Connectors - Summer 2018 issue

Page 1


PROJECTS of the Distribution Center, Cathedral Receive Honors


18 Communication Key to Bidding AESS

22 Eliminate Wire Feeding Issues 26 2018 Convention Review


Leveraging technology and forward thinking. At Vulcraft, we believe it’s crucial to constantly push the boundaries of product innovation. To give our customers the tools to get the job done better than ever before. Our pioneering efforts in product development make satisfying your needs effective and affordable. With Vulcraft, you can expect success from start to finish. We provide peace of mind by being better partners, offering better products and ensuring better outcomes. Every time. Learn how Vulcraft delivers better outcomes.

The PunchLokÂŽ II System is the result of our unwavering commitment to product innovation. It was created because we saw a need for a deck system that enabled faster installation, yeilding higher shear values, and ultimately saved our customers more money.

Better Partners. Better Products. Better Outcomes.

If You Rig, Lift, Erect or Haul It, We Insure It. M&P Specialty Insurance provides insurance & risk management services for the steel erection, crane, rigging, and heavy hauling industries. Industry Classifications

Protection For Over 20 Years.

- Steel Erection

- Detailed Contractual Review - Licensed Nationwide - Underwritten by A+ Rated Carriers - Alignment of Insurance Products, Contractual

- Rigging - Crane Rental w/ Operator - Heavy Hauling - Bare Crane Rental - Millwright - Fabrication - House Moving / Raising

Detail, & Property Risk Management Practices Offering Comprehensive Coverage, Excellent Customer Service, & Competitive Premiums

Contact Jason McElrath |

803-936-1601 |

1179 Sunset Blvd. West Columbia, SC 29169

c ntents


FEATURES Management


AESS: Sophisticated but Complicated Sometimes misunderstood by various parties involved in construction design, exposed steel can drive up costs. By Lucy Perry

In the Field


Making Best Use of your Welding Expertise Five tips to eliminate wire feeding issues and improve welding productivity. By Joe Ryan

Special Focus


Convention Review 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show

26 Cover Story The Almighty Dollar and Almighty God By Tina Cauller

On the Cover: Retail distribution center and cathedral honored as SEAA Projects of the Year. Here, workers from Buckner Companies construct the dome for Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh, N.C. Photo Credit: Diocese of Raleigh/Charlie Sarratt, SkySite Images


ONLINE HIGHLIGHTS QQHow Steel Tariffs will Impact Construction QQSEAA Members Join Efforts for Ironworker Training QQSEAA Supports Safe + Sound Week

Check out our latest social media feeds. Check out more photos of 46th Convention & Trade Show


8 10 12 36 38

Perspective Association News Product Focus Business Operations Topping Out Connector received Superstar Award from Construction Marketing Association.

The Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) is dedicated to advancing the common interests and needs of all engaged in building with steel. The Association’s objectives in achieving this goal include the promotion of safety, education and training programs for steel erector trades, development and promotion of standards and cooperation with others in activities which impact the commercial construction business.


Membership in Steel Erectors Association of America provides Safety, Education, and Productivity benefits for its members. As a trade association representing Steel Erectors, Fabricators, General Contractors, and Vendors, businesses with complementary interests gain invaluable opportunities to learn from each other.

SEAA is the only national trade association representing the interests of steel erectors, fabricators, and related service providers. Connector reaches both small and large contractors working in union and open labor markets. Steel Erectors Association of America

Your Industry No other national association represents the unique interests of all steel erectors and fabricators. Members are experts in construction of commercial buildings, arenas, bridges, and highway structures. Members enhoy opportunities to network with other industry professionals at the Anuual Covention, golf tournaments, member events and training classes.

Improve Safety and Productivity Members have access to custom Ironworker Craft Training Curriculum. Studies show 24% of businesses experience lower productivity due to the lack of skilled ironworkers and welders. A better trained workforce delivers lower accidents rates, higher productivity, and increased profits.

Accredited Credentials at Reduced Cost SEAA’s NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) sponsorship means that member companies can provide industry-recognized credentials to your employees with the benefit of SEAA adminstrative support and at a lower cost to members than going direct through NCCER.

Competitive Advantage SEAA’s U.S. Department of Labor-approved Ironworker Apprenticeship Program allows members to create formal training that meets standards recognized by Federal and State governments. Pariticipation allows merit shop contractors to utilize government approved apprenticeship rates on Davis Bacon Wage Projects.

Influence Industry Standards SEAA strategic partnerships with industry groups provide member companies with industry representation with American Institute of Steel Construction, Steel Joist Institute, Steel Deck Institute, National Institute of Steel Detailing, and others.

Join by calling the SEAA office 336-294-8880 or visit Discover why a SEAA Membership is a good investment for your business.


Piedmont Leaf Lofts 401 E. 4th Street, #204 Winston-Salem, NC 27101-4171 336-294-8880 OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE STAFF David Schulz, President Josh Cilley, Immediate Past President Carrie Sopuch-Gulajan, VP, Associate Representative Geoffrey Kress, Treasurer Chris Legnon, Secretary and Media Committee Chairman Tom Underhill, Executive Director PUBLISHING PARTNER Chris Harrison, Publisher Phone 660-287-7660 Tracy Bennett, Managing Editor Phone 816-536-7903 Eileen Kwiatkowski, Art Director MEDIA ADVISORY COMMITTEE Chris Legnon, Fabricators, Cooper Steel Jim Simonson, Fabricators, Steel Service Josh Cilley, Erectors, American Steel & Precast Erectors and Buckner Steel Erection Glen Pisani, Erectors, MAS Building & Bridge Bryan McClure, Safety, MSC Safety Solutions Connector™ is published quarterly by the Steel Erectors Association of America, 401 E. 4th Street, #204, Winston-Salem, NC 27101-4171 Copyright 2018 by the Steel Erectors Association of America. No material may be reprinted without permission from the Executive Director. While the information and recommendations contained in this publication have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable, the Steel Erectors Association of America, its affiliates, employees, contributors, writers, editors, designers, photographers, and media advisory committee, makes no guarantee as to, and assumes no responsibility for, the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations and cannot be held responsible for the outcome of any action or decision based on the information contained in this publication or claims made by advertisers. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the Publisher. Permission is only deemed valid if approval is in writing.


Lowering a 25,000 lb. Granite Table

These are numbers you can’t ignore: 3,000 Contractors 157 Training Centers 6,941 Certifications in 2016 20,143 Certified Ironworker Welders 19,735 Apprentices and Trainees 130,000 lronworkers and billions in contracts for the most recognizable projects on earth. There are literally thousands of reasons to put your trust in lronworkers.



Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 7


By Dave Schulz

SEAA is a Place where both Large and Small Companies Can Make a Difference


am very proud to be President of SEAA! I’ve dreamed of this moment for 20 years now, and sometimes I have to pinch myself to be sure it’s real. I want to thank every single one of you for your friendship, words of encouragement, and support. Speaking of support, I could not have achieved this goal without the help of some folks I love dearly –Cindy, my wife of 31 years, Eddie Williams, my mentor, and George Pocock, a man that loved SEAA and had a heart bigger than any I’ve ever known. Let me start by telling you how I came to know about SEAA and why I became a member in the first place. Back in the 1980s, I was working for a company that was a member and the owner of the company invited me and Cindy to convention one year. It was so cool. Everybody there greeted and talked to us like we were old friends, we were all interested in the same things, and we all actually talked to one another about real jobsite issues. Raise your hand if you remember when, back in the day, iron work was like the Wild West. Back then, it seemed like everybody was in it just for themselves and safety wasn’t much of a concern. SEAA gave ironworkers a time and place to get together to talk about what could be done to make it better for everybody. So naturally, when Cindy and I started our company, we became members of SEAA so we could learn more about running a safe and respectable ironworking company, and get professional, industry-specific advice and support from like-minded company owners and vendors. With SEAA’s help and leadership, its ironworking members and industry-related members (vendors), each volunteering their time and expertise, we have come

There was a time when safety was not as much of a concern. But SEAA gave ironworkers a time and a place to talk about making the industry better for everybody.

