Modern Steel Construction » Steel in the News » November 2013

Archive for November 2013

Back to all posts

Entry Deadline for IDEAS2 Awards Extended to Dec. 9
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 27, 2013 at 3:13 PM.

ideas2-call-for-entries.jpgThe deadline for entries in AISC’s 2014 IDEAS2 Awards has been extended to Monday, December 9. The annual competition is the U.S. steel industry’s highest award for steel-frame building projects and recognizes all members of the project’s team involved with the structural framing system.


AISC encourages architects, engineers, designers, constructors, fabricators and owners to enter building projects that meet the following criteria:


  • A significant portion of the framing system of the project must be wide-flange or hollow structural steel sections
  • Projects must have been completed in the U.S. between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013.


For more information on the awards program and to access the online entry form, go to


For questions please contact AISC’s Larry Flynn ( or Jenny McDonald (

Bookmark and Share

FABTECH Shines Optimistic Light on Future of U.S. Manufacturing
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM.

fabtech1.jpgLast week’s FABTECH conference and expo set records for the highest number of attendees, exhibitors and floor space in the show’s history. Show organizers reported that 40,667 people attended and 1,573 exhibitors displayed their products and technologies across 650,000 sq. ft of floor space at Chicago’s McCormick Place; all signs that U.S. manufacturing may have a bright future.


Featured panelists at the conference’s State of the Industry - Executive Outlook Roundtable session agreed that the U.S. is in a “manufacturing renaissance.”


Jeff Oravitz, president and CEO at MetoKote Corporation in Lima, Ohio, said the U.S. manufacturing sector renaissance is being driven by a surge in low-cost energy production. He explained that many American companies that survived the 2009 downturn ratcheted up productivity and made themselves more competitive, and he believes that growth is sustainable as long as the U.S. addresses the skilled labor shortage and the country’s infrastructure needs.


Bill Adler, president of Stripmatic Products in Cleveland and chairman of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), believes there is certainly a manufacturing renaissance in many areas, thanks in part to the creation of new technologies. However, he is more cautious. Using a baseball analogy, he said that since the 2009 recession, manufacturing has “hit a single and is at first base.” But we need to be careful “not to get picked off trying to go to second.” Manufacturing must still figure out how to be globally competitive.


The session moderator, Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics, commented that the manufacturing renaissance is helped by companies moving production back to the U.S., not because of patriotism but rather because costs are competitive. Oravitz agreed, saying that it bodes well for U.S. manufacturing that supply chains are getting shorter and there is a growing emphasis on quality.


The panel agreed that one factor that can slow the manufacturing renaissance is the shortage of skilled labor in the U.S., which was also the main topic of discussion at the conference’s Solutions for a Qualified Workforce Pipeline panel session. A common theme in both sessions was that the sector must do a better job promoting manufacturing as a career and work with educators and parents to expose the younger generation to today’s modern technologies, innovations and current opportunities available in the industry.


“Manufacturing is an exciting field that offers good jobs with good wages and benefits making cutting edge products using new technologies,” said Oravitz.


The economic session ended with Beaulieu asking the audience for a show of hands of those who are optimistic about the future of manufacturing; more than half raised their hands.


Next year’s FABTECH will take place November 11-13 in Atlanta as well as internationally: FABTECH Canada will take place March 18-20 at the Toronto Congress Centre. On April 10-12, the inaugural FABTECH India, co-located with the India Institute of Welding’s Weld India Exhibition, will take place in New Delhi. And FABTECH Mexico will be held on May 6-8 at the Centro Banamex in Mexico City.


For more information on FABTECH, visit

Bookmark and Share

AISC Has a New Face in the Upper Midwest
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM.

mattbrady_2011-005-cropped1.jpgMatthew D. Brady, P.E., LEED Green Associate, has been promoted to Upper Midwest Regional Engineer in AISC’s Market Development department, replacing Monica Shripka. He represents AISC in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, educating project decision makers on the advantages of designing and building in structural steel. Most recently he worked as an advisor in AISC’s Steel Solutions Center, developing conceptual solutions for a variety of steel structures including parking garages and multi-story residential, office, industrial, educational and healthcare buildings.


“Matt has been with AISC for nearly three years as a Steel Solutions Center Advisor and is very qualified to take on the role and challenges this new position brings,” said Tabitha Stine, S.E., P.E., LEED AP, AISC’s director of technical marketing. “He brings strong interpersonal skills, a broad background in the steel industry and experience with our members, and vast technical knowledge to educate decision makers on the benefits and expertise in using structural steel.  Matt will be a great asset to our field staff team, and we look forward to him helping increase the market share of fabricated structural steel in the region.”


