Technology News Gap Filled

I want to commend ENR for recent articles on technology, including the Soldier Field 3-D CAD cover story, “Steel Sector Plans Paradigm Shift” (ENR 4/14 p. 10); the article on the International Alliance for Interoperability (ENR 5/26 p. 14); and the cover story on scheduling software (ENR 5/26 p. 30). ENR is beginning to cover the business use and big-picture aspects of technology with clarity and insight. There is a serious need within the industry for this type of business-oriented technology coverage, written for the field team and the boardroom.

Industry-savvy, business-oriented technology coverage is more important than ever because construction has more to gain from information technology than any other mature industry.

Another reason this coverage is important is that the industry can’t get it anywhere else. General business publications still haven’t figured out that there is a construction industry and the information technology publications are not covering developments in the second-largest industry in the U.S. because they generally don’t understand the unique business processes or the real potential of technology in the construction industry. These are the publications that told us e-procurement—cutting out subcontractors and suppliers and buying directly from the manufacturers—was going to “transform” the $3.9-trillion global construction industry. Right!

Steve Setzer
Director, Marketing
and Communications
Alpharetta, Ga.

Snow Melt Not Considered

Contrary to “Crews Patch 40-Ft-Long Rip at Seam of Denver Airport Roof” (ENR 3/31 p. 16), the structural engineer, Severud Associates, did not figure “any snow would melt with the building’s rising heat, and slide off the roof.” Under no circumstance was the reduction of load by melting even considered.

The roof of Denver International Airport’s main terminal was designed in accordance with the Denver Building Code. Wind and snow simulations and studies were conducted by a well-known wind tunnel consultant. Based on reports from the site, the depth, density and weight of snow in place (and still falling) when the rip occurred exceeded all predicted loading conditions.

There was no damage to exterior glass walls, the inner liner or architectural finishes. This is particularly relevant in light of the substantial number of Denver-area roof collapses the same storm caused.

Edward M. DePaola
Severud Associates
New York City