Dave Schulz is President of the Steel Erectors Association of America, and Vice President of Schulz Iron Works Inc., Raleigh, N.C. Contact him at 8 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

together as an industry to improve standards and best practices. Some of those collaborative efforts resulted in ironworkers being granted necessary accommodations from OSHA in the SubPart R revisions of the 1990s, input into the new cranes and derricks standard, and along with NISD and AISC, we were able to get safety aides built into the steel we get from fabricators. None of these things would’ve happened without SEAA and its hardworking members fighting the good fight. Membership in SEAA allows us to help control the destiny of our businesses. For example: •  SEAA SubPart R training videos, •  NISD’s Detailing Guide, •  NCCER’s training modules, •  ACS & NCCER’s joint training for our military veterans, and •  A meaningful relationship with AISC, to name just a few. I am driven to do my part to make SEAA the leading professional association in the steel industry by providing vital information on everything from stair installations to a nuclear power plant construction. My primary goals for the coming year are to take SEAA’s programs for Education, Training and Safety so that learning and verification can be completed electronically. This will help SEAA and our members stay relative in an ever-increasing technological world. We must continue to lead the way within our industry as we have throughout our history. As the world recovers from the Great Recession, construction has once again begun to flourish. With that comes the return of our collective struggle to find qualified skilled labor. This is a subject SEAA has been working to re-direct for a good many years now, but it’s times like these that it starts to “get real.” Fortunately, SEAA and its membership are beginning to reap the benefits of programs put in place in few years back. Thank you to the member companies that provide these services as well as those who support them by taking advantage of the programs. I look forward to working with our membership and the board of directors during my presidency to always drive for ironworkers to survive, and to strive for businesses—both big and small—to thrive.

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 9

ASSOCIATION NEWS ■■Honoree Named to Receive SEAA’s William Davis Service Award

T EVENTS & ACTIVITIES SEAA 3rd Quarter Board Meeting July 19, 2018 Grand Bohemian Hotel, Orlando, Fla. Meet & Greet Reception 6 pm

SEAA 4th Quarter Board Meeting Oct. 18, 2018 Location TBA, Raleigh, N.C. Meet & Greet Reception 6 pm

he Steel Erectors Association of America has recognized John (Jack) Metcalfe with its William Davis Service Award. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a life-long commitment to service in the steel construction industry. It is the association’s highest honor, presented in memory of William Davis, who held board and committee positions for nearly 20 years through the 1980s and 1990s. Recipients of the award exemplify qualities of volunteerism and generosity. “Jack Metcalfe is a long-time volunteer to the SEAA Board of Directors. During his tenure, Jack has served on multiple committees, was the driving force behind the SEAA/NISD Detailing Guide, and he has provided sensible input for the operations and future plans of SEAA,” said Dave Schulz, SEAA President. Metcalfe recently retired from John Metcalfe Co., and now runs a small consulting business. He has served on SEAA’s Board of Directors for more than five terms over the years. In addition, he is co-author of the SEAA/NISD Erection Safety Manual. “Jack was a driving force behind the development of the detailing guide,” Jack Metcalfe said Tom Underhill, SEAA Executive Director. “At the time, there were no other William Davis Service Award published best practices that were both erector friendly and OSHA compliant. First published in 2002, this is a professional contribution that has a lasting benefit for the industry,” he said. Metcalfe is a past president of the National Institute of Steel Detailing. He was NISD’s liaison to SEAA for many years. His personal interests include water sports, his grandchildren, doing construction and children's mission work in the Sudan and Haiti, as well as disaster relief in the US. Upon receiving the award, Jack Metcalfe said, “To receive the William Davis Service Award is a most humbling experience. I had the privilege of knowing William and witnessing first hand his many contributions. To be recognized by one's peers is an honor for which I am most grateful.”

■■Steel Erectors Announce Person of the Year

19th Annual Golf Tournament

Sherrie Wilkinson of L.R. Willson & Sons Inc., Gambrills, Md., was named the 2017 Person of the Year Oct. 19, 2018 by the SEAA. She came to her family’s business more than Lonnie Poole Golf Course, 20 years ago, and currently serves as Director of Human Raleigh, N.C. Resources. Wilkinson has served on the SEAA Board of Directors for four terms. L.R. Willson & Sons Inc. got its start more than 45 years ago, initially as a welding shop founded by Sherrie Wilkinson’s grandfather. “The company started erecting bar joist and so built a crane to do the work. Eventually the crane and erection jobs generated more volume than the welding, so my grandfather started a second business. The new company was owned and operated by my uncles and my mother,” said Wilkinson. Today it provides structural steel, precast and Sherri Wilkinson, Dave Schulz, tilt-up panel erection as well as crane SEAA President rental services. Wilkinson credits her mother, Mary Sharp, who recently passed away at the age of 76, with getting her 10 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

into the family business and being her mentor. “She had a knack for matching people’s abilities with the right job. She was right-on with me as I’ve come to love what I do,” said Wilkinson. L.R. Willson was early supporter of the Steel Erectors Association of America. “If you want your industry to be better, for regulations to be favorable to your business, and for your business to thrive through constant innovation, then you have to get involved. I’ve enjoyed working with the other SEAA board members, who are open minded to change, creative in solving problems we all face, and truly care about improving the safety and productivity of the steel erection industry,” said Wilkinson. In addition to serving on the SEAA Convention Committee for many years, Wilkinson was also active in the now shuttered local Mid Atlantic chapter of SEAA. “Sherrie brings a fresh perspective and diversity to the SEAA Board of Directors and the Convention Committee,” said Alan Sears, Master of Ceremonies, during SEAA’s 46th Annual Convention in Greensboro, N.C. “More than that, her strong faith, which has helped her rebound when life events would get most of us down, is an inspiration to others.”

■■Golf and Clay Shooting Winners Claim Prizes Networking on the golf course or shooting range is ranked as top benefit of attending the SEAA Convention & Trade Show. Thank you to 2018 sponsors, who donated prize money to sweeten the deal. See a full list of sponsors at html#sponsors.

First Place Team (L to R) Joey Bray, Terry Wilkerson, Lee Greene, Mike Demey

■■New President Installed as Leader of SEAA

Board of Directors

Second Place Team (L to R) Jason Goodson, Jason Wilson, Kyle Belkoski, Bryon Jones

During the 46th Annual Convention and Trade Show, held in April in Greensboro, N.C., the Steel Erectors Association of American installed its new President. Dave Schulz of Schulz Iron Works began his career as an erector. He has served on the SEAA Board of Directors since 2007 and was named Person of the Year in 2009. “Being elected to lead SEAA is a life-long dream that has been realized,” said Schulz, whose company has hosted SEAA’s annual Education Fundraiser Golf Tournament, for many years. Committed to advancing safety in the steel erection industry, Schulz will focus his presidency on developing electronic delivery of training programs for ironworkers.

Third Place Golf Team (L to R) Stephen Burkholder, Tony Davis, Van Langham, Jimmy McClung

Fourth Place Golf Team (L to R) Bill Gevers, Mark Munley, Jarrett Rosser Closest to the Pin on Hole #3 was Mike Demey, on Hole #5 was Terry Wilkerson, on Hole #11 was Glen Pisani, and on Hole #15 was Jeff Greene. Longest Drive was earned by Jarret Rosser and Tony Davis was the best putter.

Sport Shooting Sharpshooters (L to R) were First Place Travis Freeman, Second Place Carl Carlson, and Third Place Jeff Albert

THE BEST GOT EVEN BETTER ALL NEW UPGRADED HMD904 MAG DRILL More features for safer, productive holemaking New features include... • LED Pilot Light • Two Stage Magnet • Hex Wrench Holder • D-Ring Safety Chain Hook • Slot Drive Arbor • Ergonomic Housing • Reinforced Motor Case


11/12/15 11:09 AM

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 11



record number of exhibitors participated in SEAA’s 46th Annual SEAA Convention & Trade Show, with nearly onethird of them being first time exhibitors. During show hours, attendees could bid on items donated by exhibitors for a silent auction. Funds support SEAA Education Committee projects and training grants. See a full list of exhibitors at seaa--convention-trade-show.

