Category Archives: aluminum

Magnificent Metal Monday

Frank Gehry’s Luma Arles tower; Photo credit: Dezeen and photography is by Atelier Vincent Hecht.

Frank Gehry’s New Luma Arles Tower Shines in Use of Mixed Metals

Dezeen.com reports, “Scaly aluminium cladding and projecting glass boxes wrap around Frank Gehry’s Luma Arles tower, which is nearing completion in the south of France in the City of Arles. Pritzker Prize-winning Gehry is an American-Canadian architect best known for the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum Bilbao that opened in Spain in 1997.

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Magnificent Metal Monday

Photo Credit: Ronstan Tensile Architecture

Green is the new black in building facades. Builders are turning to steel and metal cables and grids to create vertical gardens and green facades. According to ArchDaily‘s recent article, “Using the vertical plane to maintain plants in an urban setting is a coherent and common-sense solution, especially when there is little possibility of bringing green to the level of the people on the streets.”

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Magnificent Metal Monday

In honor of President’s Day, MMM examines the monument that honors the first President of the United States. Upon its completion in 1884, the Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world. Designed by Robert Mills and eventually completed by Thomas Casey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it honors and memorializes George Washington at the center of the nation’s capital.

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Magnificent Metal Monday

Credit: Rainier Square/NBBJ

Construction of the 850-foot-tall, $570 million-to-$600 million Rainier Square Tower in Seattle is turning out to be a proving ground for innovation.

According to Construction Dive, “Aluminum components are being 3D printed with the resulting v-shaped nodes and connected squares of curtain wall forming a dramatic slope from the fourth to 40th floors. Aside from the impressive aesthetic, this method of production can also more easily accommodate last-minute changes.”

The article goes on to explain, “Structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) started out planning to use a reinforced concrete core for the building, said firm CEO Ron Klemencic, and about halfway into the project, it was clear that the tower would be too expensive and was going to take too long to build, making it economically unfeasible for the building’s owner, developer Wright Runstad & Co.” So after tabling the project for over a year, they needed an idea that would “jumpstart the project without busting the budget.”

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Magnificent Metal Monday

While others may be skiing on snow-capped mountains this winter, residents of Copenhagen may be skiing on the roof of a building! Making the “top ten list of innovative buildings of 2019” by New Atlas, CopenHill (aka Amager Bakke), by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is a waste-to-energy power plant AND a ski slope that opened last year in Copenhagen, Denmark. Eleven years in the making, the building showcases the architectural firm’s trademark ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking.

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MMM – A Museum with a Twist

Magnificent Metal Monday takes us over to the land of Northern Lights, Fjords and Reindeers. Appearing in ArchDaily‘s list of Top 2019 Projects, “The Twist” opened this Fall as an inhabitable bridge torqued at its center, forming a new journey and art piece within the Kistefos Sculpture Park in Jevnaker, Norway.”

According to CNN, “The Twist is a hybrid spanning several traditional categories: It’s a museum, it’s a bridge, it’s an inhabitable sculpture,” says Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner & Creative Director, BIG. Kistefos Sculpture Park is located at the site of a former wood pulp mill and has been a staple of the Norwegian cultural scene for the past two decades.

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MMM – Singapore’s New Airport Shines

Summer is here and that means traveling through airports. According to Forbes, “This summer U.S. airlines are anticipating that a record 257.4 million will take to the skies between June 1 and August 31, up 3.4% compared to a year ago.” Airport construction projects continue to make headlines, but according to the New York Times, one in particular is shining as the “new jewel.” Singapore’s Changi Airport hopes to be a destination in itself and remove some of the stress that traveling can bring. The 10-story engineering marvel contains a forest, indoor waterfall, and more than 280 stores and restaurants. Magnificent Metal Monday takes a closer look at what it took to create this gem.

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Steel Tariffs — Hot Topic at METALCON 2019

Although imposed over a year ago, steel tariffs are still making headlines in today’s news. How have they affected your business this past year? Earlier today, Bloomberg News reported that after one year since the tariffs were imposed that it’s had mixed results. They are reporting that while the steel industry saw some growth in job creation, it was at a cost of approximately $900,000 per job to the taxpayer. And while American steel producers of materials like nuts and bolts saw significant gains in sales as a result of increasing their prices, large American steel companies like NUCOR and U.S. Steel saw their overall shares slump in the past year.

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MMM – Home of First Aluminum Building

Alcoa Building, Pittsburgh; photo courtesy of Historic Pittsburgh

We all know that Pittsburgh carries the moniker “Steel City,” but, did you know that Pittsburgh was the first city to build an all aluminum building? According to “Historic Pittsburgh,” the Alcoa Building, located at 425 6th Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh, used aluminum wherever possible including aluminum furniture, aluminum piping and wiring, and aluminum air-conditioning ducts. Its thirty-story tower is lighter and more efficient than buildings of comparable size at the time of its construction.

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MMM – Steel Veils are Decorating Buildings

From Mexico City to North Carolina to Minnesota, metal panels are serving as artistic veils for buildings.

Check out this amazing facade on an office building in Mexico City! As reported in The Architects Newspaper, “Profiles is a six-story commercial building draped in a diaphanous and perforated carbon-steel veil that partially resembling a stylish extraterrestrial ship landed in the heart of the city.” The primary function of the carbon-steel veil is to serve as an exterior-shading device, and to this effect, the design team used a digital script to randomly distribute the perforations.

