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July 2010

Expanding in
the Middle
How a big addition got
built on a very tight site.
Fabrication and
National Student Steel
Bridge Contest
Steel-ebration Part 1
Model image courtesy of USC School of Cinema
and Gregory P Luth & Associates
Tekla Structures BIM (Building Information Modeling) software provides a data-rich 3D
environment that can be shared by contractors, structural engineers, steel detailers and
fabricators, and concrete detailers and manufacturers. Choose Tekla for the highest level
of constructability and integration in project management and delivery.
Greg, Kristen, and John of Gregory P. Luth & Associates (GPLA) know how to ensure the best end result
to their projects. With Tekla, GPLA has moved from design to construction-driven engineering, adding
value to clients by delivering models that are used downstream. Sharing the Tekla model allows all of
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MODERN STEEL CONSTRUCTION (Volume 50, Number 7. ISSN (print) 0026-8445: ISSN (online) 1945-0737. Published monthly by the American Institute of Steel
Construction (AISC), One E. Wacker Dr., Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60601. Subscriptions: Within the U.S.single issues $6.00; 1 year, $44; 3 years $120. Outside the
U.S.single issues $9.00; 1 year $88; 3 years $216. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes
to MODERN STEEL CONSTRUCTION, One East Wacker Dr., Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60601.
AISC does not approve, disapprove, or guarantee the validity or accuracy of any data, claim, or opinion appearing under a byline or obtained or quoted from
an acknowledged source. Opinions are those of the writers and AISC is not responsible for any statement made or opinions expressed in MODERN STEEL
CONSTRUCTION. All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without written permission, except for noncommercial educational purposes where fewer than
25 photocopies are being reproduced. The AISC and MSC logos are registered trademarks of AISC.
The Journal Goes E
A few words about AISCs Engineering
Journal and the debut of its online edition.

Expansion is Cut to Fit
Getting a head start on the cooperative
effort pays off for the Seton Womens
Growing an Office on the Plains
An urgent need for larger facilities
was quickly met, thanks to flexibility,
cooperation, and the selection of steel
On a Beautiful Tilt
Featuring asymmetry in two major planes,
Michigans first cable-stayed bridge was a
challenge in both design and construction.
Learning the Art & Science of
Steel Detailing
The next best thing to years of experience is
a solid course that covers the fundamentals.
Real-Life Lessons
Students who participate in the student
steel bridge competition learn far more
than structural analysis and design.
July 2010
ON THE COVER: Seton Womens Center in Austin, Texas. (Photo: Rogers-OBrien Construction)
Horizontal Bracing
An overview of lateral load resisting systems
and how to implement them.
quality corner
Streamlining the Certification
New requirements will simplify the overall
process for AISC Certification.
The Fabrication Factor
The fabrication shop is important in
determining not only the cost of a structural
steel package, but its environmental impact
as well.
Construction Contracts for
SubcontractorsAre You
When you clearly understand what youre
being asked to sign, you may want to go for
better terms.
Its a Steel-ebration, Part 1
How to get the most out of hosting a
SteelDay event in 2010.
24 36 30
topping out

A Better Way
Perhaps gearing up with new tools can
enhance your steel detailing productivity.
Editorial Offices
1 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60601
312.670.2400 tel
312.896.9022 fax
Editorial Contacts
Scott L. Melnick
Thomas L. Klemens, P.E.
Alison Trost
Areti Carter
Kristin Egan
AISC Officers
David Harwell
William B. Bourne, III
Stephen E. Porter
David B. Ratterman
Roger E. Ferch, P.E.
Charles J. Carter, S.E., P.E., Ph.D.
John P. Cross, P.E.
Louis F. Geschwindner, P.E., Ph.D.
Scott L. Melnick
Advertising Contact
Account Manager
Louis Gurthet
231.228.2274 tel
231.228.7759 fax
For advertising information, con-
tact Louis Gurthet or visit
Address Changes and
Subscription Concerns
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Betsy White
The Reprint Outsource, Inc.
editors note
WHEN HE TRAVELSyes, hes the proverbial stranger in the seat next to you on a plane who
strikes up a conversation.
I tend to fall into that same category, only
for me its not just on airplanes. I might be in
line at the grocery store and waiting to pick my
daughter up from one of her many extracur-
ricular activities. Recently I struck up a brief
conversation with a gentleman who turned out
to be the parent of one of my daughters close
friends. In recounting the conversation to my
wife, I reported on what he did for a living, how
he had spent five years in Toronto (her home
town), how many kids he had and how they
got along, and how we both mildly complained
about essentially being chauffeurs for our kids
and that we reminisced about the freedom and
lack of scheduling we enjoyed as kids. My wife
in turn expressed surprise about the amount of
information I obtained in such a short period
of time. But I wasnt surprised; in our ever more
connected world, theres still no substitution for
face-to-face communication.
Segar, who is an expert on developing top-
notch conferences, makes the point that a simi-
lar level of interaction occurs among conference
attendeesbut he adds the caveat that theres
the added pleasure of potentially seeing your
new friends again. I find it strange, yet enjoy-
able, to meet people once a year and expand
my connection on each occasion in unforeseen
ways, he states.
The same principles hold true for experi-
ences. I can watch a travel video about Paris, I
can even go online and view a live webcam at
the Eiffel Tower, and I can surf the web to find
fascinating information about the construction
of that monumental structure. But theres no
substitute for actually being there, for climbing
the steps to the top, hearing the sounds of the
tourists around you, and for looking out over
that fabulous city just as the sun is setting. Or
think about any sports event. Your view is going
to be much better on a 50-in. high-definition
television, your seats are certainly more com-
fortable, and you get the insight of a profes-
sional commentator. But who wouldnt rather be
at the ballpark?
Last year, AISC initiated an event called
SteelDay. Held the last Friday in September,
this educational and networking event is an
opportunity to get up close and personal with
steel. Events are held throughout the country
at fabrication shops, steel mills, galvanizing
facilities, and service centers. Most of the events
have educational components (and many offer
food and drink). As Richard Miles from Sparks
Engineering in Round Rock, Texas, reported:
SteelDay gives you an appreciation for what
goes into your designand the efforts to
recycle/be environmentally friendly. And as
Dave Haugland from AHJ Engineers in Boise,
Idaho, said: Its a good chance to interact with
the design and construction players in a non-
project, relaxed atmosphere while learning about
their part of the project.
This year were expecting more than 200
SteelDay events. You can find out about the one
closest to you (and yes, there are events expected
in every state) by visiting
Plan to attend a SteelDay event. See first-
hand what goes into your steel project. Meet
some new people. Its even better than striking
up a conversation with a stranger on a plane.
Copyright 2010 Design Data, Inc. All rights reserved. 800.443.0782 402.441.4000 e-mail:
Why settle for this?
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project partners, viewing the as-built model enables you to get the job done better, faster and smarter.
Visit or call 800.443.0782 to learn how you can start building intelligent connections in your projects today.
IF YOUVE EVER ASKED YOURSELF WHY? about something related to structural steel design or construction, Modern
Steel Constructions monthly Steel Interchange column is for you! Send your questions or comments to
steel interchange
Restrained Beam
What constitutes a restrained beam for fire-rating purposes?
You can find a good listing of what constitutes restrained or
unrestrained ratings in Table X3.1 of ASTM E119, Appendix A.
For steel framing, this table classifies steel beams welded, riveted
or bolted to the framing members as restrained.
A good article titled Restrained Fire Resistance Ratings in
Structural Steel Buildings by Gewain and Troup, appeared in
Engineering Journal, Second Quarter, 2001, and can be found
online at Search under either authors name and
the year. The download is free for AISC members.
Section 4.3.2 in Appendix 4 in the AISC Specification for
Structural Steel Buildings (AISC 360-05) states, Steel beams,
girders and frames supporting concrete slabs that are welded or
bolted to integral framing members (in other words, columns,
girders) shall be considered restrained construction.
Kurt Gustafson, S.E., P.E.
Double-Angle Compression Member
The term r
in Equation E6-2 of the AISC 360-05 Specification
is defined as radius of gyration of individual component relative
to its centroidal axis parallel to member axis of buckling. Does
this mean that r
will be equal to r
of individual angle for
LLBB angles, while it is equal to r
of the individual angle for
SLBB angles?
No. I presume that since you are evaluating a built-up angle
member with an LLBB configuration, the bolts are through the
long legs. These bolts will be subjected to shear when the built-up
member buckles about the Y-axis, which lies in the plane between
the long legs. Thus, r
is equal to r
of the individual angle, since
that angle axis is parallel to the Y-axis of the built-up member.
Kurt Gustafson, S.E., P.E.
Peak Stresses
Does the AISC Specification define acceptance criteria for
steel when using finite-element modeling to assess the
stress distribution?
No. Assessment of results employing finite-element modeling
techniques is really a matter of engineering judgment. The AISC
Specification limit states are based on use of average stresses in most
cases; not peak stresses as may result from a finite element analysis.
When such is used, engineering judgment is involved as to how this
may relate to the Specification parameters, and is beyond the scope
of the Specification. Localized stresses in members are assumed
to redistribute through inelastic deformation thus justifying the
use of average values. Where such localized stresses can be cause
for failure, such as at net sections, the Specification accounts for
them separately. Please note that AISC typically deals in member
strength values that correspond to the entire member cross-section,
while finite element programs are likely to give stress values that
vary across the member cross-section.
Kurt Gustafson, S.E., P.E.
ASTM A307 Bolts
Why are ASTM A307 bolts not recommended for slip
critical connections? Can they be used in low demand slip-
critical connections?
ASTM A307 bolts are a carbon steel fastener with lower strength
and not suitable for pretensioning; the bolt would just stretch
without much residual pretension if you were to try to pretension
it. Because you cant induce a pretension of any significance, you
cant develop the clamping force necessary to accommodate either
a pretensioned or slip-critical installation.
Kurt Gustafson, S.E., P.E.
Weld for Single-Plate Shear Connection
On page 10-101 of the 13th edition AISC Steel Construction
Manual, it is indicated that the leg size of the double fillet
welds for a single-plate shear connection is required to be
8 t
. Is there a check required of the support base metal to
which the weld is applied?
Yes. Any base metal to which a fillet weld is applied must be capable
of developing the required shear being transmitted through the
fillet weld. The procedure for making the connecting element
rupture strength at the welds is shown on page 9-5 of the 13th
edition AISC Manual. In the case of a single-plate shear connection
being welded on only one side of the support element, each weld
will have a unique shear plane, and thus the t
= 3.09 D / F

equation for F
= 70ksi welds will apply. If there are single-plate
shear connections with equal leg sizes being applied on exactly
opposite sides of the supporting element, the t
= 6.19 D / F

equation for F
= 70ksi welds will apply.
Note that these checks are based upon the support thickness
developing the strength of the fillet weld(s). If the actual thickness
did not meet the minimum required thickness, it is permissible to
use a more exact approach to determine the actual loading of the
web and resulting required thickness. Most webs will meet the
above checks, however.
Kurt Gustafson, S.E., P.E.
Flexure of Flat Plate
How can I determine the strength of a flat plate bent about the
strong axis?
Section F11 of the AISC Specification (a free download at www. defines the limit states of yielding and lateral-
torsional buckling of rectangular bars and rounds in flexure. The
limit state of lateral-torsional buckling will generally define the
flexural strength of relatively thin, laterally unbraced plate members
bent about the strong axis.
Kurt Gustafson, S.E., P.E.
steel interchange
Steel Interchange is a forum to exchange useful and practical professional ideas and
information on all phases of steel building and bridge construction. Opinions and
suggestions are welcome on any subject covered in this magazine.
The opinions expressed in Steel Interchange do not necessarily represent an official
position of the American Institute of Steel Construction and have not been reviewed. It is
recognized that the design of structures is within the scope and expertise of a competent
licensed structural engineer, architect or other licensed professional for the application of
principles to a particular structure.
If you have a question or problem that your fellow readers might help you solve, please
forward it to us. At the same time, feel free to respond to any of the questions that you
have read here. Contact Steel Interchange via AISCs Steel Solutions Center:
One East Wacker Dr., Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60601
rel: 8.ASK.ASC lox: 312.803.470
Kurt Gustafson is the director of technical assistance in AISCs Steel Solutions Center.
Heath Mitchell, Brad Davis and Larry Muir are consultants to AISC.
The complete collection of Steel Interchange questions and answers is available online.
Find questions and answers related to just about any topic by using our full-text search
capability. Visit Steel Interchange online at
Historic Beam Designation
I am investigating a building designed in 1967, with the plans
dated February 1, 1968. The plans indicate some roof beams as
being 18B35. I have a 6th edition AISC Manual dated 1967 and
this shape is not indicated. Can you tell me where I might find
the properties of this shape?
There was a grouping of light 18-in. beams (W1840 and
W1835) that were added in the 7th edition AISC Manual
published in 1970. I believe that these shapes were added by
some mills in the late 1960s. It is possible that this may be what
is designated as an 18B35, even though it was designated as a
W1835 by the time the Manual was published. You may want to
check the dimensions of the shape against those listed in the 7th
edition AISC Manual to see if that is what you have.
In case you do not have a copy of the 7th edition Manual,
AISC has developed two sources of information pertaining to
historic shapes. AISC Steel Design Guide 15 is a reference for
historic shapes and specifications. There is also the AISC Shapes
Database v13.1H, where the H stands for Historic. Both of these
resources are available as free downloads by AISC members at or can be purchased by others.
Kurt Gustafson, S.E., P.E.
Rivet Replacement
When removal of existing corroded rivets is required, what is
the appropriate nomenclature and tightening method for high
strength bolts being used as a replacement? Should slip-critical
or pretensioned connections be considered? What are the
differences in installation and inspection methods between the
slip-critical and pretensioned options?
The bolt installation methods for pretensioned joints and slip-
critical joints are identical. The only differences are the surface
preparation and inspection of the faying surfaces of slip-critical
joints. Additionally, slip-critical joints are intended for new
construction, not the retrofit that you describe.
If your main concern is replacing the clamping force of the
rivet, the bolts should be specified as pretensioned. You may need
further notes on your details to ensure that the construction
sequence does not result in the degradation of the faying surfaces
of the joint, or the loss of clamping force in any previously
pretensioned bolts. However, if a snug-tightened joint would be
permitted by todays standards, there is no need to do anything
more than install the bolts as snug-tightened.
Heath Mitchell, P.E.
Table B4.1 Compression or Flexure?
Table B4.1, Case 1 description says Flexure in flanges of rolled
I-shaped sections and channels. For bending about the major
axis, the stress distribution on the top flange (for a simply
supported beam subject to gravity loads) is uniform compression.
Therefore, should Case 3 be used for the flange classification?
No. Case 3 applies to a member that is subjected to uniform
compression on the entire cross-section. The limiting lambda
values are derived differently for a member subject to flexure as
compared to a member subject to uniform compressive stress.
Brad Davis, Ph.D., S.E.
Maximum Bolt Tension
We are installing ASTM A325 galvanized bolts by the turn-of-
nut method. We are following the preinstallation verification
procedure using a tension calibration (Skidmore) unit and
making sure that we meet the extra 5% over the 70% mininum
tensile strength. I understand there is not an upper limit of
the applied pretension on the bolt, with the upper limit in
effect resulting in the bolt breaking, or threads stripped during
installation. The question has come up if this is true, then why
cant we reuse a bolt (A325 galvanized) if it has been previously
pretensioned by the turn-of-nut method.
The intent of the RCSC Specification is not to allow bolts to be
tightened to the point of breakage or thread stripping. Rather,
the pretensioning procedures are intended to essentially yield the
bolt. Because at that level of strain, the stress-strain curve has hit a
plateau, some degree of strain above the target is not detrimental
to the performance of the connection.
All bolts possess some degree of ductility, which allows them to
reach some strain beyond this plateau without fracture. However,
only ungalvanized A325 bolts have been deemed to have enough
ductility to undergo repeated tensioning.
The degradation of galvanized ASTM A325 (and black ASTM
A490) bolts in repeated cycles of pretensioning is illustrated in
Section 4.5 of the Guide to Design Criteria for Bolted and Riveted
Joints, 2nd edition, which is available as a free download at www. This clearly shows why galvanized A325 (and
black A490 bolts) are not allowed to be reused.
Larry S. Muir, P.E.
Block Shear
Should block shear failure be considered for the connection
elements loaded in compression?
No. Block shear consists of a shear failure along one or more
planes combined with a tension failure along one of more planes.
Block shear cannot occur without a plane subjected to tension and
therefore need not be checked for compression loads.
Larry S. Muir, P.E.
steel quiz
LOOKING FOR A CHALLENGE? Modern Steel Constructions monthly Steel Quiz tests your knowledge of steel design and
construction. The answers to this months Steel Quiz can be found in the 2005 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings
(available as a free download at and AISC Steel Design Guide 19, Fire Resistance of Structural Steel
Framing, also a free download for AISC members at
Which ASTM standards covering
bars are referenced in the AISC
True/False: The AISC Specification
cannot be used to design steel
castings and forgings.
According to the 2005 AISC
Specification, when should the
contract documents require that
shapes be supplied with Charpy
V-Notch (CVN) toughness of 20
ft-lbs absorbed energy at +70 F?
True/False: Heavy W-shapes
(those with flanges that exceed
2 in. in thickness) require special
material, design, and fabrication/
erection considerations because
the perimeter of the heavy cross
section is a zone of coarse grain
structure and reduced toughness.
5 What is the maximum permitted
temperature for heating operations
per the AISC Specification?
a) 800 F
b) 1,000 F
c) 1,100 F
d) 1,200 F
True/False: Steel stud shear con-
nectors shall conform to the
requirements of AWS D1.1.
Which methods of design for fire
conditions are recognized by the
AISC Specification?
True/Fal se: The f i re perf or-
mance of concrete-filled HSS
col umns can be adver sel y
affected if vent holes are not
provided in the steel section.
What are two commonly used
r ef er ences t o det er mi ne
proprietary assembly ratings when
designing for fire conditions using
Qualification Testing?
a) IBC and the UL Fire Resistance
b) IBC and ASCE 7
c) ASCE/SFPE 29 and IBC
d) ASCE/SFPE 29 and the UL Fire
Resistance Directory
Is it permissible to use shapes in
assemblies that are different from
the shape that was rated by test-
ing such as that shown in the UL
Fire Resistance Directory?

