Lenexa
913.385.5300
Fort Wayne
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Industry Axis

Accelerated Joist and Deck Delivery

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Needham DBS delivered joist and deck to a project site in Wichita Kansas just 6 weeks from award of the steel contract. Although this feat seems routine to our firm, the realization that this is nearly impossible to achieve otherwise is definitely something to brag about.

Needham DBS has long standing relationships with joist vendors and has working knowledge of the detailing requirements for the projects. With the experienced staff at Needham DBS, the joist and deck erection drawings and detailed cut lists are created by our own staff in house. The detailing tends to be the bottleneck for the joist manufacturers especially when approval drawings go out and don’t come back in a timely window. If plant schedules allow room for projects to get in to production on short notice, Needham DBS can provide the list and slip right in to the schedule.

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Tanger Outlets Texas City Reopens

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The Tanger Outlets located in Texas City TX closed at 5 pm on Friday August 25 as Hurricane Harvey was developing into a Category 4 Hurricane with sustained winds up to 130 mph.  The store reopened September 1 with special store hours.  Many retailers remain closed due to staffing conditions but power and services are available.  

Needham DBS designed the project in 2011 for 130 mph winds and used tilt up concrete panel construction.  Prior to Hurricane Harvey making landfall, Needham was in concact with the Architect and Tanger Site Manager to discuss necessary precautions related to the storm.  The roof was designed to a higher level of uplift that code with Factory Mutual Global Risk wind parameters at perimeters and corners to keep the roof in tact.  The tilt up wall panels perform extremely well in sustained winds and are durable for projectiles so the design team was not concerned about the structure itself.  Testing and maintaining scuppers and overflow scuppers for high intensity rainfall projections was key.  The site received an estimated 37 inches of rain.

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Houston Premium Outlets Reopens

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Houston Premium Outlets located in Cypress TX, on the NW corner of the outer loop closed at 1 pm on August 26th as Hurricane Harvey makes landfall and remained closed until noon on Friday August 31st however many of the retailers remain closed until they feel it’s appropriate for their employees. The shopping center has opened to provide residents a place to visit with electricity, restaurants and others services.  

Our heart goes out to all the residents of Houston and the surrounding communities that have endured so much over the last week.  Prayers for helping hands and gracious hearts as the cleanup process begins.

Needham DBS Summer Internship

 

The Fort Wayne office of Needham DBS welcomed Annie Nielson for a summer internship. Annie is an undergrad student at Brigham Young University studying Civil Engineering and will receive her Bachelor of Science Degree in December 2017. She will enter in to the Master Degree program immediately after graduation. We hope to have her back again next summer.

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BUILDing Muscle

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Employee News:

Karen Hand is not only building buildings, she’s building muscle.

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BCA Summer Bash

Needham DBS provided event sponsorship for the Building Contractors Association Summer Bash on August 10, 2017. The theme of the event is "Building Bridges Between Generations." This event brings together BCA young professionals with the regular membership to provide networking opportunities in a fun, casual setting. Over 130 members filled the Old Barn at Salomon Farm for the 3rd annual Summer Bash. Guests enjoyed picnic fare, refreshments, games, and live entertainment by musician Adam Strack.

Bengfort Receives Master of Science Degree

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Timothy D. Bengfort, PE completed coursework for his Master of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Kansas in December 2016. Graduation ceremony for fall and spring graduates was held on Sunday May 14, 2017 at 10:30 am. Tim graduated from University of Kansas in 1997 with his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering with a Structural Engineering focus. The Lenexa office personnel joined in a surprise congratulatory celebration. Jeff Needham presented him with a special bonus for his hard work and commitment to push through coursework and meet his educational career goals. A huge shout out to his family for their patience and understanding for the hours of work he put in to his Master Degree.

Building Analysis - Where's the Beef?

Pre-engineered metal buildings are popular with owners and developers since they provide a low cost economical solution for low rise steel framed construction. The PEMB supplier custom engineers the building to meet the code and owner specified minimum design load requirements. Using welded three plate columns and rafters with thicknesses varying in 1/16” increments and unlimited configurations for material utilization, the supplier has the ability to optimize the design to a great degree of precision. The PEMB supplier minimizes the cost to the owner but limits the flexibility to do future upgrades.  This has owners asking "Where's the beef?"

What does the owner do to plan for expansion, install a new roof or install new equipment? These scenarios, as well as many others, create additional loads on the building or changes how the building performs. Many of these modifications, renovations and expansions occur years after the building was designed and put in to service. The building codes are continually changing, the owner may not have a set of the existing building drawings, or the site visit may reveal undocumented changes to the building. These are just a few challenges faced when deciding if the existing structure can adequately support the new loads being applied to the building.

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Scherschel Elected President-Elect to ISEA

 

Craig M. Scherschel, PE, Needham DBS, was recently elected to the position of President-Elect of the Indiana Structural Engineers Association (ISEA). Craig will serve as President-Elect from June 2017 to May 2019 after which he will serve ISEA as President from June 2019 to May 2021. He previously served as Secretary of ISEA from June 2015 to May 2017.

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An Evening in Paris - A Modern Masquerade

An Evening in Paris - A Modern Masquerade

Needham DBS sponsors a table at the 2017 Evening in Paris – A Modern Masquerade, a fundraiser for Academie Lafayette, a French Language Immersion Public Charter school in Kansas City MO.  The event was held at the Uptown Theatre on April 29.

