SEAA winner

Steel Erectors Contribute to Community Revitalization Projects

7 Steel Erection Companies Recipients of SEAA Project of the Year Award

PHOTO: Class I winner Hodges Erectors Inc. for Turnberry Ocean Club condo entrance, Sunny Isles, FL.

Award-winning projects include sports arena, performance centers, and a museum

Seven steel erection companies have been named as recipients in the annual Project of the Year awards by the Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA). One winner was selected in each of four categories based on the dollar amount of the erection contract. In addition, three companies received Honorable Mention. Categories are Class I up to $500,000; Class II $500,000 to $1 million; Class III $1-2.5 million; and Class IV over $2.5 million.

Three of the projects were part of broader redevelopment plans in the local communities where they were built, and five of them house centers for cultural expression—including performing arts, sports, and a museum.

Chosen by an independent panel of judges, the companies received notice of their awards in April 2021 for projects that were topped out in either 2019 or 2020.

“Erectors often work in close collaboration with other teams and trades, and sometimes the customer. Challenges frequently deal with logistics, crane selection and rigging methods, and execution of complicated connection plans,” said Alan Sears, SEAA Awards Committee Chairman. “We congratulate these companies for excellent delivery of these unique structural steel construction projects.”

2021 Project of the Year Winners

Hodges Erectors Inc., for Turnberry Ocean Club condo entrance, Sunny Isles, FL

Class I for erection contracts up to $500,000

This oceanfront condominium tower was built to provide a luxury lifestyle for residents, which starts with a grand entrance composed of a free spanning structure. The frame of plate girder and tube steel spans 150 feet from the building façade to a water fall feature. Because the curved beams are under compression at both ends, the structure was able to be erected without intermediate support columns. One of the main challenges was the number of mobilizations required due to sequencing. Hodges Erectors used a tower crane for unloading and erection for about half of the project, but had to bring in a 450-ton mobile crane, properly shored, to set up on a parking garage to complete the job.

FM Steel LLC, for Talking Stick Resort arena renovations, Phoenix, AZ

Class II for $500,000 to $1 million

This job is part of the $230 million Project 201 PHX Reimagined redevelopment to convert a small, dated arena into a new venue for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury basketball teams. “The 125 tons of steel that we stuffed in between the existing roof structure was designed to hold new visuals for fans,” said Michael Mulsow. This steel structure will hold a new center-hung scoreboard that is six times larger than the previous videoboard, and two new LED ribbon boards. This project required multiple mobilizations in order to work around home games. In addition, limited headroom for the crane, meant that some steel was transferred in mid-air from the crane using bull rigging techniques.

United Steel Inc., for Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater, Bridgeport, CT

Class III for $1 million to $2.5 million

Conversion of a dilapidated ballpark into an amphitheater is part of a larger economic redevelopment plan for the south side of Bridgeport. The joint venture between the City of Bridgeport and Harbor Yard Amphitheater in association with Live Nation Entertainment will house concerts, graduations, community events and festivals. The hallmark of the building is a 125 ft high tensile roof and unique 107 ft high pavilion entrance, which is complemented by a 25 ft oculus. This one-of-a-kind structure required extensive planning and coordination utilizing three cranes working in unison on a tight site to install a 135 ft. diameter trussed ring that supports a 60,000 lb. cable-supported center mast and several cable-supported “flying masts.”

Deem Structural Service for Buddy Holly Hall performing arts center, Lubbock, TX

Class IV for over $2.5 million

Part of downtown Lubbock’s revitalization efforts, a 220,000 sq ft performing arts center honors the area’s musical heritage of the 1950s. The first-class music venue features a 13-ton stair, shaped like a funnel cloud to remember the tragic tornado of 1970, and a guitar wall consisting of more than 9,000 pieces of cast aluminum guitar picks depicting Buddy Holly. Complicated sequencing, limited site space, monitoring major truss deflections, and bracing were among the challenges of the job. In addition, connection design was delegated to the steel team. Adding to the complexity of the job was a project-within-a-project—the erection of the funnel cloud shaped stair, comprised of double-axis HSS tubing, supported only by cantilevered steel at each floor level.

For more information about Steel Erectors Association of America, and these awards, go to www.seaa.net.

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