Phone 205-791-2011
Fax 205-791-0500
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steel quiz ANSWERS
According to Section A3 of the
2005 AISC Specification bars
conform to ASTM A36, A529,
A572, and A709 are referenced.
False. Cast steel that conforms
to ASTM A216 Grade WCB
with Supplement S11, and steel
forgings that conform to ASTM
A668, fall within the scope of the
AISC Specification.
The supplemental CVN require-
ment of 20 ft-l bs absorbed
energy at +70 F is required for
plates and shapes with flanges
that exceed 2 in. in thickness,
used as members subject to pri-
mary tensile forces due to ten-
sion or flexure and spliced using
CJP groove welds.
False. It is the core area of these
shapes, not the perimeter, that
can have a coarse grain structure
and reduced level of toughness.
For more information on this sub-
ject, download the NASCC con-
ference proceedings for session
E13, presented by Duane Miller,
available for no charge at www.
Trick question, sorry. Both (c) and
(d) are correct depending upon
the steel grade. According to
Section M2.1 of the 2005 AISC
Specification temperatures of
heated areas shall not exceed
1,100 F for A514 and A852 steel
or 1,200 F for other steel.
True. According to Section A3.6
of the 2005 AISC Specification
steel stud shear connectors shall
conform to the requirements of
AWS D1.1.
Two methods of design for fire
conditions are recognized in
Appendix 4 of the 2005 AISC
Specification: Qualification Test-
ing and Engineering Analysis.
True. The fire performance of
a concrete-filled HSS column
improves when heat absorption
occurs as the moisture in the
concrete is converted to steam.
The resulting steam must be
released through vent holes in
the steel section. See Section VI
of AISC Steel Design Guide 19
for additional information.
(d) ASCE/SFPE 29 and the UL
Fire Resistance Directory are two
commonly used references when
fire-resistant designs are based
upon qualification testing. See
Section IV of AISC Steel Design
Guide 19 at
epubs for more information.
Yes. All test assemblies are based
upon a specific member size with
spray-on thickness adjustment
formulas to account for use of
other shapes.
Anyone is welcome to submit questions and
answers for Steel Quiz. If you are interested
in submitting one question or an entire quiz,
contact AISCs Steel Solutions Center at
866.ASK.AISC or at
At least it was to the construction team on the Missouri River Bridge
project when their initial concrete design priced over budget at almost
$45 million. They then had to scramble for other options.
Turned out the solution was steel. After coming up with a new design,
they turned to Nucor. And we were able to help them build a
beautiful, easy to maintain and environmentally friendly bridge at less
than half the cost of concrete. Who wouldve thought.
Its Our Nature.


Newly Certified Facilities: May 131, 2010
Newly Certied Fabricator Facilities
Bellingham Metal Works, LLC, Bellingham,
Campbell Steel Company, Inc., Cayce, S.C.
Daniel Metals, Inc., Birmingham, Ala.
FitzLord, Inc. dba Vulcan Steel, Jacksonville, Fla.
G.A West & Co., Inc., Chunchula, Ala.
Miscellaneous Steel Industries, Inc., Kyle, Texas
Mohawk Northeast, Inc., Groton, Conn.
Rast Iron Works, Schertz, Texas
Rochester Structural, Rochester, N.Y.
Sierra Metals USA, Inc., Mentor, Ohio
SME Steel, Inc., Pocatello, Idaho
Tate Steel, Inc., Piedmont, S.C.
Yakima Steel, Yakima, Wash.
Newly Certied Erector Facilities
Advanced Metal Sales, Phoenix, Ariz.
B & C Steel, Inc., Denver, Colo.
Best Steel, LLC., Longmont, Colo.
Forest City Erectors, Inc., Twinsburg, Ohio
H B Welding, Inc., Pawtucket, R.I.
Kesler Erection & Welding, Inc., Lexington, N.C.
Mid-Valley Contracting Services, Inc., Moscow,
MW Erectors, Inc., Peoria, Ariz.
Nexus Steel LLC & Inc., Tempe, Ariz.
OBrien Steel Erectors, Inc., Stockton, Calif.
Red Cedar Steel Erectors, Inc., Menomonie, Wis.
The Walker Company, Mt. Sterling, Ky.

Existing Certied Erector Facilities

Existing Certied Bridge Component Facilities
Existing Certied Fabricator Facilities

Newly Certied Fabricator Facilities

Newly Certied Erector Facilities
Newly Certied Bridge Component Facilities

To nd a certied fabricator or
erector in a particular area, visit
People and Firms
Newly Certied Bridge Component Facilities
Bellingham Metal Works, LLC, Bellingham, Mass.
David C. Jeanes, P.E., has retired as pres-
ident of the Steel Market Development
Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the
American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI),
after 34 years of distinguished service
with the organization. Jeanes began his
career working for a land developer and
a steel erection firm. After serving in the
U.S. Army, he joined AISI in 1976 as a
codes and standards engineer and sub-
sequently held a number of positions in
the organization. Among other accom-
plishments, Jeanes was involved in the
development of durable, cost-effective
high-performance steel for bridges, which
is now in use in more than 300 bridges in
44 states.
David Ruby, P.E.,
S. E. , has been
named the 2010
Structural Engineer
of the Year by the
Structural Engineers
As s oc i at i on of
Mi chi gan. Ruby
i s f ou n de r of
Farmington Hills,
Mich.-based Ruby
+ Associates and
a nationally recog-
nized pioneer in constructability. Early
in his career, Ruby was the structural
project manager for Chicagos John
Hancock Building and the Sears Tower.
He is the author of AISCs Steel Design
Guide 23: Constructability of Structural
Steel Buildings, published in 2009.
Raymond S. Milman, P.E., senior struc-
tural staff engineer with Cleveland-
based Middough, was selected as
the 2010 recipient of the Association
for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST)
Distinguished Member and Fellow
Award. Established in 1975, the award
recognizes AIST members who have
attained eminent distinction in advanc-
ing the technical development, produc-
tion, processing and application of iron
and steel and/or related activities of the
industry and have performed meritori-
ous service to the association. Milman
was recognized for his expert meth-
odology in structural analysis and for
sharing this knowledge through AIST
presentations, committee activities and
published technical papers. His work
has resulted in major economic savings
and expanded steel industry knowl-
edge relative to mill building design
and construction.
The Construction Marketing Association
has lauched a comprehensive rating of
the Internet presence of top construction
brands based on more than 50 variables.
This Construction Brand Internet Index
(CBII) identifies how effective a specific
website domain is relative to other
websites. Ratings are based on key search
engine data, website meta structure, traffic,
social media integration (use of blogs,
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), inbound
links, indexed pages and more. Initial
index ratings can be viewed at http://
Overal l , t he t op const ruct i on
brands rate high due to high volume
website traffic and large quantities
of links, however a number of missed
opportunities were identified with highly
rated websites, reports CMA chairman
Neil Brown. As we evaluate the top
construction brands, it is apparent that
we (construction) lag other sectors in
Internet best practices. He says the
association can help in addressing these
opportunities with programs and training.
Web Popularity Do You Agree?
In conjunction with SteelDay 2010, AISC is
again sponsoring a Student Photo Contest.
The contest is designed to capture the
essence of SteelDay and is open to any
student currently enrolled in a graduate or
undergraduate program at an accredited
domestic college or university.
Each entry should include a set of three
photographs that together pictorially dem-
onstrate the combination of structural steel
and the theme Interact. Learn. Build. A
brief explanation, completed application
form and signed release form also are
required. There is no entry fee.
Deadline for entries is Saturday,
September 18, 2010. The winner will be
announced on SteelDay 2010 (September
24). The winning photos will be published
in Modern Steel Construction. For information
and to enter, go to
Student Photo Contest Now Open
The Steel Joist Institute is now accepting
entries for its 2010 Design Awards. The
winning entries will be announced in
November 2010, and the company with
the winning project in each category
will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship in
its name to a school of its choice for an
engineering student.
Awards will be presented in three
Industrial (i.e., distribution centers,
warehouses and light manufacturing)
Non-industrial (i.e., office buildings,
schools, and churches)
Unique applications (i.e., projects with
a unique application of steel joists)
To enter a project, visit www.steeljoist.
org/awards by August 2, 2010, for an online
entry form and a complete listing of rules.
Eligible projects must be located in
the U.S., Canada or Mexico, and the
steel joists and/or joist girders must be
manufactured by an active member of the
Steel Joist Institute. A list of members
can be found here:
members. Also, projects must have been
constructed within the last three years.
Eligible projects include new buildings
and major retrofit or expansion projects.
Companies can submit more than one
entry, and each will be judged separately.
Projects will be evaluated based on
flexibility, speed of construction, value and
aesthetic considerations.
Joist Design Awards Program Launched
Steel Design Guide 24, Hollow Structural
Section Connections, is now available as a
free download by AISC members at www. or can be purchased by others.
This new guide addresses bolting and
welding issues for connections involving
hollow structural sections (HSS), as well
as providing design provisions for various
configurations of HSS connections and
the applicable limit states. Some of the
topics included are:
Moment connections, including
W-shape beams to HSS columns,
continuous beams over HSS columns,
through-plate connections, and
directly welded connections.
Tension and compression connections,
including end tee connections, slotted
HSS/gusset connections, end plates
on round HSS, and end plates on
rectangular HSS.
Branch loads, line loads and
concentrated forces on HSS.
HSS-to-HSS truss and moment
The design guide references the 2005
Specification and the 13th edition Manual.
The design provisions of the 2005
Specification are presented in a convenient
tabular form for easy reference and the
examples give both load and resistance
factor design (LRFD) and allowable
strength design (ASD) solutions.
New Steel Design Guide for Hollow Structural Section Connections
The Desi gn Exampl es and Shapes
Database material contained on the CD
Companion V13.0 included with the 13th
edition AISC Steel Construction Manual
have been updated and are now available
on the AISC website. Additionally, the
references from the Manual also are now
available at
The new version of the Design
Examples can be found at
designexamples. The package includes 151
examples illustrating the application of both
the 2005 AISC Specification for Structural
Steel Buildings and the tables included in
the 13th edition AISC Steel Construction
Manual. The download is free for AISC
members and $70 for non-members.
The up-to-date AISC Shapes Database
V13.2 is at
It includes most of the dimensions and
properties of the shapes listed in Part 1 of
the Manual. Free for AISC members; non-
member cost is $20.
New Companion Materials for Steel Construction Manual Now Online
The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation
has awarded two $5, 000 grants to
Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA)
for their critical work on the design
and construction of bridge projects in
Central America. Central Michigan
Universitys student chapter of EWB
and the Wisconsin Professional Partners
chapter, in collaboration with Marquette
Universitys student chapter, were selected
as grant recipients for the construction of
bridges in Gualindo Arriba, El Salvador
and Joyabaj, Guatemala.
We are so proud to support Engineers
Without Borders extraordinary efforts in
Central America, said Richard Tomasetti,
chai rman of the foundati on. The
construction of the bridges is critical to
the regions infrastructure and will greatly
revitalize these communities and boost
economic and social opportunities.
The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation
recently partnered with EWB-USAs
Project Sponsor program and committed
to contributing $25,000 to the organization
in 2010 through the EWB Thornton
Tomasetti Foundati on Grant. The
Foundation distributed $10,000 for this
springs grant cycle and will distribute
the remaining $15,000 in this falls grant
cycle. The grants are endowed to meet
the mission of the Thornton Tomasetti
Foundation and to provide financial support
for those pursuing philanthropic activities
related to engineering, design or technology
for buildings and bridges. EWB-USA
student and professional chapters working
on projects that meet the criteria can apply
for the grants.
The economi c, educati onal and
social development of more than 20,000
people has been impeded by the lack of
safe and efficient means of crossing the
polluted Rio Chiquito in Guatemala.
The Wisconsin Professional Partners
chapter of EWB-USA joined forces with
students from Marquette University in
Milwaukee to conduct a site survey in
preparation for a new bridge location.
The EWB team met with community
leaders and received a firm commitment
to move forward with the project, which
will provide a new steel girder bridge as
an alternative to relying on the existing
narrow, old bridge. Labor, financial and
material resources were offered by the
community to begin construction of the
bridge. The estimated completion date
for the project is January 2011.
The other current project is located
in the mountains of eastern El Salvador,
where the Central Michigan University
students expect to complete that bridge in
March 2011.
Foundation Funds New Central American Bridges
Community leaders of 17 of the outlying communities along with
the mayor of Joyabaj gathered to discuss needs and involvement/
commitment to project.
This existing bridge was built more than 60 years ago designed as an
8-ft-wide pedestrian walkway.The new bridge will unite the outlying
communities with the city if Joyabaj and provide safer access to medical
care facilities, post elementary schools, and markets.
Steve Graziano Adrianna Stanley
The detailer for the IDEAS
award-winning L.A. Live project was
incorrectly identified in the May 2010 issue of MSC (page 49).
The steel detailing should have been attributed to Steel Systems
Engineering, Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif.
The annual North America Tekla Structures BIM Awards (for-
merly Tekla Model Competition) program is now accepting
entries. Award categories include:
Caregoiy 1 !nousriial/Civil Mooel Sreel ano/oi Conciere
Caregoiy 2 Commeicial/!nsrirurional Mooel Sreel
Caregoiy 3 Commeicial/!nsrirurional Mooel Conciere
Caregoiy + Collaloiarive Piojecr
Each participant will receive a special gift and winning projects
for each category will receive a Tekla Structures Viewer and two
tickets to the 2011 Tekla User Meeting. All North American win-
ners are automatically entered into the Tekla Global BIM Awards.
Entries Sought for BIM Awards Program
All Tekla Structures users are encouraged to participate. There is
no fee to enter, but projects must be submitted on or before July
23, 2O1O.
For more information from the Tekla website, go to http://
Vice President of Certification
Following its double-digit growth in 2008, the AISC program
for fabricator certication grew another 18% and its erection
certication program grew a whopping 39% in 2009with similar
results expected in 2010. AISC is now seeking a Vice President of
Certication to help develop strategies to manage this phenomenal
growth as well as to develop administrative procedures to better
support the program. This dynamic and experienced individual
will manage the department coordinating the program, hire
the rm responsible for audit services, and coordinate with the
committee responsible for developing the certication standards.
A knowledge of certication procedures is less important than an
aptitude for leadership, strategic management, customer service,
and budgeting. The Vice President of Certication must be able
to mentor a young staff and create a growth strategy to maximize
participation and prots. The successful candidate will either be
located in Chicago or be willing to relocate, have a minimum of
10 years of management experience, and have a solid working
knowledge of construction or manufacturing
Submit your cover letter and resume to
A Question About Design Guide 1
Q. I noticed that Design Guide 1 was taken offline for awhile
and now its back. Is there a list of what changes were made to
the document compared to the second edition from 2006?
A. Thanks for the question. Actually, the new printing is a full revi-
sion. There were many changes made on nearly every section of the
document, so please just review the entire document for changes to
clearly understand it, prior to using it.
AISCs Steel Design Guide 1, Second Edition (corrected second
printing), is now available online at As with all
the design guides, it is a free download for AISC members. Non-
members can download the document for $60. This design guide,
titled Base Plate and Anchor Rod Design, provides a useful discussion
on options for dealing with short, bent and misplaced anchor rods.
What methods do you use for short, bent and misplaced anchor
rods? Have you faced unique field challenges in this arena that have
required some out of the box approaches? Share your insights
and experience with others at
The American Iron and Steel Institute
(AISI) has published an update to its
S110-07-S1-09, Standard for Seismic
Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural
SystemsSpecial Bolted Moment Frames
With Supplement No. 1. The standard
addresses the design and construction of
cold-formed steel seismic force-resisting
systems (SFRS) in buildings and other
structures, with focus on the special bolted
moment frame (CFS-SBMF) system.
Cold-formed steel special bolted
moment frames have been widely used
in industrial platforms, and the system
is potentially suitable for a broad range
of construction applications. Revisions
and additions were made in Supplement
No. 1 to ensure that the application of
the design provisions remains within the
configurations used in the initial research
of special bolted moment frames. The
commentary on the standard is also
included, which provides important
background information. This standard
should be used in conjunction with AISI
S100-07, The North American Specification
for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural
Members. All of these publications are
available for purchase online at AISIs
Publications Bookstore at
Updated Seismic Standard for Cold-Formed Steel
Phone: 281-20-9749 Fax: 281-20-9771
8PE6|AL|Z|NC |N 6U8T0H

