Steel in the News
Steel Shots: Happy SteelDay 2013!
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 4, 2013 at 1:34 PM.
AISC President Roger Ferch (far left) and Congressman Pete Visclosky (D-IN) (far right) with University of Delaware students (from left) Lindsay Taylor, Mark Wisniewski and Audrey Landmark, participants in this year’s ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition. The students, as well as the winners of the competition from the University of California – Berkeley, and competition contestants from the University of Akron and University of Maryland, showcased their large-scale, modular steel bridge designs during a SteelDay kick-off event at AISI’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: AISC
Today marks the structural steel industry’s fifth annual SteelDay and about 125 events are taking place throughout the country to celebrate. Since its inception, SteelDay has drawn in tens of thousands of architects, engineers, contractors, students and others who take the day to see the contributions the industry has made in the design and construction of steel buildings and bridges by visiting structural steel facilities and job sites, attending learning presentations and joining in networking events.
This year’s SteelDay kicked off on Wednesday with a special event hosted by the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), in conjunction with the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the House and Senate Steel Caucuses, at AISI’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Dozens of attendees learned about the importance of engineering education as well current issues surrounding the nation’s infrastructure.
The event featured remarks from Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Pete Visclosky (D-IN), AISC President Roger Ferch, AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson, and Pat Natale, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
“We want a strong steel industry in this country,” commented Congresswoman Foxx. “We commend you for what you’re doing, and thank you for educating us.”
Added Congressman Visclosky, “Thank you to the National Steel Bridge Alliance and AISI for continuing to remind people that we ought to make things in the United States of America and we do have a strong, efficient, vibrant steel sector in this country.”
At the event, the winners of the 2013 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition from the University of California - Berkeley, as well as competition contestants from the University of Akron, University of Delaware and University of Maryland showcased their large-scale, modular steel bridge designs, illustrating the importance of engineering education and training. The annual Student Steel Bridge competition brings together the next generation of structural engineers to demonstrate their skills in steel design, fabrication, and teamwork in building scaled designed and fabricated bridges.
“We need to be investing in our future and our students,” said Natale. “We need the leadership of our faculty that are helping to grow these students, and we need to excite these young folks to get them into our profession.”
Additional photos from the event can be found in AISI’s press release.
To find out more about what’s happening around the country for SteelDay, visit www.SteelDay.org. You can also keep up with SteelDay updates and discussions via AISC’s social media channels at www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG, www.twitter.com/aisc, and www.youtube.com/AISCsteelTV. Those who ‘tweet’ through the rest of today using #SteelDay or #Steelovation on Twitter will be entered into a drawing to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet. Individuals must be following AISC (@aisc) on Twitter to qualify and are allowed a maximum of five entries; each tweet counts as one entry. The winner will be announced by AISC on Monday, October 7, via Twitter.
U.S. Manufacturing Picks Up Speed
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 3, 2013 at 3:44 PM.
U.S. factory activity expanded last month at the fastest pace in two and a half years, a sign that manufacturing could strengthen economic growth and hiring in coming months.
The Institute for Supply Management said earlier this week that its manufacturing index rose in September to 56.2, the highest since April 2011. That’s up from 55.7 in August and the fourth straight increase in the index. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 are reporting growth in September, including fabricated metal products.
The manufacturing industry celebrates its second annual Manufacturing Day tomorrow. Inspired by the structural steel industry’s national SteelDay (which also takes place tomorrow!) participating manufacturing facilities will be providing a variety of events around the country to highlight the importance of the industry to the nation’s economy and draw attention to careers available in manufacturing fields.
Another industry-related event coming up is FABTECH, North America’s largest trade show and conference for metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing, which will be held November 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago. (AISC will be exhibiting at booth #N331.) More information can be found at www.fabtechexpo.com.
NSBA to Co-Host SteelDay Kick-Off Event Tomorrow
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM.
The National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), in conjunction with the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the House and Senate Steel Caucuses, will host a free public event and student steel bridge display at the AISI Headquarters, 25 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 800, in Washington, D.C., tomorrow, October 2, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. The event kicks off this year’s SteelDay which takes place nationwide this Friday, October 4. (If you’ll be in the D.C. area and would like to attend, you can sign up at the event registration page).
The event will feature remarks by House Steel Caucus Chairmen Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Pete Visclosky (D-IN), and Roger Ferch, president of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, Pat Natale, executive director and chief staff officer and secretary of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and others.