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MMM Celebrates Earth Day

On this Earth Day, Magnificent Metal Monday (MMM) turns to our friends at Metal Roofing Alliance to see how metal stacks up against other roofing materials in being environmentally friendly. According to MRA, metal is considered the most environmentally friendly and sustainable roofing material available based on its sustainability, energy savings and value. Metal roofs are 100% recyclable and are made with a minimum of 25% recycled material, depending on the type of metal. Metal roofs can also often be installed over an existing roof, eliminating the environmental impact of disposal.

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Magnificent Metal Monday

Santiago Calatrava’s designed IST Building at Florida Polytechnic University near Orlando, Florida

This past weekend included a road trip to Florida’s “mecca land,” Orlando. With two “tweens” in the car, I was essentially the hired “uber” driver so had plenty of time to take in the sights during the drive. While driving along Florida’s Interstate 4, the main highway that runs between Tampa and Orlando, amidst the vast flatness of the landscape, there, positioned between cow fields, an unmistakable work of art appeared. After further research, it turns out to be Florida Polytechnic University’s flagship building, the Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) Building, designed by none other than the world-renowned Spanish architect Dr. Santiago Calatrava.

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Magnificent Metal Monday

 

On a recent trip to New Jersey, I had the distinct pleasure of crossing the Hudson River on the NEW $3.98 billion Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge!  The new bridge replaces the former Tappan Zee Bridge, which was built between 1952 and 1955 and served as one of New York’s primary crossings north of the city.  This new lasting icon is 3.1 miles long and is the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States. Located less than 20 miles north of New York City, the cable-stayed span crosses one of the widest parts of the river and will be the largest bridge in New York State history.

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Steel Tariffs – Ongoing Negotiations

On May 1, the Trump administration extended negotiations on steel and aluminium tariffs for 30 days with Canada, the EU and Mexico, and reached a deal in principle with Argentina, Brazil and Australia.  With the extension now over, US companies buying EU steel will now have to pay a 25% tax, while aluminum has a 10% tariff after the Trump Administration cited national security interests.  The EU has decided to launch counter-tariffs on US products, including bourbon whiskey, jeans, Harley Davidson motorcycles and steel, starting from the end of June. And while the United Kingdom is currently included in the EU tariffs deal, they hope to negotiate an exemption once Brexit is finalized. Continue reading

Magnificent Metal Monday

screen-shot-2018-03-23-at-12-39-36-pmThis new construction project in the North Woods of Wisconsin features a standing seam metal roof comprised of zinc panels. Photos: RHEINZINK/ Roofingmagazine.com.

Zinc?  Why yes, zinc!  By having the awesome responsibility of blogging for the METALCON community, perusing the metal building and construction trades is a daily activity.  Stories about zinc roofing projects seem to be appearing with regularity so it raised a bit of curiosity.  Zinc has been around since the dark ages … well, maybe not that long, but zinc has a rich global history and is known for its long lifespan. Continue reading

Magnificent Metal Monday

adelanto1Innovation happens when two metal manufacturing companies team up!  When McElroy Metal wanted to add solar panels to its California manufacturing plant, they called on fellow METALCON exhibitor, S-5! to assist.  Although their California plant didn’t necessarily need a new roof, after seeing the success they had from installing solar panels to their facility in Peachtree City, GA, McElroy decided it was worth the investment.  After almost five years, the energy generated at the McElroy Peachtree City facility surpassed the plant’s energy consumption, saving the company thousands of dollars.  McElroy expects to offset their California plant’s electrical usage and show a return on investment in approximately three years. Continue reading

3D Printing is Scaling Up

15403638_1050394055071544_8613181620439418733_oPhoto Credit:  METALCON/AMIE on display at METALCON 2016

We continue to explore how 3D printing has the potential to “remodel the construction industry.”  As featured in Monday’s blog post, Amsterdam is poised to install the first 3D printed bridge made entirely from steel in 2019.  Structures built with 3D printing are popping up in locations such as Dubai, China, Italy, Russia and El Salvador.  It is also a subject that is appearing with more regularity in construction and technology trades and in mainstream news sources.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal just this month, “3-D printing is scaling up. All over the world, an impressive diversity of people and organizations, ranging from startups and hobbyists to construction and engineering firms, are successfully prototyping 3-D-printed buildings.” Continue reading

Magnificent Metal “Madness”

basketball-dunk-blue-game-163452.jpegMarch Madness was full of surprises this year including some awesome “Cinderella” stories (even my alma mater made a surprising appearance in the Sweet 16!).  In the end, #3 ranked Michigan State and #1 ranked Villanova will face off tonight to be crowned National Champion.  If you “gambled” with your bracket, you may be sitting pretty tonight but chances are, your bracket busted early on like the masses.  March also brought a different type of “gambling” to the world stage of “trade wars,” creating the metal and steel industry’s own “march madness.” Continue reading

To Tariff or Not to Tariff?

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If you have been paying attention to the news, you will know that the current Administration’s proposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum could have major implications to the metal construction industry.  When the news broke a couple of weeks ago, it made headlines and rattled the industry.  Cheers could be heard from U.S. steelmakers while jeers could be heard from companies that rely on importing steel, not to mention the U.S. allies who immediately rejected the proposed tariff.  Over the past couple of weeks, initial concerns about the excise tariffs on aluminum and steel have somewhat relaxed after the administration softened its stance by offering exemptions, first for Canada & Mexico and then for additional allies including the European Union, South Korea, and Australia. This lowered the elation felt by U.S. steel and aluminum makers which showed in the market when US Steel dropped by 11%. Continue reading