Professional Engineers
Reg|stered Nat|onw|de !
3lruclura| 3lee| Correcl|or 0es|gr
3la|r ard Ra|||rg 0es|gr
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Consulting Services, Inc.
P.E., S.E.
The Journal
What is Engineering Journal?
Engineering Journal (or EJas engineers we love our acro-
nyms) is AISCs quarterly technical journal. Weve been publish-
ing it since 1964.
What makes EJ different from MSC?
Articles in EJ are much more technical in nature. Internally at
AISC, we joke about EJ as the home of articles with equations. But
equations dont tell the whole story: EJ articles often feature design
tables, design examples, and test data. EJs articles are also peer-
reviewed by industry experts with interests in the feld in question.
Why should I read EJ?
Facing challenges and solving problems is an integral part of
our jobs in the engineering and construction community. EJ tries
to provide information to help us all face those challenges. For
example, last year EJ published an article on design procedures
for extended, unstiffened single plate shear connectionsfor
those cases when a standard shear tab wasnt quite long enough.
To read this article, go to
Also, seismic events have spurred research into alternative
structural designs. Have you ever heard of self-centering steel
frames? The concept is rather simple: allow a building to rock
during an earthquake event, but provide a structural fuse to
dissipate energy and a means to draw the building back to its
original position after rocking. (Check out this YouTube video
here: You can be assured that EJ will have
articles covering this topic as it develops.
What makes EJ different from other technical journals?
Many technical journals have a strong academic tendency. EJ dif-
fers in that we try to provide articles with practical applications as
well. For example, one of the most popular EJ articles of all time is
Field Welding to Existing Structures, by David T. Ricker. This arti-
cle is also available
as a free download
by going to www.
How do I get EJ?
All EJ articles,
current and past,
are available as
Adobe Acrobat
PDFs through the
EJ search on AISCs
website at Members should make sure they are
logged in, because viewing EJ articles is free for members. Non-
members pay a nominal fee through the AISC online bookstore.
Printed copies of EJ are a member beneft. Each member
frm (professional, full, associate, etc.) gets one mailed copy of EJ
to circulate and fle in their paper library.
An exciting new development is the delivery of EJ as a digital
journal. In addition to the paper copies we already send, AISC is
now providing the current edition of EJ in digital format, via a link
in a quarterly email. The digital format lets you browse EJ as soon
as its available, without waiting for a paper copy to circulate to your
desk. When each new issue of EJ is available, youll receive a fresh
link via email. First Quarter 2010 (the issue available when this arti-
cle went to press) is available here:
The navigation and controls are fairly self-explanatory and
very similar to the digital edition interface for MSC. Hyperlinks
within the document allow you to jump directly to articles from
the cover; the zoom feature lets you enlarge the page and pan
around; and the print feature lets you easily highlight only those
pages youd like to print.
The search feature allows you to search the current issue
for any terms youd like. Because older EJs do not exist in digi-
tal edition format, the digital edition search function does not
access them. But all materialcurrent and pastis accessible via
the PDF search at
Is that all?
Not quite. AISC is working on enhancements to the EJ home
page and search function that will provide clearer results and more
information about each article. Well be sure to let you know!
Keith Grubb, P.E., S.E.,
is senior research engineer
with AISC and editor of
Engineering Journal.
A few words about AISCs
Engineering Journal and the
debut of its online edition.
PRINT allows you
to select specic
pages or the entire
journal for printing.
Preset the level of
magnication you
prefer. When you
click on the ZOOM
button it applies
that percentage.
CONTENTS provides
linked article headlines
so you can quickly jump
to the specic articles.
EVERY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT has its challenges, as any
engineer and contractor will attest. But some, such as the Seton
Womens Center in Austin, Texas, stand unique in their complexity.
The overriding challenge was that there was only one open
space available on the 20-acre campus. That meant the new Wom-
ens Center had to be carefully squeezed into the opening between
the existing nine-story Seton Medical Center hospital and an adja-
cent medical offce building.
This six-foor, 128,000-sq.-ft addition is shoehorned between
two existing facilities, said Dan Vickers, an architect and project
manager for Seton Network Facilities. The existing facilities are
askew to the city grid. The new addition matched the city grid,
which led to skewed connections at the interface point with the
Womens Center. This was the only solution within our master
plan to accommodate the need for growth, given the previous
additions to the campus.
But solving the geometric part of the puzzle was only the
frst part of the solution. Complicating the construction project
was the requirement that the adjacent hospital remain open as a
24-hour facility, including ambulance and helicopter traffc, which
demanded critical construction scheduling and reduced construc-
tion work areas on premises.
Capping the list of project challenges was a design that called for
the Womens Center to cantilever 85 ft over the two-story Emergency
Services department on the southwest corner of the Medical Center.
Facing these unique construction considerations, the general
contractor understood that it was critical to engage in early dis-
cussions with specialty subcontractors for material procurement,
fabrication and erection of the steel superstructure.
Expansion is
Cut to Fit
Getting a head start on
the cooperative effort
pays off for the
Seton Womens Center.
The answer was to use a program called Fast-Frame offered by
Gerdau Ameristeel. The program brought together a steel mill, a
steel fabricator, a connection engineer, and a steel erector, all of
whom were allowed to work closely with the Engineer of Record.
The philosophy behind the Fast-Frame approach is simple: Bring
in the specialty steel contractor team in a design-assist role as early as
possible to evaluate ways to optimize the cost and schedule of the deliv-
ered steel structure, and to address project specifc goals. Because the
program is led by the steel producer, the team is able to ensure optimal
material selection, with guaranteed material pricing for the duration of
the project, and on time delivery of material to the fabricator.
The integrated team examines trade-offs between material costs,
fabrication labor costs and feld labor costs. Each project brings a differ-
Matthew Gomez, P.E., S.E., is the Ger-
dau Ameristeel Fast-Frame National Sales
Manager. The company is the second largest
mini-mill steel producer in North America,
with annual manufacturing capacity of
approximately 12 million tons of mill fn-
ished steel products. Through its vertically
integrated network of mini-mills, scrap
recycling facilities, and downstream opera-
tions, Gerdau Ameristeel serves customers
throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Cantilevered trusses were assembled and stacked with dunnage
on the fifth floor of the building during construction. Pictured are
ironworkers from Deem Steel Erectors.
Cranes lift one of two trusses into position after assembly on the fifth floor
of the Womens Center during construction. The two cantilevered trusses
connected to create the southeast corner of the new building, with three
levels of framing hanging below the trusses.





Ironworkers in personnel lifts guide the south wall truss into position.
Note the back gusset plate already in position on the column at left,
facilitating the bolt-up connection.
A new entrance and lobby in the existing hospital was constructed,
accessed by a driveway below the Womens Center addition.
Gerdau Ameristeel
The engineer determined the truss con-
fguration and load requirements, Griffn
said, then the steel team came in with new
designs for the trusses and connections.
The connections originally were envi-
sioned as gusset plates, shop welded to the
wide-fange members and feld welded into
notched ends of the HSS members, which
required a signifcant amount of shop time.
Lastly, the truss members would be feld-
assembled and welded into place. How-
ever, because of the tight site conditions,
the feld assembly had to be done within a
short period of time.
It was a tight ft on the construction site,
which made scheduling and sequencing
of material delivery very important, said
Denny Dinsmore, Rogers-OBriens senior
feld superintendent. There was no room
on the campus to store material. We needed
a sequence that allowed us to handle each
piece a minimum amount of times.
The alternative design solution offered
by the integrated team was to use W-shapes
for all members, and all of similar depth to
simplify connections. Connection would
be made with bolted side plates on either
side of the cord faces. The trusses would
be shop-assembled to ensure ft-up, then
ent set of challenges and criteria (e.g., site con-
ditions, project schedule, budget constraints,
BIM enabled capability, LEED accreditation,
etc.) that requires a unique solution.
Early in the design process, and prior to
award, the steel team was asked to review the
Womens Center progress drawings to pro-
vide suggestions for improvement. Because
the design was still in development, many of
the design and constructability issues were
still on the table for discussion. That allowed
the team to offer alternate solutions that had
minimal impact on design and maximum
impact on cost savings. An initial budget was
developed and submitted to the general con-
tractor for evaluation, and a target was set for
developing value engineering options.
The frst area targeted for optimiza-
tion dealt with the construction of the two
major trusses that would be used to support
the cantilevered southeast corner of the
building. The original design used wide-
fange sections as the top and bottom truss
chords, with HSS sections for the vertical
and diagonal members.
There can often be a big difference
between how it looks on paper and how
its fabricated, delivered and erected, said
Greg Griffn, project manager for general
contractor Rogers-OBrien. An integrated
team brings into the picture all of the pro-
fessionals who know best how the project
comes together properly.
One example involved the truss design.
Thwarting Murphys Law
It was critical that construction of the Seton Womens Center project go smoothly, especially
given the need for the existing facilities to remain open 24/7. And from the participants perspec-
tive, building an integrated, committed teamincorporating the steel mill, fabricator, detailer and
connection engineervery early in the process was a huge step in the right direction.
The integrated project team made this project successful, said Greg Grifn, project
manager for general contractor Rogers-OBrien. The complexities of this project were such
that early involvement of the steel team helped solve a lot of issues.
Architect Dan Vickers, Seton Network Facilities project manager, summed up his impres-
sions of the project delivery team with high praise. I like establishing relationships with good
companies you trust, Vickers said. Despite the proximity of existing facilities and other hid-
den conditions, the construction of the Womens Center was very successful. We brought in
this team for their expertise and they delivered a great project.
broken down for transportation, and fnally
bolted together at the site.
The initial drawback to this option was
that these members were slightly heavier
than the initial HSS equivalent; however
the unit cost of the W-shapes was signif-
cantly lower at the time of procurement
than that of the HSS shapes, resulting in a
minimal differential in material cost.
A key advantage of the alternative design
option was that it signifcantly reduced the
labor time (and thus cost) for both shop
fabrication and feld erection. Adopting
the alternative solution allowed a majority
of the fabrication to be performed by com-
puter numerically controlled (CNC) equip-
ment. Members were cut and drilled using
CNC beam lines, and the gusset plates were
cut and drilled using a CNC plasma table.
As the design progressed it became clear
that the space and time available to shake-
out and assemble the two trusses at grade
level would be even more limited than frst
anticipated. As a result, the team decided to
assemble the trusses on the ffth foor of the
building, one atop the other. That required
signifcant coordination among the fabri-
cator, erector and connection engineer to
coordinate support points and to ensure
that the foor members and their connec-
tions were adequate to support the added
weight of the trusses as well as to maintain
truss stability during erection.
This same strategy also was applied to the
design of the vertical brace frames, changing
the braces from HSS members to wide-fange
members, resulting in additional savings in
cost and feld erection time. In this case, con-
nections would be made using bolted con-
nections with claw angles on the fanges and
side plates on the webs to transfer axial loads.
As with the trusses, that signifcantly reduced
the labor time (and thus cost) for both shop
fabrication and feld erection. The members
were cut and drilled using CNC beam lines,
the claw angles were cut and drilled using a
CNC angle master, and the gusset plates were
cut and drilled using a CNC plasma table.
Other areas led to additional cost savings
and schedule improvements, including:
Reducing the number of column splices,
which added weight but cut fabrica-
tion and erection time and costs.
Revising work points where multiple
members met at skewed connections,
which improved constructability and
reduced fabrication and erection time
and costs.
Revising the HSS support framing to
be wide-fange beams for a pedestrian


Viewing the construction from
the north, the southern wall
truss in place and the crane
is lifting the longer western
truss into position.
Advance Steel
bridge that connects to the existing
medical offce building, with the same
benefts as changing the trusses.
Revising the foor framing to minimize
the number of different member sizes in
a typical bay. That allowed the detailer
to simplify the shop drawings, reduced
retooling in the shop, and simplifed
the erection planning. It also allowed
the mill to provide material in bundle
quantities and to nest the lengths more
effectively, resulting in reduced waste.
It was a team effort, Griffn said. There
are benefts when everyone comes together
early, and throughout the project; it will more
likely be a successful project, and we can give
the owner the best value for the money.
And thanks to the integrated approach, the
savings on this project can be quantifed. By
the end of construction, the integrated deliv-
ery team identifed approximately $210,000
of value engineering savings for the $3.4 mil-
lion steel portion of the project.
The completed Womens Center building,
seen from the north, is defined by a silver/blue
cladding. Below the building is a drive, access-
ing a new entrance to the hospital (to the left).
Seton Healthcare Network, Austin, Texas
STG Architects, Austin, Texas
Structural Engineer
Datum Engineers, Austin, Texas
(AISC Member)
Connection Engineer
Structural Solutions, Inc., Fort Worth,
Texas (AISC Member)
Steel Erector
Deem Erectors, Longview, Texas
(SEAA Member)
Steel Fabricator
Crist Industries Inc., Fort Worth, Texas
(AISC Member)
General Contractor
Rogers OBrien Construction, Austin,
Structural Software
SDS/2, RISA-3D, RAM Steel
Gerdau Ameristeel
ht t p: / / www. appl i edbol t i ng. com email:
1413 Rook|ngham Rd. Be||ows Fa||s, vT 05101 SA
1 800 552 1999 1 802 460 3100
Ihe besI wcy Ie be|I!
$quirIer 0ls

