Two SOM Projects Honored with Awards from U.S. Steel Industry

Two SOM projects, Denver Union Station and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, have earned 2015 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) awards. Given annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the IDEAS2 awards are the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. steel industry.

According to the AISC, the IDEAS2 awards “recognize outstanding achievement in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects across the country.” A panel of design and construction industry professionals reviewed all submissions and selected winners. Denver Union Station earned the National Award in the “Projects Less Than $15 Million” category, while the John Jay College of Criminal Justice earned the program’s highest honor, the Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering.

In a press release issued by the AISC, Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC stated “The 2015 IDEAS2 winners demonstrate that innovation and creativity can be found on building projects of every size and description…Steel continues to provide excellent solutions for the entire design and construction team, from architects, engineers and developers to general contractors, fabricators and erectors.”

Denver Union Station, which opened in 2014, is located on the edge of the capital city’s central business district. The focal point of the intermodal transit project is the open-air Train Hall. Its primary structural system comprises 11 steel “arch trusses” spanning nearly 180 feet, clad in tensioned PTFE fabric. In profile, the canopy rises 70 feet at either end and descends in a dynamic sweep to 22 feet at the center, a gesture that allows the structure to protect the passenger platforms below while providing views of the historic station.

Completed in 2011, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a 625,000-square-foot building in the heart of Manhattan that provides all the functions of a traditional college campus within the confines of a single city block. The presence of Amtrak train tunnels under the southwest corner of the site forced the structural engineers, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, to come up with an unusual structural system for John Jay College’s tower building—and one that relied on the strength advantages of steel. The top nine floors of the building are hung from steel outrigger trusses that are supported by the building’s structural core. As a result, these upper floors have no traditional perimeter columns; smaller hanger rods support the floors instead. The lower five floors of the building are supported by a conventional steel frame structural system.

The American Institute of Steel Construction is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. 

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