Prior to joining AISC he worked in a variety of roles including construction, forensics and design, both as a consulting engineer and an internal designer for A/E firms. He has worked on the design of bridges, buildings and non-building structures, many of which involved steel design, detailing, fabrication and erection. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and for the past 10 years he has served in the Illinois Army National Guard including a tour to Afghanistan in 2008-2009.


“The past three years as a Steel Solutions Center Advisor have provided me with the opportunity to learn about the steel industry from the experts here at the American Institute of Steel Construction,” commented Brady. “The perspective I’ve gained since my start has broadened my knowledge and given me insight on how AISC supports the design and construction industry. As Upper Midwest Regional Engineer, I will be working with architects, engineers, owners, contractors and steel fabricators. Together we will work to help design teams make informed decisions and find efficient, cost effective solutions to their building projects. There’s always a solution in steel!”


Brady grew up in Mount Prospect., Ill., and currently lives in Evergreen Park.


You can follow him on his AISC “My Region” Upper Midwest page or on Twitter @UpperMidwestRE.


AISC Regional Engineers cover eight different geographic regions across the U.S. This group of talented engineers gives around 50 presentations each per year to companies and project teams that are interested in learning more about a variety of topics related to the use of structural steel. Such topics include understanding the steel supply chain, current market conditions, sustainability, AESS (architecturally exposed structural steel), BIM (building information modeling), innovations in low floor-to-floor systems for residential applications, and innovations in parking, healthcare and office structures.


They spend a large amount of time traveling, working with steel fabricators in the region. They also work closely with the AISC Steel Solutions Center to provide cost and schedule information for customized conceptual studies to assist decision makers in exploring a steel alternative for their next project.


To learn more about AISC’s Regional Engineers and to see who’s in your region, visit

Bookmark and Share

Steel Structure Trivia: Nodes at NASCC
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 22, 2013 at 1:00 PM.


Here’s MSC’s special November NASCC Steel Structure Trivia question! The above photo shows one of the three, massive cast steel nodes - engineered, detailed and supplied by Cast Connex (an AISC member) — that connect three, 70-ft-tall architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS) “delta frames,” which suspend an 11-story reinforced concrete office tower above two heritage structures as part of the Queen Richmond Centre West building project in Toronto. During NASCC: The Steel Conference, attendees have the opportunity to attend a construction site tour and presentation that will focus primarily on the design and construction of the delta frames featuring the cast steel nodes. Your trivia question is: How many pounds does each identical cast steel node weigh? Photo: Courtesy of Cast Connex 




Each cast steel node weights 35,000 lb (or 17.5 tons)! Congratulations to our winners: Troy Ernst, a senior estimator at AISC-member fabricator Stein Steel and Supply Company, Atlanta; Donna Adams, a senior associate at DMWPV (Dunbar Milby Williams Pittman & Vaughan), Richmond, Va.; and Monir Matta Mekhaeil, structural design manager - building projects, at Lusail Real Estate Development Company, Doha, Qatar. They’ve won complimentary full registration to NASCC: The Steel Conference in Toronto, March 26-28, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.


You can see the Queen Richmond Centre building project for yourself at The Steel Conference. There is no charge to attend this tour. However, registration is required and capacity is limited, so be sure to register early!


The construction site tour and presentation will focus primarily on the design and construction of the delta frames, which feature the massive 35,000-lb cast steel nodes. Also discussed will be the “table-top” steel platform, which was designed to integrate with the reinforced concrete tower above. The delta frames are primary elements of the gravity and lateral force resisting systems for the building. Due to the extreme magnitude of loading, the delta frame members and cast nodes are concrete filled for composite action while intumescent coating provides fire resistance.


You can also watch the installation of the three, 70-ft-tall, AESS delta frames featuring the cast steel nodes in Cast Connex’s five-minute time-lapse video of the project.

Bookmark and Share

Help Us Choose Our New MSC Logo
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 21, 2013 at 10:23 AM.

msc-logo-voting.jpgWe’re updating our Modern Steel Construction logo, and we’d love your input!


How? Visit AISC’s Facebook page (direct link to choose our logo: and “like” the image of your favorite MSC cover; you can only vote once.


The most “liked” logo will be unveiled on the cover of our January 2014 issue.


Anyone with a Facebook account can “like” the images to vote, so feel free to share the link with your friends! 


Don’t have a Facebook account but you have a Twitter handle? You can “tweet” @aisc or @modernsteel with the number of your favorite logo in the order of cover images contained in the “Choose Our New Logo” photo album at  


Voting will be open until next Wednesday, November 27.


Questions? Email AISC’s Victoria Cservenyak at

Bookmark and Share

Vote for Your Favorite BIM Project by Nov. 30
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM.