In addition, winners of the 2013 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition from the University of California - Berkeley, as well as competition contestants from the University of Akron, University of Delaware and University of Maryland will showcase their large-scale steel bridge models during the event.
Those who ‘tweet’ during the event and throughout SteelDay using #SteelDay on Twitter will be entered into a drawing to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet. Individuals must be following AISC (@aisc) on Twitter to qualify and are allowed a maximum of five entries; each tweet counts as one entry. The winner will be announced by AISC on Monday, October 7, via Twitter.
This special event on Capitol Hill is one of 125 events expected around the U.S. for the fifth annual SteelDay, the structural steel industry’s largest educational and networking celebration. Hosted by AISC, its members and partners, SteelDay invites the AEC community and the public to see the contributions the industry has made in the design and construction of steel buildings and bridges with free jobsite and steel facility tours, educational seminars and online presentations.
Have you signed for a SteelDay event yet? You still have time! To find and register for SteelDay events by state and event type, visit www.SteelDay.org/FreeEvents. You can also keep up with SteelDay updates and discussions via AISC’s social media channels at www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG, www.twitter.com/aisc, and www.youtube.com/AISCsteelTV.
OSU Staggered Truss High Rise System Complete
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 30, 2013 at 2:42 PM.
The Ohio State University’s south high-rise residence halls project was completed in August, opening in time for the incoming freshman class of 2017.
The multi-phase renovation and expansion project consists of two new 11-story towers that connect existing stand-alone dormitory buildings. The towers provide community-oriented student housing in a contemporary setting that supports the university’s goal of reducing energy load through innovation in infrastructure.
A staggered steel truss system was selected for this project, which allowed for matching of the existing low floor-to-floor heights of the existing dorms. It also provided fast erection and was the only system that worked with the university’s construction schedule.
To learn more about the project and its staggered truss system, read the article from the May 2012 issue of MSC.
In the summer of 2011, AISC also hosted a free breakfast presentation and site tour of the project while it was under construction. During the presentation, representatives from the project design and construction team discussed the steel staggered truss framing system — the selection process, design aspects, construction challenges, best practices and lessons learned. To view the PowerPoint presentation slides and photos from the event, visit www.aisc.org/osu.
Steel Structure Trivia: Stadium Press Box
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 27, 2013 at 12:40 PM.
Here’s MSC’s September Steel Structure Trivia question! Football season is upon us, and one university stadium has a new steel-framed press box to cover all of the action. The “crown-jewel” of the seismically retrofitted and modernized stadium project, the new long-span two-story press box floats atop the new west portion of the stadium. The first floor houses print, radio and TV media functions and the second floor houses a club space with views and seating facing the field, as well as a dramatic 25-ft cantilevered balcony with a glass deck that faces the campus and provides panoramic views. Can you name the university stadium where this new structural steel press box resides? Photo: AISC
The structural steel press box resides on California Memorial Stadium at the University of California, Berkeley. Congratulations to our winners: Vandalist Kith, an application engineer at Mounting System Inc.; and Matt Lombardo, a structural engineer at McPherson Design Group, Norfolk, Va.
The UC Berkeley California Memorial Stadium Press Box is a Merit award winner in this year’s AISC IDEAS2 awards program. Earlier this month, members of the project team were presented with awards for excellence in steel-frame building design by AISC’s Larry Flynn during a ceremony at the project site.
Seated from left (click on photo to enlarge): Bob Milano, UC Berkeley; Tanya Xia, Hassett Engineering, Inc.; Rene Vignos, Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc.; Christine Shaff, UC Berkeley; Tyler Holke, Hassett Engineering, Inc. Top row from left: Tom Kuznik, The Herrick Corporation; Patrick Hassett, Hassett Engineering, Inc.; Jorien Baza, Hassett Enginering, Inc.; Steve Newburn, Webcor Builders; Chris Petteys, Forell/Elsesser Engineering, Inc.; Greg Baker, HNTB Architecture, Inc.; Joe Diesko, HNTB Architecture, Inc.
Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievements in engineering and architecture on steel-framed building projects throughout the U.S. And each year, awards for each winning project are presented to the project team members involved in the design and construction of the structural framing system. Unlike most industry award programs, however, AISC presents the awards to the team members in a ceremony that takes place at each winning project site across the country.
