SAHC and Don

My paper at the SAHC conference concerns a broader and vaguer topic than Marieta’s. Thorough analysis of an old building can give reasonably precise guidance about load capacity, but what do we do for a fast answer? In other words, engineering analysis and design is often iterative and how do we get a rough idea of …

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A Technological System

Beautiful, isn’t it? That’s part of Pier 66 on the Hudson River. This pier was built as a float bridge, allowing railroad cars to be loaded onto barges to cross the river. (I was there to go to the John J. Harvey, but that’s another story.) The pier consists of three pieces: a short ordinary …

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Know any blacksmiths? There’s a job opening right now with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. This might sound like a joke* but it’s serious. Blacksmiths shape iron and steel in complex three-dimensional configurations that are not easily achievable using other methods. The introduction of CAD/CAM cutters allows for extremely complex and …

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Road Trip: Much Simpler

Steel framing was the first structural technology to mature. Steel construction from the 1920s is, for the most part, recognizably modern in its design and detailing. The reason I need that “most” is visible in this abutment detail from the Blackfriars Bridge: The original girder on the right ends in a complicated series of angles …

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