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Steel Structure Trivia: Steel Sculptures Around the World
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 30, 2013 at 1:03 PM.


Here’s MSC’s August Steel Structure Trivia question! South America’s first steel teaching sculpture was recently built at the University of Passo Fundo, located in the northern half of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and is being used as a teaching aid in architecture, civil engineering and mechanical engineering courses. According to Professor Zacarias Chamberlain, it exemplifies the type of steel sections used in Brazil and is an adaptation of the AISC Steel Sculpture, which has served as a valuable learning tool on numerous college and university campuses around the U.S. since it was originally developed by Duane Ellifritt in 1986. Can you guess how many AISC Steel Sculptures there are in the U.S.?



There are 148 AISC Steel Sculptures in the U.S. Congratulations to our winners: Ta-Wen Lee, manager of the telecommunications division at FWT, LLC, Fort Worth, Texas; Matt Lombardo, a structural engineer with McPherson Design Group, Norfolk, Va.; and Christopher Cichon, a structural associate with Sargent & Lundy, Chicago.


The AISC Steel Sculpture is designed to give engineering students a true visual understanding of steel framing and connections. To learn more or view additional images of these steel teaching sculptures, visit


You can test your steel structure knowledge right here on our MSC website on the last Friday of each month, where a new photo will be posted to the Steel in the News section as our weekly “Steel Shot.” Your challenge is to correctly answer the trivia question provided in the news post, based on what you see in the photo. The next question will be posted on Friday, September 27, at noon (CST).


backscratcher-007_sitn.jpgThe first three people who supply the correct answer (or closest to the correct answer) will receive an MSC-branded stainless steel back scratcher! You’ll need it to successfully tackle those pesky itches after the trivia pressure subsides. (And check out that telescoping action! Wow!) Its five-fingered curved design reaches from 7 in. to 20 3/4 in. in length.



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2014 NSSBC Rules Posted
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 30, 2013 at 9:25 AM.

Attention engineering faculty and students! The official rules for the 2014 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC) are now posted at


Now in its 23rd year, the competition convenes engineering students from across North America to build their designed and fabricated steel bridges under the pressure of the clock. Structured to simulate a real-world project, teams build a 1:10 scale model bridge to meet a particular challenge, which is different each year.


Throughout the academic year, student teams work for months perfecting the design, fabrication and construction of each bridge. To reach the national event, each team must place among the top schools in one of 18 regional competitions held across the country each spring.


You can read an article on the results from this year’s competition in the August issue of MSC. Several photos are available on AISC’s Facebook page at in the “NSSBC 2013” photo album, and a video showing highlights from the competition is available on AISC’s YouTube channel at


nssbc_web_ad.jpgSave the Date! The 2014 NSSBC finals will be held on May 23-24 at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, and coincides with the 100th anniversary of the university’s Department of Civil Engineering. To learn more, visit






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Ferris Bueller Steel House Up for Sale
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 29, 2013 at 5:01 PM.

You may remember Cameron Frye’s extraordinary steel and glass house and garage from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” but did you know that the famous Highland Park home, now for sale for $1.5 million, is also tied to the structural steel industry?


Coldwell Banker Realty says the home is “notable for its progressive design, as both the home and pavilion sit on pylons that lift it above grade. In 1958, the house was one of 12 homes in the nation featured in a Bethlehem Steel publication promoting the use of steel framing for residential design,” according to a recent article.


Also known as the Ben Rose house, as it has always been owned by the Rose family, the 4,300-sq.-ft home was built in 1953 and designed by architects A. James Speyer and David Haid.


For more information, see the listing.

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Future Leaders Ideas Lab Prepares Next Generation of Fabricators
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM.

ideas_lab.jpgWho is the next generation of senior management at your fabrication company? Are they ready for the job? The AISC Future Leaders Ideas Lab is designed for fabricators under the age of 45 who have either recently moved into, or anticipate moving into, a senior management position during the next decade. This exciting two-day event, for full member fabricators only, will be held in Nashville, October 24-25, 2013, at the Omni Hotel Nashville.


To register or view the preliminary agenda, visit


Participants will learn about a wide range of issues, from workers comp to a look at the best ideas from several fabricators.


