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July Webinar Opportunities
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 8, 2013 at 4:33 PM.

With the holiday weekend behind us and summer temperatures heating up, here are some webinar opportunities you may want to take advantage of from the comfort of your office this month:



  • The Steel Joist Institute is hosting a webinar on July 17 that will focus on information provided in their Technical Digest No. 11, Design of Lateral Load Resisting Frames Using Steel Joists and Joist Girders, which discusses key points when using open web steel joists and joist girders in lateral load resisting systems for wind and seismic loads. This session will also address commonly used frames, diaphragms, bracing systems and details, as well as effective ways to communicate the design requirements to the joist manufacturer. For further details and to register, visit


  • AISC is offering a live webinar on July 18 titled “Effective Communication of Connection Design II,” as a sequel to last year’s discussion on the topic. The presentation will provide further discussion on the important relationship between engineers-of-record (EOR), fabricators and connection designers. Each of the parties involved are responsible for communicating with each other in a way that ensures that the EOR’s design expectations for connection design are satisfied. To accomplish this, design documents must be clear and unambiguous so the fabricator can prepare an accurate estimate and execute the contract in the most economical and timely fashion. Likewise, the connection designer must effectively communicate connection design in a manner that is readily reviewable by the EOR. Various forms of communication will be discussed on these three parties that are essential to a successful project.


  • AISC has launched a new webinar series focused on safety, which kicks off on July 25 with a free presentation on arc flash safety. Steel fabricators and erectors will learn about arc flash and other electrical safety hazards, the requirements in NFPA 70E and suggested safe working practices around electrical hazards. To register for this free webinar, go to


  • Individual webinar registration is still open for AISC’s Night School: Fundamentals of Stability for Steel Design course, including tonight’s session on Stability of Structural Systems, which begins at 7 p.m. EDT. Visit to learn more about the three other sessions available this month: “Design of Members Subject to Compression and Flexure” on July 15; “Fundamental Concepts of Bracing Compression and Flexural Members” on July 22; and “Design of Bracing for Columns and Beams” on July 29.




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Steel Shots: Reading Between the Lines
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 5, 2013 at 5:13 PM.

A new public library in East Boston is the focal point of a park that sits between a residential neighborhood and the waterfront, with the idea of bringing both together. The above image shows one of the signature lens-shaped clerestories between three arching ribbons which open up to allow natural light into the library’s reading room, offering a view of the sky and emphasizing the independence of each ribbon. Photo: LeMessurier Consultants


Since 2007, the Bremen Street Park has acted as a modest greenway between residential East Boston and the highway that runs through this historic transportation hub. New plans to realize the full potential of this greenway will enhance the civic and visual relationships between the park and East Boston and will complement the work that East Boston has done to reclaim its waterfront for recreational use.


Sited at the north end of the Bremen Street Park, the new 14,800-sq.-ft East Boston Public Library will create a strong sense of visual identity both from the highway above and from the park below.


From above, the one-story library’s roofs rise and fall in general curves, like a rolling landscape amidst the semi-industrial scene. From below, families in Bremen Street Park will experience these same roofs as floating surfaces, ribbon-like in their thinness and in the way they seem to hover above the library’s reading room, which is the building’s centerpiece.


The front roof cantilevers 12 ft continuously over the building’s glass facade, providing a canopy and a reference to the horizontality of the park. Projecting 24 ft into the reading room, the first arching ribbon meets with its counterpart curving in the opposite direction. This happens once more between the second and third ribbons.


Between these first three roofs, lens-shaped clerestories open up to allow natural light into the library’s reading room, offering a view of the sky and emphasizing the independence of each ribbon.


You can read about the East Boston Public Library project in further detail in the July 2013 issue of MSC (available now!). Click here to access the article directly.

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Ira Hooper, Eminent Structural Engineer, Dies at 93
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 5, 2013 at 1:17 PM.

ira-hooper-photo-by-franco-vogt-photography.jpgIra Hooper, P.E., a former vice president of STV, and chief structural engineer, passed away last month at the age of 93. Photo: Franco Vogt Photography


Hooper joined STV’s oldest predecessor firm, Seelye Stevenson Value & Knecht, in 1946 and was hired by its founder, Elwyn E. Seelye. During the course of his remarkable 56-year career there, he became one of the country’s most widely respected structural engineers, inspiring his peers and a generation of young professionals who followed in his footsteps.


Dominick M. Servedio, P.E., executive chairman, knew Ira for decades. He said, “Ira was one of the leading structural engineers of his time and gained the respect and admiration of everyone throughout the industry, which is a remarkable achievement. He inspired people to become structural engineers. Young engineers came to the firm specifically because they wanted to work with him and learn from him.”


Widely published, Hooper lectured on an array of topics that included multi-story frames, plastic design, columns with bending, concrete specifications, fire protection, composite construction, aesthetics and rapid design methods for steel and concrete.


In 1985, Hooper received the Special Citation Award from AISC (a precursor to the organization’s Special Achievement Awards). Three years later the Metropolitan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers named him Engineer of the Year.


Ted Galambos, Ph. D., P.E, emeritus professor of structural engineering at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, also known as the “Father of LRFD,” has credited Hooper as instrumental in the development of LRFD (load and resistance factor design).


