24 students win awards in ACSA/AISC design competition

Amer Inst for Steel Construction.Twenty-four architecture students from universities around North America were honored in the 2012-2013 Steel Design Student Competition. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program challenges architecture students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. A total of $14,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the winning students and their faculty sponsors.

Students submitted designs in two categories that required steel to be used as the primary structural material and with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design. The Bridge to Building category challenged students to design a pedestrian bridge that would enrich its location and provide a vital spatial connection, as well as include an ancillary function - a small pavilion - that supports the cause for the crossing. In the Open Category, students were given the opportunity to select a site and building program that included at least one long-span steel structure.

The award winners in each category are:

Category I - Building to Bridge

  • First Place: “Stream_Line”
    Students: Christopher Garrow, Heather Martin and Kaitlin Shenk
    Faculty Sponsors: Donald Dunham, Brian Johnston, Thomas Kirchner, Lisa Phillips and Barbara Macaulay
    School: Philadelphia University
    “Real-world issues require more inclusive and interdisciplinary strategies - strategies that can help craft sustainable real-world solutions,” commented Dunham. “Giving our students real-world frameworks through international and national competition forums allows them to test new knowledge patterns in the most competitive, creative and intellectual environments.”
  • Second Place: “Adaptive Connections”
    Students: Vahe Markosian, Andrew Maier III, Mark Pothier and James P Stoddart
    Faculty Sponsors: John C Cerone and Adam Modesitt
    School: Columbia University
  • Third Place: “Building [Equilibrium] Bridge”
    Student: Javier Bidot-Betancourt
    Faculty Sponsor: Jose Lorenzo-Torres
    School: Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico

Category II - Open

About 250 project submissions from more than 1,000 students were received during this year’s steel design competition, and nearly 100 faculty members served as student advisers for the competition. In total, 48 universities from across North America took part.

This year’s competition jurors were: Terri Boake, professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo, Canada; Phillip Anzalone, director of the laboratory for applied building science at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University; Peter Weismantle, director of supertall building technology at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) in Chicago; Jeremy Ficca, associate professor of architecture and founding director of the Digital Fabrication Laborary [dFAB] in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University; Patricia Kucker, associate professor of architecture at the University of Cincinnati; and Kirk Martini, associate professor of structural design at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.

 For additional information about the ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition, visit www.aisc.org/studentdesign or www.acsa-arch.org/programs-events/competitions/2012-13-steel.

Adaptive reuse project wins architecture and engineering award

A 400,000-sq.-ft adaptive reuse sports facility in Stamford, Conn., has earned national recognition in the 2013 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2).

Opened to the public in the summer of 2012, Chelsea Piers Connecticut features two NHL regulation ice rinks, enormous turf fields (for soccer, lacrosse, football, field hockey, softball, and baseball), a 20,000-sq.-ft gymnastics center, an aquatics center with an Olympic-sized pool, seven tennis courts, 12 squash courts, a trampoline center, a baseball/softball training area, childcare/preschool, food service, pro shop, catering and party/special event spaces.

Chelsea Piers sports facility

This sports facility used to be a Clairol factory that produced Herbal Essence shampoo.

The building housing this state-of-the-art sports facility is a 45-year-old manufacturing plant previously used by Clairol as the facility for manufacturing Herbal Essence shampoo. The adaptive reuse saved the old building from being demolished and ending up in a landfill; Clairol maintained the building well, keeping it in excellent condition.

Although the building square footage met the project’s requirements, the lack of large column-free spaces created a potential roadblock. Professional quality sports facilities such as swimming pools, hockey rinks and tennis courts require large column-free areas in excess of a 100 ft wide. This criterion required the removal of 23 columns from the building in order to achieve the column-free zones. Determining an economical method for removing the existing columns while leaving the entire roof structure in place was the principal challenge. The solutions selected by WSP Cantor Seinuk were extremely creative, economical and highly sustainable, resulting in reuse of the existing roof structure, limited demolition and limited use of new materials.

The proposed structural system was based upon the use of king post trusses constructed out of the in-place existing roof structure. Leaving the existing beams, which formed the top compression chords of the truss, in place and using a portion of the existing columns as the king posts, only a relatively small amount of steel had to be added to form the tension cords of the truss. Upgrading of the in-place top chord members was accomplished via composite action with the new concrete slab poured on the existing in-place metal roof deck. Steel angle members were used for the tension chords of the trusses. Although the simple and basic “off the shelf” structural members remain exposed, their aesthetically pleasing form is quite apparent. The positive effect of the forms on the facility’s architecture is further testament to the economic and sustainable accomplishments achievable via innovative engineering. It is an excellent example of form following function.

The design met all the criteria – with the exception of being able to achieve a flat floor after the concrete was poured. Since the existing roof, which was supported upon the new king post trusses, was slated to become additional space for the new sport facilities, there was a requirement for a very flat floor structure. The proposed eloquent solution, calling for the cambering of the trusses prior to pouring the concrete slab, was accomplished via jacking of the existing roof structure prior to the installation of the new truss members. After the installation of the truss steel, the existing columns were cut out and removed. Upon pouring the new roof concrete the trusses deflected precisely as designed, leaving a flat surface for the tennis courts and soccer area to be located above.

Amer Inst for Steel Construction.Conducted annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievement in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects across the country. The IDEAS2 award is the highest, most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S. and recognizes the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects.

The awards presentation coincides with a day special to the U.S. structural steel industry: National SteelDay. Steel industry companies and related businesses across the U.S. celebrate the day with a variety of events taking place from coast to coast.