They’ll gain valuable insight into contracting as well as management, and also have a chance to discuss common issues with their peers from other fabrication companies at a series of casual networking events. It’s a great opportunity to brainstorm with peers about problems and solutions. And since this is the inaugural Future Leaders Ideas Lab, attendees will help to set the direction for future meetings.


This special event will help prepare the next generation of leaders. However, space in the Future Leaders Ideas Lab is limited and prospective attendees are required to apply for attendance. If your application is not accepted, your payment ($150 including meals but not hotel) will be refunded in full.


If you have any questions, please contact AISC’s Carly Hurd at or 312.670.5442.

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Steel Sculpture Competition Entries Due Sept. 13
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 27, 2013 at 8:58 AM.

Make your structural steel vision come to life!


How? By entering the third annual Steel Sculpture Competition.
If you’re an AISC full or associate member, join this year’s competition and enter your own innovative steel creation for a chance to be one of five finalists to have your sculpture on display at the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference, March 26-29, in Toronto, where the ultimate winner will be chosen by attendees.


The winner will be featured in MSC and receive a catered lunch for their company (up to a  $500 value).
There are only two limitations to the entry: It must be made entirely of steel (shapes and type not specified) and it must fit into a 2-ft by 2-ft by 2-ft box (for shipping purposes).
Submit your entry by sending photos and the title of your sculpture, as well as your company’s name, to AISC’s Jenny McDonald at by September 13, 2013. All entries will be posted to AISC’s Facebook page where the top five entries will be determined by a public vote.
Additional information and rules for entering can be found at
And check out this year’s winning sculpture, “Steel Life-Cycle,” (shown at right) submitted by Michelmann Steel Construction.










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Steel Shots: Connecting Missouri and Illinois
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 26, 2013 at 2:36 PM.

In a two-day operation last month, ironworkers placed the final steel for the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River between St. Louis and St. Clair County, Ill. The final piece was an 80-ft long, 15-ton floor beam, shown above. The roadway is now complete and workers are preparing to build traffic barriers, pour the deck and do final stay cable tuning. The project is on track to be complete by early 2014. Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation


The new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River between St. Louis and St. Clair County, Ill., will relieve traffic on nearby bridges and allow drivers to experience less congestion, fewer crashes and fuel savings. The bridge measures 2,770 ft with span lengths of 635 ft, 1,500 ft and 635 ft. It also supports a roadway width of 81 ft and provides a 1,360-ft-wide navigation channel below. Two pylons rise 321 ft above the roadway and support 7,629 tons of A709-HPS 70W and HPS 50W deck-level steel. There are 68 stay cables per pylon, which connect to pylon cable anchor boxes (A709-HPS 50W) that weigh 932 tons. Fabrication of the bridge was performed by W&W/AFCO Steel (an AISC/NSBA member and AISC certified fabricator).


You can find more information about the project at and view KWMU’s YouTube video for a look at the last girder installed on the bridge.

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Proposed Scope Change to AISC/SSPC Coatings Standard
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM.

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) are proposing to broaden the scope of the joint AISC 420-10/SSPC-QP 3 standard, a quality management system standard for the application of complex coatings.


The public will have 30 days to comment on this proposed change to the standard. For more information, see AISC’s press release.



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Designing Structural Stainless Steel Seminar in NYC
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM.

Although stainless steel has been used for structural applications in the U.S. since the early 1900s, only with the upcoming publication of AISC’s Steel Design Guide 27: Structural Stainless Steel (expected to be available by mid-September) will architects and engineers have a resource dedicated to the design of hot-rolled and welded stainless steel open sections and hollow structural sections and their connections.


To coincide with the release of this much-awaited document, the Steel Institute of New York is offering a full-day seminar on September 18 at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium in NYC. This program, presented by the Steel Institute of New York, the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York, and AISC — the organizations that joined forces to sponsor the development of the design guide — offers the design community an introduction to the new guide by its writers and includes case studies on projects from around the world illustrating various structural applications.


You still have time to take advantage of early registration pricing for this seminar, which is currently being offered at a reduced rate of $200 until this Friday, August 23. Then pricing will increase to $250 for members (applies to members of AIA, AISC, ASCE, NCSEA, SEAoNY, and SEI) and $275 for non-members.