A1A Software develops software and interfaces for the heavy construction industry. The company got its start by developing the well-known lift planning program called 3D Lift Plan, and it now offers other business management tools specific to the needs of crane and construction equipment owners. AISC Certification sets the quality standard for the structural steel industry. Programs focus on the entire fabrication and erection process. The goal: building quality structures by focusing on error prevention rather than error correction. Brent Darnell, founder of Brent Darnell International has been teaching critical people skills and emotional intelligence to the AEC industry worldwide since 2000. In 2012 he was awarded Engineering News Record’s top 25 newsmaker’s award for his record breaking program that “transforms Alpha males into service-focused leaders.” His books and online courses are helping to transform the industry. 12 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Catalyst Surety Partners is an independent insurance agency that solely focuses on helping companies enhance bonding capabilities. Our team’s surety underwriting expertise, combined with strong relationships with more than 25 leading surety companies, has allowed us to build a track record of consistent performance. Columbia Safety and Supply, outfitter of contractor equipment and industrial supplies, services the needs of a variety of industries, including steel erecting, oil and gas, wind generation, residential and commercial construction, manufacturing, and maintenance. The company is a worldwide distributor of fall-protection, lifting, and rigging equipment; rope; PPE; traffic safety supplies; workwear; professional power and hand tools; and related products for commercial and industrial applications.

DACS Inc., with a plant strategically located in Portsmouth, Va., manufactures roof and floor decking. Since 1987 DACS has been providing the construction industry a full line of roof products, including deep decks and cellular decks, as well as composite and non-composite floor decks. Freedom Tools LLC has been in the steel rigging market for nine years, offering the EZ Joist Release and the EZ Beam Release tools. With these tools, erectors can set up to 50% more beams or joists in a day.

Freedom Tools E-Z Joist Release

General Equipment & Supply (GE&S) is the go-to remanufacturer of a wide array of steel erection tools and equipment. From shackles and Knaack boxes to welders and wire feeders, all of GE&S’ products are remanufactured to exacting standards and are priced up to 50% off retail.

GWY Inc., a leading solutions provider for structural bolt installation, sells and rents shear wrenches, turn-of-nut wrenches, electric torque wrenches, manual torque wrenches, and torque multipliers, as well as offering calibration, repair, and consulting services. GWY Inc. also specializes in tools for custom applications.

Haydon Bolts Inc., a manufacturer/distributor of bolts, rods weld studs, and wrenches, distributed a slide chart, which shows values for the new F3125 bolting specification. Our slide chart shows diameter, tensile strengths, pre-installation verification, and rotational capacity information as well as bolt head, nut, and washer dimensional values. IMPACT is a labor management partnership that provides a forum for union ironworkers and their contractors to address mutual concerns and encourage reasonable, balanced solutions. Our primary mission is to expand job opportunities through progressive and innovative labor management cooperative programs, providing expertise in ironworker and contractor training, construction certifications,

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 13

safety, marketing, and project tracking and bidding. IMPACT is overseen by a board of trustees composed of an equal number of labor and management representatives.

products. Mazzella also provides sling and hoist testing (static / dynamic)—in-house or jobsite. We stock well over 22 million feet in various locations.

LeJeune Bolt Co.’s exclusive TNA Torque + Angle Fastening System utilizes ASTM F3148 144ksi fixed spline bolt assemblies to simplify connection design and reduce installation labor LeJeune TNA System costs. The TAE Series Tools provide dual-mode functionality, controlled snug tightening and reliable angle pretensioning for safe, accurate, and repeatable installation.

On sprawling structural jobsites, welding happens hundreds of feet from power sources. Outdated equipment wastes hundreds of work hours and thousands of dollars every year by forcing welders to walk to the power source for each adjustment. ArcReach technology from Miller—available on XMT 350 FieldPro systems and engine-drives like the Trailblazer 325 and Big Blue models—lets welders adjust parameters at the weld joint using the feeder or remote, improving productivity, quality and safety.

Pneutek’s patented Air/Safe® Steel Deck Fastening System is completely pneumatic and uses no residue-creating explosives. Through its innovative tools and fasteners, Pneutek has dramatically improved the quality, safety, and costs of major construction projects. Benefits

M&P Specialty Insurance offers proprietary programs for customers in the Structural Steel Erection and Precast Erection industry. The insurance coverage programs include General Liability, Auto, Inland Marine, Umbrella, Workers Compensation, and Property, as well as specialty coverages including Riggers Liability, Damage to Your Work, and Boom Overload.

ArcReach technology from Miller

include an ergonomic stand-up tool design for comfort, speed, and convenience; uni-constructed fasteners for highest shear strength and ease of inspection; securely fastens into unlimited steel thickness; lowest in-place fastener cost; and highest corrosion-resistance.

Magni RTH 8.25 SH

The Magni RTH 8.25 SH provides the heaviest lifting capacity in the world of rotating telescopic handlers at 17,600 lbs. Maximum lifting height is 81 ft., and maximum forward reach is 69 ft. The machine, which is 8.2 ft. wide, 20.3 ft. long, and 10.2 ft. high, has a total unladen weight is 52,910 lbs., and is equipped with a 74-gal. fuel tank.

Mazzella Companies provides ideal lifting solutions, offering all styles of slings, rigging hardware, wire rope, overhead cranes, hoists, and engineered lifting devices. Additional services include training, in-field inspection, and repair services that support our 14 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Preferred Safety Products Inc., inventor of the Beam Guard, has developed products that cater specifically to steel erectors. Capabilities include design, engineering, manufacture, supply, installation, certification, inspection, and training of fall protection and other safety products. The company also supplies harnesses, lanyards, self-retracting lanyards, hardhats, crane safety products, and more. Red-D-Arc’s latest generation of FX-series CV/CC power sources enable welders to adjust the weld setting remotely at the arc, including current for stick and TIG welding processes and voltage when used with a wire feeder. That means a safer construction site, higher quality welds, more productivity, and reduced costs. Reduce the chance for injury by reducing the number of cables underfoot as well as unnecessary movement and lifting. Rigging is a national distributor of quality rigging, climbing, and safety equipment supplies. Featuring competitive

pricing and superior customer service, the company has a large stock of brands like Crosby, CM, DBI-SALA, Liftall, and Liftex, as well as a large selection of import products.

SDS/2 is a leading software innovator for the steel industry’s fabrication, detailing and engineering sectors. SDS/2 software products provide automatic connection optimization, detailing, engineering information, fabrication data, and more, reducing the time required to design, detail, fabricate and erect steel. SDS/2’s newest solution, Truck Loading, will enable users to better plan fabricated steel loads, lowering the number of truck loads, the crew needed to safely load the trucks, and the time required to do it.

Superior Cranes Inc. serves the crane rental and rigging industry in the southeastern U.S. Services include plant erection, relocation, and maintenance; crane rental; NCCCO-certified operators and lift directors; engineered critical lift planning; hydraulic gantry systems; large forklifts; hi-rail crane services; recovery

SidePlate is a specialty structural engineering firm that uses a patented connection technology to reduce steel tonnage and speed up erection. The connection fundamentally increases the stiffness of the beam to column joint in moment frame buildings, thus requiring less steel than conventional methods. The SidePlate connection also introduces an all-field-bolted configuration that is setting a new standard in moment frame construction as we consistently keep and often beat erection schedules. Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive XL Large-Head Metal screws

Simpson Strong-Tie is dedicated to creating products that help people build safer, stronger structures. Our latest steel-decking products include the Quik Drive BSD200 structural steel–decking system and Strong-Drive XL Large-Head Metal screws for fastening wide-valley steel decking to structural steel members; and the Quik Drive PROSDX150 multipurpose system with Strong-Drive XM Medium-Head Metal screws or Self-Drilling X Metal screws for nestable or interlocking steel decking. Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 15

and salvage operation; heavy and specialized hauling; erection and construction support; and welding, fabrication and millwright services.

