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AISC Launches ‘Night School’ Online Educational Program
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM.

night-school-ad.jpgLooking for an educational program that enhances your professional growth and accommodates your busy schedule? AISC offers “Night School,” an evening curriculum of online courses focused on relevant structural steel design and construction topics. The first course begins January 14, 2013 and registration opens December 1, 2012, at


“Night School’s integrated series of courses provides an effective and economical means to learn the essentials of designing and building with structural steel,” said Nancy Gavlin, S.E., P.E., AISC’s director of education.


Each course in the curriculum will consist of eight weekly webinar sessions on Monday evenings beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. The first course will focus on “Fundamentals of Connection Design” and will be presented by Thomas M. Murray, P.E., Ph.D., emeritus professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va. Murray is a renowned specialist in structural steel research and design. He received AISC’s prestigious Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education in 2010 and an AISC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.


The first course consists of the following 1.5-hour webinar sessions:


  • Session 1: January 14 – Fundamental Concepts, Part I
  • Session 2: January 28 – Fundamental Concepts, Part II
  • Session 3: February 4 – Shear Connections, Part I
  • Session 4: February 11 – Shear Connections, Part II
  • Session 5: February 25 – Moment Connections, Part I
  • Session 6: March 4 – Moment Connections, Part II
  • Session 7: March 11 – Moment Connections, Part III
  • Session 8: March 18 – Bracing Connections


Attendees can register for the course in two ways: they can register for the entire eight-session package and view the webinars live or recorded, one attendee per connection, earning up to 12 PDHs (1.5 PDHs per session attended) and 1 “EEU” certificate upon passing a series of eight quizzes and a final exam; or, they can sign up for individual webinars to view live only, with an unlimited number of attendees per connection, and earn 1.5 PDHs per webinar.


For additional information about AISC’s Night School program, registration details and pricing options, visit Registration for courses two and three in the curriculum will be offered in the spring and fall of 2013.

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Steel Shots: Knowledge and Discovery
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 9, 2012 at 6:54 PM.


Pictured here is the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library, located in the heart of downtown Seattle. Its unusual but compelling form demonstrates steel’s power as both an architectural and structural element. The library’s use of steel not only provides a strong structural framework, but also allows for great flexibility in interior programming and personal engagement with the library’s collections and spaces. The Seattle Central Library’s steel design parallels the mission of all libraries: Provide a solid framework for knowledge acquisition, but also allow individuals the flexibility to pursue discovery in a personal manner. Photo and description by: Joshua Paul Brickman


This photo of the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library, taken by Joshua Paul Brickman, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received an Honorable Mention in AISC’s 2012 SteelDay Student Photo Contest.
Additional photos and a video documentary of the opening of the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library can be found at (direct link: The half-hour documentary features behind the scenes footage of the project team’s planning and a tour of the building.
You can view all of the winning photo entries from this year’s Student Photo Contest at We’ll be featuring them as Steel Shots on the MSC website throughout the fall.

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AISC-Member Fabricator Stays in Shape
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 8, 2012 at 6:18 PM.

With American companies staring at $225.8 billion a year in healthcare expenses and health-related productivity losses, corporate wellness programs are a solution to help lower healthcare costs and improve employee health.


aha-logo.jpgThe American Heart Association recently recognized PKM Steel Service, Inc. (an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator) as Salina’s first Gold level Fit-Friendly Company by taking the steps to provide a heart-healthier workplace for their employees.


Fit-Friendly Companies reach Gold level status by implementing various activities and programs to encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements such as on-site walking routes, healthy food choices in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and online tracking tools.


PKM has worked with various companies within the state to provide its employees with the best options available to continue to be healthy and productive. They’ve partnered with local restaurants, clinics and gyms, and employees also receive guidance from a nutrition expert. PKM’s employees have also become their own support system through the entire process of becoming and staying healthy, and there’s a great sense of accountability in the workplace.


Advantages of being a recipient of the award are that employees will have access to program resources, including the free Walking Program, Activity Tracker, walking and exercise programs, and healthy eating solutions and resources.


To learn more about the Fit-Friendly program, visit

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Fast-Track Railroad Bridge Replacements
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM.

Two century-old railroad bridges located on East/West Stonington Harbor, Stonington, Conn., a critical link along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, were replaced late last year with new steel spans that were rolled into place over the course of a single weekend.


connecticut-bridge-replacement-copy.jpgA new video by bridge engineering firm Modjeski and Masters, titled “The Fast Track: Rolling-In A Lasting Impression,” profiles the accelerated bridge construction techniques used to complete the bridge replacements, resulting in minimal disruption to Amtrak’s high-speed rail services and extra vertical clearance for watercraft vessels.


With more than 200 trains traveling the Northeast Corridor every week–nearly half of Amtrak’s nationwide ridership–it was critical to minimize any traffic disruptions. Furthermore, after discussions with local stakeholders, it was determined that the original bridge clearance was not great enough to facilitate the free flow of boats to and from nearby marinas. The railway consists of two ballasted tracks on the same alignment located on a causeway, with low clearance over harbor channels, approximately 800 ft apart.


Modjeski and Masters created the designs, which provided an additional two ft of clearance, and laid the groundwork for a quick transition. Working closely with Amtrak and Cianbro, the bridge contractor, the teams erected 1,200 tons of structural steel for the new bridge superstructures on roll-in falsework adjacent to the existing bridges.