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THE JOURNEY FROM an overcrowded offce campus to com-
fortable, cohesive, and fexible workspaces began with a Fargo,
N.D., software companys need to expand its workforce. At the
same time, the company realized it did not have enough space for
new hires. In fact, there was not even enough space for current
employees, who had spilled out of the two existing buildings into
leased space nearby, but off the campus, incurring additional cost
and fracturing the workforce. As plans developed for a new build-
ing, it became clear that effciency could be increased by bringing
back on campus the resources that currently took employees off
campus, such as eating spaces, meeting rooms, and presentation
facilities. With this new perspective, the idea to build a new build-
ing became a plan to build two.
The company engaged three Minneapolis frms to work on its
new two-building project: architects Perkins+Will, with Meyer
Borgman Johnson as structural engineers, and JE Dunn as general
contractor. Criteria for the project included an architectural design
that complemented, but did not copy, the existing two buildings on
the campus, and that would be as memorable as it was functional.
No big box buildings. The owner also was interested in creating
work spaces of a scale conducive to teamwork and collaboration
among employees. The desire was for an open architecture capa-
ble of being fexible and responsive to changing needs. Because
the need was imminent, programming began immediately with the
project team designing within the constraints presented by both
owner and site.
Aside from the owners desires, the site itself presented strong
challenges mainly because of the areas geology. Fargo sits within the
shores of glacial Lake Agassiz, the remains of the last glaciers which
melted some 10,000 years ago. This ancient lake bed comprises about
100 ft of clays and very fne silts, and for 10,000 years, these materials
have been slowly drying out from the top down. To date, this desicca-
tion has extended roughly 8 ft below ground level. Below this eleva-
tion, the ground consists of unconsolidated, undrained clay with very
An urgent need for larger facilities was quickly met, thanks to
exibility, cooperation, and the selection of steel framing.
low-rise ofce
Growing an Office
low bearing strength. Deep foundations can be built, extending 100 ft or more to rock, but they are expensive. If
economical shallow foundations are to be used, a relatively light structure is necessary. Fargo is also known for cold
winters and strong winds. Concrete construction through the winter requires extensive tenting and heating and is
at constant risk because of the wind.
Combining the owners requirements with geology and climate
considerations, structural steel framing was the obvious choice.
Structural steel allows large open bays (varying here from 26 to
40 ft in foors), it can be erected quickly regardless of wind and
winter weather, and it is lighter than concrete.
Schematic design began in the spring of 2007 and by mid-
September, both buildings were suffciently defned so that foundation
plans and structural steel drawings could be issued. The Offce build-
ingits working name as well as its anticipated functionwas
confgured in two parallel pieces called bars with a large glass
atrium between them. Communication between the two bars was
enhanced with footbridges across the atrium at the second foor.
Development of the second building, with the working name
on the Plains
Michael Hemstad, P.E., S.E., is an
associate and structural engineer at
Meyer Borgman Johnson, Minneapolis.
He has more than 20 years of experi-
ence in the design of various structures
and has performed inspection and load
rating of more than 1,000 bridges in
several states. He also has signifcant
experience with rehabilitation projects,
restoration of historic structures, and
design-build construction.
Completion of the new Office (left) and
Amenities buildings on this office campus
permitted the entire company workforce
to work within close proximity and in styl-
ish and comfortable surroundings.
of Amenities, lagged slightly as the architects assembled
project teams for each building. It took shape as a rela-
tively rectilinear cafeteria/kitchen area on the ground
foor with a variety of meeting spaces and outdoor terraces
above. An adjacent tall, triangular, single-story dining area
surrounded with glass rendered the building more or less
trapezoidal in plan.
The architect envisioned both buildings as modernistic
and functional whose structure would provide much of the
aesthetic treatment, especially the interior. Thus, much of
the structure remains exposed. Round HSS were chosen
for columns because of their simple form. Many areas had
no ceilings or partial ceilings, but left the overhead fram-
ing exposed. For this reason, the architect requested that all
beams framing any given area be the same depth. In this
and many other instances, a small upcharge in steel quantity
and cost was offset by other considerations. Where possible,
simple bolted shear tabs were used for connections, as they
are visually the cleanest and least obtrusive connections, in
addition to being the most economical and easiest to erect.
As the architectural design continued to gain defnition,
our choice of steel framing proved to be a sound one. Both
buildings demanded signifcant cantilevers, large suspended
wall areas, and long spans supporting glass and other visually
light elements, and would have been fundamentally differ-
ent architecturally if built of other materials.
The exterior skin of both buildings is a combination of
curtain wall, brick, and weathering steel panels. To express
these walls cleanly, especially the curtain wall, the archi-
tect requested that columns be held several feet inside of
the walls, requiring welded cantilever connections through
the columns. Variations on these details became one of the
structural signatures of the buildings.
In the large presentation spaces, desired roof heights
combined with a mechanical requirement for very large
ducts steered us to use bar joists, deeper than necessary,
with the ductwork running through the joists, rather than
running the ducts beneath the roof structure, which would
have been easier to install.
Lateral systems were also challenging. In the Offce
building, each bar has a stairwell at both ends, so these
spaces were designed as simple shear wall buildings, with
an expansion joint between the two bars. However, the
Amenities building uses open stairs inside, and the exterior
walls are primarily glass curtain wall. A small elevator shaft
was available for use as a shear element at one end of the
building, and a bathroom core provided some capacity at
the other end, but the entire dining area was left without
signifcant lateral support. In addition, the roof of this area is
about 5 ft lower than the adjacent high roof over the meet-
ing spaces, so the building lacks a continuous diaphragm.
In order to provide lateral support to the dining area,
framing supporting an entry vestibule and overhead eye-
brow canopy was confgured as a rigid frame, with brac-
Left: This view of the dining room vestibule, from the inside
looking out, shows the rigid frame on the second level. Note
the offset in the pipe columns, by about half the pipe diam-
eter, which was required to accommodate the difference in
cladding between the upper and lower levels.
Looking from the outside at the
dining room vestibule, on the
left, the lower portion of the
pipe columns are visible inside
the glass walls. The upper clad-
ding is weathering steel.
The dining area opens into a two-story
open area and required a section of the
second floor support to cantilever out from
the columns.
ing allowed in the upper 20 ft but not the
lower portion. This framing consists of
large pipe columns, offset at mid-height.
Bracing in the upper half consists of pairs
of large angles hidden inside a weathering
steel wall. The entire frame is founded on
a continuous concrete footing with helical
anchors at each corner to resist uplift.
Adding to the challenge, the architecture
in this area calls for these columns to be
inside the vestibule at ground level. Above
the vestibule, there is a decorative wall that
is constructed fush with the face of the
vestibule glass, and into which the columns
extend. Thus, they needed to offset laterally
within the ceiling of the vestibule. This was
done by cutting vertical slots in the lower
section within the overlap zone, sliding the
HSS sections together, adding stiffener/
closure plates, and welding.
A similar issue arose at the east end of
the building, in a large wall referred to as
the Shield Wall. A large decorative wall
clad in weathering steel foats above a glass
curtain wall which extends about 10 ft up
from ground level. Again, columns are visi-
ble inside the glass, then offset horizontally
and disappear into the weathering steel
wall. These columns (which are primarily
wind columns, i.e. bending members) are
fabricated with wide-fange shapes, plates,
and a lot of welding. Below the foor, the
member was offset back on grid to ease
erection stability concerns. In addition to
strength requirements, the design paid
careful attention to stiffness, ease of fabri-
cation, and stress concentration and force
fow at the structural discontinuities.
We resolved the discontinuity in the
roof diaphragm by using a line of fabri-
cated trusses at the change in height. The
upper roof is supported by the top chord,
and the lower roof by the bottom chord.
Excess shear in the dining area roof dia-
phragm transfers through the trusses to
the upper roof diaphragm, and is resisted
in part by the elevator and bathroom cores
in the two-story space. Shear perpendicu-
lar to the roof height change is resisted by
column bending.
To accommodate the owners request
for outdoor spaces where employees could
congregate and entertain clients, two large
terraces, partially shaded by steel trellises,
were designed to fank either side of the
Amenities building. The owners desire to
provide pleasant, comfortable, and fexible
spaces within which employees could work
and play is refected in the design of both
Offsetting the upper portion the pipe
column involved a 1-ft, 6-in. overlap
with slots in the lower portion of the
column into which the upper pipe
was slipped. Also note the inclusion
of plates at top and bottom.
This detail of the shield wall
column shows the 2-ft offset,
accomplished using wide-flange
shapes, plates, and welding.
Perkins+Will, Minneapolis and Chicago
Structural Engineer
Meyer Borgman Johnson, Minneapolis
(AISC Member)
Steel Detailer and Fabricator
Mid America Steel, Fargo, N.D.
(AISC Member)
General Contractor
JE Dunn, Minneapolis (AISC Member)
Structural Software
RAM, Revit
These trusses provide the step up in the
dining area of the amenities building. The
angles on the top chord are what transfer the
diaphragm shear through the truss.
Fast-Paced Steel Design
Steel design for this project was pro-
duced primarily in RAM. Once each build-
ings main structure was dened and sized,
a model was exported from RAM to Revit.
Drawings were then advanced based on
the Revit structural model. The building
model was shared and updated weekly
among all members of the design team.
The initial steel drawings were
intended as mill-order drawings and con-
tained little detail. Due to the extremely
rapid pace of development, they were
regarded by the entire design and con-
struction team as continuously evolving,
snapshot-in-time documents. The entire
team worked hard throughout the proj-
ect to digest this stream of information
and produce and erect structural steel,
enabling the architecture while honoring
the schedule and budget.
Obviously, document control and
communication became a critical (and
time-consuming) part of this project.
Changes and clarications communicated
from owner to design team were often
rst designed, sketched, and issued
to the contractor, fabricator, and eld
inspector (and, later, the erector) and then
incorporated into the structural drawings
with the usual change clouds and revision
notations. Drawings for each building were
revised and formally re-issued every other
week, hop-scotching over each other. The
structural engineers talked frequently with
the architect to determine which areas
were still in ux and which areas were more
likely to remain unchanged, then shared
this information with the construction team.
Formal weekly meetings served as much to
record these exchanges as to generate new
ones. The fabricator was able to absorb
some of these changes within its existing
steel inventory. When this was not feasible
or desirable, discussion usually produced a
solution that worked for all parties.
Unlike the classic design-bid-build for-
mat, design and, especially, drafting of
these buildings overlapped signicantly
with fabrication and construction. As draw-
ings progressed through mill order to con-
struction stage, fabrication and construc-
tion kept pace and at times threatened to
get ahead of them. Again, constant com-
munication with the contractor was neces-
sary in order to deliver design for what was
to be built next. Just in time, a concept
originating in manufacturing to reduce
storage and inventory costs, became part
of our vocabulary to reduce contractor
downtime and engineering redesign, yet
allow the architects vision to emerge.
buildings and their surrounding outdoor
spaces. Though the journey to completion
was often challenging, the completed proj-
ect brings an architecturally rich environ-
ment to this northern prairie location, as
well as the potential to increase employee
satisfaction and productivity.
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Bridge is the frst cable-stayed bridge in the state and part of Mich-
igans $230 million I-75 Gateway Project. The two-span, cable
stayed structure crosses 10 ramps and roadways, including both
I-75 and I-96, and provides a vital link between the east and west
sides of Detroits Mexicantown community.
The total bridge length is 417 ft, with a main span of 276 ft
and a back span of 141 ft. The forestays are arranged in a fan con-
fguration and are inclined in both the longitudinal and transverse
directions. The bridge features a unique asymmetrical design, with
a selected look of a single cable plane. A single 155-ft-tall inclined
pylon provides the upper support for the cables, which form an
eccentric plane and are anchored at the lower end to a tapered,
trapezoidal, single-cell steel box girder.
The back span balances the forces imposed by the forestays and
anchors into a deadman/abutment. The welded steel, trapezoidal box
girder carries the variable-width deck slab. The project incorporates
fve tuned mass dampers to control vibration of the bridge super-
structure. Each portion of the project, including abutments, entry
plazas, barriers, and fencing employs architectural fnishes with three-
dimensional variations, and is therefore highly stylized aesthetically.
The bridge lies on a tangent horizontal alignment. The western
span expands from 15 ft, 3 in. to 21 ft, 6 in. while the shorter east-
ern span widens even more dramatically, from 21 ft, 6 in. to 34 ft.
The pedestrian walkway entrance and exit grades of the vertical
profle are at 5% grades and are connected by a 200-ft crest verti-
cal curve whose midpoint is located near the pylon. The minimum
vertical clearance to the closest underlying roadway is 16 ft, 10
in. at the eastern abutment.
The structural systema single-cell box girder superstructure
is supported at the westerly forespan by stay cables anchored eccen-
trically to the girder shear center at the northern girder web. The
eastern back span is self-supporting and also transmits compression
forces introduced by the westerly forestays to the east abutment.
Featuring asymmetry in two major planes, Michigans rst cable-
stayed bridge was a challenge in both design and construction.
The new Mexicantown Bagley Street
Pedestrian Bridge in Detroit crosses
I-75 and I-96 and is Michigans first
cable-stayed bridge.



On a
Robert B. Anderson, P.E., is a senior structural engineer for URS
Corporation, Tampa, Fla., and has been involved in the planning,
design and construction of bridges for more than 21 years. Bobs
experience includes the design of fve major cable-stayed bridges,
several major freeway-to-freeway interchanges, as well as numerous
water crossing structures. Mike Guter, P.E., is a project manager
for URS Corporation in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has worked on a
variety of transportation projects since beginning his career in 1993,
including roles in both construction and design. Victor Judnic, P.E.,
is a senior construction engineer for the Michigan Department of
Transportation. His experience includes the design and construction
of harbors, roads and bridges over the past 21 years.
The plan and elevation view show the bridges general layout, including the
pylons eccentricity in two directions.
Pylon elevation
and side view.
The eccentric cable loading on the single box girder
system produces torsion and lateral thrust in the girder and
this is resisted by upward, downward, and lateral bearings
at the west abutment and tension linkages and vertical and
lateral bearings at the pylon. This fgure shows that both
vertical and lateral bearings are used to resist torsion. The
pylon linkage and bearing system also allows translation
produced mostly by thermal affects along the longitudinal
axis of the bridge.
The concrete and steel pylon is eccentric in two direc-
tions and also tapers in two directions from its base to its
top. The foundation, at the base of the pylon, resists grav-
ity loads primarily by a cluster of piles located at the line of
action of the pylon. An extension of the foundation to the
north helps to resist overturning loads created primarily by
wind and live load effects.
Construction Activities and Scheduling
This bridge required a detailed erection manual and
geometric control plan prepared by a specialty erection
engineer. The erection manual outlined 62 individual
stages for completing the bridge and closely followed the
proposed erection plan conceptualized by the design engi-
neer and included in the contract documents.
To ensure that survey discrepancies would be mini-
mized and resolved quickly, the project team agreed to
coordinate all surveys. The erection engineer, as part of
the erection manual and ongoing computations, provided
target coordinates and elevations for key points and eleva-
tions, including at the pylon stay housing, at temporary
shoring, at box girder splices, along the box girder deck
and at all stay cable connection points.
The contractor and the owner/engineer closely moni-
tored the geometry throughout construction. In one
instance, the temporary guys were adjusted to correct the
location of the pylon stem; however giving credit to the
accuracy of the erection engineers analysis, the geometry
largely agreed with the predictions.
The steel box girder erection scheme required three
falsework towers to support the west span before the stay
cables were installed. The contract documents included
camber values to account for these three temporary sup-
ports. Two additional falsework towers were provided at
each side of the pylon to support the girder prior to the
deck pour engaging the vertical and lateral bearings and
link plates at that location. The contractor opted to com-
plete the top of the pylon strut after placement of the steel
box girder to mitigate tolerance and ft-up requirements of the girder
itself and the many support elements.
The frst major step in the bridges construction was to build the abut-
ments and the pylon. To help maintain alignment and provide support dur-
ing construction and prior to installation of the stay cables and pylon post-
tensioning, the pylon was temporarily guyed with four guys at two vertical
levels. At each level, guys extended transverse and longitudinal to the bridge
axis to maintain pylon stability and provide support in all directions.
Construction started at the east abutment, which serves as the bridge
abutment; an earth anchor wall for fve stay cables anchoring the front span
of the bridge; and an architectural plaza that transitions from the pedestrian
bridge to a much larger non-structural plaza area. This abutment also was
used as the temporary anchor point for the east temporary pylon guys.
Additionally the east abutment provided the fxity for the steel tub girder,
with a diaphragm cast integrally with the girder. The eastern end of the
girder was temporarily supported on bearings to allow for beam rotation
during the deck pour. The temporary bearings ultimately were encapsulated
in concrete and the integral abutment connection was made complete.
The back span is
fully supported by the
east abutment and the
pylon strut. The east
abutment earth anchor
wall is constructed on
a 6-ft by 6-ft, 11-in.
concrete grade beam
that was integrally tied
to the remainder of the
abutment with steel
reinforcement. The stay
cables are anchored with
steel forgings connected
to post-tensioned anchor
rods that include an end
plate poured into the
grade beam. A structural
and architectural wall
extends up from the
grade beam, supporting,
hiding and protecting the anchor rods. This wall has aesthetic treatments
including bush-hammered and board-formed surfaces.
The west abutment was the next substructure element to be constructed.
A more conventional abutment, it includes three pot bearings supporting
the steel box girder vertically (both upward and downward to prevent tor-
sional rotation) and transversely.
On to the Superstructure
The east abutment earth anchor wall plate, pylon stay cable housing, and
steel box girders are shop fabricated steel components. The earth anchor plate
forms a base for the fve east stay cable anchor blocks. This assembly was cast
into the concrete earth anchor wall. Post-tensioned bars extend from the face
of this plate into a concrete beam that sits underneath the earth anchor wall.
The pylon stay cable housing is 30 ft, 6 in. in height and forms the
northern half of the top pylon stem. The stay housing includes fve 2-in.-
thick plates with two pinholes on the west side and one pinhole on the
south side for connection to the clevis-type stay cable anchorages. The
placement of the stay housing was controlled by levelling nuts on 18,
1-in. anchor bolts poured into the pylon stem.
The box girder remains a constant width from the west abutment to
just west of the pylon, at which point it begins to widen to its largest width
at the east abutment. The top fange of the box girder also varies from
being solid across the top, in areas of high torsion, to being split into two
fanges on top of each web. In areas where the top fange spanned from
web to web, plates were added to provide bending strength to support the
concrete deck placement. In addition, tuned mass dampers (see sidebar)
installed between the west abutment and the pylon required top fange
openings to be covered with plates after installation.
Phase 2 (see construction phase diagram) shows the next major con-
struction step involving the assembly of the steel box girder on both false-
Layout of the pylon linkage and bearing system, showing hold
down linkage as well as vertical and lateral bearing areas.
Major construction phases of the Bagley Street Bridge.
Accommodating Foot Trafc
Some pedestrian bridges have shown sen-
sitivity to the dynamic affects of foot trafc. The
design engineer worked in conjunction with a
specialty dynamics consultant who specied
and detailed a ve-component tuned mass
damper system that was included as part of
the contract documents. The installation of the
tuned mass damper system was undertaken
after girder erection and prior to the deck
placement. Four of the dampers resolve ver-
tical movement and a single damper resolves
lateral movement. When the bridge was nearly
complete, the damper system designer con-
ducted a series of dynamic tests to establish
the spring fabrication parameters. After spring
fabrication and installation, the damper system
characteristics were ne tuned to correspond
with the measured dynamic response of the
bridge and to ensure their effectiveness.
work and permanent supports. Temporary support eleva-
tions were determined as part of the erection manual. Top
of beam elevations were determined and checked against
the anticipated elevations (which included the girder cam-
ber accounting for later defections), and then screed rail
elevations were established and the deck slab was cast in
typical fashion. Because fencing fabrication and installa-
tion took longer than expected, the contractor elected to
temporarily ballast the bridge with a uniform load consist-
ing of wide-fange steel beams from their stockpile.
The most complex part of the deck slab construction
was developing a unique deck forming system to construct
the large overhangs (see diagram, Phase 3). The contractor
devised a formwork system suspended beneath the bridge
and hung from the box girder fanges. HP1253 sections
were the primary members spanning from fange to fange
and overhanging each side from which forms were sup-
ported. The hangers counteracted torsional forces of the
asymmetrical deck overhang by using steel plates as beams
extending across the top of the box girder. Uplift forces were
counteracted at the center of the beam with a welded tie-
down at the solid top fange and cable tie-down at the open
fange sections of the box girder. The overhang forming was
set approximately -in. high to account for the anticipated
defections of the overhang during the deck pour. To main-
tain the freeway opening date of July 4, 2009, the deck slab
was poured during February 2009, an unusual occurrence
this far north.
Phase 4 involved the installation and stressing of stays
in a balanced fashion at both the west and east sides of the
pylon. Each of the 15 stay ends (10 in the forespan con-
nected to girder and fve connected to the east abutment
back stay) had a targeted force. Some of the stays required
only a single jacking operation within the erection manual
sequence, while others required two jacking operations
at different stages within the erection manual sequence.
During the jacking operations and upon completion, the
geometry of the system was verifed. As the installation of
the permanent stays progressed, the temporary guys were
removed. Also, the stressing of the stays caused a decrease
and eventual lift-off at the temporary falsework supports.
At Stages 47, 53, 54, and 60 of the erection engineers
detailed construction sequence, the vertical pylon post-
tensioning was installed and stressed in stages.
Working with the Stays
The stay cables consist of galvanized steel wire rope
comprising structural wire (ASTM 586) with a hot-dipped
galvanized Class A coating for the inner wires and Class
C coating for the outer wires. One end of the cable at
the pylon used a pin and clevis anchorage system. The
forestays used a threaded spanner nut anchorage system
at the girders. The back stays were anchored at the east
abutment with a steel anchor block casting and shims that
were tensioned with four anchor rods each embedded into
the abutment mass. The clevises and other hardware were
manufactured in a lost sand casting process (ASTM 148).
The stay cable socket-to-strand connection was accom-
plished by splaying the wire rope and pouring molten zinc
into a conical shaped space. The sockets are designed and
attached to develop 110% of the breaking strength of the
Deck plan and cross sections. Note the variation in relative location and size of
the steel box girder.
The 30-ft, 6-in.-high steel pylon stay cable housing forms the northern half of
the top pylon stem, shown here prior to placement with concrete formwork
panels attached. Five 2-in.-thick plates have two pinholes on one side and one
pinhole on the other for connecting the clevis-type stay cable anchorages.
The pylon stay cable housing
in place with the lower two
back stays attached.