Tandemloc Inc. is an ISO 9001:2015 certified U.S. manufacturer of lifting, securing, and mobilizing equipment ranging from belowthe-hook lifting devices to cargo tie-downs. Tandemloc manufactures and individually proof tests its lifting equipment and distributes its products directly to customers worldwide. Tandemloc’s rental division, Tandemloc Rentals, provides customers the opportunity to save money without compromising safety by renting equipment ranging from spreader beams to equipment casters. Tech Safety Lines’ Self-Rescue Kit (SRK-11), utilizes high heat rope with a tensile strength exceeding 6,700 lbs., and incorporates the Military Compact Descender, which provides a means of escape from anywhere in or on the structure. The company’s SRK enables one person to perform a rescue in minutes, for any emergency at height. Included within the StepWise Fall-Arrest Lanyard shock pack is a built-in webbed ladder that can be deployed by the fallen worker. Tradesmen International helps contractors meet skilled workforce requirements, increase workforce productivity, and reduce labor-related costs through custom staffing solutions. An ongoing emphasis on the skilled trades, coupled with continual advances in Tech Safety Lines’ Self-Rescue Kit


employee recruitment, development and retention, has resulted in one of the construction industry’s leading craft workforces which now exceeds 10,000 employees who emphasize safety, productivity, and craftsmanship.

United Rentals once again raised money for SEAA with another successful golf-ball drop from an 80-ft. boom lift. Attendees purchased numbered golf balls, and the one closest to the target split the pot with SEAA. Funds are used by the association for education and training projects.

Did your fasteners, beams, lintels, anchor bolts, etc. show up at the job sight ungalvanized? Give us a call! We can galvanize almost anything you need while the driver waits...from a can of fasteners to a truckload of structural steel.

With 4 specialized lines running round the clock we can accommodate your time requirements.





By Lucy Perry

AESS: Sophisticated but Complicated Sometimes misunderstood, exposed steel projects can drive up costs

Photo credit Ryan Dravitz Photography


tructural steel projects aren’t always run-of-the-mill. When exposed steel is involved, fabrication can get complicated. Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) is a complex design process that can drive up project costs and create headaches for the project owner, the fabricator, the steel erector, and the architect. AISC has created a standard for AESS design, fabrication, and erection, but it’s not always fully understood by the design team, or used as it was intended. “When left exposed, structural steel can express form, integrity, and beauty in buildings while simultaneously demonstrating function and strength,” states AISC. “Today, many buildings showcase AESS to provide an identity and even create iconic structures. AESS elements feature higher degree of finish and are handled with a higher level of care during fabrication and erection. Beautiful and creative expression can be achieved in the broad range of shapes, tapered forms, curves, colors, glossy or matte finishes, as well as seamless or tectonic expression.”

No easy feat The Denver International Airport’s public transit center offers a stunning example Lucy Perry operates WordSkills Editorial Services in Kansas City, Mo. She has spent 20 years following the North American construction industry. She can be reached at

of AESS-integrated building design. A 2016 SEAA Project of the Year Award winner, the project features a steel diagrid, “a highly efficient and aesthetic triangulated truss system that employs a diagonal grid of steel support beams,” reads a description of the project in the Winter 2016 issue of Connector The diagrid system required less structural steel than a conventional steel frame, saving approximately 20% of the weight, but the construction was extremely challenging. It demanded precision, since the joints are more complex than conventional orthogonal structures. Some of the walls of the girders are 2” thick, and each connection was full-penetration welded to create a rectangular tube. “To achieve the precise geometry of the diagrid, the box members were rolled, twisted, and skewed, closely following AESS standards,” according to the Winter 2016 article. Though aesthetically pleasing, AESS-integrated building designs throw up a red flag for fabricators in figuring cost estimates, because it means they’ll have to spend more time on the cosmetic look of the steel component in addition to ensuring structural integrity, says Chris Legnon of Cooper Steel. The process involves removing blemishes from raw steel, and smoothing out weld marks. “It increases the time you have to spend and the care you have to put into each piece you fabricate, so it becomes a higher-cost item on the front end,” says Legnon, vice president of preconstruction for the Shelbyville, Tenn., company.


In its 2016 Code of Standard Practice, the AISC has outlined a method for specifying AESS by creating five categories that define levels of exposed steel fabrication and erection, essentially based on the visual distance between the public and the steel element. The categories are labeled AESS 1, 2, 3, 4, and C for custom. For the numerical categories the higher the category, the more complicated the design, which means the more time and cost involved at the fabrication and erection stages. However, to avoid pigeonholing the design teams into one of those four categories, the Custom category is identified to allow only specific items which are of an aesthetic nature to be qualified, in hopes that this hybrid, for lack of a better work, will provide the value of the desired AESS components without the unnecessary cost of default conditions which may otherwise be carried by one of the numerical categories. While the code creates a common design standard whereby everyone involved in the project understands what’s being asked, what’s expected to be fabricated, and how that structural steel member is to be erected, when the term AESS is thrown into a project without being fully understood by the design team, the result can be confusion and even result in negative financial and schedule impacts to the project which otherwise may have been avoided. “A lot of times an architect will call for ‘AESS,’ but won’t indicate what level, so you

(as the fabricator) have to make judgment calls in pre-fabrication on what that’ll look like, what the architect is trying to accomplish, and then base costs on what you think the final structure will look like,” says Legnon. “You want to make a practical estimate, but you also have to consider what it will take to get the element the way they want it.” AESS adds manhours for the preparation of material, explains Legnon. The process could require different kinds of coatings or finishes. “If you have something an architect wants to see exposed, you’re looking at the time to do cosmetic work to the members, which has to be factored in on the front end,” he says.

Keeping costs in check When AESS is called for, the best way to keep costs down is through a design-build approach to working with the fabricator, says Zac Brownson a principal at consulting structural engineering and building firm, KL&A, Golden, Colo. Because each fabricator has specialties and skillsets within his shop, the low-bid fabricator may not have the skillset to craft whatever’s required in an AESS design, so that cost will be higher. Plus, there may in fact be less-expensive ways to achieve a connection, but a fabricator may just bid and build what’s on the drawings, says Brownson. The industry is seeing a trend where the construction schedule pushes design teams to expedite drawings, and as a result, the info tends to be “a little brief in nature,” continues Brownson. Fabricators are trying to fill in the gaps, so they put contingencies into the bid for design elements they aren’t sure how they’ll produce, or for features that appear very complex in detail, he explains. Casey Brown, president of Littleton, Colo., steel contractor Zimkor, believes AESS design is “very much” misunderstood by architects and the design community. Brown, who serves as president of the Rocky Mountain Steel Construction Association, says that though AISC defines the requirements for working with exposed steel, designers don’t fully understand the implications of what AESS is. “The standards are separated [based on] whether elements are exposed so you can see them, at more than 30 ft. away, more than 15 ft. away and less than 15 ft. away—whether you can walk up and put your hands on it, or if it’s at the roof line,” explains Brown. “Specific items within each class will tell us how to treat a member. The class of work furthest from the eye has the least requirements. If you’re six feet away, you can definitely tell if the surface is ground or not. The higher the category, and the closer to the eye, the more specifics an architect wants to see the steel treated with, which will drive the project costs.” The pitfall, he says, occurs when the architect misapplies those requirements. “If the architect doesn’t know the AESS standard, that’s one issue. But if they don’t define what they mean by AESS, if they throw it out as a term without going into detail about it,” that creates challenges for the fabrication and erection teams. A lot of times it’s easier for them to say, ‘I want the whole job to be AESS,’ when the job is only 20% exposed. When we see ill-defined specs, we have to narrow down what’s most important to the structure and what they have to have happen. We’re being faithful to the owner’s budget and making the architect happy. Our challenge is making sure we understand what’s going to be exposed and what the design team wants us to do to make it acceptable in the finished product.” Matthew Haaksma, project manager for Orange Resources from AISC to realistically estimate costs of AESS is to base it on the amount Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 19

AESS Resources from AISC American Institute of Steel Construction offers several resources and examples of specific styles of architecturally exposed structural steel. Resources include: ■■ Modern Steel Construction magazine "All About AESS" - November 2017 ■■ AISC Code of Standard Practice, Reference Section 10: Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel. 2016 COSP (ANSI/AISC 303-16) provides a framework for a common understanding of the acceptable standards when contracting for structural steel. Section 10 deals explicitly with AESS. ■■ AESS Sample Specification: an editable document that can be updated and inserted into individual project specifications. The document was originalyl developed by the Structural Engineers Association of Colorado/Rocky Mountain Steel Construction Association Steel Liason Committee (SEAC/RMSCA) ■■ AESS Cost Matrix: an editable spreadsheet that can be updated to anticipate cost implications by specifying various levels of AESS on projects. This document was originally published by SEAC/RMSCA Steel Liason Committe in November 2017. ■■ AESS Shop Drawings: Shop drawings of the five AESS sculptures which can be downloaded and use to fabricate user's own versions. Contact AISC Steel Solutions Center at if you'd like to be put in touch with a local fabricator to purchase your own drawings. ■■ AESS Sample Images: can be used to supplement project meetings to understand expectations for various categories of AESS. ■■ Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel: Specifications, Connections, Details by Terri Meyer Boake. Architecturally Exposed: Understanding the Art and Science of Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel: One hour video presented by AISC and featuring Terri Meyer Boake.

