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InnovatIve struCtural steel systems



Think, design, and build with structural steeloutside the box. Innovations beyond conventionally framed, connected, and built structural steel have changed the way designers approach projects. Challenges ranging from fast construction dormitories to streamlined connections have yielded some very successful innovations that are now being used on projects nationwide. Below are systems that either the AISC Steel Solutions Center has worked with, were promoted at NASCC: The Steel Conference, or were featured in Modern Steel Construction as a Hot Product. This document will be updated as new innovations enter the market that demonstrate successful applications utilizing structural steel for various building challenges. For the latest and greatest innovations, to add one to our list, or to learn more about how to use them on your next project, visit or contact us at

low Floor-to-Floor Height solutions

COMSLAB is a long span & shallow composite floor system that helps structural steel compete with the low floor-to-floor concrete designs. With depths as low as 10 in., it can be combined with various proprietary flush beams or conventional AISC sections hidden in the floor section. COMSLAB is a lightweight assembly that has UL listed UNRESTRAINED ratings of 1, 1 and 2 hours for spans of more than 30 ft. It is ideal for all elevated concrete slab construction such as hotels, schools, parking, office, multi-residential, and medical buildings. Get more information on COMSLAB by contacting us at The Girder-Slab System is an ideal solution for multi-story residential projects combining value, erection speed and low floor-to-floor heights. The system integrates the D-Beam girder with a conventional structural steel frame that allows hollowcore plank to rest on the bottom flange of the beam and be grouted into place. The Girder-Slab System is designed by the owners licensed architects and structural engineers, and is competitively available from your preferred steel fabricators. More information found at

InnovatIve struCtural steel systems

Deltabeam is a superior composite slim-floor system, combining the strengths of steel and concrete for multi-story buildings of any kind. Fitting in the plane of the floor allows flexible interior lay-outs and easy HVAC installations. Erection is simple and fast. Deltabeams can also serve in long, curved, or cantilevered span conditions. Get more background on Peikkos Deltabeam at:

Connection solutions
ARMATHERM Thermal Break Solution STOP cold transfer in structural connections with a Thermal Break. Armatherm is the original bolt through thermal break solution installed on over a thousand projects worldwide. Offering the highest compressive strength with zero compression and a thermal conductivity of 0.20 W/mK, Armatherm is machined to customer prints from stock sheets giving unrivalled delivery time. Isolation washers and sleeves are also available. Contact us to discuss your project at

Cast ConneX products and services simplify the design and enhance the performance of structures by enabling architects and engineers to implement cast steel components into their structural systems. They take pride in collaborating in the creation of safer, innovative, and more beautiful built environments. Cast ConneX products and services include High-Strength Connectors, Universal Pin Connectors, Scorpion Yielding Connectors, and Custom Components. Get more info at

ConXtech reduces the structure of a building to a chassis of systemized components. These connections are simply assembled by lowering and locking them into place on-site. ConXR is ideal for mid to high-rise residential structures, including mixed-use, hotel, student, military and senior housing. ConXL, ConXtechs long span system, brings a systemized solution for commercial office, GSA, military, R&D, data center, hospital, retail, educational, institutional and parking structures. Get more background on ConXtech at

Fabreeka Structural Thermal Break Pad/Connection Fabreekas structural thermal break pad/connection, or thermal insulation material (TIM), is manufactured from a fiberglass-reinforced laminate composite. The properties of this material provide a thermally efficient, energy-saving product for construction that prevents thermal bridging in structural connections. TIM is a load-bearing thermal break used between flanged steel connections. The products primary benefits include its high load capacity, which maintains structural integrity, and its low thermal conductivity, which reduces heat loss. It also eliminates potential condensation and mold. TIM material is supplied in sheets or cut to size per customer drawings/ specifications and is available in thicknesses of in., in. and 1 in. It is also supplied as thermal break washers for bolted connections between external and internal steelwork. For more information, go to