Here are Galambos’ recollections of Hooper:


“My major interaction with Ira Hooper was during the 1970s, when he was a member of the Advisory Task Force of the AISC Project 163 ‘Load Factor Design of Steel Buildings.’ This was the research that developed the first draft of what eventually became the AISC Load and Resistance Factor Design Specification. Ravi Ravindra and myself were the young investigators at Washington University in St. Louis. The advisory task force was a most active contributor to the success of the LRFD project, and it consisted of a distinguished group that contributed significantly to the modern AISC Specification: Ivan Viest, Lynn Beedle, Alan Cornell, Ed Gaylord, John Gilligan, Bill Hansell, Ira Hooper,  Bill Milek, “Pinky” Pinkham, and George Winter. Ira Hooper was the last member of this group to die. You can imagine what a privilege it was for a couple of young academics to have the guidance of such a distinguished group, but it was also often frightening to have to stand up to the scrutiny of everything that we did. I must confess that I both enjoyed and dreaded our bi-annual meetings. I valued the guidance I received, and I know I grew intellectually from these encounters. Ira Hooper became a very dear friend and supporter. Among the group he was the most experienced designer who was daily involved in the nitty-gritty of steel structures. He was my conscience who kept my feet on the ground. Throughout the years he was always supportive, helpful and friendly. When he criticized, he was always courteous. I consider it a great honor to have had the opportunity to know Ira and to receive his support, and friendship.”


Active in the industry, Hooper was a member of AISC as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Concrete Institute, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and the Society of American Military Engineers, among others.


Hooper officially retired from STV in 2005, but continued to be a presence in the office to mentor staff and consult on special projects.


He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Sally Lebofsky Hooper.

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New AISC Design Guide: Blast Resistant Structures
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 3, 2013 at 2:21 PM.

dg26-cover.jpgDesign professionals now have a valuable new resource on blast resistant structures in AISC Design Guide No. 26, Design of Blast Resistant Structures, co-authored by Ramon Gilsanz of Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP, Ronald Hamburger of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc., Darrell Barker of ABS Consulting, Joseph L. Smith of Applied Research Associates, Inc., and Ahmad Rahimian of WSP Cantor Seinuk. The publication provides guidance for the design of blast resistant structures and progressive collapse mitigation and is available in hard copy or as a PDF download at


“The purpose of this guide is to disseminate knowledge of blast resistance and progressive collapse mitigation to the structural engineering community, presenting basic theory with design examples so engineers can achieve simple and effective designs,” said Gilsanz, lead author of Design Guide No. 26.


The Design Guide explores an approach that will help a structural engineer to effectively interact with a security or blast consultant. Background information and some basic principles are reviewed, as well as the presentation of design examples.


Major topics covered in the guide include blast loading, design criteria for buildings and where to find it, structural response to blast loads, blast resistant design and analysis and resistance to progressive collapse.


Design Guide No. 26 is available as a free PDF download to AISC members and at a price of $60 for non-members (visit to download Design Guide No. 26 and all AISC Design Guides electronically). The printed copy is available at or by calling 800.644.2400 (product code: AISC 826-13); the cost for the printed copy is $40 for AISC members and $80 for non-members.

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AIA Report: Billings and Optimism are up, but so is Uncertainty
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM.

Following the first reversal into negative territory in 10 months in April, the Architecture Billings Index bounced back in May, as reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) during its National Convention and Design Exposition last month in Denver. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.


AIA reported the May ABI score was 52.9, up dramatically from a mark of 48.6 in April. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.1, up slightly from the reading of 58.5 the previous month.


“This rebound is a good sign for the design and construction industry and hopefully means that April’s negative dip was a blip rather than a sign of challenging times to come,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA.  “But there is a resounding sense of uncertainty in the marketplace – from clients to investors and an overall lack of confidence in the general economy – that is continuing to act as a governor on the business development engine for architecture firms.”


AISC exhibited at the AIA National Convention and Design Exposition last month, which attracted a lively turnout of approximately 16,000 attendees, according to show organizers.


“Optimism from attendees about the economy and the market seemed pretty high to me in conversations had at our booth and elsewhere,” said Larry Flynn, AISC industry marketing manager. “Housing - both MSR and single-family were often identified as the hottest markets, as well as healthcare, and higher education was said to be making a strong comeback from architects I visited with.”


aia-2013_booth.jpgTraffic was brisk at the AISC booth this year, where curved steel was the main focus (shown left). A wide-flange curved steel sculpture provided by Chicago Metal Rolled Products was a big draw; spurring a lot of questions from architects, whose eyes would light up when they saw the sculpture. Questions usually began with: “Can you really bend steel like that?!” Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) was another key area of interest. Both had architects commenting about liking the modern aesthetic that steel can bring to design, said Flynn.


During the show, AIA also issued a new report on Key Trends in Architecture Marketplace, which highlights key trends in the architecture marketplace and their impact on business and growth. Key findings include: stiffer competition in the design services marketplace is here to stay due to recession pressure; new markets and a growing base of talent for the A/E/C industry is due to the rise of emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; greater collaboration among design, engineering and construction disciplines; increasing push for measuring the effect and benefit of design strategies and providing building performance data; rise in alternative and complementary services being offered by architecture firms; and a strong market for green products and design.


Next year’s AIA show will take place June 26-28 in Chicago. For more information, visit

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