To learn more about the UC Berkeley California Memorial Stadium Press Box project, read the article from the May 2013 issue of MSC highlighting all of this year’s winning projects. More information about the IDEAS2 awards program can be found at www.aisc.org/ideas2.
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, October 25, at noon (CDT).
One Billion Tons of Steel Recycled over Past Quarter Century
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 27, 2013 at 10:43 AM.
More than one billion tons of steel have been recycled by the North American steel industry since 1988, according to the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). SRI marks its 25th anniversary this year with this milestone achievement and its release of the 2012 steel recycling rates.
For 2012, the overall recycling rate for steel was 88% (click on left infographic to enlarge) with nearly 84 million tons of steel recycled. This included rates on appliance and construction products, which are based on industry estimates of retail and scrap collections.
On the structural side, based on construction and demolition industry estimates, about 98% of out-of-service structural plates and beams are recycled every year.
The steel industry’s recycling accomplishments are also at the core of other environmental advances by the North American steel industry. Since 1990, the steel industry has improved its energy efficiency per ton by 27% and has decreased its CO2 emissions per ton by 33%—making North American steel an environmentally-preferred material which aids its customers in improving the environmental performance of their products.
“The steel industry’s internationally recognized energy efficiency, coupled with the recycling rate that is the highest of any material, proves our commitment to sustainability and resource conservation,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. “For 25 years, steel’s recycling successes have been spearheaded by the SRI and we look forward to another quarter century, where steel leads social, economic and environmental advances.”
SRI also provides resources to help consumers learn about how and where to recycle their steel products locally. See its Steel Recycling Locator for additional information.
You can learn more about structural steel and sustainability on AISC’s website at www.aisc.org/sustainability.
Former AISC Architectural Award Winner Celebrated
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 26, 2013 at 9:30 AM.
The steel-framed building now occupied by the University of Washington Club, formerly known as the UW Faculty Center, at the University of Washington in Seattle was celebrated last week as the Club opened an exhibit of the facility’s history.
Completed in 1960, the UW Faculty Center was designed by architects Paul Kirk and Associates with Victor Steinbrueck. The building received a design award that year by the American Institute of Architects Washington State Chapter and also earned recognition in AISC’s 1961 Architectural Awards of Excellence program, which honored excellence in steel-frame architectural design. (In 2006, AISC’s IDEAS2 Awards program combined its Engineering and Architecture awards programs.)
“The steel structure, with steel T-decks exposed on the interior, gives the building a feeling of permanence and structural elegance as well as meeting required fire ratings and stringent economic considerations,” wrote Steel Construction Digest, AISC’s former newsletter with a reach extending for the first time beyond the association’s membership, in a 1961 article illustrating the project and the other architectural award winners. The jury praised “the poetic answer to the building problem that merges indoor with outdoor space” and “the graceful uses of steel wherein every member was logically and lightly handled.”
In 2010, the building received designation as a historic property on the National and Washington Heritage Registers.
More than 200 people attended the opening, with a keynote address by architect Peter Steinbrueck, son of Victor Steinbrueck. The exhibit includes the original AISC award plaque (shown in the left image) as well as the AIA award, and will remain on display through the end of the year.
SidePlate Expands Staff
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM.
SidePlate (an AISC member), a Berkshire Hathaway company that designs innovative steel building connections, recently announced that it has doubled its employee base in the last 36 months to accommodate rising demand for its consulting and project-management services. As another indicator of the company’s growth, SidePlate’s active projects have more than doubled since July 2010.
Since 1995, when the company was founded, SidePlate has seen a steady increase in demand for its connection technologies and consulting services, which offer economical solutions for general steel building applications and high-performance seismic and blast-resistant designs. In the last three years, SidePlate has seen that demand accelerate, as indicated by the recent doubling of its active projects. In 2009, the company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway’s MiTek.
“In the last three years, the demand for SidePlate’s connection technologies and consulting services has exceeded our most ambitious goals,” said Henry Gallart, SidePlate’s president. “We’re honored to serve an expanding roster of clients in the construction industry, as our efforts are ultimately in service of the people who live and work in buildings that we’ve helped to make safer and more affordable.”
Steel Shots: Chemistry Experiment
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM.