Online voting for this year’s Tekla Global BIM Awards is open to the public until November 30.
This annual international competition showcases many of world’s most impressive structural designs modeled by Tekla (an AISC member) software. These include a variety of building and construction projects, from industrial projects to bridges and stadiums.
Project entries are winners of the local BIM Awards competitions held earlier this year and are divided into five categories: Total BIM Projects; Engineering Projects; Cast in Place Projects; Steel Projects; and Precast Projects.
This year, 46 projects from 18 countries are competing in the global competition — 21 of which are steel. The steel category presents exceptionally challenging or progressive steel projects modeled and managed using Tekla software.


The winners of each category in the competition will be decided by a jury of leading BIM experts, both from inside and outside Tekla.


One model will be awarded as the public favorite project through web voting. All web voters will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Motion J3600 Tablet PC; you can only vote once.
For additional information and to vote for your favorite project entry, visit
. The winning projects will be announced in January.

Bookmark and Share

2014 NASCC Registration Now Open
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 19, 2013 at 10:27 AM.

nascc14_lg.jpgMore than 3,500 structural engineers, steel fabricators, erectors, detailers and educators are expected to descend on Toronto this March 26-28 for the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference, the premier educational event for everyone involved in the design and construction of fabricated steel buildings and bridges. Presented by AISC, this massive three-day event will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and offer more than 100 technical sessions, more than 200 exhibitors and plentiful networking opportunities. Registration for the conference is now open at


The Steel Conference offers dynamic, expert-led seminars on the latest design concepts and construction techniques for buildings and bridges, as well as an extensive trade show featuring cutting-edge technologies and products ranging from structural software to state-of-the-art fabrication equipment. It’s a once-a-year opportunity to learn about the latest trends, see the most innovative products and network with peers and clients.


Unlike other conferences that issue a general call for papers, The Steel Conference carefully selects topics of interest and then seeks out the top experts and presenters. Some of the presenters are very well known, while others may not be household names but still bring a distinct expertise to the program. This year, attendees will learn about the new direct analysis method and the Code of Standard Practice, as well as explore the practical aspects of designing for torsion and what really matters in weld inspection. Some sessions are aimed at engineers, while others are of greater interest to fabricators. However, attendees are welcome to attend any session.


This year’s keynote speaker is Neil Pasricha, author of The Book of Awesome, a #1 international bestseller. His lecture, “1000 Awesome Things,” will touch upon his project of posting one awesome thing every weekday for 1,000 consecutive weekdays—and he’ll teach you how to bring awesome principles to life in your organization. The T.R. Higgins Award Lecture, “Statics, Strength, Ductility, and the Uniform Force Method,” will be presented by Larry Muir of the Steel Connection, LLC.


The Steel Conference also incorporates the Structural Stability Research Council’s Annual Stability Conference, the Technology in Steel Construction Conference (TSCC) and the World Steel Bridge Symposium.


AISC members can register for just $300 ($450 for non-members) during the week of November 18. But be sure to register early; the rate increases $10 every week until the conference opens, when the price becomes $480.


This single registration fee gains you entry to all technical sessions, the exhibition hall, the keynote address and the T.R. Higgins Award Lecture. It also includes admission to all Structural Stability Research Council, Technology in Steel Construction Conference and World Steel Bridge Symposium sessions. The main conference offers up to 18.5 PDHs; attendees of short courses can earn an additional 4 PDHs, for a total of 22.5 PDHs.


Visit to register and view the advance program.


Watch highlights from the opening day of last year’s Steel Conference

Bookmark and Share

Steel Shots: Towering Steel
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM.


CTBUH affirmed One World Trade Center’s height as 1,776 ft, which will make the steel-framed tower the tallest building in North America when completed early next year. This ends the 40-year reign of the The Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago, also steel-framed, as North America’s tallest. Click on the above recent photo of One WTC to see a diagram showing the CTBUH Height Measurement of the tower to “Architectural Top” and “Height to Tip.” Photo: John W. Cahill/CTBUH. Diagram image: CTBUH (base drawing copyright SOM)


It’s official: One World Trade Center’s height to its architectural top is 1,776 ft.


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) convened its Height Committee earlier this month in Chicago to evaluate its criteria for determining the official height of buildings, and to rule on the official height of One World Trade Center in New York.


Because One WTC is still unfinished and has not received its certificate of occupancy, it cannot yet enter CTBUH rankings as a “completed building,” but its height is no longer in dispute.


There were two central issues for discussion in the ratification of this building’s height against CTBUH criteria.


  • The nature of the mast structure on top of the tower.
  • The datum line (bottom point) from which the height to architectural top was determined.


This determination was made through examination of design and construction drawings and continued through dialogue among the Height Committee’s 25 members. The committee received a 15-minute presentation by the One WTC owner/design team, including the project’s chief architect, David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLC (SOM) and Ken Lewis, project director at SOM.


