Article by Greg Holbrook
September 25, 2015 marked SteelDay, presented jointly to the Pittsburgh region by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the Pittsburgh Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Chapter. SteelDay provides the opportunity for professionals and experts to appreciate how the structural steel industry contributes to building America. And this year we did just that, hosting not one, but two events!
The first event of the day was at the Sippel Fabrication Shop in Ambridge, PA. This plant is an AISC certified structural steel fabrication plant and detailing facility. Approximately 40 to 50 participants, ranging from students to retirees, and including architects, engineers and drafters, toured the Sippel Fabrication plant. The event began with opening remarks from Bill Pascoli, an AISC representative for the region, and a short presentation by Sippel representatives.
Next, Girder-Slab delegates presented on their company history and their new structural floor system. Girder-Slab’s innovate floor system is, from a designer’s standpoint, very simple and intuitive. It entails cutting a standard steel beam in half and welding a steel bar to the web of the beam. This new beam is called a D-Beam. The reduced capacity of the beam requires smaller spans between columns, making it ideal for use in residential and mixed-use buildings. These D-Beams support the longer perpendicular spans that are designed with precast concrete planks, allowing the precast panels to sit right on the bottom flange. This reduces overhead clearance and overall building floor-to-floor heights.
After the presentations the attendees took tours around the Sippel Fabrication Plant and Facility where they saw the actual D-Beams being produced, among plenty more structural steel members being fabricated and detailed.
The second event of SteelDay took place at the SkyVue Complex in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA, where the new D-Beams were utilized in the structural floor system. Approximately 30 to 40 attendees arrived at this afternoon site visit, with a few more students attending due to the proximity to local universities. The tour began with a few remarks by representatives of Massaro Construction Group, the General Contractor on the SkyVue project. Participants visited Floor Levels 1 through 4 of the Skyvue complex; levels 5 through 7 were being erected and not open to the public. This tour showcased the D-beams and other structures prior to placement and installation of the concrete planks. Floors 1 through 4 will consist mainly of parking and commercial/retail spaces while the above floors will primarily be apartments.
This year’s SteelDay succeeded in its mission to bring together individuals from various industries to learn how the Steel Industry contributes to building America. This is all thanks to our generous hosts, Sippel Fabrication and the Massaro Construction Group. SEI appreciates AISC for their help with the event and for providing PDHs for both tours!