The SidePlate connection is much stiffer than other moment frame connections, so a SidePlate design uses lighter lateral beams and columns (and often fewer lateral joints). Accordingly a SidePlate design saves money vs. conventional moment frame designs and can even be competitive with braced frame designs while eliminating the diagonal braces. The SidePlate connection was developed post-Northridge for seismic applications and later proved to be the best-performing steel connection in full-scale blast and progressivecollapse testing carried out by the Dept. of Defense. Recent enhancements to the assembly and the design of the connection itself now result in SidePlate designs saving money on projects in any design criteria: wind, seismic, blast, or progressive collapse. The SidePlate connection can be constructed by any fabricator using standard steel plates and downhand fillet welds (both shop and field), so SidePlate jobs can be competitively bid. SidePlates optimization and design services are provided at no charge to the specifying engineer, as the license fee is paid by the steel fabricator during construction phase. More information is available at 3

Innovative structural steel systems

Castellated and Cellular Beams

Castellated and cellular beams allow for lighter beams framing longer spans. They are available from two suppliers:

New Millennium offers FreeSpan castellated and cellular beams for a highly architectural and cost-effective structural option. The typically longer spans erect faster. Lighter framing reduces column and footing sizes. Web openings allow mechanical, electrical and plumbing to pass through. One piece spans up to 90 feet. Depths up to 48 inches Straight, camber and combined weight options Galvanized options are available Easily fireproofed on jobsite by others Product is 100% recyclable Longer span beams erect faster MEPs pass through web openings Architecturally appealing when exposed More information on New Millennium FreeSpan castellated and celluar beams can be found at

The SMARTBEAM offers versatility, reliability and economy for all types of floor and roof structures. The beams are aesthetically pleasing, lightweight and structurally sound. Some benefits include: Asymmetric composite design increases stiffness of floor, therefore improving vibration characteristics. Eliminates the need for intermediate columns since the SMARTBEAM economically spans the same width as wide bay systems. Less bridging to install compared to joist floor systems. Faster erection due to fewer pieces with long span SMARTBEAM system. Lowers floor-to-floor height by passing ductwork and utilities through openings. Asymmetric sections produce most economical composite design. Get more background on SMARTBEAM by CMC Steel Products at


Modular Solutions

Integrity Wall, developed by South Shore Iron Works, is a revolutionary building system based on a simple yet innovative high-efficiency structural steel wall panel design. Panels are fabricated offsite with HSS (Hollow Structural Sections) and shipped vertically with sheathing already installed and are ready for placement. Unlike other panels there is no need for critical vertical alignment and joist layout is independent of stud spacing, simplifying erection and allowing larger openings. Integrity WallTM shear wall panels can potentially eliminate CMU or concrete building cores in certain applications. Panels have been tested for 1, 2, 3 and 4 hour ratings. Standard panels are up to 32 long, 12-5 high. Greater heights are obtainable by stacking panels. Strength, flexibility, and design versatility produce a complete building shell at lower cost with schedule savings than with conventional construction. Find out more about Integrity Wall at

TTG One Story High Rise System The One Story High Rise System constructs floors less than six feet off the ground, requiring no cranes and no tie-offs, then lifts them into position for construction at roughly twice the speed of conventional approaches. Structures of virtually any size or shape can be built with column-free spaces and 50% less structural weight. TTG is an AECOS corporation. For more information go to:

InnovatIve struCtural steel systems

Versa-Floor is a family of Engineered Solutions devoted to specific building applications. They include: High Rise HR Standard Residential SR Specialty Platforms SP Commercial Spaces CS Healthcare HC Parking Garages PG The Versa-Floor family blends steels speed and versatility with concretes strength and durability. It utilizes long-span composite floor technology thats shallow depth and weighs as much as 33% less than a comparably utilized cast-in-place concrete floor. Versa-Floor combines multi-functioning features with structural design flexibility to meet a variety of design & construction needs. Non-combustible & UL rated Clear spans up to 35-0 Noise mitigation Predictable vibration performance Flat surfaces Better ways to integrate MEP services Versa-Floor adopts off-frame Panelized Delivery Methods (PDM) that are cost effective and safe. Installation practices utilize traditional labor and equipment resources. CSi, headquartered in Columbia, SC, integrates engineering and manufacturing to perform as a system solutions provider. Get more information at