The west abutment prior to setting the tub girder. Note the non-symmetrical sup-
port system, with hold down anchorage on the left and bearing on the right.



cable. All sockets were proof tested to 55%
of the breaking strength of the cables. The
lengths of the cables were determined by
survey following completion of the pylon
and erection of the girder. Tolerance was
provided in the threaded socket length to
account for construction tolerance and
temperature compensation.
Because galvanized wire rope is able
to wick moisture within the cables, paint-
ing of the stay cables was included in the
contract to prevent the ingress of water
and corrosive elements. However paint-
ing subsequently was eliminated due to
concerns about the long-term effects of
locked moisture and oils on the coating
The end of the tub girder with welded studs
attached, ready for placement on the west
system. Serrated nuts were added at the
low cable anchorage at the west girder and
weep holes to the anchor WTs attached to
the girder webs to facilitate the draining of
water from the cable bottoms.
The frst step in feld installation is to
unwind the cables from wooden shipping
spools. Because of their length weight, this
can be an awkward operation and requires
special attention to avoid unwinding the
spools too fast. To protect the galvanized
coating on the cables, they are laid out on
a protected surface. The cables are then
lifted by two cranes and attached at the
pylon stay cable housing, then attached at
the girder or abutment.
For the Bagley Street Bridges western
forestays, workers installed a threaded
stressing rod into the anchor socket, along
with a temporary extension rod, which
allowed stressing by a single center-hole
jack. Once the proper tension was achieved,
a ring nut was spun tight.
At the east abutment, a stay cable
anchorage block was positioned through
four threaded anchor rods. These rods
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were stressed to a prescribed tension by
four center-hole jacks bearing against
nuts on the rods and the anchorage block.
Once the tension was achieved, shims were
installed between the stay cable anchorage
block and the base of the abutment earth
anchor wall. Final tensioning of the anchor
rods, with the shims in place and prevent-
ing the cables from being further loaded,
was done to a high load level to ensure the
shims remain in compression.
Calibrated jacks were used to stress the
cables. However, the stay cable supplier
used a secondary tensionometer to moni-
tor the stay cable tension in all the cables
after each was stressed. This device accepts
inputs of cable density and length and has
an accelerometer sensor that is able to mea-
sure the primary frequency of a cable. The
cable is forced to vibrate by feld personnel.
With these vibration inputs, the tension-
ometer outputs a measured force obtained
by classical equations that are programmed
into the equipment.
Finishing Up
The bridge fnishing works shown in
Phase 6 include the fnal steps involved
in the construction of the bridge. These
included verifcation of cable forces and
girder and pylon geometry; installation
of the architectural fence; installation of
a cable tie at the forestays to reduce stay
cable vibrations; and fnal tuning of the
tuned mass dampers.
Other tasks included in the bridge fn-
ishing works were:
Removal of steel ballasting and con-
struction of concrete barrier rail
Sandblast fnishing of the pylon, deck
overhangs, and barrier rail
Installation of modular expansion joint
at the west abutment
Concrete benches at the pylon and
east abutment and decorative concrete
Completion of lightning grounding
Installation and aiming of decorative
Grouting of east abutment post-
tensioned stay cable anchor rods
Installation of architectural edge plates
and fence mesh covering at east abut-
The Mexicantown Bagely Street Pedes-
trian Bridge opened May 5, 2010. It was part
of a Cinco de Mayo festival organized by the
Southwest Detroit Business Association and
the Detroit Consulate of Mexico in salute of
200 years of Mexican independence.
The complex erection sequence required the use of three falsework towers, which supported
the west span until the cable stays were attached.
The completed west abutment.
A project of this magnitude relies on
contributions from many individuals;
therefore, the authors also wish to acknowl-
edge and give their sincere appreciation to
Bob Jones and Josh Goldsworthy (Wal-
ter Toebe Construction), Dave Rogowski
(Genesis Structures), Eric Morris and Ken
Price (HNTB), Jerry Clodfelter (CBSI),
Jorge Suarez (Michael Baker Corp.) and
Peter Bugar (URS).
Michigan Department of Transportation
Van Tine/Guthrie Studio of Architecture,
Northville, Mich.
Design Engineer
HNTB Corporation, Chicago
(AISC Member)
Construction Inspection Engineer
URS Corporation, Grand Rapids, Mich.,
and Tampa, Fla.
Specialty Construction Inspection
Michael Baker Corporation, Pittsburgh
Steel Detailer
Tensor Engineering, Indian Harbour
Beach, Fla. (AISC and NISD Member)
Steel Fabricator
Industrial Steel Construction, Gary, Ind.
(AISC and NSBA Member)
Erection Engineering
Genesis Structures, Kansas City, Mo.
(AISC Member)
General Contractor
Walter Toebe Construction, Wixom,
Structural Software
Lusas Bridge
Stay Cable System Suppler
CBSI, Houston



