Men of Steel
Thank you for the article reviewing my book, Men of Steel: The Story of the Family That Built The World Trade Center (ENR 9/30 p. 14).
When my uncle and our chief engineer failed to require the fabricator to install beam seats to double connections at columns in the Port Chester job in 1964, I believe it was a careless if not thoughtless oversight on their part, certainly not a deliberate "safety shortcut," as ENR has written.
Today beam seats are required by law (OSHA). Back then, prudent men like my late father, Karl Koch Jr., demanded their inclusion. I did not lie, as Jack Daly stated. That inept oversight had a severe price and I am still paying for it 38 years after the accident crushed my legs.
ENR quoted Jack Daly as saying the forced sale never took place as I have described in Men of Steel. Any interested party is welcome to read for themselves all the facts as I have laid them out in my book. The legal cite is The Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau, Index No. 1165/73.
There, the public may read the heartbreaking details pertaining to the forced sale of my fathers company from January 1972 through November 1974--not a word of fiction. Finally, the Swedish-owned Koch-Skanska may have 15 members of the Koch and Daly families (Daly refused my son) working for it today but they are employees, not owners. I fought and lost for the continuance of an American family-owned enterprise, which included all branches of the Koch family. This inclusive vision was not shared by my uncles, nor apparently, Jack Daly.
On behalf of the SEI/ASCE Standards Committee on Design Loads on Structures During Construction, I want to thank ENR for the informative article on the new and first-ever SEI/ASCE 37-02 Standard on construction loads (ENR 10/7 p. 10). It is a welcome piece for raising awareness about it in the design-construction industry and for inviting questions and comments from eventual users.
I am gratified by the credit given to me in the subsequent editorial (ENR 10/14 p. 64) for my perseverance in leading the standards development for 14 years. However, public acknowledgment also is much deserved by those chairs of the subcommittees whose expertise--and equal perseverance--made this milestone document a reality: Charlie Culver, John Duntemann, Connie Crawford, John Deerkoski Sr. and Don Dusenberry. Space does not allow naming all the others of the 80-member committee who made important contributions, but we have to cite at least Al Fisher, Gil Harris, Jim Harris, Dan McGee, Dave Rosowsky, Cris Subrizi and Rubin Zallen.
FIATECH, an industry-led consortium working to develop and deploy technology to improve the construction of capital projects, was incorrectly identified as a bidder for a contract to conduct a study sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (ENR 10/14 p. 24). The study is to analyze the inefficiencies and costs to the industry that result from a lack of interoperability in software. FIATECH proposed the study and successfully lobbied NIST to commission it, but FIATECH itself was not a contender for the work.
Men of Steel
October 28, 2002