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Steel in the News

General Contractors Recognize BIM Expertise of Structural Steel Industry
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 4, 2014 at 5:59 PM.

BIM adoption by general contractors has skyrocketed from 28% to 74% since 2007 according to a recent market report published by McGraw-Hill Construction. These same general contractors point to structural steel fabricators and erectors as the most BIM-savvy of trade contractors indicating that 62% have high or very high BIM skills compared to only 13% for concrete and masonry contractors.


While experiencing a positive return-on-investment for their BIM activities, general contractors point to BIM as an effective means of reducing errors, omissions, rework and cost on construction projects.


The independent report states “the steel fabricators/erectors stand out as the leaders in BIM proficiency…It stands to reason that as more general contractors expand their BIM programs, these two categories of specialty contractor (steel and HVAC) will rise in esteem and value for their BIM capabilities.” You can read the full report here.


Roger Ferch, president of AISC, commented “it is rewarding to see our industry’s long-term commitment to develop BIM tools and expertise recognized by the contractors we work with on a daily basis. Clearly, if a general contractor wants to get the most out of their BIM investment they will select structural steel as a framing system and work with the steel fabricator early in the project’s life.”


“We didn’t get here by accident,” added Chris Moor, AISC’s director of industry initiatives and chair of the National BIM Standard - United States Project Committee. “AISC and the structural steel industry has been leading this effort for almost two decades.”


AISC is not resting on its laurels and continues to analyze the industry looking for opportunities to increase the efficiency of its members and their clients. The construction industry is changing and evolving. As the requirement and need to share information and knowledge among project team members grow, AISC is leading the way, developing new ways and means of sharing data between distributed team members and organizations. In addition, within the structural steel industry itself, technological advances of software, machinery and robotics places us at the edge of a new era of even more automation and efficiency. And AISC again leads the way here, evolving the way we exchange data between the Building Information Model and the shop floor; the management tools and the automated equipment.


AISC introduced BIMsteel (, a series of interoperability initiatives, in early 2013 with the aim of developing new processes and providing new solutions that help the industry take advantage of these opportunities and ensure that we achieve the potential this new era promises.

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Steel Industry Mourns Robert P. Stupp
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 3, 2014 at 6:34 PM.

stupp_1.jpgAISC, its Board of Directors, and the entire fabricated structural steel industry is saddened today to learn about the passing of an industry giant, Robert P. Stupp.


Stupp was the longest serving board member in the Institute’s history and the former president of one of the largest fabricators in the United States, Stupp Bros., Inc. A former chair of the AISC Board, he was instrumental in every successful initiative during the past four decades, but especially the creation of the National Steel Bridge Alliance. The Institute’s highest honor, the Robert P. Stupp Excellence in Leadership Award, is named for him, and he was its first recipient, earning it in 1998.


On behalf of the steel industry, and to honor its most distinguished member, the AISC Board of Directors proclaims Wednesday, March 5, 2014, as Robert P. Stupp Day and asks that all members of the industry observe a moment of silence at 10 a.m. EST to honor his passing.

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Steel Structure Trivia: Campus Hangout
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM.


Here’s MSC’s February Steel Structure Trivia question! The above photo shows one of the more than 150 AISC steel sculptures located on college and university campuses around the U.S., designed to be a visual teaching aid that shows students a variety of members and connections (and most have been donated by local fabricators). Your trivia question is: Where is this steel sculpture located?




This steel sculpture is located on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. Clad in the royal purple shirts (KSU’s official school color) are officers and advisors from the Structural Engineering Association of Kansas and Missouri (SEAKM). Photo: Courtesy of KSU 


Congratulations to our winners: Christopher Cichon, a structural associate at Sargent & Lundy in Chicago; Manop Kaewmoracharoen, Ph.D., a civil engineering professor at Chiang Mai University in Thailand; and Barbara Monroy, a structural engineer at Black & Veatch in Overland Park, Kans.


The sculpture, titled “Ad Astra E Terra,” was donated in 1988 by then Havens Steel Company. Located on the northwest side of the university’s Seaton Hall, it is dedicated to the Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Sciences for the advancement of education in the design and construction of steel structures.