BIGGER and BETTER Innovations

ASTM A1085 Material A brand new material specification for Hollow Structural Sections (HSS) was published in the U.S. in April 2013. This material provides enhanced performance and reliability for seismic and dynamic controlled structures. It is anticipated that the AISC Committee on Specifications will shorty release guidelines allowing designers to take advantage the full nominal wall thickness in designwhich will ultimately provide more economic designs. Highlights of the new specification include: Uniform Minimum Yield Stress of 50ksi for all shapes Maximum Yield Stress of 70ksi for all shapesthe first material specification in Europe or North America to provide this Standard Charpy notch toughness (CVN) values provided for all material, with an option for project specific CVN if desired Tighter wall thickness tolerances and the addition of an overall mass tolerance allow designers to use full nominal wall thicknesses and section properties in design. This material will be treated as a complementary specification to ASTM A500. Check with domestic fabricators/producers for availability. More information can be found at Aerolon A new insulative coating, utilizing aerogel particles, has been developed by Tnemec Company, Inc. Series 971 Aerolon Acrylic is a spray-applied product that offers exceptionally good thermal properties compared to traditional insulative coatings and conventional insulation materials. With a thermal conductivity rating of 35 mW/mK and an R-Value of 4.1 per inch, Aerolon Acrylic is nearly twice as efficient as other insulative coatings and is comparable to insulation materials such as polyurethane foam and mineral wool. Used primarily over metal substrates as part of a complete coating system, Aerolon Acrylics protective characteristics address deficiencies found in other insulation materials. These characteristicsincluding ultra-low heat transfer, high build and fast application, worksite safety and protection, and condensation controlare in addition to the well-documented corrosion protection found in traditional Tnemec products. This next-generation coating system, with advanced thermal conductive properties, reduces the formation of condensation by insulating cool metal from warm, moist air; making it ideal for areas where condensation is a safety or corrosion concern. With the coating system attached directly to the substrate, Aerolon also resists corrosion under insulation (CUI) by reducing the possibility of moisture entrapment or infiltration. The system is easily spray-applied, covering locations that regular insulation cannot, over bends and bolts that would be otherwise difficult to insulate. Reference for more information.

Innovative structural steel systems

Atlas Jumbo HSS In 2012, Atlas Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, partnered with Nippon Steel and Sumikin Metal Products Co. Ld (NSMP) and Mitsui and Co. Ltd. to supply jumbo hollow structural sections (HSS) to the North American market. In 2013, Atlas increased the size range to include 18 square to 22 square with wall sizes ranging from .375 to .875. Over the past twelve months, Atlas Tube has seen an increase in demand for these products. The products have been used in vertical column aplications in a large Box Store distribution center and in a the new headquarters of a Fortune 100 company located in California. Because of its high-load capability, the jumbo HSS products were selected as a more efficient alternative to a open sections and built-up, welded box sections. The jumbo HSS products are provided by Atlas Tube via its Chicago, IL facility. Atlas has partnered with the following service centers who will carry local inventory of the product. Kloeckner Metals Roswell, GA Tubular Steel St. Louis, MO Totten Tubes Los Angeles, CA For more information, visit

Gerdau MC1214.3 Channel Stair Stringer Channels The MC1214.3 Stair Stringer Channels, used primarily in the manufacture of stair frames, are produced at Gerdaus steel mill in Calvert, City, Ky. Gerdau is the only company offering this product and the mill has the largest selection of MC channels in the United States. The section is lighter and takes up less floor space than the C1220.7 option, while providing flange dimensions often needed in stair framing applications, but not available in the lighter C1210.6. This profile offers a flange width of 218 in., allowing for a railing post to be fully welded all around and/or the use of a -in. rod in the flange. It also has a large section modulus of 12.7 in., resulting in more versatility in stair width and length and more strength to meet todays load requirements, as compared to the C1210.6. It has a slimmer profile, which makes it space saving, and it is less expensive because it weighs less. The steel is made to conform to ASTM A36 and is also available in other structural grades. With the objective of becoming the supplier of choice for customers in the sector, the continued development of the Stair Stringer Channels exemplifies Gerdaus capacity to send innovative products to the marketplace. For more information, visit


August 2013