Ken Write, P.E., senior vice president of HDR Engineering, Inc.


The class has been approved for 19 professional development hours by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers and the New York State Education Department, Office of Professions, State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying. If you register from now up until two weeks before the program (November 24), the general registration fee is $1,250. After that, the general registration fee goes up to $1,350. Registration discounts are available for additional employees from your organization.


For more information and to register, visit the Highway Bridge Services website at

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Just Hanging Out (It’s Art)
Posted by Tom Klemens on November 8, 2011 at 2:20 PM.

jh-blue-1.jpgA new steel sculpture recently erected in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park appears to have thrown some residents for a loop, and really was in the news. On November 2 one of the local television news programs featured a two-minute video about the sculpture including nearby residents’ reactions to it.


The large, blue structure, which appeared on October 28, was designed by noted sculptor John Henry, whose works grace numerous cities and parks throughout the U.S., including several more in Chicago.


“His works range in scale from small tabletop pieces to some of the largest contemporary metal sculptures in the world,” according to the website, which offers an extensive gallery and also notes that geometric forms have defined his work for more than 40 years.


Back to the neighborhood, you can see the new, blue sculpture (and hear residents critique its finer points) in a two-minute video on the website of the CBS 2 Chicago at


For those unsure of whether this has upgraded the neighborhood, check out the rundown structure that previously occupied this lot at Burling and Armitage, via Google Maps, at

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Happy 95th Anniversary, W. Lake St. Bridge!
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM.

lake-photo.jpgToday marks 95 years of service for the W. Lake St. bridge - the first double-deck bascule bridge built in Chicago - spanning the South Branch of the Chicago River at W. Lake Street. Train tracks for “the El” occupy its upper deck, supporting more than 520 trains every day while a roadway and sidewalks occupy the lower deck, carrying about 4,000 pedestrians and 14,500 cars every day on average. The fall bridge lift season is in full operation until November 12, so if you’re in the city this week you might catch this bridge and other downtown bridges being raised on Wednesday and Saturday.


The current Lake St. bridge replaced a double-deck center pier swing bridge, with construction beginning in 1914. A panel of engineers recommended the vertical lift option for this crossing, but the City Council preferred a double-leaf bascule that was more consistent with the guidelines of the Chicago Plan Commission’s architect, Edward Bennett.


Interruption in train traffic was a major concern for the city designers when this bridge was constructed. Designer T. G. Pihlfeldt devised the construction solution for this bridge and later improved on it when the North Wells Street bridge was built. The plan was to keep the old swing bridge in place while the bascule bridge was built in the open (vertical) position. When the bascule bridge was completed, the old swing bridge was rotated open, cut up and removed via the river and the bascule bridge was lowered. The upper deck was then installed and resulted in just a one-week break in rail service, a major success at the time.


The bridge house plaque summarizes the key players involved in the design and construction of this bridge. The steel was provided by the American Bridge Company, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel at the time. lakeprrel.jpg


The bridge was raised approximately 3,000 times per year in its first few years. As commercial river traffic migrated to the Port of Illinois, the number of lifts declined. Today, this bridge is raised about 40 times a year. The bridge is estimated to have been raised about 64,000 times in its 95 years of service.


For more information about the W. Lake St. bridge, contact Jim Phillips (who provided this commentary) at 312.540.0696 or visit the website at On the site you’ll find drawings and cool videos about the bridge and see it being raised, including a narrated tour. If you look to the left-hand column on the site you’ll also find multi-media pages for other Chicago bridges, and the bottom of the homepage features a calendar of other Chicago bridge anniversaries and related events.

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Steel Shots: The Creative Side of Steel
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 4, 2011 at 1:54 PM.


Seven steel sculptures were entered into the first ever SteelDay Sculpture Competition, creatively displaying a visual understanding of steel as an artistic medium. (Feast your eyes on the rotating photos to see all seven sculptures!)


In addition to showing the AEC community and others a plethora of the structural steel industry’s innovative capabilities, SteelDay’s “Have You Seen What We Do?” theme has also encouraged participation from the other side of the coin – show others what you can do creatively with steel.


