Topping off – known in the trade as a W18x76 wide flange steel beam, the topping off beam and other structural steel elements for the new Sioux Falls Events Center were largely sourced from Steel Dynamics by way of the company's Structural & Rail Division and its New Millennium Building Systems division (steel joists and steel decking.)
The construction of the new Events Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is being celebrated as a community achievement. The project, due to open next fall, may also be a forerunner example of unified structural steel joist, steel deck and steel beam sourcing.
The four-level steel bowl and steel domed roof of the new Sioux Falls Events Center was built from wide flange steel beams, steel joists and steel decking largely sourced from one company — Steel Dynamics, Inc. (SDI). SDI's Structural & Rail Division supplied steel wide flange beams and New Millennium Building Systems (also a division of SDI) provided the engineering, manufacture and delivery of the steel joists and steels decking.
City leaders, citizens and the project's many construction teams attended the “Topping Off” ceremony held on October 16. The topping off beam itself, forged just weeks prior at SDI's Structural and Rail Mill, was signed by many and raised into place high above the ceremony.
The project's architectural team was headed up by Sink Combs Dethlefs and Koch Hazard, with Martin/Martin serving as the structural engineer and Mortenson Construction serving as the general contractor. Paxton & Vierling Steel Co. served as a structural steel fabricator on the project.
The new 12,000-seat, multi-purpose indoor arena is uplifting a growing community. It also stands as an example of the improved performance and cost advantages of collaborative project development and structural steel sourcing.
Castellated beams support open and better-lit spaces that are ideal for 24-hour parking garages. The passage of natural and artificial light through the beams also optimizes lighting and energy use.
A recent article in The Parking Professional highlights the advantages of the FreeSpan™ castellated or cellular beam from an architect’s point of view. The passage of natural and artificial light through the beams optimizes lighting and energy costs, while enhancing safety. But there are other equally compelling advantages from an architectural perspective.
“The castellated beam has changed my outlook on parking garage design,” says John Capdevielle, II, an architect based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “The FreeSpan™ beam is ideal for longer spans and shallower depths, it gets rid of extra interior posts and columns, and it will keep the size of the garage elevation down compared to the adjacent building.”
Up to 10% less cost than concrete beams
For these and other reasons, the FreeSpan™ castellated or cellular beam can be a better alternative to traditionally used concrete beams, wide flange steel beams and steel joists. A major advantage is a smaller floor-to-floor profile that is possible because ductwork can be worked underneath the shallow beams or into the holes of the beams, which are easy to line up. FreeSpan™ beams have the same structural integrity as wide flange solid web beams, but they can offer a more efficient use of steel, with costs up to 10% less than traditional concrete beams, according to the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).
Another advantage of the beam is a lighter building structure, due to the use of fewer members to create more open spaces, while reducing foundation costs. FreeSpan™ beams can also help to reduce floor bounce. They are also made from recycled products, Capdevielle adds.
Wide-open design options
New Millennium’s FreeSpan™ beams can be produced in 90ft sections, and longer sections can be field-spliced for longer applications. Compared with wide-flange beams, castellated beams save about one-third of the weight per foot and that translates to reduced overall mass of the structure, reduced lateral forces, and reduced foundation loads. New Millennium offers straight, camber and combined weight options, as well as galvanized options. FreeSpan™ castellated beams are manufactured from 96 percent recycled materials.
The important idea, Capdevielle concludes, is to start by thinking about all that FreeSpan™ castellated beams can do and then make the design adhere to those capabilities.
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A metal building located in a region where roof overloading is a risk can now use tension-controlled open web steel joists for a “bend before it breaks” added margin of safety. With optional sensors in place to detect deflection, the joists form a gravity overload safety system that can provide an early audible and visual warning in the event of an overload condition.
Here are 3 ways your metal building design can capitalize on the unique advantages of steel joists and metal decking.
1. Take the erector's point of view
Effective steel joist and deck design provides a pre-engineered package for rapid and seamless erection with the lighter gauge metal framing. Joists and decking are delivered ready for assembly. In addition, metal building layouts can often use like-joist marks, so the erector can quickly locate joist placements. Similarly, layouts are often repetitive with consistent widths, allowing for panelized erection methods that can eliminate the need for x-bolted erection bridging.
2. Take the owner's point of view
Steel joists allow for longer spans that can minimize column counts and provide more open floor spaces, which lowers costs for both material and erection labor. “Strut” joists are commonly used in the bracing of the structure and can be a cost-effective alternative to heavier solid web members. Steel joists also readily meet unique load requirements, such as for internally integrated HVAC, rather than use valuable perimeter real estate for such equipment.
3. Take an innovative point of view
Metal buildings can benefit from innovative trends in steel joist and deck design, such as the use of castellated and cellular beams for mezzanines, or the use of special profile steel joists for enhanced roof-lines or architectural accents. Most recently, owners have the option of integrating tension-controlled open web steel joist systems that are engineered to “flex” and alarm in the event of roof or floor overloads, affording facility management valuable time for emergency evacuation, shoring of the roof, and removal of the overload source.