East Hartford, Conn., (October 16, 2017) – In an effort to help engineers and architects better understand the fireproof options available to them in today’s structural steel and joint systems, United Steel’s Black Rock Fireproof Column division has developed a new continuing education course available online through the American Institute of Architect’s AEC Daily program. The course, titled “Introduction to Prefabricated Fireproof Structural Columns,” is offered to all professionals in the building design and construction industries registered with AEC Daily. Cost and registration details are available through this link. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate for continuing education credit.
The object of the course is to gain a better understanding of the features, types, and design of prefabricated fireproof structural columns, which are used as stylish, exposed exterior and interior loadbearing columns. The course reviews applications in today’s commercial building designs, with a close look at composition, shapes, features, and standards of these prefabricated fireproof columns, as well as design and erection considerations, which are all crucial elements of the spec process. There also is an analysis of lifetime costs of these columns as compared to other fireproof methods such as rigid board encasement, intumescent paint, and spray-applied coatings.
“After the collapse of the World Trade Center towers during the 9/11 terror attacks, the construction industry has demanded improvements in the fireproofing of structural steel and joint systems,” explained David Aldo, vice president of Black Rock Fireproof Columns. “Design engineers and architects are rightly looking for the best options available to them, and appreciate having this discussion through our new course. We walk them through several case studies to highlight the aesthetic value of these columns, and we provide guidance on cost savings, which are significant upfront and over time.”
Course attendees will better understand what happens when structural steel and joint systems are exposed to fire, and how structural fire protection serves to maintain the stability and integrity of the steel members for a defined period of time. They will see how various passive fireproofing methods, such as Black Rock’s AISC-certified fireproof columns, slow the rate of heat transfer into the steel structure and significantly delay the time it takes to reach structural failure (up to four hours) – which limits building damage and provides longer evacuation time which can save lives.
The course breaks down the four elements of a prefabricated fireproof column: concrete, structural steel core column, insulating material, and the maintenance-free outer steel shell. It includes examples of different shapes, custom specs, connections, as well as design and erection considerations necessary for preparing specs. Examples are provided to illustrate how architects use these smooth columns as aesthetically pleasing elements, for overall visual effect and to enhance features such as glass-enclosed entrances or exposed stairways.
The course will walk attendees through savings benefits of fireproof columns (time and money), which are fabricated in shop and delivered to job sites ready to install with no field labor required. It also will review financial up-front considerations for fireproof columns (under $1,000 vs. close to $2,000 for other methods) as well as 30-year costs, which are $0 for Black Rock but can reach several thousand dollars per column with other methods.
Black Rock has also prepared a “lunch and learn” version of this course which can be presented in-house to any engineering, design or architectural company. Black Rock can customize this version as necessary, helping these professionals understand how to spec fireproof columns into their designs.
Founded in 1974, United Steel, Inc., (www.unitedsteel.com) is the largest fabricator and erector of structural steel and miscellaneous metals in New England. The company’s divisions include United Metal Solutions (www.unitedmetalsolutions.com), which specializes in the processing and fabrication of simple parts, component parts, sub-assemblies and completed OEM products made from aluminum, stainless steel and carbon steel; United Building Solution (www.unitedbuildingsolution.com), which offers design/build and general contracting services for metal structures; and Black Rock Fireproof Columns (www.blackrockfireproof.com), the country’s leading manufacturer of fireproof structural columns. United Steel’s 200 employees work in its 175,000 square-foot automated manufacturing facility in East Hartford to build structural parts and various components for construction companies, manufacturers, and private and public organizations throughout the country.