Originally created by Duane Ellifritt, professor emeritus from the University of Florida, the AISC Steel Sculpture was designed to be a visual teaching aid that shows a variety of members and connections. It consists of 25 steel members, 43 connection elements, more than 26 weld groups and more than 144 individual bolts.


You can see if a school near you has a steel sculpture on the Faculty and Students channel of the AISC website.
To find out how to get a Steel Sculpture on your campus, please email Maria Mnookin at Fabricators interested in building and donating a steel sculpture to a university should also contact Maria.
To see more of the sculptures at various schools, visit the AISC Education Flickr page or AISC’s Facebook album.



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New Video Series Addresses Construction Risks
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM.

safety-video.jpgTo help business owners and contractors assess and prepare for construction-related risks and take steps to prevent and mitigate losses, ACE USA has launched a construction risks video podcast series.


The three new videos address risks in today’s marketplace and provide information to consider when preparing for on-site safety hazards and overall construction industry exposures.


AISC also provides safety information and resources specific to the fabricated structural steel industry at As a reminder, AISC will be hosting a free, 75-minute arc welding safety webinar tomorrow, February 28 at 11:30 a.m. CST. For more information and to register for the live webinar, visit

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AISC to Live Stream Select Sessions from NASCC
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 26, 2014 at 3:50 PM.

What’s the next best thing to attending the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference in Toronto (March 26-28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre)? Sitting in the comfort of your office or conference room watching selected streaming sessions online! AISC is offering virtual attendees the opportunity to view their choice of 11 sessions (out of 22 being streamed) – and to receive CEU/PDH credits.


“Streaming sessions proved to be very popular last year and more than 300 people participated,” explained Scott Melnick, an AISC vice president. “It’s a very economical option and gives you a good taste of the sessions at the Conference. Not only do you save on travel and hotel costs, but it only costs $225 for AISC members ($350 for non-members) with each additional viewer from the same company paying only $10. It’s not as good as being at the conference, but it’s the next best thing.”


Sessions range from “HSS Connections - Designing and Fabricating the Correct Way” to “Understanding the Code of Standard Practice” to “Tips for Successful Delegation of Connection Design.”


To register for NASCC Live! or to view all of this year’s streaming sessions, visit For more information about NASCC: The Steel Conference, visit

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AISI Releases Industry ‘Profile 2014′
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM.

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) recently released its Profile 2014, highlighting the importance of the North American steel industry to our nation’s economy, manufacturing and national security. In the 35-page booklet, AISI outlines the steel industry’s economic contributions, dedication to advancing environmental stewardship, leadership in global productivity and its vital role to the construction, automotive and container markets.  


The Profile 2014 includes:


  • Facts about why steel is fundamental to building a sustainable future;
  • The steel industry’s job creation and labor performance records;
  • Steel shipments by markets and statistical highlights;
  • Steel’s vital role to America’s infrastructure and national security;
  • Breakthrough technologies advancing the U.S. steelmaking process; and,
  • A map of steel’s presence in the U.S., and list of AISI producer members, locations and products.


Click here to view the online version of the Profile 2014.

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Steel Shots: Steel Sets the Stage in Sochi
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM.


The Sochi Olympics opening ceremony featured a majestic scenery of seven floating islands representing various regions of Russia. Steel truss framing was used to support the foam cladding and visual scenic elements on the islands, built mostly out of HSS 2-in. by 1-in. by 1/8-in. ASTM A500 grade B steel. The above photo shows the steel framing used for the island representing the forests of the Urals. Click on the photo for a view of the complete island as seen during the opening ceremony. Photos: Courtesy of Show Canada


The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics have come to a close, but here’s a look at how steel set the stage for the ceremonies at Fisht Olympic Stadium.


Built primarily for the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics, serving as their Olympic Stadium, the 40,000-person open-air stadium boasts one of the largest indoor stages ever build, covering the entire stadium surface at around 120,000 sq. ft. Composed primarily of wide-flanges beams and HSS tubes, the total stage structure weight adds up to a staggering 2.7 million lbs.