■■ Architecturally Exposed: Understanding the Art and Science of Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel: One hour video presented by AISC and featuring Terri Meyer Boake.

of work each step takes and factor how many times that step is repeated. “While repetition does play a factor in compounding cost calcula— Matthew Haaksma, project manager tion, repeating the same step for Orange County Ironworks Inc. (OCI), still takes the same amount Montgomery, N.Y. of time as it did the first time, presuming the same level of the ambiguity, he says is “to have a set of concare and consideration is maintained,” he tract documents which clearly delineate the explains. finishes so that the bidders are on the same OCI recently fabricated components used level and the owner is getting a price which on the Columbia University Forum building, accurately reflects what they are expecting.” in which “extensive AESS steel” was incorAlso at issue is the ‘erectability’ of the porated. However, Haaksma explains, “Since design. Brownson’s fabrication and erecthe desired finishes did not fit neatly into the tion teams will evaluate if there is a special AESS categories, they classified it as ‘Struc- sequence that needs to be defined on the tural Steel Exposed to View’ and then used drawings. Are there assumptions the engineer AESS guidelines.” The end result was the is making in how the whole structure will be same, he says. “And herein lies the benefit put together? to the C category of AESS.” says Haaksma. He says sometimes his fabrication team “My two bits of advice to any design team will ask for clarification on the front end, and and owner considering AESS is to make it very they’re told to just do what the plans call for. clear to the bidders exactly what is exposed “The first order of business is to determine if and what level they want for not only each the design team has the project properly specportion of the Work, but for each portion of ified. If not, his company will call and confirm the components which comprise the Work,” what, exactly, the designers are looking for, continues Haaksma. “For example, simply and what is most important to the project. indicating on a column schedule that the Some architects will not honor a request for bottom 40 feet of a column which passes clarification, says Brown of Zimkor. through multiple floors is AESS may result A “less-sophisticated” steel erection firm in unnecessary cost if, for example, the con- may not pick up on a specific sequence the nections at the floor level are going to be engineer has required to get the structure into above a ceiling and not actually architectur- its final state, says Brownson. The industry ally exposed. Remember: We bid what is on trend is to create documents, let the constructhe plans. We do not bid [on] implied intent.” tion team bid it out, and let the dust settle, he says, but project owners wind up paying Collaboration is king higher costs as a result. KL&A operates firmly Some architects are open to collaboration; on the premise of integration of all parties others are not. There are questions the fab- involved in the construction process. “The ricator can ask of the design team to more integration you can get, to the point determine the extent of AESS design where the erector and fabricator have a say involved in the project, and what in the design, then there’s less contingencies exactly the design team expects of they’ll have to put on it. It likely goes together the fabricator. “If we’re going to be more smoothly and the owner in the end involved, we strive for communica- should be receiving a better product for less tion and cooperation with the owner money,” he continues, adding that the inteand the design team,” says Brown. gration process is driven by market sector, “The jobs we get involve with, we are geography, and economy. successful in negotiating and arriving “As the economy permits, more buildat the best outcome.” ing takes place, and more opportunities OCI’s approach is to engage the present themselves,” explains Brownson. design team in an effort to clarify the extents “Trends shift to market conditions where and intents of the AESS, explains Haaksma. you’re trying to get buildings built, which There continues to be some ambiguity within leads toward partnerships and negotithe industry about how to clarify the expecta- ated work, which creates an environment tions of all involved, and the key to alleviate open to collaboration and integration.”


"We bid what is on the plans. We do not bid [on] implied intent.”


By Joe Ryan

Making Best Use of your Welding Expertise 5 tips to eliminate wire feeding issues and improve welding productivity

Welding technology on the market lets welders make parameter adjustments right at the weld joint with a wire feeder or stick/TIG remote, resulting in more arc-on time, higher quality welds and a safer jobsite.


he construction industry outlook remains strong in many sectors, but a continued shortage of skilled labor is a key challenge on many jobsites — one that may prevent contractors and structural steel erectors from completing projects on time or even competing for some projects. There are two ways to address the lack of skilled welders: Recruit and train more welders into the trade or be more efficient with the workforce you already have. A conversion to wire welding processes is one option for improving productivity and efficiency. More companies are transitioning from stick welding to wire welding on construction jobsites, due in part to the significantly higher deposition rates and travel speeds wire processes can deliver. These gains Joe Ryan is Infrastructure Segment Manager for Miller Electric Mfg., LLC, Appleton, Wis. Get other welding resources, safety precautions and support at

can be realized while still meeting high weld quality requirements and improving jobsite safety. Following some key best practices for wire welding in the field and utilizing the right technologies can help optimize efficiency and reduce weld defects. Here are five tips to help contractors complete projects more quickly.

1. Make adjustments remotely On structural jobsites, welders may need to make frequent adjustments to welding parameters to get the best results. When the welder must leave the weld joint and walk to the power source to make changes — such as from ladders or scaffolding — these trips can add up to several hours wasted every day while also increasing the risk of injury. Current welding technology allows welders make parameter adjustments right at the weld joint with a wire feeder or stick/TIG remote, resulting in more arc-on time, higher quality welds and a safer jobsite. Utilizing this technology also reduces the


need to continually move racks of welding power sources on the jobsite, a time-consuming and expensive task that typically requires an electrician and crane time.

2. Eliminate cable length voltage drops One common issue on the jobsite is addressing the voltage drop that can occur in weld cables. Voltage drops happen due to resistance in the weld circuit, which is caused by distance, number of connections and connections that are corroded or dirty. Typically, the longer the leads and the more connection points, the more resistance in the weld cable. The resulting voltage drop can lead to arc performance issues unless operators compensate for the drop, and this can lead to potential weld quality issues. In conventional equipment, operators must manually adjust for this by setting the voltage higher than necessary at the power source to ensure they get the voltage they want at the feeder. This is often a guessing

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 23

game, requiring welders to set a certain voltage, weld for a bit, then either radio another worker or return to the power source to adjust voltage again before walking back to weld more. This may happen several times before the right level is dialed in. This wastes time and can lead to questions from the quality control inspector as to why the voltage at the power source is set higher than the weld procedure allows. This time and hassle can be eliminated. Cable Length Compensation (CLC™) technology, available on XMT® 350 FieldPro™ welding systems from Miller, ensures that the voltage welding operators set is the voltage they get — even hundreds of feet from the power source. The power source measures the resistance in the weld circuit, calculates the voltage drop in the weld leads and makes the necessary adjustments. This process happens automatically once the operator sets the voltage and before the initial arc strike. To help optimize arc performance and quality on the jobsite, it’s also important to use the proper size cables, make sure all connections are tight and free of corrosion, and keep weld cables straight and uncoiled during welding.

