Structural News

G2 Crowd publishes Winter 2015 rankings of seven BIM platforms

Chicago — The first Grid report for building design and building information modeling (BIM) platforms, published by business software review site G2 Crowd, ranks seven products to help purchasers in their selections. The Winter 2015 report is based on more than 180 reviews written by business and engineering professionals.

ACI launches ACI University and new certificate program

Farmington Hills, Mich. — The American Concrete Institute (ACI) launched ACI University — a global, online learning resource, providing on-demand access to a wide range of topics on concrete materials, design, and construction, appealing to everyone from testing technicians to practicing engineers.

PCA forecasts oil price impact on 2015 construction

Skokie, Ill. — In addition to impacting the consumer, falling prices at the pump will influence U.S. construction in 2015. During remarks at the 2015 World of Concrete, Portland Cement Association (PCA) Chief Economist and Group Vice President Edward J. Sullivan announced that low oil prices are beneficial to U.S. economic growth and are expected to add 20 to 30 basis points to real GDP growth rates during 2015-2016.

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.

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