Monthly Archives: March 2013

Composite Construction – materials acting in unison


Concrete slabs on grade are one thing, but elevated concrete slabs are quite another.  Concrete slabs on grade are supported by the earth over which they are poured. There is attention given to preparing the sub-grades for proper support and stability. Elevated slabs must be supported by a structural system of beams and columns or load bearing walls. In our case, the elevated slab of the Gallery area is being supported by beams that are supported by a combination of interior steel columns and cast-in-place concrete load bearing walls around the perimeter of the building. Continue reading

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Making the Connection

CN-VC Workmen

The project is in the stages of steel erection and the vertical columns are pretty much in place. As the steel members meet with other steel members or portions of the building, it’s all about making the connections; how the members fasten to one another. The horizontal steel is now going in and the first order of business is installing the floor beams for the Gallery space. In the sketch above, there are workmen that are part of the steel erection team and in the background is the familiar sign for the local business serving morning sweet deights; the Donut Shop. The floor beams are installed and the metal decking is being put into place over the beams. The elevated concrete slab will be poured over the metal deck and will become the floor surface for the Gallery. Continue reading

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Getting to Know the Players-Take Seven

Chris Willis

Interview by Fred Schmidt

Getting to Know the Players-Take Seven

Chris Willis is one of the structural engineers on the Visitor Center project. You previously met Tom Bush also a structural engineer. Chris’s greater area of expertise and focus for project is the structural steel.

Chris, recap for the followers what your role is on this project.

Chris: My role is to take care of the superstructure, complete the plan sheets and work out the most important details for the purpose of detailing the structure.

Now that you have been working on the project and it’s under construction, what do you think about the project in general? Continue reading

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The Vertical Ascent – steel rising skyward

Reaching Skyward

The structural steel and its installation at the job site is one of the major construction activities that have been ongoing in recent weeks. The steel pieces had been previously delivered to the job and were being stored in available open areas on the very space constrained site for the Visitor Center. Two groups of steel have been placed first. The vertical steel columns surrounding the high bay Gallery area and the horizontal beams that will support the raised floor slab in the same high bay Gallery area. Continue reading


Filed under Construction, Design, LEED ®, Materials