3. Troubleshoot wire feeding issues Wire feeding issues can stem from numerous factors. Knowing the reason will help determine the best course of action to fix the problem. ■■ Choose the right drive roll: When selecting the drive roll size and type, consider the size and type of wire. Tubular wire is softer and requires a knurled drive roll, which has teeth to grab the wire and help push it through. However, knurled drive rolls shouldn’t be used with solid wire because the teeth will cause shavings to break off, which can clog the liner. Use a smooth, V-groove drive roll with solid wire. Taking the time to swap out the drive roll to match the wire helps promote consistent wire feeding and reduces maintenance on the MIG gun.

■■ Set proper drive roll tension: Setting the tension too tight can deform the wire. Too little tension can cause wire slippage. To set proper tension, release the tension on the drive rolls, then increase tension while feeding the wire into a block of wood. Continue increasing tension one half-turn past wire slippage. It’s essential to properly set the tension each time the drive roll is changed.

Cable Length Compensation (CLC™) technology, available on XMT® 350 FieldPro™ welding systems from Miller, ensures that the voltage welding operators set is the voltage they get — even hundreds of feet from the power source.

■■ Trim the liners: Arc instability, birdnesting and burnback can result from liners that are kinked, worn, the wrong size or partially plugged. Blow compressed air through the liners to remove dirt and debris and to improve feeding performance. Promptly replace the liner if a blockage is found, and always trim the liner per the manufacturer’s recommendation.

■■ Redesigned inlet guide: Feeder technology has improved over the years, resulting in smoother and more consistent wire feeding. Miller wire feeders use an inlet guide designed to reduce wire drag coming off the spool for more consistent wire feeding into the drive rolls — for improved wire feeder performance.

4. Deal with dirty power What’s referred to as “dirty power” can happen when inconsistent primary power is fed to a welding machine. Portable generators can be a source of dirty power on the jobsite since they may not provide a smooth electrical wave. Generator technology has improved over the years, making dirty power a less common problem. However, since many jobsites still use older, legacy generators, it’s important to look for welding solutions designed to protect against dirty power. One example is Miller® Auto-Line™ power management technology, which allows the machine to automatically adjust for inconsistencies in the primary power being applied to the machine without impacting the output. Even if incoming voltage varies widely, the circuit ensures a steady welding or cutting arc. Also, be aware that transformer-based


equipment often requires greater power consumption on a jobsite. Newer welding power source technologies can provide much greater power efficiency and save in operational costs. It’s possible with some larger engine-driven welder/generators to power up to six smaller welders at once.

5. Keep a focus on safety Several of these welding technologies, including the capability for complete control of parameters at the weld joint, help improve jobsite safety. Out of 4,693 worker fatalities in private industry in 2016, 991 or 21.1 percent were in construction, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Falls were the leading cause of deaths in construction in 2016, at 39 percent of fatalities. First and foremost, preventing jobsite accidents impacts employee safety and well-being. Improving safety can also have a financial impact by reducing the cost of worker downtime, insurance or workers’ compensation payments. Jobsite safety records may also be reported in some contract bidding, which means contractors with poor records can have a harder time winning bids.

Improving jobsite productivity On construction jobsites, it’s all about staying ahead of schedule and delivering quality projects within budget, while keeping employee safety a priority. As a skilled labor shortage impacts the industry and competition for contracts intensifies, contractors can use some best practices — along with more productive welding processes and new technologies — to help improve productivity, safety and quality.

Preferred for Quality & Practicality™ Select Safety Products™ Preferred by Craftsmen & Employers™

for the

BRIDGE & FORM GUARD HORIZONTAL LIFELINE SYSTEM Developed for concrete bridge building, leading edge structural concrete and precast, the Bridge & Form Guard is now used on

STRUCTURAL STEEL & STEEL BRIDGE GIRDERS Shortest fall clearance on the market today. At a height that always limits free fall to less than 6’. Overhead horizontal lifeline anchorage for up to 2 workers with post spacing up to 50’. Clearance is less than 11’ with post spacing at 50’ (using SRLs). Less when posts are closer due to patented shock attenuating toppers and posts. Sufficient freedom of movement. Optimal vertical and horizontal mobility. Vibration resistant, eccentric hardware.

• Steel Beams/Girders • Concrete • Walls • Formwork Systems

• Infrastructures • Floors

PREFERRED SAFETY PRODUCTS, INC. Your Full Service Safety Products Company and SEAA Supporter!

Preferred Safety Products


Patents 6,173,809 • 6,439,344 • 6,688,427 others pending

Mention this ad for 10% off your first order over $100!*

* Some restrictions apply. Other discounts may apply. May not be used in combination with any other offer. $1000 maximum discount.

Toll Free 800.301.3188 • Fax 303.225.0510


By Tina Cauller

The Almighty Dollar and ALMIGHTY GOD Retail distribution center and cathedral honored as Projects of the Year

Project Red, Distribution Center for Construction Retail Company, Louisville, Ky. Class I (up to $500,000) Decking Contractor: GardnerWatson Decking Inc. Erector: Premier Steel Inc. Contract Value: $399,501 Square Footage of Deck Installed: 1.5 million

Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Raleigh, N.C. Class III ($1 million to $2.5 million) Erector: Buckner Companies Structural Engineer: Morrison Engineers Fabricator: SteelFab of VA Detailer: Hutchins & Associates GC: Clancy & Theys Architect: O'Brien & Keane Contract Value: $1.6 million Tons of Steel: 967 Cathedral photo credit: Alan Karchmer for O'Brien & Keane


Photo Credit: Diocese of Raleigh/Charlie Sarratt, SkySite Images

n independent panel of judges on behalf of The Steel Erectors Association of America selected three steel construction projects for the association’s annual Projects of the Year. Teams from Gardner-Watson Decking (Class I for erection contracts up to $500,000), Buckner Companies (Class III above $1 million to $2.5 million), and J.P. Cullen & Sons (Class IV over $2.5 million) were recognized at SEAA’s 2018 Annual Convention, held in April in Greensboro, N.C. The winning projects demonstrate the range and complexity of steel construction in the United States. Gardner-Watson Decking’s project was a steel decking job on a massive distribution Tina Cauller is a graphic designer and freelance center in Louisville, Ky., for a retail company. writer with 30 years of experience reporting for trade Buckner’s was the sixth largest cathedral in the and technical publications in building construction United States, while J.P. Cullen’s was a new arena and real estate markets. She can be reached at for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. (Watch the Fall Issue for more on J.P. Cullen’s winning project.)


G-W Deck required 100% tie-off and double safety lines, to keep workers from falls on the project with a leading edge that was constantly on the move.

■■In the Black on Project Red Gardner-Watson Decking, Inc. (G-W Deck), Oldsmar, Fla., was awarded the contract by Premier Steel, Inc. to install the deck on a 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center for a retail construction products company. To meet or beat the aggressive schedule, Premier Steel had to focus on steel erection while G-W Deck focused on deck installation on the Louisville, Ky., job named “Project Red.” Close coordination between the two companies was essential to the success of the project. On the surface, the scope of work sounds simple enough: Provide labor and Hilti pins, screws and tools for the installation of the metal deck. However, managing the manpower and site logistics proved to be the secret to completing the job in just four weeks, nearly three weeks faster than estimated. “Addressing these challenges took employee engagement, office staff coordination, and embracing our safety culture,” said Will Nichols, Project Manager. While safety is always a priority, when the schedule is demanding, it’s essential to be pro-active with the right equipment and right labor at the right time. “We placed one of our three full-time safety supervisors on site for the duration of the project,” he said. The team gathered for safety meetings every morning and issued safety reminders at midday. “G-W Deck believes that engaging the entire workforce in safety planning contributes to better productivity and fewer injuries, so employees were invited to provide input on the best tie-off procedures and anchor point locations,” said Geoff Kress, Vice President. In addition to reinforcing the company’s safety policies, the on-site safety supervisor monitored work crews and helped keep up with the constantly moving leading edge by repositioning safety lines, anchor points, and other essential safety gear. “As a result of extensive

