Writers of standards—both for general structural design and, in particular, structural steel design—rolled out their 2010 versions this month, completed in time to be referenced in the upcoming 2012 edition of the model “International Building Code.” An overriding goal, say the engineers responsible for the revisions, is to make the standards simpler to understand and use. Illustration: AISC Weld-access-hole geometry is included in steel standard, despite a patent issue. The major editorial change to ASCE/SEI 7-10 “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures” from the 2005 standard is a “complete” reorganization into a multiple-chapter format—first introduced for seismic loads
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.