A firm’s first endeavor with electronic data interchange (EDI) facilitated the efficient replacement of Virginia Tech’s chemistry building, Davidson Hall. The split image above shows the west elevation of the building in Revit, Tekla and structural steel. Model image: Autodesk & Tekla Structures. Steel erection photo: Joe Hoeflein, Virginia Tech
Davidson Hall did a lot of growing early in its life.
The building, home to the chemistry department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg - better known as Virginia Tech - began with a three-story front section and a rear two-story portion, both constructed in 1928. The front section received a fourth story and the two-story section was expanded in 1933; a subsequent project in 1938 added a three-story section north of the 1933 two-story expansion.
More than seven decades later, in 2008, Virginia Tech was ready to upgrade the facility and retained EYP Architecture and Engineering for the project, which encompassed demolishing the building except for the four-story front section. The replacement building was constructed on the footprint of the demolished portion and joins the remaining front section at its north wall. The new 51,000-sq.-ft addition houses state-of-the-art flexible laboratories, classrooms, faculty offices and a lecture hall.
Building design team members EYP (architectural and MEP) and Pinnacle Engineering (structural) typically employ BIM in the preparation of construction documents and regularly shared and coordinated Autodesk Revit models throughout the design process for Davidson Hall. During the construction documents phase - and thinking ahead to the traditionally time-consuming process of structural steel shop drawing preparation and review and its effect on the early construction schedule - Pinnacle developed an idea to improve that process. If they could somehow move their Revit Structure model through the traditional interface associated with the transfer of two-dimensional construction documents from the A/E to the construction manager, then provide it directly to the structural steel fabricator for shop drawing preparation, they might achieve measurable benefits for the university and every member of the project team.
The learn more about the benefits of EDI and how the project team accomplished them, read the article from the September issue of MSC.
SteelDay Just Two Weeks Away
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 20, 2013 at 3:01 PM.
Only two weeks left until the structural steel industry’s fifth annual SteelDay, Friday, October 4. If you haven’t registered for a free event yet, there’s still time!
Visit www.SteelDay.org/FreeEvents to find and register for a free event in your area. This year’s event is expected to be celebrated at 125 locations around the country and, once again, invites the AEC community and the public to see the contributions the industry has made in the design and construction of steel buildings and bridges.
(Watch AISC’s two-minute SteelDay video to see what SteelDay offers and hear what past attendees had to say!)
While most events take place on the 4th, a few special events will be held earlier that week. If you’ll be in Washington D.C., New York City or Chicago, you won’t want to miss out on these opportunities to start your SteelDay activities early:
- On October 2, join the House and Senate Steel Caucuses, the National Steel Bridge Alliance and the American Iron and Steel Institute for a SteelDay event on Capitol Hill. Winners of the 2013 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition from the University of California - Berkeley (read the article from our August issue), as well as competition contestants from the University of Akron, University of Delaware and University of Maryland will showcase their large-scale steel bridge models during the event. The next day, join AISC, the Ironworkers and IMPACT for a “SteelDay Eve Green Code Lunch & Learn” where you’ll learn about the various new green building codes that are shaping the next generation of sustainable structures, as well as how structural steel continues to be a green material and industry.
- In NYC, celebrate SteelDay in conjunction with the Architectural Record Innovation Conference on SteelDay Eve, October 3. The conference explores new trends in design, fabrication and construction for the architectural community, and AISC invites you to be the guest of the structural steel industry. During the conference, Don Banker of Banker Steel (an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator) will be presenting a session on recent trends in automated structural steel fabrication. The first 10 registrations for this event on the SteelDay website at www.SteelDay.org/innovationconf will receive a complimentary registration for the conference. Subsequent registrants will receive a $200 discount off of the $545 conference fee.
- In Chicago, you’re invited to attend a free SteelDay Eve Lecture at the Pritzker Military Library on October 3, presented by Charlie Carter, S.E., P.E., Ph.D., AISC vice president and chief structural engineer. He’ll be discussing “The Life of the ‘K’ Factor,” and attendees have the opportunity to receive 1 hour of Continuing Education credit. For those who are unable to attend the event in person, the presentation will also be offered as a live webinar on SteelDay, October 4.
To learn more about what’s in store, see AISC’s press release. You can also keep up with SteelDay updates and discussions via AISC’s social media channels at www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG, www.twitter.com/aisc, and www.youtube.com/AISCsteelTV.