planning and forethought, as well as the entire team’s conscientious attention to safety, there was no down time due to injuries,” said Kress. “Ultimately, safer crews are more productive,” he said. The project’s owner/GC identified fast completion as a priority from the beginning, since there was a need to open the facility as early as possible and commence profitable operation. The tight schedule dictated that G-W Deck complete its portion of the construction as quickly as possible, so the erector and other trades could follow immediately behind. Scaling the manpower and detailed logistics planning meant that no time or labor was wasted. G-W Deck broke its labor into “separate” crews working in different areas to cover the goal for the day. Typically, the daily goal was to complete 60,000 sq. ft. However, weather presented a challenge, impacting the pace of the work. Seasonal high Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 27

winds and inclement weather periodically made it impossible to lay deck, so on other more favorable days, the team had to make up for lost time. Nichols recalls: “When the weather was clear, we had to really be aggressive, breaking bundles and laying out sheets to keep the project on schedule.” “We usually start a job with minimal manpower and gauge the progress of the erector, adjusting crew size to keep pace with steel erection,” noted Nichols. “On this project, we were able to increase manpower to 500% quickly with the coordination of office personnel and the project manager.” In addition, the project manager coordinated materials and equipment to ensure timely arrival and sustain the forward momentum of the project. The office staff coordinated with the foreman to swap

out any broken or malfunctioning tools and equipment as quickly as possible. The project manager continually checked the weather to maximize the days when deck-laying operations could continue, working carefully around days when wind or rain that could hold up production was predicted. One judge who reviewed the award submission commented, “We were impressed with the magnitude of the project (1.5M sf), and the accelerated schedule which Gardner-Watson performed, all while being 100% tied off.” An emphasis on safety—uncompromising 100% tie-off policies— and seamless coordination between management, office, and field personnel contributed to Project Red finishing in the black, ahead of schedule and with zero injuries.

The most significant challenge in constructing the cathedral was assembling and erecting the 65-foot-tall, 160-ton dome.

Photo Credit: Diocese of Raleigh/Charlie Sarratt, SkySite Images

■■Capping Cathedral with Copper Dome Population growth has caused the Catholic community of eastern North Carolina to outgrow its spiritual home in downtown Raleigh’s Sacred Heart Cathedral. Long listed as the smallest cathedral in the continental United States, Sacred Heart served as the diocesan seat for the entire eastern half of the state, representing a rapidly expanding group of about 225,000 worshippers. With worship space for just 300, the historic cathedral held 11 masses every weekend to meet the needs of its 7,000+ regular parishioners. To create a new home for the diocese, the church sought out experts who could design and construct a new cathedral that would 28 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

last for centuries and be an unmistakable landmark for the city of Raleigh. Buckner Steel Erection was selected to erect the steel for the new cathedral. The new cathedral, to be called Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, is situated on a rise along a major thoroughfare, and is visible from multiple reaches of the city. The building is situated east to west to take full advantage of light from the rising and setting sun and. Its signature architectural feature is a gleaming dome of copper-sheathed steel positioned over the altar, which will eventually take on a beautiful verdigris patina. The dome is now a prominent feature of the cityscape.

The “paper-trail “ is just as important as the structural bolts Recognizing this many years ago, St. Louis Screw & Bolt developed the very best solution for AISC compliance, and peace of mind for steel fabricators. Fabricators using HexportTM have historical reference for every order, bolt, nut and washer shipped. Test Reports, Certifications, Rotational Capacity Testing all the way back to the steel mills are easily accessible at the click of a button. Additionally fabricators can track shipments, obtain packing lists, proof of deliveries as well as copies of their invoices. This time and money saving service is available

24hrs/day, 7days/week, and

will provide value across many departments at your organization!



St. Louis Screw & Bolt


2000 Access Blvd Madison, IL 62060 Phone: 800-237-7059 Fax: 314-389-7510

The 160-foot tall cathedral’s brick and masonry exterior features contrasting precast accents, and the main building is accompanied by a bell tower that houses 50 bronze bells weighing a total of 13,000 pounds. One of the bells came from the chapel of an orphanage that once occupied the site. Many of the antique stained glass windows and other elements used in the new cathedral have been salvaged from churches in the Northeast which closed due to declining attendance. The most significant challenge in constructing the cathedral was assembling and erecting the 65-foot-tall, 160-ton dome. Over the course of six meetings, the Buckner team made the decision to erect the dome on the ground and lift it as a single piece. They devised a plan based on previous projects to support the dome using temporary post and braces. This approach allowed all the trades to work on the structure simultaneously to install light gauge studs, radius waterproofing board, copper roofing, sprinkler pipe, catwalks, and windows. A central opening in the dome allowed for later installation of the cathedral’s soaring steeple. Because of the incomplete architectural design of the required three-tier catwalk in the dome that provides access to the sprinklers and recessed lights, the contractor’s BIM manager SteelFab, the detailer, and erector had to work together to design and coordinate the dome construction. Buckner Companies was then responsible for determining how to hoist the dome in its entirety up and into its place atop the cathedral’s roof. The engineer of record worked to devise an efficient plan to rig the dome, which consisted of a post through the compression ring down to the base and “spokes” from the post out to the bearing points under the dome. Tension braces inside the dome connected the “spokes” to the post. This custom rigging solution allowed the set dome to be lifted and lowered from the center by the crane, reducing the amount of workers required to work at height. A 440-ton Liebherr LR/1400 crawler crane with heavy lift attachment was required to make the lift. Crucial to the success of the project, the crane was in high demand and required some complicated scheduling to secure it for the project. The layout of the anchor bolts for the temporary dome assembly and the rigging device, created by Morrison Engineers, allowed for disassembly on the ground after the dome was hoisted into place. The tall, slender columns required intense attention to quality control on plumbness, especially considering the cathedral is a masonry structure. This extra attention ensured that everything came together in a perfect fit, setting snugly into place with no gaps. In addition, the compound rolled decking on the dome presented another significant challenge of the project. The decking was initially rolled by the deck manufacturer, but then had to be pulled and handled to fit the radius, then attached to the steel. It was difficult to keep the seams closed for the coordination of the copper roofing on the decking. This also required precise field cuts that were difficult to lay out. The distortion of the roller dome steel tubes caused by the stress of rolling and a complicated field fit up and welding necessitated measuring and extra work by Buckner. Also, the columns, each up to 76 feet tall, were required to be set plumb, with bent rafters, at extreme height. A third challenge was the fact that the joists and decking were on a steep 12-degree pitch at the roof. SteelFab worked to suggest how Buckner Steel Erection could panelize joists and install decking in the bays on the ground. Once the panels were completed on the ground, they were set in place, attached, and closed off so the roofer could 30 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Buckner decided to erect the dome on the ground and lift it as one piece, rather than building the dome in the air. This provided more efficient work flow with other trades and reduced risk of workers being at height.

Lifting the dome required the use of a 440-ton Liebherr LR/1400 crawler crane and custom rigging. Photo Credit: Diocese of Raleigh/Charlie Sarratt, SkySite Images

come in and complete the work. The joist seat design was modified to accomplish this, and Buckner chose strategic pieces of deck to connect to joists on the ground. Although they were tied off, they could stand on these deck pieces as support for installing the remaining pieces. The camber in the joists had to be monitored so the “bow” due to camber would not cause problems with the highly reflective copper roof. The decision to panelize joists and welding deck joists on the ground minimized the number of people up on the steeply pitched A-frame roof and was critical to the ultimate success and safety of the project. After calling the country’s smallest cathedral home for nearly a century, the Catholic community of Raleigh can gather to worship in its new 75,000-square-foot cathedral, now one of the six largest in the United States. “The cathedral is another one of many high-profile projects that showcased the talents of the Buckner team,” noted Chuck Pinnix, title. “Buckner is honored to have been selected for this project and proud to be recognized for our role in its successful completion.”

Welds and Pins Have Met Their Match The only screw that has equal loads and spacing to P.A.T. pins and 5⁄8" welds Strong-Drive XL Large-Head Metal Screw ®

Patent Pending

The Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong-Drive® XL Large-Head Metal screw is engineered as a one-for-one screw replacement option for pins and 5/8" welds in steel decking. This fastener enables installers to keep the same spacing and easily substitute screws for pins and welds. When used with the Quik Drive® BSD200 Structural Steel-Decking system, our XL Large-Head Metal screws offer a convenient alternative to other methods of attaching steel decking, such as welding and powder-actuated tools. They are available either in bulk or collated for use with the Quik Drive system. Learn more by visiting and calling (800) 999-5099.

