This won’t work in the future, he warned. The structural engineer is going to need to figure out in advance how the project is going to comply using typical averages for materials in the project locale and then directly address what is required in the project specs.

 Cross provided an example: All wide-flange structural steel beams are to be domestically produced with an available EPD, an average pre + 0.5 post consumer recycled content of 70% and a documented recovery rate greater than 50%.

There is a major shift coming for threshold calculations, said Cross. Under LEED the final decision about certification level comes down to post-construction documentation of material used. "Under IgCC (both native and 189.1), we will be dealing with the issuance of a building permit and the design professional will need to document how the project will be able to meet the code requirements at the time of code review," he explained.

After the building permit is issued the actual construction data on materials will need to be collected as part of the documentation required prior to a certificate of occupancy, he added.

AISC is also helping structural engineers designing steel frames ease into the digital age. Last year, the group introduced the digital edition of the latest AISC Steel Construction Manual.

This year, AISC released a new version of the digital manual that allows an individual user to load the file on up to six digital devices. This includes, for the first time, the iPad and Android tablets and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Users now have the option to enable bookmarks, as well. They also have the ability to cut and paste abilities and perform keyword searches.

The tablet versions offer users an alternative to the manual's 4-lb, 2,400-page version. AISC says 250 digital manuals have been sold since March. Cost details and other information is available at

A streamlined manual for seismic construction is expected out early next year. The manual has been organized in two sections: one for steel-only frames and the other for steel and concrete composite frames.

The revise will merge the two sections and be organized around type of system, for example, braced frames, cantilevered column systems, etc. "The old manual wound up unintentionally inconsistent," said Charles J. Carter, AISC's vice president and chief structural engineer. "With one set of coordinated systems and common requirements in a common place, it will be easier to do it right and better," he said. For the bridge sector, AISC announced that a steel-bridge fabricator certification standard should be released by June 1.

Also for bridge engineers, AISC's National Steel Bridge Alliance is seeking beta testers for the upcoming version of SIMON, NSBA’s steel plate and box girder bridge design and analysis program. The formal release is scheduled for later this year.

The software is intended for use in the preliminary design phase "to realize efficiencies and demonstrate the practicality of a steel bridge for a specific application," said NSBA.

The upgraded version of the software, which will be available free to all designers, consultants, and fabricators, will be more user friendly and support the latest design specification, said NSBA. Coupled with the release early next year, NSBA will create an online user-community discussion board for technical questions and more. Information and existing license renewal is available by e-mailing Chris Garrell at