My wife made furniture shopping a family event last weekend, which meant I had to go. The showroom was in a concrete tilt-up with open-web steel joists and a wood roof. My oldest son asked me who decides what construction materials are used, and why. He’s starting college in the fall and thinks he wants to be a mechanical engineer, but his curiosity about construction gives me hope that we can convert him. Continue Reading
Nothing will ruin your day faster than getting a call from a builder reporting an issue with trusses you’ve designed. You hear their frustration as they are faced with a potential delay and additional work to implement a fix. We all desire to eliminate those calls from our daily business, and one way to do so is to work only on jobs with a perfect set of drawings. You know, the drawings with dimensions that are 100% correct, have no errors in the listed wall heights, the heel heights are clearly spelled out with the location of the HVAC equipment and lines identified, and every load path is well thought out.
The truth, though, is that there’s really no such thing as a perfect set of drawings, because there will always be some area needing further clarification to ensure the trusses you design won’t have issues. Although this reality is typically viewed as a source of frustration, it can be an opportunity to provide extra value to your customers by helping them resolve issues before they become a problem in the field. To do this requires a trained eye to identify issues and the use of an RFI (Request for Information) to work through these issues with the appropriate parties involved. In this article, we will walk through some best practices of using an RFI to help eliminate those calls. Continue Reading
Not all anchoring adhesives are created equal. There are important differences between acrylic-based and epoxy-based adhesive systems — differences that affect installation, gel and cure times, and anchoring performance. In the following post, Marlou Rodriguez, S.E., of Simpson Strong-Tie, lays out some of the comparative installation advantages of each system.
There are two common types of adhesives for anchoring threaded rod or rebar into concrete — epoxy-based systems and acrylic-based systems. What’s the difference? When should you specify one rather than the other? This blog post will help you understand the differences and guide you in choosing the best adhesive for your anchoring solution. Continue Reading
For a structural engineer working on multiple projects in various stages of design and construction, it can be challenging to keep up to date on the latest industry trends. However, many of us in the construction industry enjoy learning about new construction techniques and unique projects. Being educated about new technology and design tools can also increase efficiency in the office.
To make it easier to catch up on pertinent industry news, we are sharing our top five tips and shortcuts.
1. Make Time to Stay Informed
Make sure you block off some time on your calendar each week to read up on construction news. Pick a consistent day and time (if possible) that is usually a little slower and less likely to be booked with meetings. At our office, Monday mornings and Friday afternoons tend to be the best times.
2. Subscribe to Industry Newsletters
After you block off time on your calendar, the next step is to subscribe to a few construction industry newsletters. Depending on the newsletter, you can sign up for a hard copy or have them delivered electronically to your inbox. Here are some great construction industry newsletters to get you started:
ICC eNews: Subscribe to the International Code Council’s weekly digital newsletter for ICC news, programs and industry events.
Civil + Structural Engineer e-News: Sign up on the home page of their website.
Hanley Wood newsletters: You can choose from more than 30 different online industry newsletters focused on residential construction and remodeling, or commercial design and construction.
Structural Report® newsletter: Subscribe to this quarterly print and online newsletter for structural engineers and architects that provides industry and building safety news and Simpson Strong-Tie product information.
Strong-Tie News: For a quick read, sign up for our monthly company newsletter sent via email. The e-news features new products and software, literature, videos, industry news and training events.
Concrete News: If you are involved in concrete construction and repair, this triannual print and digital newsletter has articles on the latest code changes, industry news and Simpson Strong-Tie product solutions.
There are many courses devoted to improving building standards and the overall safety of structures. . We provide hundreds of classes to engineers, architects, builders and code officials each year, so make sure to sign up for a workshop in your area or to try one of our online courses.
It’s so easy to take this tip for granted. We sometimes forget that the greatest asset and resource we have are our colleagues. At Simpson Strong-Tie, we offer “lunch and learn” sessions where different departments share initiatives that affect the business. If you work in an engineering firm with different specialties, a lunch-and-learn session is an easy way for everyone to find out about a new project or design challenge.
Another great way to connect with fellow structural engineers is to take part in networking events with structural engineering organizations. Here are some to look into:
There are also several professional LinkedIn groups, like this one, that provide not only educational content, but also a way for you to ask questions and hear the thoughts and opinions of your peers.
These are a few tips to get you started, but there are myriad resources to help you stay informed, including traditional trade magazines, industry blogs and social media sites. Simpson Strong-Tie is always here to help, as well. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to learn about industry news and our latest products and resources.