This year AISC introduced a SteelDay Sculpture Competition for full and associate members to create and display their own innovative steel sculptures. Seven were entered in the contest and posted to SteelDay’s Facebook page where fans voted on their favorites. Because of the impressiveness of the sculptures and positive feedback they received, all entries will be going to the 2012 NASCC: The Steel Conference, April 18-20, in Dallas, where the winner will be decided by conference attendees.


Planning on going to next year’s Steel Conference? Not only will you see these amazing works of steel art on display — you’ll also learn the industry’s latest techniques, see the most innovative products, and network with your peers and clients. And — even more — if you’re an AISC member you’ll receive a special discount this year on conference registration.


Beginning this December 5 (the date conference registration opens — mark your calendars!) members can register for just $295. Your registration includes all technical sessions (except for pre- and post-conference short courses), the World Steel Bridge Symposium, the Annual Stability Conference, the TR Higgins Lecture, keynote address, and more. However, there is a catch. That low registration is only good for one week. After that, the price goes up $10 each week until the conference. AISC Vice President Scott Melnick explains more in his monthly editorial in the November issue of MSC (available to read now — on your right!), here.


Learn more about what’s in store for you at The Steel Conference at

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Steel Construction Manual Goes Digital
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 3, 2011 at 12:43 PM.

14th-edition-manual-digital-print-combo.jpgThe next time you’re heading out to a job site and need to refer to your Steel Construction Manual, there’s a new alternative. Rather than carrying the nearly 4 lb hardcover book with you, AISC is now offering a digital download of the 14th Edition Manual. This is a full version of the Manual in PDF form with digital rights management applied. You can view the entire manual, print out sections, copy and paste from the file, and search for keywords — but you can only download the file to a single computer and it cannot be transferred later.


The price for the digital edition is the same as for the printed version — $175 for AISC members ($350 for non-members). And if you’d like both the printed and digital editions, you can buy both for just $275 for AISC members ($550 for non-members).


To buy the 14th Edition Manual in printed or digital edition, or both, please visit Underneath the Product Description for the digital edition, you’ll be given directions on how to access the digital download. **Please read the information before making your purchase, as you must follow a specific process to ensure a successful download.**

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New Resource on Structural Analysis and Design of Tall Buildings
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 2, 2011 at 1:17 PM.

coverimage.jpgBridging the gap between conceptual approach and computer analysis, “Structural Analysis and Design of Tall Buildings: Steel and Composite Construction,” written by Bungale S. Taranath, S.E., P.E., Ph.D., a corporate consultant to DeSimone Consulting Engineers, integrates the design aspects of steel and composite buildings in one volume. Using conceptual thinking and basic strength of material concepts as a foundation, this book shows engineers how to use imperfect information to estimate the answer to larger and more complex design problems by breaking them down into more manageable pieces.


The book discusses the behavior and design of lateral load-resisting systems; the gravity design of steel and composite floors and columns; and methods for determining wind loads. It also examines the behavior and design of buildings subject to inelastic cyclic deformation during large earthquakes—with an emphasis on visual and descriptive analysis—as well as the anatomy of seismic provisions and the rehabilitation of seismically vulnerable steel buildings.


It is available for purchase in hardback for $159.95 on the website at There you’ll also find a detailed description of the book, a table of contents, reviews, and an author biography.

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A Grand Medical Facility
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM.

Construction of the Ohio State University Medical Center expansion, a $1.1 billion cancer hospital and critical care center, is making steady progress, according to a recent article in The massive undertaking involves 11,000 tons of structural steel that workers began erecting in August. Construction is projected to conclude in 2014 and 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.


OSU officials say the larger hospital will be able to provide the sort of coordinated care, research and education that will lead to gains in treating cancer and tending to the critically ill. “This is just not a bigger hospital,” said Dr. David Schuller, vice president for the medical center expansion. “When you improve research and education, it leads to better patient care.” The building will hold 276 patient beds in the new Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and another 144 beds in the critical care center.


The medical center expansion is running on schedule and on budget. A report presented earlier this month to OSU’s Board of Trustees showed the total project budget to be $1.099 billion, down $5.2 million from the initial project estimate.


Read the article in its entirety at


View live webcam images of the expansion construction on the OSU Medical Center website at Learn more about the project at

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