THINGS HAVE CHANGED in the steel detailing business, both
technologically and economically; the information age has over-
taken us. We now have people newly employed or people who
want to enter the steel industry but fnd themselves in a conun-
drum between learning the trade and learning the technology.
Many new to the industry seem to confuse the phrase information
technology is king with the phrase information is king. Unfor-
tunately, todays new professionals depth of knowledge can often
be somewhat limited, and further training should be considered.
In 2006, the AISC Committee on Steel Detailing began con-
sidering how this lack of expertise could be addressed effectively
with regard to would-be and junior detailers. This resulted in the
launch of the web-based, self-paced Structural Detailer Training
course in 2008. The course focuses on the fundamentals of detail-
ing and provides the specialized training that the industry lacked.
Nowhere can an aspiring steel detailer invest in a more com-
prehensive course. Upon completion, the student will have the
knowledge equivalent to someone with years on the job and will
lack only the corresponding practical experience.
Students who complete this course are able to contribute to
their jobs with more understanding and interact much more effec-
tively with coworkers and clients. Through the courses association
with AISC and the National Institute of Steel Detailing (NISD),
the student is encouraged to become a member to facilitate profes-
sional affliations within the industry. Participation in this course
will serve as the frst step toward empowering employees, making
them trade savvy contributors and problem solvers and most of all,
valuable contributors to their organizations.
Enrolling a student in this course relieves you, the employer,
from the direct responsibility of training and passes on the learning
responsibility to the learner. Whether you are running a business
or are new to the steel industry and looking for detailing expertise,
this course will ensure that learning happens. A linear model of
training is presented via a combination of online material, texts,
videos and animated presentations. Testing incorporated at reg-
ular intervals ensures mastery of all materials before the student
is allowed to advance, while the instructor is only ever an email
away. At the end of the course, the outcome is a well-prepared
steel detailer.
For employers, it is better to train competent people already
working within your company, rather than hire a new unknown.
Use your own formula to amortize and justify the cost of training
over a three-year period, considering hiring, software, training on
that software and even desk space, and weigh that against the cost
of the course. The return on investment becomes clear. Train them
well, pay them well, treat them well, and this will bring rewards for
all involved.
Read on to learn how three students rate the course. Stacey
Bell Hill is a detailer and special projects coordinator with the Bell
Steel Company, Pensacola, Fla. Stephen Ross Nichols, II works
in the prefabrication department of Southeastern Construction
and Maintenance, Lakeland, Fla. Rupal Shah is a structural steel
detailer with Skanska Koch Inc., Carteret, N.J.
The next best thing to years of experience is a solid course
that covers the fundamentals.
Art Science
Steel Detailing
Learning the
Designed from the outset as an online experience, the material in the
Structural Detailer Training course is easy to read and navigate and
includes clear, information-rich graphics.
Jul10_Detailer_Training.indd 42 6/24/2010 11:29:22 AM
What motivated you to take the Steel
Detailer Training course?
Shah: I wanted to gain more knowledge about
steel detailing and to advance my career. My com-
pany offered me incentives upon completing the
course with a minimum grade.
Why did you choose to take this course as
opposed to others, for example those offered
at community colleges?
Hill: I liked the fact that it was a self-paced course and
that the material covered was exceptionally detailed.
Nichols: The colleges I looked at offered detail-
ing courses, none of which were strictly steel based,
or even covered steel-related detailing.
What material did the course cover?
Nichols: The course covered an immense amount
of materialcontract documents, detailing pro-
cesses, common connection details, basic detailing
conventions, project set-up and control, erection
drawings, shop drawings, and quality control.
Was the coursework difcult?
Hill: I would not say this course is necessarily dif-
fcult. It is vast amount of material that requires time
and concentration and can become diffcult if you
do not fully read and understand the material before
moving on to the next chapter.
Nichols: As long as you thoroughly read the
Detailing for Steel Construction book no one should
have trouble learning the basics of steel detailing. For
the related math sections, taking notes is the key to
comprehending the calculations involved.
What course content was particularly helpful?
Nichols: The video clips covering many aspects
of steel detailing. Being able to actually see certain
connections and column details was extremely help-
ful. The course book also included many examples of
erection and design drawings, which proved helpful.
Shah: I found the whole course content helpful
for a beginner to understand and learn more about
steel detailing.
Ron Cuthbert is general manager
of Dowco Technology Services
Ltd. He has worked with the
Dowco Group of Companies
since 1995 providing technical
support and training services. Rupal Shah Stacey Beth Hill Stephen Ross Nichols, II
Multimedia examples, such as this video, are offered throughout the course work to
help students link concepts with their real-world applications. To see a preview go
Annotations are used to highlight key elements of the
graphical examples much like an instructor would in a
live session.
Jul10_Detailer_Training.indd 43 6/24/2010 11:29:24 AM
How were your skills tested?
Hill: After reading the detailing and math
modules and watching videos on the material
covered, there were tests with multiple choice,
true/false, fll-in the blank and matching type
questions. One supervised and timed fnal
exam covering all the material was adminis-
tered at the end of the course.
How long did it take to complete the
course? What was it like to work in
the self-paced environment?
Hill: I completed the course in about six
months. Because I was working 40 hours
a week and going to night school at the
time I started, the self-paced environment
worked well with my schedule. I never felt
rushed and could take my time on each sec-
tion making sure I understood the material
before moving on.
Nichols: The course took me close to a
year to complete. I worked hard to main-
tain a regular after work schedule, taking 30
minutes to an hour each weekday. Working
in a self-paced environment was excellent.
The instructors make it so by readily pro-
viding help when needed.
Shah: It took me almost one year to com-
plete the course. Since it was a self-paced envi-
ronment, I was able to immediately apply my
new knowledge and experience at my job.
How did this detailer training compare
to other training you have had?
Hill: This was the frst detailer training
I have taken. However, I can say the course
was very thorough and what I learned has
been extremely useful in my job.
Shah: I feel that the course as it was
developed and structured provided me with
a sound understanding of structural detail-
ing basics in a more progressive means, as
opposed to trying to develop skills through
a on the job training.
Was the course a worthwhile
investment of your time and money?
Hill: Yes. It was extremely benefcial to
be able to go at my own pace because I
could still work and go to school. Also, I
feel I would have had to take three or four
different courses to equal the amount of
material I learned in just this one, thus sav-
ing time and money.
Nichols: Spending the time and money
to understand the complete scope of my
job was defnitely worth it.
Shah: Yes. I gained knowledge about
steel detailing. I used to work from other
detailers sketches but now I am able to
start detailing from scratch.
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What elements were effective or
ineffective about the web-based
format? Was the technology easy to
Shah: I found the web-based format
very effective. The overall presentation of
this course was easy to navigate.
How has this course been benecial
to your career? How did your career
or job function change during or after
completing it?
Hill: This course taught me things that
I would probably not have known without
5+ years of experience in steel detailing. I
am more comfortable and confdent with
my daily work; therefore, I am not asking
as many questions.
Has completing the course made you
more productive in your daily work?
Hill: Yes, I spend a lot less time asking
questions or having something explained
to me, which in turn allows me to focus
more on my work.
Nichols: With the knowledge Ive gained
from completing the course Ive become
much more industrious in my work. I take
more pride in knowing that I can contrib-
ute more to my company with the knowl-
edge and skills I have learned.
Shah: After taking this course I have a
better understanding of what is required
of me. It also has given me confdence in
my drawing presentation, which has also
resulted in fewer errors in my drawings.
How did this course improve your
understanding of your day-to-day work?
Hill: I am able to read and comprehend
documents and drawings better every day.
Nichols: Right from the beginning this
course began to improve my understand-
ing of my day-to-day work. I currently
work in the prefabrication department
analyzing prints for CAD programming.
This course gave me the ability to actually
understand exactly what I was looking at
on each print, making it easier for me to
complete my assignments.
Shah: This course improved my under-
standing of the different processes a shop
drawing needs to take, from design, to
approval and then all the processes of fab-
rication. The course will help me apply my
knowledge toward completing projects
accurately and on time.
If you are working as a detailer
now, how much knowledge from the
course were you able to immediately
apply to your job?
Hill: I was able to apply about 70% of what
I learned to detailing and the remaining 30%
to everyday business in the steel industry.
Shah: I was able to apply knowledge from
this course immediately on daily work.
How has your company beneted
from you taking this course?
Hill: I am more knowledgeable about all
the aspects of steel now and can use what I
learned to help others. My manager feels
comfortable giving me more responsibility.
What would you say in response to
those who say it costs too much?
Hill: It is worth the cost because you
would have to take three or four separate
classes to cover all the material this one
course covers. Also, the course goes into
great detail about many subjects which are
a must for a detailer.
How would you briey summarize
this course?
Hill: I have gained knowledge that would
have taken me fve years to learn as a detailer
without training if I had not taken this
course. I now feel comfortable navigating
the AISC Steel Construction Manual since my
understanding of the material has doubled.
Nichols: This course was a great way to
learn the fundamentals of steel detailing. The
depth of the material covered is immense.
Shah: I am pleased with the knowledge
gained from taking this course. This mate-
rial helped me be more complete on dealing
with steel detailing in daily work-related
issues. This course was a helpful means of
learning basic skills that will beneft my
employer and myself for years to come.
The Structural Detailer Training Course
addresses the critical need of making true
steel detailers. This course challenges stu-
dents to think critically and leaves them a
fundamental understanding of steel detail-
ing principles. The motivated student will
fourish and as an employer youll quickly
know who your rising stars in your com-
pany will be.
The Structural Detailer Training
course was developed and is administered
by Dowco Educational Services Ltd., Sur-
rey, British Columbia, Canada. To learn
more about this course, the Connection
Design or Beginner Tekla Training courses
offered by Dowco, visit www.structural-
A New Detailing Reference Portal
A new channel on the AISC website offers a wealth of information specifically
relevant to steel detailing. Brought online in June, the Steel Detailer Central was
assembled by the AISC Committee on Steel Detailing.
Resources include:
Links to key areas in the AISC Knowledge Base: FAQs of specific interest to
detailers, as well as links to relevant NASCC session proceedings and articles in
MSC and EJ.
Links to the detailing community on SteelTools (
A growing list of other relevant industry links.
All materials currently presented on the channel are freely accessible to AISC
members. Some items, such as a few specific article downloads, require a fee for
non-members. To explore this resource, go to and select the Steel
Detailer Central channel.
FEW THINGS ROUSE the enthusiasm of young civil engineers
more than the prospect of designing and building a steel bridge,
and the annual AISC/ASCE-sponsored student steel bridge com-
petition offers a great opportunity for that. Each year thousands
of engineering students from across North America form teams,
strategize, design and build out their dreams in this high-level
simulation of a real-world bridge construction project. In the pro-
cess, their hands-on learning experiences range from interpretting
detailed project specifcations to designing, fabricating and con-
structing 20-ft-plus spans that have to stand up to real loads.
The competition began in 1987 when teams from three Michi-
gan engineering schools met for the frst steel bridge contest. The
event was hosted by Lawrence Technological University, Southfeld,
Mich., with visiting teams from nearby Wayne State University,
located in Detroit, and Michigan Technological University, from
Houghton, in the states Upper Peninsula. The event originated
with Bob Shaw, who was then manager of college relations for the
American Institute of Steel Construction.
Additional teams entered the following years, and in 1992 Michi-
gan State University hosted the frst national student steel bridge con-
test on its East Lansing, Mich., campus. Also that year, AISC offcially
took on sponsorship of the contest under its newly appointed director
of AISC college relations, Fromy Rosenberg. Thirteen teams partici-
pated that year, and MSUs zero-defection span was victorious.
Since then teams from across the nation have gathered every
spring to pit their design and construction skills in a fresh challenge
guaranteed to spark the imagination and inspiration of civil and
structural engineering students. Today the program is cosponsored
by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) with the initial
round of each years competition based on ASCEs 18-conference
organization. In 2010, the regional events included 192 teams, with
46 advancing to the fnals held May 2829 in West Lafayette, Ind.,
at Purdue University.
Watching the fnalists compete in both the display and construc-
tion sessions, the value of the contest becomes quite clear: The
challenge in the steel bridge contest very much refects a real-world
project scenario. Young engineers who participate learn key lessons
that go far beyond standard class work. And in a feld where experi-
ence counts, being on a college or universitys steel bridge team is
something worth noting.
The bridge requirements are revised each year. For 2010, the
structure had to span a 13-ft, 6-in-wide river and an adjacent 5-ft
foodway. The bridge piers were to be located on each end of the
span, with only temporary supports permitted in the river or food-
plain. Although a portion of the team could work as barges in the
river, land access was limited to one bank, with strict limits on loads
within the foodplain. The owner placed a premium on stiffness,
light weight, and speed of construction. (For the complete project
specifcations, see Section 6 of the 2010 rules, which can be down-
loaded from the History and Results area at
Team members, as usual, had their hands full just wading
through the project requirements, which itself is a lesson in the
national student steel bridge competition
Students who participate in the student steel bridge contest
learn far more than structural analysis and design.
reality of construction projects. But then
came the question of how best to meet
the challenge.
Many teams began early last sum-
mer to conceptualize their approach for
this years competition. Once the rules
including the specifc challenge were
made public in August, the workand
the learningbegan.
So, based on observations at the 2010
fnal round of competition, what are the
lessons learned? Here are just a few.
Conception and Design
Each competing bridge must meet the
specifcations as described in the 38 pages
of rules, which includes passing a 2,500-lb.
load test. However, to be competitive, it also
must be optimized for maximum strength
at minimum weightand designed for
quick assembly. Team members learn they
cant focus solely on any one parameter.
The rules defne contest bridges as con-
sisting of two componentsmembers and
fasteners. Each bridge member must ft
inside a 6-in. by 6-in. by 36-in. wooden box,
precluding the use of any extra-long mem-
bers. Additionally, no single member may
weigh more than 20 pounds. These bridges
are 1:10 scale models, so this refects real-
world limitations on fabrication, shipping
and maneuverability limitations. For 2010,
the rules placed an increased value on stiff-
ness, penalizing higher defection more
than increased weight.
Connections and Tools
Making connections is one of the neces-
sities of any construction project. But when
the criteria for success include both speed of
construction and the strength of the result-
ing structure, the importance of good con-
nection design rises to the top of the list.
The contest rules stipulate that each
member-to-member connection must
have a bolt and nut, which in turn must be
off-the-shelf products (standard sizes, not
ground to a taper, no tapped holes, etc.).
Many entries featured machined connec-
tions developed as quick-connect type of
fttings for which fasteners were included
primarily to meet contest requirements.
Above, right: The University of Wyoming bridge
used a split truss approach, joining top and bot-
tom members with goof-proof connections. The
bolts hold them together while additional pairs of
pins and holes carry member forces. At the sup-
ports, a similarly simple connection was used.
Opposite page: The North Dakota State Uni-
versity teams bridge members were precisely
designed and fabricated for quick and simple
assembly. The mechanical joints along the
various truss members do all the structural
work; bolts in the web-like interstitial spaces
provide stability and compliance.
Below: The Universit Laval (ESUL) team designed
its deck support as an integral part of the main
bridge members. Judges use the wooden box
in the background to check that all members are
within the maximum size limits.
Senior editor Thomas L Klemens. P.E. joined the staff of
Modern Steel Construction in 2009. An avid bridge
fan, his enthusiasm for feld experience goes back to his
own student days when he took a job immediately after
graduation as the assistant feld engineer (i.e., surveyors
helper) on a bridge reconstruction project in Pittsburgh.
Also, dropped fasteners incur penalties, so teams fnd clever ways
to avoid that. (To see examples of this and other ideas discussed in
this article, go to
In practice, straightforward moment connections seemed to
be the best performers this year, but require careful fabrication to
facilitate construction. The difference between good and not-so-
good connections often could be gauged by whether the team kept
a rubber mallet persuader close by.
Lessons Learned
Through participating in this very real design and construction
project, students learned frst hand that:
Planning, consriucrililiry ano piacrice aie all required for success.
Rules, ano ly exrension ieal-woilo specs ano oiawings, can
lave vaiying inreipierarions. Tle Rules Commirree eacl yeai
handles dozens of questions, and students learn the importance of
asking for clarifcation.
evising a solurion incluoes cloosing among seveial gooo
proposals, often melding the best parts of each.
Aclieving ream morivarion ano cooioinarion is nor easy, lur
as competitive teams know, it isnt just about the bridge, its about
the bridge builders, too. Success depends upon the ability to plan
and work as a group.
Civen rle complex inreiacrions o many paiamereis, rleie`s
nothing simple about designing and constructing a steel bridge.
Wrapping Up
Ploros o rle 2O1O comperirion ano a lisr o winneis is availalle
at, wleie rle iules oi rle 2O11 `arional
Sruoenr Sreel Biioge Comperirion will le posreo in lare summei.
A detailed spreadsheet of each national fnalist teams category-by-
category scores is at, in rle !isroiy ano Resulrs
section. That site also offers a participant guide, the offcial rules
oaring lack ro 2OO1, ano iesulrs iom 2OO3 ro oare.
Above, below: The University of California at Davis design included sev-
eral custom tools for holding members in place and making connections,
shown below in the staging area and above in use during construction.
Left: The New Jersey Institute of Technologys highly
fabricated bridge members, officially staged and
ready for the competition, with groups of fasteners in
the forward staging area. The construction site begins
30 ft beyond where the fasteners are.
The University of Wyomings bridge identification plate includes the
school trademark, a cowboy on horseback, in a style matching the
member fabrication.
Clemson University team members learned TIG and MIG welding
in the process of fabricating their bridge. Team members several
years ago used their newly acquired skills to produce these team
September 24, 2010
There's always a solution in steel.
American Institute of Steel Construction
One East Wacker Drive, Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60601
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networking events
across the nation.
Over 7,000 people attended SteelDay
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with cutting edge technology and machinery. We can
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It is a good chance to interact
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atmosphere while learning about
their part of the project.
Dave Haugland
AHJ Engineers, P.C., Boise, ID
Horizontal Bracing
An overview of lateral load resisting systems and how to implement them.
Your connection to
ideas + answers
and roof diaphragms are used to distribute loads
in the horizontal plane of the structure to the lat-
eral load resisting system. Due to the open nature
of most industrial structures, diaphragms are
not present, and horizontal bracing is often used
to distribute the loads in the horizontal plane.
Horizontal bracing is also used in heavily-loaded
commercial structures, where a diaphragm is not
present, or where the strength or stiffness of the
diaphragm is not adequate.
When horizontal bracing is used, the beams
at that elevation become members in a horizontal
truss system, carrying axial loads in addition to the
normal bending and shear gravity loads. Careful
attention should be paid to the beam end connec-
tions within the truss system because the axial loads
transferring through the connections can be large.
Selection of Structural Shapes
The most common shapes used for horizontal
bracing are single angles and WT-shapes. Single
angles are the most economical shape for resist-
ing small and medium loads, because WT-shapes
must be split from W-shapes and straightened by
the fabricator. WT-shapes can be used to resist
larger loads and where long spans are required.
Double-angles can be used in lieu of WT-shapes,
but corrosion of the steel in the area between the
angles can be a problem for exposed structures. If
the original protective coating fails, it is diffcult
to recoat the area between the angles. In exposed
Bo Dowswell, P.E., (left) has been in the steel industry
since 1985, spending the frst nine of those years as a
steel detailer. He is co-founder and principal of SDS
Resources LLC, Birmingham, Ala., which specializes
in designing steel connections and industrial struc-
tures. Allen Brice (right) is senior designer drafts-
man with more than 20 years experience in structural
drafting and design, and Brian Blain is senior account
manager. Both are also with SDS Resources.
Fig. 1: (a) Horizontal diaphragm and (b) bracing systems.
structures, stitch plates in double-angle braces should be
bolted, due to limited access for welding between the angles.
With bolted stitch plates, the angles are bolted together after
they have been coated (painted or galvanized).
For very large loads, W-shapes can be used. For buildings
with very light loads, rod bracing is commonly used. Some-
times, architects prefer the use of HSS when the bracing is
exposed to view.
In open structures, the member should be rotated to
the position that is least likely to collect dust, debris, and/
or rainwater. Angle legs and WT stems usually are oriented
downward, and W-shapes normally are designed with the
web oriented vertically.
Design Considerations
Although the dominant load in a horizontal brace is axial
load, the effect of bending moments should be accounted
for in the design. The moment due to self weight can be
signifcant for long, slender braces.
The details of the connections also may result in moments.
It is preferable to bolt single-angle braces through the hori-
zontal leg and WT braces through the fange as shown in
Figure 2. Because there is an offset between the centroid of
the brace and the gusset plate, the eccentric moment, M = Pe,
must be accounted for in the member design, and this can
signifcantly lower the member strength. For preliminary
design of WT braces connected through the fange, a good
starting assumption is that the moment consumes half the
strength of a concentrically loaded brace.
Because the length-to-depth ratio for horizontal brac-
ing members can be very high, large defections under self
weight are possible. This can lead to large second order
moments, and serviceability problems due to sagging of the
brace as shown in exaggerated fashion in Figure 3. Also, in
industrial structures with vibrating machinery, large length-
to-depth ratios can lead to vibration problems. A rule of
thumb that can be used to determine an approximate pre-
liminary brace depth is that the depth in inches should equal
or exceed 0.006F
times the span in ft.
Brace Congurations
Bracing is most effcient when placed at angles between
30 and 60. With steeper bevels, the end connections can
be cumbersome. Any brace confguration can be used to
make up a horizontal bracing system, as long as a complete
load path is available to transfer the load into the lateral load
resisting system. In most structures, the confguration is a
secondary consideration, determined after the location of
the main gravity load-carrying members is set.
Under most conditions, a single brace system is adequate;
however, an x-bracing system can be used to reduce the
buckling length of the compression brace in systems with
long brace spans. If the braces are designed as a tension-
compression system and are connected at the intersection,
the intersection can be considered a brace point for both in-
plane and out-of-plane buckling. If the braces are designed
using a tension-only philosophy, it is recommended that they
be connected at the intersection to reduce the possibility of
serviceability problems due to the fexibility of the braces.
Minus Dimension
Horizontal braces typically are not located at the top of
steel, because the connections can interfere with grating and
decking. To indicate the elevation of the brace, a minus
dimension is usually shown on the design drawings. The
minus dimension is the distance from the reference eleva-
tion (top of steel, top of grating, top of concrete, etc.) to
the top of the brace. Theoretically, the best location for the
bracing is at the centroid of the beams, because this is where
it is located in the structural analysis model (unless offsets
are used in the model). However, this usually is not practical,
because most structures are built with multiple beam depths
within each bay. The minus dimensions are usually deter-
mined by the connection details and the depth of fller beams.
In practice, the moments caused by the offsets between the
brace centroid and beam centroid usually are neglected. The
best practice for design drawings is to list the nominal minus
dimension, which will allow some fexibility for the detailer
to make minor adjustments where beam depths are slightly
different within the brace span.
A simple example is illustrated in Figure 4 (following
page). If the brace is placed 6 in. below the top of steel as
shown in Figure 4a, gusset plates are required at the W14
web. The more economical solution is shown in Figure 4b,
where the nominal minus dimension is 14 in., and the brace
passes under the W14. The W14 fller beam in Figure 4a is
more expensive to fabricate due to the gusset plates shop
welded to the web. The extra bolts and extra shipping piece
for the system in Figure 4a also make the arrangement more
expensive to erect. Where braces pass under fller beams,
they are usually connected to the bottom fange of the beam
with two bolts as shown in Figure 4b. This reduces the buck-
ling length of the brace and acts as a support to reduce the
dead load moment and defection.
Fig. 2: Brace with an eccentric connection.
Fig. 3: Sagging brace member.
Connection Details
Figure 5a shows a typical horizontal bracing connection
at a beam-to-beam intersection. Where horizontal bracing
is located at a beam-to-column intersection, the gusset plate
must be cut out around the column as shown in Figure 5b.
These are called wrap-around gusset plates. At locations
with large columns and heavy beam connection angles, a
large area of the gusset plate must be cut out as shown in
Figure 6 (opposite page). It is more economical for shops to
cut square openings, but the optional diagonal cut shown at
the inside corner of the plate can signifcantly increase the
bending strength of the gusset plate legs. The optional cut at
the outside corner is used to ensure that the maximum edge
distance requirements in the AISC Specifcation are met.
Connections at the gusset-to-beam interface typically
are made with single clip angles on one side of the gusset.
Usually the feld bolts are easier to access when the clip
angles are placed on the top side of the gusset. For larger
loads, double clip-angles (one on each side of the gusset)
are common. Figure 7 shows a detail where the nominal
minus dimension is 14 in. A single clip angle is used to
connect the gusset plate to the W18 beam. On the opposite
interface, the gusset plate is bolted directly to the fange of
the W14 beam. In practice, fller plates are common where
the gusset is bolted directly to the beam fange, due to the
varying depths of the beams within a braced bay.
Cusser plares usually aie slop lolreo ro rle liace oi
shipping to the feld. This is more effcient for erection,
because the single assembly can be located and oriented
easier than if the brace were shipped separately from the
Fig. 4: Typical plan with horizontal bracing.
(a) undesirable brace arrangement (b) desirable brace arrangement
Fig. 5: Standard horizontal brace connections.
(a) beam-to-beam interface (b) beam-to-column interface
gussets. On rare occasions, such as where shipping space is
at a premium, it may be better to ship the pieces separately
so they can be nested.
Connection Design
Although the force distribution in horizontal brace con-
nections is indeterminate, the gusset-to-beam interface
forces can be determined easily. Figure 8 shows a plan view
of a horizontal brace connection at a beam-to-beam inter-
section. The engineer must assign a force path to distribute
the axial load in the brace to the gusset-plate to beam-web
interfaces. Using a defection compatibility approach, the
interface forces shown in Figure 8a are incorrect because
the stiffness parallel to the beam webs is much greater than
the stiffness perpendicular to the beam webs. The small
load entering the web in the transverse direction can be
neglected, which results in the interface forces shown in
Figure 8b. Additionally, the force distribution in Figure 8b
uses the simplest and most direct path to get the compo-
nents of the brace force directly into the beams.
Cusser plares aie oesigneo so rle sriesses on any cioss
section of the plate are lower than the design stresses. The
selection of the most highly stressed section is at the discre-
tion of the Engineer-of-Record and is based on judgment and
experience. Traditionally, beam equations have been used to
determine the stresses at the critical sections, and the normal
stress and shear stress are usually considered separately.
Fig. 8: Horizontal brace connection with incorrect and correct force distribution.
Fig. 6: Wrap-around gusset plate with a large cutout.
Fig. 7
Wrap-around gusset plate bolted to bottom ange of W14 beam.
(a) incorrect (b) correct
mentation Audit. Table 1 helps clarify items required and
the associated time allowances.
Application Submitted to AISC is the initial step in
starting the application process. Three items are required:
1) application, 2) payment, and 3) the quality system docu-
mentation submittal. These three items must be submitted
within 10 days of each other. If they are not, whatever was
submitted will be returned to the sender.
This requirement was introduced to encourage new
applicants to have all their documents in order before begin-
ning the process. We also realize that some applicants will
tell clients they are in the process of certifcation but only
submit an application and nothing else. This requirement
will certainly weed those applicants out of the program and
allow us to focus our resources.
Once these three items are received, AISC enters the
applicant into the certifcation database and assigns a unique
identifcation number. That number is used on all subse-
questions every day on the process of certifcation, both
from those applying to the program for the frst time as
well as seasoned veterans. Some of these are very general
in nature but a lot can be very specifc to where one is
in the overall process. Some of the most frequently asked
questions are:
!ow long ooes ir rake ro lecome ceiriheo?
\lar oo ! neeo ro ger sraireo?
Aie rleie any rime limirarions rliouglour rle piocess?
\len oo ! ieally neeo ro lave my Coiiecrive Acrion
Requesrs (CARs) closeo our?
Previously, AISC Certifcation had approximate time
frames for our tasks and responsibilities, covering things like
how quickly we would send out an application, perform a
documentation audit, write an audit report, or mail a certif-
cate. But the one variable in the process was the participant!
With this installment of Quality Corner, we have outlined
the time allowances for the tasks and responsibility of the
participant in order to help streamline and codify the certi-
fcation process. These allowances will help take the guess-
work out of the process to not only assist participants but
also to help specifers better understand the program.
Certification Applicants
This is the area where AISC Certifcation receives the
most questions from our applicants and specifers. To help
simplify things, we have outlined three main items that apply
to all applicants applying for certifcation: 1) the application
submittal, 2) the Administration Audit, and 3) the Docu-
Quality Corner is a monthly feature that covers topics ranging from how to specify a certied company to how long it takes to
become a certied company. If you are interested in browsing our electronic archive, please visit
Streamlining the Certication Process
New requirements will simplify the overall process for AISC Certication.
quality corner
Todd Alwood, LEED AP, is the man-
ager for certifcation business develop-
ment with AISC. He can be reached
Items Required Time Allowance
Submitted to
uoliry sysrem
submittal (visit
com for a list of
items required)
Any missing
or incomplete
items must be
supplied within
10 calendar days
of submittal or
the application
process will be
participate in
quality system
Audir 6y MC.
Additional information
or clarications that
may be requested by
MC ro complere r|e
Administration Audit.
If an applicant
exceeds a total
of 45 calendar
doys, MC will
terminate the
application process.
participate in
quality system
Audir 6y MC.
Additional information
or clarications that
may be requested by
MC ro complere
the Documentation
If an applicant
exceeds a total
of 60 calendar
doys, MC will
terminate the
application process.
Table 1
Requirements and Time Allowances for New Applicants
quent communication with AISC and Quality Management
Company (QMC), an independent, third-party auditing com-
pany. At this point, AISC submits the applicants documenta-
tion to QMC to begin the auditing process.
The next step is the Administration Audit carried out by
QMC, which reviews an applicants Quality System Submittal
and confrms it includes:
A!SC Ceirihcarion Applicarion
Jol/Posirion esciiprions
\PS ano \eloei Qualihcarions
Qualiry Manual ano Pioceouies
!nreinal Auoir
Recoio o a Managemenr Review Meering
! irems aie missing, rle applicanr is noriheo ano musr
sulmir rle missing irems. ! an applicanr exceeos +5 calen-
oai oays iom rle leginning o rle Aominisriarion Auoir,
QMC terminates the application process and returns the
submitted documentation.
The third step is the Documentation Audit where the
specihc pieces o rle Qualiry Sysrem Sulmirral aie ievieweo
in detail against our defned program requirements. Some
items are commonly overlooked. For example, calibration
requirements state that the paint dry-flm thickness gage
neeos ro le cleckeo on a oaily lasisyer rlis is iequenrly
missed. Another common example is not defning the time
interval within which you audit a vendors quality and deliv-
ery qualifcations.
Tle applicanr las a roral o 6O calenoai oays iom rle
leginning o rlis auoir ro close our any aooirional inoima-
rion oi claiihcarion iequesrs. ne o rle mosr common issues
that applicants run into is not including bolting procedures.
One may think they dont need to include these procedures,
because their company does not boltbut the procedures
musr srill le aooiesseo. ! an applicanr exceeos rle 6O-oay
limit, QMC terminates the application process and returns
the submitted documentation.
All Participants
Table 2 identifes two items that apply to all participants in
AISC Certifcation, both new applicants and those previously
certifed. The frst highlights the confrmation required with
regard to the onsite audit, which must be confrmed within fve
calenoai oays iom rle norice o rle auoir oare ly QMC.
Tle secono irem is iegaioing rle rime allowance oi pairic-
ipanrs ro iespono ro Coiiecrive Acrion Requesrs ouno ouiing
an onsite audit. All responses and evidence must be submitted
ro ano closeo our ly QMC wirlin +5 calenoai oays iom rle
conclusion o rle onsire auoir. Tlis means rlar wairing unril
oay +3 is piolally nor rle wisesr rling ro oo, lecause QMC
musr ieview any oursranoing CARs. ! aooirional inoimarion
is iequiieo, you coulo easily exreno leyono rle +5 oays ano le
iequiieo ro ieapply oi ceirihcarion.