“We were very satisfied with the detailed information presented by the team, in particular, that which affirmed that the structure on top of the building is meant as a permanent architectural feature, not a piece of functional-technical equipment,” said Timothy Johnson, chairman of CTBUH and design partner at NBBJ.


“The design of One World Trade Center, as explained to us, reinforces its role as a symbol of resurgence on this important site,” said CTBUH executive director Antony Wood. “In particular, the spire which holds the beacon light, shining out at the symbolic height of 1,776 ft, is especially poignant – echoing the similarly symbolic beacon atop the Statue of Liberty across the water.”


The Council measures the height of buildings in three categories: Height to Architectural Top, Highest Occupied Floor, and Height to Tip.


Due to design changes that resulted in the removal of the architectural cladding around the mast at the top of the structure, it became unclear whether the structure (made up of 18 barrel-shaped sections of steel) was in fact a “spire” – a vertical element that completes the architectural expression of the building and is intended as permanent, or whether it was an antenna – a piece of functional-technical equipment that was subject to change.


The spire-antenna distinction makes a difference in the measurement of “height to architectural top,” which includes spires but does not include antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. Determining the topmost structure to be “functional-technical” potentially could have significantly impacted One WTC’s ranking against other buildings, as the next obvious point to take a measurement of “architectural top” would have been the building’s roof slab, at 1,334 ft, 8 in. – 441 ft, 4 in. lower than claimed.


building-height-comparison-chart.jpgThe diagram at left, courtesy of CTBUH, shows where One WTC will rank among the tallest buildings in the world when it is completed next year (click on the image to enlarge). 


Approximately 45,000 tons of structural steel were used in the One WTC tower in all. Once open and occupied, it will surpass The Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago as the tallest building in North America and will likely be the third tallest-building in the world.


The Willis Tower used about 76,000 tons of structural steel in its construction. Thanks to advancements in the domestic steelmaking process and an increase in the strength of structural steel, if it were built today versus 1973, the steel package would be much more efficient. It could be done with approximately 16,000 fewer tons of steel, 876,000 fewer labor hours, a 58% lower carbon footprint and 74% less embodied energy.


You can read the full CTBUH announcement and watch news coverage of the Chicago and New York City press conferences on the CTBUH website.

Bookmark and Share

AISC Releases New Guide for Stability Design
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM.

dg28.jpgDesign professionals now have a valuable new resource on practical applications for stability design in AISC Steel Design Guide No. 28, Stability Design of Steel Buildings, authored by Lawrence Griffis, P.E., senior principal and president of the Structures Division at Walter P Moore, and Donald White, professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This latest addition to the AISC Design Guide series provides innovative methods for stability design, including the introduction of the direct analysis method, aligned with the design provisions in the 2005 AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings.


“There’s been a great need for this Design Guide,” said AISC Specification Committee Chair Shankar Nair, Ph.D., S.E., principal and senior vice president at Teng & Associates, Inc., Chicago. “The introduction of the direct analysis method of design for stability in the 2005 AISC Specification was a big step forward, on the way toward greater transparency in the rules governing the design of steel structures. But many practicing engineers found the change confusing. Larry Griffis and Don White participated in the development of the new method and are ideally placed to explain it, along with all other aspects of design for stability.”


With the 2005 AISC Specification, the state-of-the-art in structural steel design was advanced to include three methods for stability design: the direct analysis method, the effective length method and the first-order analysis method. The primary purpose of this Design Guide is to discuss the application of each of the three methods and introduce the direct analysis method to practicing engineers.


This Design Guide illustrates the application of the overall stability design requirements of the AISC Specification using representative examples taken from routine design office practice. Emphasis is placed on practical applications as opposed to theoretical derivations.


Design Guide No. 28 is available as a free PDF download to AISC members and at a price of $60 for non-members by visiting The printed copy is also available for purchase at this link or by calling 800.644.2400 (product code: AISC 828-13); the cost for the printed copy is $40 for members and $80 for non-members.



Bookmark and Share

Steel Sessions at 2014 Structures Congress
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 14, 2013 at 10:31 AM.

sei2014_webbanner_940×150.jpgRegistration is now open for the 2014 ASCE/SEI Structures Congress, which will be held in Boston, April 3-5, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Hynes Convention Center.


The technical program features more than 120 technical sessions, including a track of steel-related topics:


  • Steel Connection Innovations features recent research and studies on various connection topics, such as partially restrained bolted beam-to-column connections, gusset plate stability and prediction of fracture of welded moment connections under cyclic loading.
  • Composite Construction focuses on new analysis and design procedures for steel-concrete composite shear walls and composite frame systems.

AISC is a Gold sponsor of the Congress.


To register for the Congress or view a Preliminary Program, visit

Bookmark and Share