Review Category : Building Blocks

Steel Industry Issues First EPDs for Steel Joists and Steel Decks

Thinking green is not enough in today’s construction environment. Any person or company can claim to be sensitive to the environment, but are their products and processes sustainable? With increased demand in the design arena for sustainable building practices and materials, architects, engineers, and other “buyers” can have a difficult time assessing the various parts and pieces that go into any construction project.

Read More →

A New FRP Solution for Strengthening Concrete Telecommunication Towers

The wireless communications industry has experienced exponential growth in recent years. Not only is the number of customers increasing, but the amount of information being transmitted through these networks is also increasing. Whereas a decade ago we used our mobile phones strictly for voice transmission, the introduction of the smartphone has increased the demand on the networks and the supporting infrastructure.

Read More →

A Novel Lightweight Solution for Long-Span Bridges

Orthotropic steel decks (OSDs) have been used commonly in long-span bridges to reduce self-weight, and therefore improve the spanning ability of these bridges. The OSDs are usually covered with a 2- to 3-inch-thick asphalt wearing course. Under cyclic heavy traffic loads, these steel decks are susceptible to fatigue cracks, while asphalt overlays can suffer from cracking and shoving problems. Both issues compromise the serviceability and durability of the bridge deck.

Read More →

A Brief History of Architectural Concrete Blocks

It wasn’t so long ago that a concrete block would not care to show its face in polite society.” This proclamation formed the lead of an extensive article, “Behold the Lowly Concrete Block,” in the March 1956 issue of the architectural journal, House and Home. The celebratory article argued that concrete block was “one of the most glamorous and flexible building materials at our command.”

Read More →

Evaluation of Innovative Building Products

By definition, innovative means “tending to innovate or introduce something new or different”. Within the context of the International Building Code (IBC), Section 104.11 Alternative materials, design and methods of construction and equipment provides a mechanism for how building officials can approve innovative, new or alternative building materials, design and methods of construction that are not adequately addressed in the code.

Read More →

A Critical Comparison of Auger Cast and Prestressed Piles in Areas of Moderate to High Seismicity

Design of auger cast and prestressed concrete pile elements supporting building structures in Seismic Design Categories A through F is covered in Chapter 18 of the 2015 International Building Code (IBC). It is anticipated that subsequent additions of the IBC will no longer contain these provisions and ACI 318 is currently being revised to include provisions for these elements beginning in 2019.

Read More →

The technological advances in electroslag welding have facilitated its progression from manually fusing vessel joints filled with scrap metal to automatic field-welding of thick steel joints in high rise buildings and long span bridges. The latest version of electroslag welding, ESW-NG (the NG stands for narrow gap – about ¾ inch), is currently accepted by AASHTO for welding common types of bridge steels and is included in the bridge welding code (AWS D1.5: 2010 with interim revisions).

Read More →