Show Canada was given the mandate to design, manufacture and install the main stage and scenic elements for the ceremonies of Sochi’s Olympic Games. “The engineering department was required to design and engineer all of the structural elements according to the AISC Steel Construction Manual LRFD / AISC 360-10,” said Jean-Philippe Major, engineering director at Show Canada.
The seven floating islands representing different regions of Russia, from the Kamchatka volcanoes and the forests of the Urals to icebound Lake Baikal of Siberia, were a part of the major canvas of the Olympics opening ceremony.
The main engineering challenge was to design an optimized light steel truss framing to support the foam cladding and  visual scenic elements present on the islands, said Major. The frames were built mostly out of HSS 2-in. by 1-in. by 1/8-in. ASTM A500 grade B steel. Furthermore, the maximum allowable load of 2,400 lb. per rig point (four rig points total per island) was one of the main difficulties in the structural design of these very artistic scenery elements. Special connection between trusses for easy assembly and shipping were designed and engineered using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and manual calculations to ensure the islands’ structural reliability.


For additional information and photos from the Sochi Olympics ceremonies, visit


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Reminder: New AISC Night School Course Begins Monday
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 21, 2014 at 8:54 AM.

Classes begin Monday, February 24, for AISC’s new Night School course focused on “Fundamentals of Earthquake Engineering for Building Structures.”


The course provides a background on seismic effects on structures and concepts that underlie the design of steel. The main objective is to understand the principles of earthquake engineering so that they can be appropriately applied to fundamental procedures of seismic design. Attendees will gain an understanding of the behavior of steel structures under earthquake loading; the course is intended for engineers with little or no experience with seismic design, as well as experienced engineers wishing to refresh their understanding of the principles underlying seismic design.  


The course consists of eight 1.5-hour webinar sessions, all beginning at 7 p.m. (EST):


Session 1: February 24 - Seismology and Earthquake Effects

Session 2: March 3 - Dynamics and Response

Session 3: March 10 - Building Dynamics and Response

Session 4: March 17 - Steel Behavior

Session 5: March 31 - System Ductility and Seismic Design

Session 6: April 7 - Steel Systems

Session 7: April 21 - Building Configuration

Session 8: April 28 - Building Codes


Attendees can register for the course in two ways: 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, you 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 more information and to register, visit

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Steel Work Complete for Haiti Health Center
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 19, 2014 at 6:34 PM.


The new Gheskio Family Health & Nutrition Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has reached a significant project milestone: The steel frame is complete. It was erected by Haitian workers together with a small American crew.


Designed by NYC-based firm Tonetti Associates Architects, the new health center represents GHESKIO’s comprehensive approach to nutrition, clinical care and community development through combining various healthcare and family planning departments within a single complex.


The design team undertook this project as an opportunity to help the people of Haiti after the devastation they experienced in the Haiti earthquake.


erected-steel-frame.jpg“We chose a steel frame building because of the lower mass of the building as compared to the standard Haitian concrete and masonry construction, and because of the great control of the detailing of the structure,” said Andrew Wright, AIA, LEED AP, of Tonetti Associates Architects.


Construction is expected to be complete this fall.


A August 2011 MSC article entitled “Assurance of Quality” discusses the project team’s choice of steel for the health center, written by Charles J. Carter, S.E., P.E., Ph.D., AISC vice president and chief structural engineer.

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Free AISC Arc Welding Safety Webinar Feb. 28
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 18, 2014 at 6:15 PM.

To help steel fabricators and erectors learn about the fundamentals of arc welding safety related to hazards including welding fumes and gases, arc rays and electric shock, AISC is offering a free webinar next Friday, February 28. The presentation will also discuss OSHA regulations, ANSI standards and general business practices. To register for the webinar, go to


Carl J. Peters, director of technical training for The Lincoln Electric Company, will present the webinar and answer your questions live following the webinar. Anyone can tune in; all you need is a computer and an Internet connection.


The 75-minute webinar will begin at the following times, relative to time zone:


9:30 a.m. PST
10:30 a.m. MST
11:30 a.m. CST
12:30 p.m. EST


There is no fee to attend the webinar but registration is required. Registrants will receive access to a PDF file of the presentation slides prior to the webinar as well access to view the webinar recording.


To learn more about AISC’s live webinars, visit For more information on safety in the fabricated and erected structural steel industry, visit

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