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February 2012 – Steel creates its own legacy

February 1, 2012 by NSC in Comment
The steel construction sector has always been able to boast about the high level of successful investment it makes in productivity and sustainability enhancing approaches to design, and in leading edge fabricating technology. Sceptics could have been excused for assuming that this commitment to making steel as easy as possible to design and build in would be run down during cash strapped times such as we have been through in the past few years.

But a look at our news section this month proves that investment backed effort is proceeding apace on a number of fronts that will ensure steel construction maintains its leading place in the thoughts of architects, engineers and clients when quality and cost effective solutions are demanded. For example, we have a story about investment in new plasma cutting machines at a fabricator; this is the sort of productivity and quality enhancing investment in which the BCSA’s members lead the world.

On another page we see that the steel sector has invested in five new design guides, adding to the support already available for structural engineers designing to the new Eurocodes. The widest possible range of design guidance has always been available to designers from the steel sector, mostly just a quick telephone call to a free advisory hotline away, and these new guides mark a significant milestone along the UK design communities’ way towards embracing Eurocodes design.

Many eyes in the world’s engineering community will be on the Shard, Europe’s tallest building, which is rapidly nearing topping out. The top was lost in mist on at least one day in mid January, no doubt providing an eerie environment for the workforce.

Fortunately, as it is a substantially steel framed structure workers on the 310m building are exposed to minimal risk whatever the weather as the pre assembled modules comprising the upper floors are lifted into place. Safety looks like being one of the great success stories surrounding the Shard’s construction, which we hope to tell readers more about shortly.

London’s Olympic structures are now 90% completed with around 200 days to go until the games begin, as we report. As well as being a construction success story for steel the 2012 Olympics will represent a legacy success that has eluded most Olympic games, helped substantially by the demountability that is easily designed and built into steel structures. There are success stories still to be told about the Olympic construction effort, and we look forward to bringing readers more about those related to steel during the year.

Nick Barrett
Editor

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