© 2017 Simpson

Strong-Tie Company Inc. BSD20015


Highlights from 46th Convention in Greensboro, S.C.

Boom Lift Ball Drop raises money for the Education Committee.

New at the 2018 convention was a Sport Shooting excursion.


See a full list of golf and shooting prize winners on page 11.

Among the 58 exhibitors at this year's Trade Show were 16 new companies with products and services for steel construction.

See more convention photos:

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 33

Education sessions enlightened, informed, and challenged attendees.


Dave Schulz (right) is installed as 2018-2019 President.

Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 35


By Jeremy Macliver

Leaving a Leadership Legacy


recently had a conversation with an owner who spent the last 24 years building a great company with a very strong reputation. As we talked about his sunset years, he expressed concern over what would happen when the business was handed off to the next generation. He was worried that the young leaders were not fully prepared to take the reins. Although ambitious, with a desire to grow the company, could they handle the tough decisions? It took 24 years to build the asset that the company had become. Would it be able to sustain the retirement he hoped for if left in the hands of someone else? To help this company owner, we asked him to consider these questions to determine if systems were in place to help new leaders avoid mistakes he had already learned.

Why were you successful? The way you do business, is largely why you have been successful. You have attracted projects, customers, and employees that value what you value. Every successful leader operates off a value system. Whether a company documents their core values or not, every company has a way of taking care of employees and clients, making decisions, setting priorities, and handling their money. This can be lost in a transfer. Jeremy Macliver operates Guaranteed Traction, a business consulting firm that is an EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Implementer, a business philosophy focusing on vision, traction and healthy leadership. Jeremy will be sharing more ideas for building a great culture at SEAA’s 46th Annual Convention and Trade Show, April 25-27, 2018 in Greensboro, N.C. Learn more at 36 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

If the head of Nordstrom’s took over as the head of Walmart and turned Walmart customer service into the values that Nordstrom’s believes in, it would not work. The story is just as tragic if you turn it around and have Walmart’s CEO try to change Nordstrom’s values to match that of Walmart’s. The success of each company is hinged on very different customers, employees, and suppliers. The same holds true for your company. All of your leaders need to value GC relations, quality, production, safety, and much more in a very similar manner to the way you have built the business for a transfer to be successful.

What lessons have you learned, that you can pass on to the future generation? Your many years of service have resulted in a wealth of wisdom that must be transferred. Documenting how each department works allows the team to transfer that wisdom into action. This owner knew all of the inner workings of his company and how to get the results he wanted, but he had not taken the time to write it down for someone else to follow. Sometimes I see owners go to the other extreme, attempting to document every little detail. I have seen 700-page organizational manuals, which no one will read and no one will be able to follow. To make executable documentation of the company’s best practices, it is important that you document the 20% of actions that deliver 80% of the results. These are the key things that every team member should be doing on a consistent basis. The categories you should document are Estimating, Marketing, Human Resources, Operations, your leadership team, documents items that are critical

for everyone in the organization to follow in 3-8 pages per category. Documenting the high-level points for each major function of your business will help it to become more transferable. Once everyone is following the processes, it is time for the next question.

Can the transition be slow? Yes. The slower the better. To begin the process of passing on your business to the next generation, clearly define what each leader, including you, is currently responsible for. It is important to note, this is not a list of what you do, but what results, decisions, projects, or numbers ultimately rest on each manager’s shoulders. Clear definitions of responsibilities allow the team to begin the transition because only one person at a time can ultimately be responsible for something. If you and your up and coming leader are both responsible for sales, then no one is. Hand each of your responsibilities off in a way that the young leaders can take full responsibility for them. The next generation can grow into each one of these responsibilities, slowly allowing for the successful hand off.

Momentum for your Marketing Message

*>QJ@D•UKQN• I>NGB|JڕLNKFB@€•€KA>U Have you shared what your vision is for the future of the company? As you prepare for the complete hand off, work with the team to create a common vision for what the company will look like years after you are gone. This allows your vision to intersect with theirs and create a seamless transition into the future of your company. A vision is not a business plan. It is simply something you can see. Set the stage for what success looks like in the following areas. â€˘â€ƒ Revenue: Agree on a growth number. â€˘â€ƒ Profit: Set realistic expectations. â€˘â€ƒ Measures of success: Define key numbers in the company that will be of importance to the direction of the company (number of clients, number of projects, number of employees, efficiency percentages, safety ratings, etc.) â€˘â€ƒ Paint a picture in 5-15 Bullet points: Will the company win awards? Be in a new location? Expand its services? Have a new training program? In your final years of influence, don’t let the fire go out that burned in you to get the company to where it is today. Hand it off while still pouring gas on it. Then stand back and watch the next generation take your wisdom, your fire, and what you built to a level that can only happen over multiple lifetimes. Finally, leaving a leadership legacy means stepping back and letting the new leaders lead as you enjoy a secure retirement.


Serving the Construction Industry

"KJ€>@€ 2N>@U•!BJJBP

• • • • •

Public Relations Content Marketing Company Newsletters Media Strategy Advertising Planning


.NKQA•€K•LNKAQ@B•1$ O• "KJJB@€KN•+>Ú>VEJB 1>CB€U•%H>OD B,BSOHBPBN Connector | SUMMER EDITION June 2018 | 37


Overheard at SEAA’s 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show, Greensboro, N.C.

“Safety is not a command and control issue. It is a social responsibility built on interpersonal relationships.” — Brent Darnell, leading authority on Emotional Intelligence in the construction industry and author of The People Profit Connection.

Simple Ways to Avoid Costly OSHA Citations If OSHA is onsite, more than likely there was an accident, or someone reported unsafe behaviors. Most companies are well run and safety conscious, and often the infractions for which they received citations did not contribute directly to the reported accident. Hindsight is always 20/20, but don’t let a serious OSHA citation be the impetus for integrating best safety practices. Read more at


SEAA Supports SAFE + SOUND Week

Meet New Members

Aug. 13-19, 2018 SEAA is an official campaign partner of Safe + Sound Week, a nationwide event designed to raise awareness of the value safety and health programs have for organizations. Good programs include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards on the job. The association encourages members to participate in Safe + Sound Week with planned activities to educate management and workers on proactively finding and fixing hazards. A number of resources are available to help you select activities and plan your event at Every other month, SEAA produces the Safety Flash newsletter about topics of specific interest to steel erection contractors. Produced in cooperation with the SEAA Safety Committee, Safety Flash is designed to keep members informed about ongoing safety issues and to provide suggestions for reducing risk. Best practices are gathered from a variety of sources. Find previous topics at


Project of the Year Winners Tech in Steel Erection Drone Operator Certification


Check out the Member Directory at ASI Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. CSE certified structural and miscellaneous steel erector. Building Zone Industries, Kanarraville, Utah. National steel erector specializing in construction of big box stores, warehouse and distribution centers, and airports. Elrod Stud Welding, Lebanon, Tenn. Full-service stud welding company operating primarily in the Southeast U.S., offering sales, service, rentals, and in-shop or field installation services. Magni Americas Inc., Edwardsville, Kan. Manufacturer of rotating telescopic handlers and heavy telescopic handlers. Pneutek Inc., Hudson, N.H. Supplier of pneumatic fastening tools, fasteners, semi-automatic and fully automatic powder actuated tools for steel roof and floor deck. Fall Edition September 2018 Ad Deadline: August 13, 2018

Check out SEAA’s new website!


our common interest

“We are large enough to meet all of your insurance needs, yet small enough to appreciate your business and provide personal service.”

Supporting the Steel Erectors Association of America and Promoting a Safe Work Culture! We offer the following coverages: General Liability, Property, Auto, Umbrella, Inland Marine (Equipment), Workers’ Compensation, Professional Liability, D&O, Health and Life Insurance.

7896 Donegan Drive, Manassas, VA 20109 • (703) 257-7540 • (800) 553-8359