The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

The Coast Guard, along with Quincy, Boston and Massachusetts State police, set up a 1000-yard safety zone between Moon Island and Long Island on March 23rd. Shortly after, with a large burst of smoke, a 750-foot-long section of the Long Island Bridge, in Boston, was demolished. The demolition targeted three sections of the bridge, sections 12, 13 and 14 – each 250 feet long. The demolition, by Walsh Construction Co., is expected to cost $20.6 million and is to be completed by the end of April.

The ability of steel buildings to bend without fracturing, or ductility, allows for extreme lateral loading from earthquakes and wind. This loading, however, subjects the solid web and flanges of steel members to buckling and fracture, thus crumbling the flat, solid surface, and leading to the potential for great damage. Virginia Tech assistant professor Matthew Eatherton will be using a five-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award to research how steel plates with strategically removed geometric patterns may better withstand everyday loads and extreme events than the currently used standard steel plates.

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Friday, 20 March 2015 12:46

Bristol Arena winning design announced!

Winning designs of the Bristol Arena were announced this week! The £90 million project located next to Bristol Temple Meads railway station, in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, is estimated to open by 2017.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 02:21

57-Story Skyscraper Built in 19 days!

Broad Sustainable Building, a construction company in China, recently built a 57-floor, 2-million-square-foot skyscraper in just 19 days. That is an average of three floors per day. The building has 19 10-meter-tall atriums, enough office space for 4000 people and 800 apartments. The structure is made up of prefabricated sections that reduced the use of concrete by 15,000 trucks, which translates into less dust released into the air.

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Constructed in 2006, just outside Kadonowaki, Japan, the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital stands as a monument to civil engineering. The five-story, 402-bed hospital operated at full capacity during and immediately after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the east coast of Japan in 2011. Surrounding the building like a moat, the hospital’s base isolation system enabled its survival without even a broken window. The steel springs and rubber dampers of the isolation system, that support the hospital, reduced the horizontal displacement of the building to just 26 centimeters. Engineers, also, estimate that several more earthquakes of similar magnitude can be sustained before the base isolation springs need replacement. Japan’s long history with earthquakes has fostered a significant culture of seismic design and much of its infrastructure is useable after an event.

The two storey home in a Thai neighborhood for factory workers has a special feature that is not directly visible to the average eye. Hidden in the home's foundation is a system that allows it to float in case of extreme flooding events. This innovative floating system, developed in Thailand is a promising response to Thailand's high flooding frequency. 

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At 270-feet and €60M plans for the world’s tallest wooden structure, to be built next year, have been unveiled. Designed by Rudiger Lainer and Partner the wooden skyscraper will be built in the Seestadt Aspern area of Vienna, Austria and will house apartments, a hotel, restaurants and offices. It is expected that 76% of the building will be made from wood, which will save roughly 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions when compared to an equivalent concrete structure.