Onsite Revisits
Aooirional onsire ievisirs may le iequiieo ro veiiy rle
implemenrarion ano eecriveness o rle CARs issueo. Tle
most common examples where QMC will deem a revisit is
iequiieo aie: i a pairicipanr acciues a signihcanr numlei o
CARs, a pairicipanr ieceives iepear CARs/Conceins, oi in
some cases rle close-our o ceirain CARs wlicl cannor le ol-
lowed up through paperwork or additional submittals.
!n all cases, rle pairicipanr las 6O calenoai oays in wlicl
ro scleoule ano complere rle onsire ievisir. ! rle ievisir is
nor complereo wirlin rle given rimeiame, rle pairicipanr is
iequiieo ro ieapply oi ceirihcarion.
These items sound simple but we run into questions every
oay on all o rlese iequiiemenrs ano allowancesano we ieal-
izeo rlar rley neeoeo ro le lerrei oehneo oi oui piogiam
participants and users. By streamlining the overall process,
A!SC Ceirihcarion lopes ro inciease rle rianspaiency o rle
program and better educate the industry on its benefts.
One additional resource that visually oriented readers may
hno useul is rle Ceirihcarion Piocess urline/!lowclair
available on the AISC Certifcation website at
certprocess. Tlis ioenrihes all rle aspecrs o ceirihcarion ano
rleii appioximare rimeiames in a cleai ano eecrive giapli-
cal piesenrarion. As always, i you lave aooirional quesrions oi
comments, I would encourage you to contact AISC Certifca-
tion at
All Participants Time Allowance
Companies conrm the
scheduled date of onsite
Conrm the QMC scheduled
onsite audit date within 5
calendar days.
Companies respond to any
QMC Corrective Action
Requests (CARs) issued
during the onsite audit.
45 calendar days from conclusion
of the onsite audit, all CAR
responses/evidence must be
submitted and CARs closed.
As Required
On-Site Revisit: If QMC determines that any of the CARs require
an auditor to revisit the client, a special audit must be arranged
and completed, and the CARs closed out during the special
audit prior to the issuance of AISC Certication. The client is
responsible for the additional cost of the special audit. A spe-
cial audit must be scheduled and completed within 60 calendar
days from the QMC notice of a required Revisit.
Table 2
Requirements and Time Allowances for All Participants
Table 3
Onsite Revisit Requirements and Time Allowance
The Fabrication Factor
The fabrication shop is important in determining not only the cost
of a structural steel package, but its environmental impact as well.
WHEN IT COMES TO MEASURING the environmental
footprint of structural steel, most of the focus tends to be on
the steelmaking process. And depending on whose numbers
you are looking at, the numbers can vary quite a bit.
In one of the more widely published categoriescarbon
footprintweve seen numbers ranging from just over 0.5
tons of CO
per ton of structural steel produced to around 2.5
tons per ton. The variation in the numbers is a result of a wide
range of assumptions in the collection of the data, such as
domestic-versus-world averages, variations in the percentage
of non-carbon-based electric production in different electric
grids, calculation methodology, recycling rates, and market-
basket approaches to production methods using electric arc
or basic oxygen furnaces. Pending the submission of domes-
tic producer data to the World Steel Association (worldsteel)
database, AISC generally quotes a value of 0.73 tons of CO

per ton of structural steel produced based on reported EAF
data. However, in a study recently completed for AISC com-
paring steel- and concrete-framed structures, a value of 0.875
tons of CO
per ton of structural steel was used based on the
worldsteel database adjusted for U.S. production.
Of course, production is only one step in the structural
steel supply chain. Certainly the environmental impact of
mill production accounts for the majority of the environmen-
tal footprint of structural steel, but that does not mean that
activities at the fabricator shop are insignifcant. Much to the
contrary, the effciency of the fabricator contributes greatly
to minimizing the overall environmental impact of structural
steel. For many structures the fab shop may be the key factor
in determining whether a structural steel or concrete fram-
ing system has a lower overall environmental impact.
Until recently, there wasnt accurate environmental data
on the domestic structural steel fabrication process. However,
AISC recently conducted a study that collected this informa-
tion and quantifed the impact the average fabrication shop
has on the overall environmental impact of structural steel.
The study was performed for AISC by structural engineer-
ing frm HDR Engineering and environmental consulting
frm Five Winds International/PE Americas.
In order to determine the environmental impact in sev-
eral different categories, we frst had to determine the inputs
and outputs of the average steel fabricator. We mailed an
anonymous survey to all AISC member fabricators asking
for numbers on the following:
Steel received and fabricated
Scrap generated
Water consumption
Electrical usage
Waste disposal
Fuel usage (natural gas, propane, and diesel)
Welding/cutting supplies
Chemicals (paints, lubricants, and cleaning agents)
For each input, total consumption for all sites considered
was divided by total steel production of all sites considered, in
order to provide an average use rate.
Once the usage data was consolidated, it was then used
to evaluate the environmental impact of each of these inputs
and outputs. The carbon footprint of the fabrication process
is just one of several areas of impact that were determined:
Global warming potential (kg CO
equivalent, the inter-
nationally recognized unit of measurement for this area):
Measures the effect of greenhouse gases. Each GHG
Geoff Weisenberger is AISCs
director of industry sustain-
ability. You can reach him at You
can also fnd out more about
steel and sustainability at www.
Using solar panels, like this 74.3-kW array on the roof of AISC
member fabricator Hamilton Construction in Springeld, Ore.,is
one tactic for reducing the non-renewable energy use, and sub-
sequent environmental impact, of a steel fabrication shop.
Hamilton Construction Co.
Jul10_Sustainability.indd 56 6/28/2010 2:23:09 PM
has its own global warming potential, which indicates its heat-
trapping ability relative to that of CO
Acidifcation potential (mol H+ equivalent): Measures emis-
sions that cause acidifying effects to the environment.
Eutrophication potential (kg nitrogen equivalent): Measures
excessive nutrient inputs into water and land.
Ozone depletion potential (kg CFC-11 equivalent): Measures
the relative amount of degradation to the ozone layer that a
material can cause relative to trichlorofuoromethane (R-11
or CFC-11) being fxed at an ODP of 1.0.
Smog potential (kg nitrous oxide equivalent): Measures emis-
sions of precursors that contribute to low-level smog.
Non-renewable energy primary demand (megajoules): Measures
total amount of primary energy associated with a product. (Total
primary energy demand was also measured.)
The results in each category were clustered fairly tightly.
Although extreme, inconsistent outliers were removed from the
results pool, two marginal datasets were left in, one that generally
had the highest impacts in each area and another that generally
had the lowest. These worst-case and best-case examples were
included to demonstrate the range of impact that the environmen-
tal performance of the steel fabricator can have on a project.
The study indicated that the average steel fabrication process
contributes approximately 20% to the structural steel packages
portion of a steel buildings overall environmental impactbut we
found that the high-impact fabricator can raise the impact by 10%
to 33% and the low-impact fabricator can lower the impact by
6% to 14%, depending on the category. (Ozone depletion poten-
tial was excluded from further study as a result of the Montreal
Protocol and the subsequent general worldwide elimination of
ODP substances. Fabrication impact for ODP was in the range of
kg CFC-11 equivalents/kg of steel.)
Average Impacts of Fabricating a 1-kg Steel Part
These data are not presented as an environmental claim on the
part of the industry, as they have not been peer-reviewed as required
under ISO standards relative to environmental claims. They are
simply presented as the results of the subject study. AISC intends
to continue collecting data relative to the environmental impacts of
the entire cradle-to-cradle structural steel supply chain and when it
is well documented, to submit those results for peer review.
While there are numerous activities that generate environmen-
tal impacts in a fabrication shop or any other operation, its a good
idea to examine those of greatest impact. So what were they? In every
environmental category except for eutrophication potential, electri-
cal usage was by far the biggest contributor. Natural gas and diesel
fuel (used for shipping) were the next-largest contributors in most
categories, but these barely approached that of electrical usage, which
was 70%-80% of total environmental impact in most categories and
even more than 30% in the eutrophication category. So clearly non-
renewable electricity consumption is a good place to start for any fab-
rication shop looking to reduce its environmental impact. Electricity
is consumed in nearly all fabrication operations, and improvements
in equipment effciency will dramatically reduce overall energy con-
sumption. Installation of renewable power sources such as photovol-
taic panels or on-site wind turbines will further reduce the consump-
tion of fossil-based fuels, thus lowering the non-renewable primary
energy demand, as will the movement away from fossil-fuel genera-
tion by electric utilities.
Another area highlighted by the survey where signifcant envi-
ronmental gains can be made is in the amount of scrap generated by
the fabrication process. According to the reported survey data, the
average fabricator requires 1.2 tons of steel for every ton fabricated
and shipped to the job site. You may be saying to yourself, But steel
scrap can be recycled! Of course it can. But remember shipping
that scrap back to a mill or recycling center not only requires fuel,
but also the energy to melt the scrap and produce the new steel
So what does this mean for engineers who put a high priority
on minimizing the environmental impact of their projects? Is there
an easy way to determine whether one fabricator is more environ-
mentally effcient than another? The majority of fabrication shops
are clustered fairly tightly in almost every environmental impact
category, and attempting to select a fabricator based on that crite-
ria would be diffcult. But that doesnt mean asking questions like
What is your energy usage per fabricated ton? or What are you
doing to make your shop greener? is a bad idea. Encouraging fab-
ricators to improve their sustainable practices will help accomplish
the structural steel industrys long-term commitment to reducing
the environmental impact of structural steela commitment that
has resulted in a reduction of 47% in carbon emissions and a 29%
reduction in energy consumption at the mill level since 1990.
But the engineer can also play an active role in the reduction of
the environmental impact of structural steel. Involving the fabrica-
tor early in the design process will allow an experienced fabricator to
lend their expertise in terms of more effcient fabrication processes,
bay sizing, and material selection. This will result in more effcient
material management, less scrap produced, and lower electrical con-
sumption. From there, the engineer and fabricator together can
look into other energy-saving technologies or practices.
Average Worst-case Best-case
Global Warming
(kg CO
0.215 0.261 0.193
Acidication Potential
(mol H+ Equiv.)
0.0519 0.0595 0.0461
(kg N-Equiv.)
4.54 x 10
5.216 x 10
4.04 x 10
Smog Potential
(kg NO
3.37 x 10
3.71 x 10
3.16 x 10
Primary Energy
Demand (MJ)
2.82 3.71 2.42




Electricity use, shown in green, accounts for a substantial majority of
the environmental impact attributable to steel fabrication in ve of the
six categories considered in the study.
YOU HAVE PROBABLY been there a 1,000 times. You
have bid a job, fairly certain you will get the job and then the
old, dreaded 40-page Subcontractors Agreement comes
fying in from your customer. Sign and send back is the
request. Digging through the Killer Subcontractors Agree-
ment can be onerous, written in nearly incomprehensible
terms, then you come to the Indemnity section and the
indemnifcation clause creates a fairly straightforward obli-
gation: the subcontractor (you) will defend and pay damages
if the general contractor, owner and architect are sued for
injury arising out of the subcontractors (your) work.
At this point, it is important to know about risk transfer. Con-
tractual risk transfer is generally achieved through two types
of provisions. The contract may include an indemnifcation
clause, an additional insured clause (sometimes part of a broad-
er insurance clause), or both. These provisions create unique
obligations for the subcontractor (you) and should be carefully
reviewed because they could possibly create additional exposures
that may not be covered in your general liability policy.
Coverage Issues on Subcontractors General
Liability Policy
By signing the Killer Subcontractors Agreement in its origi-
nal form without negotiating more favorable terms, you may be
exposing your company to additional unwanted exposure and
potential uncovered claims. In the indemnity section, the con-
tract usually states that you (the subcontractor) will hold harm-
less the general contractor, owner and architect for all claims,
damages, etc., for all liability arising out of the subcontractors
(your) work, in essence requiring you to handle, indemnify and
defend claims caused by the general contractors negligence,
even in the absence of fault on the part of the subcontractor
(you). The general contractor or owner may have had faulty
general supervision, failed to provide a safe place to work or
failure to take reasonable precautions and adopt proper safe-
guards to protect workers from injuries, for which you the sub-
contractor had no fault. But the defnition of all liability arising
out of your work could potentially drag you (the subcontractor)
in to defend and indemnify the GC and owner.
Here is the coverage problem. Many court decisions have
applied coverage even when the result of subcontractors (your)
negligence was absent because of the broad interpretation by
the courts of liability arising out defnition of subcontractors
work, found in the construction agreement. In 2004, insurance
carriers changed the wording in the additional insured endorse-
ments on your general liability policy to the injury or damage
must be caused, in whole or in part by subcontractors acts or
omissions. The revised wording is more restricted and narrows
the defnition of what your liability coverage offers.
Your coverage now specifcally states that in order to indem-
nify the GC, owner and architect, the injury or damage must be
directly caused by you in whole or in part. The liability arising
out of language is gone due to its broader application and cov-
erage for additional insureds. This is good, you think?
Why Is This Bad for Subcontractors?
If the Subcontractors Agreement mandates that your
policy grants the GC, owner and architect additional insured
status for injuries and claims arising out of subcontractors
work, and your general liability policy restricts coverage to
claims to only caused in whole or in part, there is a discon-
nect where the contract you signed doesnt match your insur-
ance coverage in your liability policy. The contract language
is much broader than what your liability policy covers.
When this happens and you are tendered a claim or lawsuit
by the GC, owner or architect, and the dreaded coverage dis-
claimer letter arrives in the mail from carrier stating no cover-
age, you may be stuck with an uncovered claim and possible
breach of contract exposure, which usually isnt covered by the
policy either. The contract you signed states arising out of or
connected to your work, but your insurance policy states cover-
ages for claims caused in whole or in part by your work.
It is important, therefore, to be diligent in reviewing your
construction agreements and make certain your attorney and/
or insurance advisor reviews the coverages in your general li-
ability policy and that they are suffcient to address the expo-
sures that you have agreed to in your construction contract.
Parties to construction contracts (especially subcontractors)
must use great care to determine that proper coverage is in
place to avoid a potential coverage disaster. Dont just sign the
contract and send it back without thoroughly reviewing and
negotiating more favorable terms.
Reprinted from the February, 2010 issue of SEAA E-News with permis-
sion from the Steel Erectors Association of America (
Construction Contracts for Subcontractors
Are You Covered?
When you clearly understand what youre being asked to sign,
you may want to go for better terms.
business issues
Ron Thompson has spent more than 25
years as a broker and risk consultant for
the heavy construction industry. For the
past 12 years, he has managed the Heavy
Construction Insurance Division at Sover-
eign Insurance Group in Dallas, Texas.
Steel Design Guide
ase Plate and
nchor R
od D
Second Edition