Visit the Steel Institute of New York’s website to register for the seminar or view the agenda.

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New Edition of Structural Steel Standards Collection
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 20, 2013 at 6:11 PM.

The 2013 edition of Selected ASTM Standards for Structural Steel Fabrication (AISC 503-13) is now available from AISC in paper format for just $225 for AISC members and $450 for non-members. AISC also has a limited number of CD-ROM-based electronic copies available for the same price as the printed copy. This valuable resource contains virtually all ASTM standards that apply in the design and construction of structural steel buildings and bridges.


“We collaborate with ASTM to produce this compilation of standards as a service to the design community and structural steel industry,” said AISC Vice President and Chief Structural Engineer, Charlie Carter, S.E., P.E., Ph.D. “If purchased individually from ASTM, these standards would cost more than $2,000.”


The compilation was last published in 2011. The new edition includes updated versions of many of the standards as well as one that has been added to the collection since then: A1085 - 13 Standard Specification for Cold-Formed Welded Carbon Steel Hollow Structural Sections (HSS). This new standard is a big step forward in simplifying HSS design and usage. Benefits include tighter material tolerances and a single minimum yield stress of 50 ksi, maximum specified yield stress of 70 ksi, and standard requirement for notch toughness.


The new 575-page volume includes 59 ASTM standards relating to structural steel fabrication selected by AISC.


To purchase the book or to view a list of all of the ASTM standards included, please visit The individual standards in this compilation are published and copyrighted by ASTM International.

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Steel Shots: Sustainability Treehouse
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM.

Towering 125 ft above grade, the Sustainability Treehouse at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia is supported by a COR-TEN steel frame — shown in the above photo taken last fall after the two highest elevation mainframes were erected — engineered by Tipping Mar and fabricated by SteelFab (an AISC member and AISC certified fabricator/advanced certified erector), creating a seamless fusion of architecture and structural engineering. Completed last month, visitors can ascend multiple indoor and outdoor platforms and experience the forest of the Summit Bechtel Reserve from many vantages, from the forest floor to the canopy and sky above. Click on the photo to view a completed shot of the project. Photos: Photo of steel framing courtesy of SteelFab; completed photo property of Trinity Works, LLC


Last month, more than 40,000 Scouts and Scouters visited the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia for its inaugural event: the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree. Making its debut at this national event was the Sustainability Treehouse, a 6,000-sq.-ft facility that embodies the Summit Bechtel Reserve’s site-wide goal of sustainable design, infrastructure and construction practices.


The interactive learning facility is targeting the Living Building Challenge, a green building certification program that requires the Treehouse to produce and manage all of its own energy, water and waste on site.


The Treehouse was designed to harvest its own energy through grid-connected cogeneration using photovoltaic, wind turbines and Fuel Cells. Some of its other sustainable attributes include: an HVAC system that includes radiant cooling/heating with displacement ventilation air supply, as well as geothermal wells with ground coupled heat pumps which generate chilled and hot water; energy recovery and desiccant dehumidification strategies used to reduce ventilation cooling loads; rainwater is captured, treated and used as a grey-water system for public restrooms; composting toilets provided for several buildings and solar hot water; low level lighting with very efficient fluorescent or LED sources.


Themed exhibits, designed by Volume Inc, span over five floors and include mechanical interactives, LED signage, phenolic and hand-painted graphics and specimen cases. For example, engaging visitors on the second level is a “Rube Goldberg” inspired kinetic ball sculpture which symbolically illustrates energy and water conservation along with the recycling and reuse of materials. Visitors use three methods to activate the balls; by peddling a bike, pumping a water pump and rotating a hand wheel, brightly colored balls start moving and trigger video screens, light boxes, electrical fans, lamps and a growing mechanical flower.


Trinity Works, LLC served as master developer for the Summit Bechtel Reserve and the Sustainability Treehouse. The design process for the Treehouse, led by Mithun, consisted of several intensive charette sessions interspersed with focused distillation and production efforts to coalesce ideas and integrate systems. BNIM undertook construction documentation and management, working with Swope Construction to implement the vision for this extraordinary facility.


Videos are available for a better look at the building’s design, and an explanation on how the Sustainability Treehouse works.

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