Structural News

USGBC releases the Top 10 states for LEED

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its annual list of the top 10 states for LEED green building per capita. Now in its fifth year, the per-capita list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional green building projects that were certified throughout 2014. Illinois retained its top national position for the second year in a row, with 174 LEED certifications, representing 3.31 square feet of LEED-certified space per resident.

WSDOT files 17 million dollar lawsuit in 2013 Skagit River Bridge collision, collapse

Olympia, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Transportation filed a $17 million lawsuit to recoup the costs of response and repair after the 2013 over-height vehicle collision that caused a portion of the Skagit River Bridge on Interstate 5 to collapse. The suit, filed in Skagit County Superior Court, names four responsible parties: the truck driver; his employer, Mullen Trucking LP; the pilot-car driver; and the owner of the metal shed being transported, Saxon Energy Services, Inc.

Investment in nonresidential structures expands moderately in fourth quarter

Washington, D.C. — Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.6 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the fourth quarter of 2014, following a 5 percent increase in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis Jan. 30 release. Nonresidential fixed investment grew by only 1.9 percent after expanding 8.9 percent in the third quarter. Investment in equipment declined 1.9 percent, while investment in nonresidential structures increased 2.6 percent.

Researcher developing a self-centering beam to better withstand earthquakes

Blacksburg, Va. — For the last two years, Matt Eatherton, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, has used a National Science Foundation grant to develop a structural building component called a self-centering beam (SCB). This self-centering beam would serve several purposes: protect lives, limit or eliminate structural repair costs, and reduce business downtime due to earthquakes.

Arup celebrates opening of five arts and culture facilities

New York – Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm, celebrated the opening of The Elstein Center for Music and Art in Zichron, Israel; Musikkens Hus Nordjylland North Jutland House of Music in Aalborg, Denmark; The Virginia Tech Center for the Arts in Blacksburg, Va.; The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario; and the Francine and Sterling Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, Mass.

Construction underway at SDSU South Campus Plaza

San Diego — Construction is underway on the South Campus Plaza, a mixed-use student housing and retail project located on the campus of San Diego State University (SDSU). Sundt Construction, Inc., a full-service general contractor, was selected as the design-build contractor for the $143 million project, which includes two residential buildings above all ground-floor retail, and an adjacent parking structure.

Louis Berger sweeps ACEC Metro Washington Engineering Excellence Grand Awards

Morristown, N.J. — Louis Berger took top honors in both the design and non-design categories from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Metropolitan Washington (ACEC/MW) at its annual Engineering Excellence Awards dinner. The industry organization honored the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool reconstruction as the top design project and the Washington Monument earthquake repair project, which Louis Berger managed jointly with Hill International, as the top non-design project.

CFSEI to host webinar on changes to AISI S100 and Cold-Formed Steel Framing Standards

Washington, D.C. — The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI) will host a webinar on “Back to Basics: A Look at Changes to the North American Cold-Formed Steel Specification and Cold-Formed Steel Framing Standards” on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. This is the fifth webinar in CFSEI’s “Back to Basics” series and is designed for architects, engineers, building officials and contractors. Participants are eligible for 1.5 PDHs.

More cranes in skyline mean more U.S. construction in 2015

Phoenix — Rider Levett Bucknall, an international property and construction consultant and industry leader in construction cost research, launched its inaugural edition of the North American RLB Crane Index. The new report measures construction activity in major cities across North America and predicts the health of the U.S. construction industry.

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