Steel D
esign G

All the details in a
handy reference.
Steel Design Guide 1
Base Plate and Anchor Rod
Design, Second Edition
(second printing)
Steel Design Guide 24
Hollow Structural Steel
Section Connections
Order your copy today!
Check out the new additions to
the AISC Design Guide library!
How to get the
most out of
hosting a SteelDay
event in 2010.
Its a
STEELDAY WAS CREATED in 2009 to celebrate the structural steel
industrys contribution to building America. SteelDay 2010 is set for
Friday, September 24, and its not too earlyor too lateto make plans
to host an event.
Across the nation, steel fabricators, mills, service centers, galvanizers,
HSS producers, bender-rollers and others will open their facilities, job-
sites, and offces, offering tours and inviting the AEC community and
general public to see what we can do, and how we can do it. The result is
an unparalleled interactive networking event for members of the design,
construction and structural steel industry.
SteelDay events are happening across industry segments throughout
the United States. As of June 1, there were already 131 events scheduled.
And in 2010, the celebration also has expanded to other parts of the
globe, with events scheduled in Canada and Italy.
Ross Allbritton is AISCs area mar-
keting representative for Washington
and Oregon. He can be reached at Walt Primer
is AISCs Southeast Initiative area
marketing representative and can be
reached at
Why You Should Be a Host
There are several direct benefts to hosting a SteelDay event.
Among them are:
In a single day, you can proudly demonstrate your organiza-
tions expertise to professionals from across the industry. A
typical comment from last years attendees was along the lines
of, I have been designing for 15+ years, and if I had ever seen
exactly how you do it before, my designs would have been
much better.
By becoming a part of SteelDay you will beneft from AISCs
national advertising and awareness campaigns. These include
print advertising and a SteelDay website that lists all the events
so people can see who and where events are being offered.
You can also take advantage of SteelDay logos and other brand-
ing materials to use in your outgoing communications. Planning
materials are also available. Some of the most successful event
hosts of 2009 said that all they did to drive people to their event
was to follow the instructions on the SteelDay Hosts web page.
Hosting a SteelDay event is a great way to leverage your AISC
membership. Among other things, it reminds your visitors that
you are an integral part of a national group supporting the
highest quality construction through the use of structural steel.
Top 3 Reasons For Not Hosting a SteelDay Event
1. My facility is a secret. I cant risk others knowing where
I am or what I do. That would just get people excited
about the possibilities, and my shop could get so full
that I might have to hire more people, and thats a
2. My expertise is a secret. I have already established rela-
tionships with everyone that could possibly be doing
anything in steel. Meeting new people would just lead
to them calling with questions. Once they see what I
can do, they may want to include me in projects to see
what the best approach might be. That could lead to
being part of a project team, and teams are a hassle.
3. My quality is a secret. If outsiders were to meet our
people and see how much they care about what they
produce, they might have an expectation that the next
job they send us may save them time in the eld. And
quality is a hassle.
AISC staged its 2009 SteelDay event in Chicago's Millennium
Park featuring two stilt-walking "Men of Steel" as well as a
variety of learning stations, walking tours, and lunch.
Things to Consider
The theme of SteelDay is to Interact. Learn. Build. It is an
opportunity to educate people about steel construction, to net-
work with other building professionals, and build more steel proj-
ects. Here are some simple ideas that will help you get the most
value out of SteelDay 2010:
Host an event. Step one is to decide to get involved. Any
AISC member organization can participate. Whether you
are an architect or fabricator (or anyone in between), you
can receive the benefts of hosting a SteelDay event. Once
you choose to be a host, your AISC support staff can help
guide you through the steps to a successful event.
Your event can be as simple as just opening your doors and
inviting your customers in. Offering coffee and snacks pro-
vides a bit of friendly hospitality.
Partner with another organization and host a multi-facility tour.
How many of your target prospects have seen a galvanizing
operation? You could take the attendee on a trip through the
process from design to fabrication, from coating to erection.
Arrange a jobsite tour with the owners/contractors/architects
of a local steel-framed project for a tour of the job site under
construction. Explain any challenges and how you overcame
them with structural steel.
Invite all your contacts. The more people you invite, the
more will come. You may be surprised by who can infuence
a project. For example, if you typically communicate with
structural engineers, take this opportunity to reach out to
architects. You have the power of a national campaign to help
give you local exposure. Dont forget to invite:
Community members. Bring them into your shop and
offce for lunch and a demonstration.
Your local business development commissioners.
The local media. This is a local opportunity to cover a
national event.
Students. They are the builders of tomorrow.
Local chapters of industry associations (AIA, SEA, etc.).
Owners. Many of these senior development profession-
als are most directly affected by your capabilities and few
have had the chance to visit your operation.
Network. This is possibly the best part of the day. It is a
chance to ask and be asked questions that directly infuence
the industrys local and national business environment.
Offer a seminar. Give a presentation about your company,
or an educational seminar. Become known as the person to
come to for answers.
Here are several more ideas for specifc
types of hosting opportunities.
Engineers & Architects
Invite your current and potential cli-
ents, as well as your vendors and other
frms with whom you work to tour
your offce.
Put together a self-guided tour of local
(hometown) projects that are steel-
framed, like historic structures, etc.
You can download an example from
AISCs SteelTools website by visiting
Fabricators, Galvanizers, Producers
Consider a multi-company tour. Last
year there was an event in Tacoma,
Wash., that included a cocktail recep-
tion, presentations and acknowledge-
ments from the developer, general
contractor, architect, structural engi-
neer, erector and fabricator followed
by an onsite tour of the in-progress
steel-framed project.
Set up an exchange day. Your staff vis-
its one of your suppliers facilities in
the morning and they visit yours in
the afternoon.
Demonstrate the process. One idea
foating around this year is to have a
bus take people from a steel service
center, to a fabricator, to a bender-
roller and then to a galvanizer. Many
in the A/E/C world have not seen all
the pieces of the process.
Clearly there are as many different ways
to host a SteelDay event as there are partic-
ipants in the industry. There are many ben-
efts beyond those that we have touched
upon. To see what last years hosts had to
say about participating in SteelDay 2009,
A SteelDay event can be a great place to
build new and solidify existing relationships.
It can deepen your business relationships.
You can shine as an industry expert, and meet
and learn from other industry experts. You
can answer questions, get your questions
answered, and if you are not careful, probably
have a lot of fun. Join the celebration!
To learn more about any aspect of Steel-
Day, visit
SteelDay 2010 in Salina
Mark Hamade is passionate about the
opportunities SteelDay offers. As the
chief human resources ofcer at Salina,
Kan.-based PKM Steel Service, Hamade is
planning an impressive event. My goal is
1,000 people at our site, Hamade says.
In addition to a lunch of burgers and
brats, PKM will offer a short presenta-
tion on the company and its operations,
followed by a facility and shop tour. But
thats not all.
Hamades short list includes:
Ensuring that everyone within the orga-
nization knows about SteelDay 2010.
Mailing SteelDay information to archi-
tects, engineers, contractors, techni-
cal university contacts, customers,
bankers, insurers, family and friends.
Issuing a press release and working
with the local chamber of commerce,
newspaper, television, and radio.
Inviting the mayor and the governor.
Additionally, he is working on having
a radio station on premises, and even
perhaps even streaming the live event.
Wouldnt that make this SteelDay event
one to keep an eye on?
Each month MSCs product section features items from all areas of the steel construction
industry. In general, these products have been introduced within the past six months. If youre looking for a specific product,
visit MSCs online product directory at You can browse by product category or search on
any term to help find the products you need, fast.
new products
All products submitted are considered for publication, and we encourage submittals related to all segments of the steel industry: engineering, detail-
ing, fabrication, and erection. Submit product information via e-mail to Tom Klemens ( To be included in MSCs online
products directory, contact Louis Gurthet (
Formulas for iPhones
The Formulator Series by MultiEducator, Inc. is a series of Apple iPhone apps
specially designed, programmed and packaged for architects, builders, carpen-
ters and civil, environmental, electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic engineers.
These applications pack hundreds of formulas, graphics calculations, federal
and state regulatory codes, and industrial code requirements into fingertip
ready iPhone or iPod applications. Apps are available by individual discipline or
batched by type of application. All can be downloaded to an Apple iPhone or
and iPod Touch and are available at the Apple iTunes Store.
For more information, visit or call 914.381.7155.
Engine-driven Welding Generator
The new Champion Elite engine-driven welding generator
from Hobart Welding Products is powered by a 23 hp OHV,
twin-cylinder Kohler or Subaru gasoline engine and produces
11,000 watts of peak auxiliary power. It offers a 225-amp AC
or 210-amp DC weld output, and with 9,500 watts of continu-
ous power at 100% duty cycle, allowing operators to weld and
work with auxiliary tools at the same time. The four 120 V (20
amp) receptacles and one 120/240 V (50 amp) receptacle all
feature push-button reset circuit breakers. The unit provides
excellent starting capabilities for motors in the three to five hp
range. It can run for up to 9 hours on one, 12-gallon tank of
gas under a continuous load of 4,000 watts.
For more information, go to or call
An iPad App for BIM
goBIM enables Building Information Modeling (BIM) to be viewed on iPhones and therefore in any location, including construc-
tion sites. The launch of the iPad, available in the U.S. since April 3, radically increases the power of this app, since designers
can now view models on a much larger scale. Although several apps allow users to view 3D models, goBIM is the first iPad-
compatible app to enable users to navigate models and review data tagged to model elements (such as materials, manufacturer
information and volumetric information). The app was developed by Ian Keough, senior technical designer at the international
multidisciplinary engineering firm Buro Happold, is available from the Apple iTunes Store at
For more information, go to
To advertise, call 231.228.2274 or e-mail
Search employment ads online at
To advertise, call 231.228.2274 or e-mail
Call: 312.861.3000
AISC Assistance
Do you understand the AISC requirements?
Quality Documents
Training Records
Management Review
Internal Audit
We can help you get certified with:
Remote or Onsite Assistance!
Internal Audits!
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AISC Quality Certification
Admit it...
You NEED it!
Call 941.223.4332
On-site guidance and training
Increase productivity
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100 TEKLA Structure Licenses
Accelerating Detailing Revolution
Commercial Projects
Schools Malls Casinos Stadiums Churches
Office Buildings Hospitals Airports Hotels
Car Parking Structures
Industrial Projects
Petrochemical Refineries Duct Work Conveyors
Offshore Structures Power and Process Industry
2596 Harman Park Court, Duluth, Georgia, USA
Phone: 770.881.8455 / 770.495.1446
Fax: 770.495.1448
Structural & Specialty Design
Ferrell Engineering, owned, operated, and based solely in the USA,
provides structural steel design services to the steel fabrication
industry and engineering design firms. We provide design ser-
vices for all structural steel projects, commercial and industrial.
Ferrell Engineerings staff has practical experience in all phases
of steel construction; fabrication, erection, detailing, estimating,
project management, and design. Through our efficiency and
economic skills learned from hands-on experience, we provide
design solutions which can provide project savings in detailing,
fabrication, and erection.
Our Services: Project Standard Connections, Special Connections
for Braced Frames, Moment Frames, and Axial Transfer Forces,
Seismic Bracing and Moment Connections, Structural Analysis of
Stair and Handrail Systems, Engineering Review and Seal of Shop
Drawings, Develop Welding Procedure Specifications (CWI), Litiga-
tion Support and Expert Witness Testimony
Doug Ferrell 205.879.2036 Birmingham, AL
Tony Hazel 803.798.7313 Columbia, SC
from Old School veterans combine the latest technologies from SDS/2
and Tekla Structures to reduce delays and maximize your profits.
North American Detailers
and superior management
Structural Steel Detailers
all Sizes/Types Projects
NISD/QPP/IDC Certified
BIM Consulting/PE Licensed
IFC & CIS/2 Model Exports
CNC Data Exports
Producing BIM Models since 2001
MEMBERS: NISD & AISC Tel: 972.964.3310
McKinney, Texas 75070 Fax: 972.867.2198
Why waste your money on other expensive and difficult
structural software when an alternative is so
affordable and easy to use?
Introducing the very accurate and lightning-fast
Real3D-Analysis 4.0
By Computations & Graphics, Inc.
Phone: (303) 668-1091
To advertise, call 231.228.2274 or e-mail
Search employment ads online at
ProCounsel, a member of AISC, can market your skills
and achievements (without identifying you) to any city
or state in the United States. We communicate with
over 3,000 steel fabricators nationwide. The employer
pays the employment fee and the interviewing and
relocation expenses. If youve been thinking of making
a change, now is the time to do it. Our target, for you, is
the right job, in the right location, at the right money.
Toll free: 866-289-7833
or 214-741-3014
Fax: 214-741-3019
SE Solutions has multiple positions for structural engineers!
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Brian Quinn, P.E. Lisa Willard, P.E.
Structural & Misc. Steel Fabrication
Our organization has been recruiting for the Structural and Misc. Steel
Fabricating industry for over 20 years. Current positions include:
Project Manager General Manager Quality Control
Plant Superintendents Estimators Detailers
Chief Draftsman Checkers
Please send resume to:
Richard Stauffer
United Employment Associates, P.O. Box 8, East Texas, PA 18046
phone: (610) 437-5040 fax: (610) 437-9650
Prestige Equipment Corporation
35 Pinelawn Rd, Melville, NY 11747
Tel: 631.249.5566
Fax: 631.249.9494
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Large Quantity of Motorized Conveyor and Transfers also Available.
Visit for a complete list of our inventory or contact
Late Model Structural Steel Fabricating Equipment
Advertise Your Job Openings in MSC!
|SC erp|c]re|| ad a|c appea| c||||e!
(P|eae |c|e ||a| ||ee ad |c |c|e| appea| a| WWW.a|:.c|.,
Contact: Lou Gurthet at 231.228.2274
Free Bridge Information
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A Better Way
Perhaps gearing up with new tools can enhance your
steel detailing productivity.
Have an opinion youd like to share in Topping Out? Send your feedback to Tom Klemens, senior editor, at
topping out
IF YOU STILL CHECK the old fashioned way, and by that
I mean every detail has to have yellow or red on it, the fol-
lowing setup may help. It is also a very productive setup for
detailing as well, with a few changes.
Over the past few months I have added multiple monitors
to my desktopsix, to be exact. I now sit in front of three
27-in., one 21-in. and two 19-in. monitors, all operated from
one mouse and one keyboard. While Im not sure what that
is doing for my health, I do know I no longer have to wear
my glasses to see whats on designs, addendums, and shop
drawings. That alone makes it worth my investment.
I have also started using software from Bluebeam to
view and check the drawings. Part of the reason I went for
additional monitors was to take better advantage of the
softwares capabilities.
This software allows me to add highlighting of my choice,
yellow for correct, and a red pen for wrong. It also allows me
to save things I draw for future use on another check print
and paste in as needed. I can take snapshots of a correct
detail on any PDF or AutoCAD drawing and paste it into
the drawing I am checking. I also have used it to create my
own stacked-fractions.
When I first started using this software I was not going
as fast as when I was using paper prints, markers and red
pens. Now one click changes my mouse from marker to pen
and there are numerous other shortcuts as well. I also have
the DetailCAD genie set up for my calculator on triangles,
bracing, addition of numbers, and beam size references,
allowing me to be free of handheld calculators and steel
dimension references. Needless to say, our plotter paper
supplier has lost business.
My setup is as follows: The designs are open on one mon-
itor, erection drawings on another, detail sheet on another,
AutoCAD on another, sections for designs on a smaller one,
genie on one, and other programs spread out as needed. The
software allows me to split my screen multiple times; today I
had about 25 draw-
ings open at once,
plus probably six
AutoCAD drawings.
My computer is old
but still pretty fast
running this many
I highlight the
designs as I check off
each piece or section
so that I can make
sure everyt hi ng
from the design to my drawings matches and is detailed. If I
have dimensional problems, I dimension on the designs with
Bluebeam and send it back to the engineer to get verification.
My process for scrubbing goes this way: Check prints are
opened on one monitor and AutoCAD on another, so the
detailer never has to look away from the screen. Back check-
ing marks and remarks are added to the check print by the
detailer/scrubber, again using Bluebeam. If I have outside
people working, I simply email the PDF and it is scrubbed
and sent back to me where I back check any changes and
highlight them in blue as I review the scrubbing. Questions
from shop or fieldoccasionally they do happenare easier
to handle because I do not need to roam around the office
looking through mounds of drawings to find a check print
they are all on the network drive.
Before I started using this software we were taking pic-
tures of the check prints with a camera, emailing them as
needed and storing them on the hard drive. That was nec-
essary because we have some people working outside our
office. This procedure cut out UPS from our food chain, but
now that procedure is being replaced by even better ones.
In this economy, I had to cut costs and be more efficient,
so I sprang for new hardware and software. It took two jobs
of checking for me to overcome the learning curve, but on
the most recent job I can see a payback from my investment.
I can now say I will not go back to checking the old way. Its
kind of like the first time I tried AutoCAD or an automated
detailing program and thought I could never be as fast with
that as with a pencil. I have again been proven wrong, and in
this case, thats not a bad thing.
I think I paid in the neighborhood of $1,600 for monitors
and video cards, plus about $150 for the software. I did the
upgrades myself so the labor cost was just my time. I know it is
very difficult in these economic times to spend money on extra
equipment, but for me the investment was worth it.
By using multiple large format monitors, all the necessary docu-
ments can be kept open for cross referencing without having to
flip from window to window.
David Crow has been
detailing since 1980 and
is the owner of Structural
Plus Inc., Whitefsh,
Mont. He also is one of
the developers/owners of
the detailing software
DetailCAD. He can
be reached at david@ or by
phone at 406.862.7906.
David Crow