You can watch the video of the entire replacement project at

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LEED v4 Fifth Public Comment Period Ends Dec 10
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently opened the fifth public comment period for the proposed update to its LEED green building program, LEED v4. The comment period, which will close on December 10, enables the building community to view the most recent draft of the LEED rating systems and provide comments on any substantive changes.


“LEED v4 will have the greatest impact of any rating system we’ve developed by focusing on building performance and rewarding innovative product manufacturers who offer best-in-class products,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president, LEED, with the USGBC. “LEED v4 will help change the way project teams think, integrate, plan, execute and operate their buildings.”


When fully launched in 2013, USGBC intends for LEED v4 to provide an improved user experience with a more intuitive and efficient certification review and documentation process. The simplified reporting requirements will be thoroughly refined and tested by the LEED v4 beta testing group, the first crop of projects to pursue LEED v4 certification. The beta process enables project teams to engage with a pre-ballot version of LEED v4 with guided support from USGBC.


USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, taking place November 14-16 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, will give users an additional opportunity to explore LEED v4, including the new technical content and credit language. Public forums and educational sessions will be held to help stakeholders better understand the next draft, and the event will also serve as a platform to debut new resources designed to enhance the LEED user experience. AISC, along with the Steel Recycling Institute, is a Silver Sponsor of the conference and will be exhibiting at booth 3878N.


LEED v4 drafts and the public comment tool are now available on the newly re-launched website, at LEED v4 is expected to be balloted in June 2013.

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Steel Shots: A (Reading) Room with a View
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM.


A steel-framed dome crowns the newly expanded San Diego Central Library and gives visitors something to look at besides books. The steel dome uses 285 tons of hollow structural sections (HSS) in all. The largest steel sail measures 123 ft high by 53 ft wide. Photos: Courtesy of Michael Moore


They always tell you to keep quiet in the library.


But the reading room of San Diego’s new downtown children’s library, called the San Diego Library Dome, might elicit a number of “oohs and ahs.”


That’slibrary-dome_sitn_2.jpg because it’s housed in a 140-ft-tall steel-and-glass dome, on top of a nine-story building, with magnificent views of downtown San Diego, the harbor and the Coronado Bridge.


The children’s library is part of an expansion project that will add 498,000 sq. ft of space to the city’s Central Library, effectively doubling the size of the current library. The new $185-million building will also feature a technology center, outdoor plaza and cafe, 350-seat auditorium, 400-seat multi-purpose room, teen center and two levels of underground parking. In addition, two floors of the library, totaling 76,000 sq. ft, will be used for a charter school serving up to 400 students. The building is also being designed and constructed to achieve LEED Silver certification.


The dome not only provides a beautiful reading environment but also a new architectural icon for the city. Comprised of steel sails with thousands of steel connection points to support the aluminum panel covering, which is perforated with thousands of light points, the dome’s design allows natural light to illuminate the space below.


The dome required 285 tons of hollow structural sections (HSS) in all, and the largest steel sail measures 123 ft high and 53 ft wide. Each sail is comprised of multiple curved members, which are 6 5/8 in. in diameter and 1/2 in. thick. The largest sail has 59 curved members, 5 trusses, 20 spreaders, 102 stainless steel bars, 204 rod ends, 40 cables, 40 swage turn buckles, 40 swage ends and 20 spreader packs. Curved members lace the cross sections to form the eight 13-ton steel sails, which were individually hoisted into place.


Roughly 60% of the sails were assembled in Utah prior to shipping, and the remaining sails were assembled on site. SME Steel Contractors, Inc., West Jordan, Utah (an AISC member/AISC Certified Fabricator) was the steel fabricator and erector for the project. The dome topped out on July 3 and was completed on August 31. The new library is scheduled to open this coming summer.


You can read more about the San Diego Library Dome in the November 2012 issue of MSC (available now!). Click here for a PDF of the article.

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Live AISC BRBF Webinar: November 8
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 1, 2012 at 3:52 PM.

AISC will be hosting a live webinar next Thursday, November 8, on “Buckling-Restrained Braced Frames.”


Presented by Rafael Sabelli, S.E., P.E., director of seismic design at Walter P Moore and Associates, San Francisco, and a co-recipient of the 2008 AISC T.R. Higgins Award, the webinar will define and discuss the advantages of using buckling-restrained braced frames (BRBFs) and provide an overview of their design and test requirements per the AISC 2010 Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/AISC 341-10). A design example will be given as part of the presentation.


The 1.5-hour webinar will begin at the following times, relative to time zone:


10:30 a.m. PST
11:30 a.m. MST
12:30 p.m. CST
1:30 p.m. EST


The cost of the webinar is $185 for AISC members, $285 for non-members and $155 for students and educators. (Fees are based on a per-site connection basis. Purchase one site connection and any number of members in your company or organization may view the webinar at that site connection. All attendees are eligible to receive CEUs/PDHs.)


Registrants will receive access to a PDF file of the presentation slides prior to the webinar, CEU/PDH certificates for all attendees upon completion of the live webinar (0.15/1.5 CEUs/PDHs) and complete instructions for accessing the live webinar.


Click here for more information and to register for the live webinar.


To learn more about AISC webinars, visit

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