Karen S. Hand and husband, Brian, chose steampunk themed costumes while guests Jeanie Abbett and Kyla Benjamin sported Art Deco style costumes (masks designed and created by Jeanie Abbett). Guests Bing and Mary Yzon were the superhero duet, Green Lantern and Black Canary. Needham DBS hosted four Academie Lafayette teachers Benoit Combreas (Oak music), Leila Sammou (6th), Yannick Mauvois (Oak PE) and Pascale Mauvois (5th). Guests participated fundraising events including the Wine Pull, Tombola, silent auction and live auction taking home lots of goodies. 

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Build with Strength Campaign Kicks Off In Kansas City

Needham DBS fully supports the Build with Strength campaign.

The Concrete Promotional Group (CPG) launched Build with Strength (BWS) in the Kansas City market on February 16, 2017 with the help of Michael Wymant, NRMCA, Senior Director Building Innovations. Build with Strength supports the use of concrete in Mid-Rise Construction projects and is focused on reminding developers and owners of the benefits of concrete in building construction. Multiple meetings were hosted and included a CPG members only kickoff, Nooniversity with Architects and Happy Hour with Engineers.

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We Know Aviation.

We Know Aviation.

Needham DBS 2017 Advertising Campaign - Ad 2

We Sell Steel.

We Sell Steel.

Needham DBS 2017 Marketing Campaign - Ad 1

Let's Take Back Our Profession

In the February 2017 issue of Structure magazine, the Structural Forum section contains a passionate debate on the complexity of ASCE 7-16. (For non-engineers, this is the standard that prescribes loads for buildings and is adopted into building codes.) It has become increasingly complex since its inception in 1982 and author Jim DeStefano argues that it is time for this to stop. He states that there is no evidence that more complex loading data actually creates a safer structure. He recommends "we take back our profession".

On this point I strongly agree. In fact, it has been my experience that increasing complexity leads to less safe buildings due to misapplication of code criteria. The code is so complex that for many simple structures it is far easier to just use older procedures and just slightly over-design the building. In most cases, it has little impact on the cost of construction.

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The Results Are In! Three Pass Exams.

Needham DBS celebrates three employees who passed the October 2016 NCEES professional engineering exams.

Jeremy Stech passed the NCEES Principles of Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam.  The PE civil/structural exam is a civil breadth and a structural depth examination. The breadth exam contains questions from all five areas of civil engineering. The depth exams focus more closely on a single area of practice in civil engineering. Examinees work all questions in the morning session and all questions in the afternoon module they have chosen. The exam is an 8-hour open-book exam. It contains 40 multiple-choice questions in the 4-hour AM session, and 40 multiple-choice questions in the 4-hour PM session.

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Needham DBS - 2017 Trade Show Events

Needham DBS - 2017 Trade Show Events

Needham DBS has scheduled to exhibit at two trade shows in early 2017.  Come by and visit if you are in the area.

The first show will be the Construction World Expo in Fort Wayne, Indiana on February 22nd and 23rd. The Expo will be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

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Shulthis Stadium - Rebuilding History

Shulthis Stadium - Rebuilding History


Shulthis Stadium in Independence, Kansas is lays claim to be the location of the first night game in organized baseball under permanent lights. The game was played on April 28, 1930 between Independence KS and Muskogee OK teams in the Western Association League.

Originally constructed in 1918, the grandstand at the park was in dire need of rehabilitation for years. Citing the amount of deterioration and the cost of restoration, the Unified School District moved forward with a plan to replace the grandstand with a new structure that would be a close replica of the original building. It would once again become a functional structure for athletic events held at the school while honoring the grandstand’s historical significance.

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Grove Performing Arts Center - Inventing the Right Brace

Grove Performing Arts Center - Inventing the Right Brace

What do you do when you need to brace over 100 tons of concrete panels 70 feet in the air, and the longest standard brace available will only reach up about 45 feet? You design, fabricate and deliver your own custom bracing system!

Needham DBS was hired to design precast concrete panels as part of a value engineering effort for Crossland Prefab & Crossland Construction, Inc. at the Grove Performing Arts Center in Grove, Oklahoma. The project consists of load bearing precast panels for a FEMA safe room (storm shelter), a 1,200 seat auditorium, and a 70 foot tall stage area. Working within practical fabrication, shipping and erection limits, Needham DBS leveraged 3D REVIT modelling to layout almost 160 concrete panels containing over 2,600 embeds coordinated with structural steel, MEP and architectural models. Accommodation for structural framing, mechanical duct openings, architectural reveals and details, even special panel lap details for missile protection in the safe room was all performed in 3D for streamlined coordination and detailing.

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High-Strength Welded Wire Reinforcement in Tilt-Up Construction

High-Strength Welded Wire Reinforcement in Tilt-Up Construction

High-strength welded wire reinforcement (WWR) mats offer a viable alternative to traditional tied rebar mats in tilt-up concrete panels.  Using WWR can result in overall decrease in reinforcing steel tonnage for the project, and allows much faster placement.  Both of these factors can improve the project schedule and budget.  However, there are critical differences in the panel design that must be considered.

When properly designed, the use of WWR can improve the economy and performance of a tilt-up project.  For engineers, specifying WWR can result in a more precise reinforcement design with better confinement and control of shrinkage cracking.  For contractors, the use of WWR can simplify installation and result in significant labor and schedule savings.  Material savings for single mat panels are typically minor, but are more significant for double mat panels.  Involvement of the tilt-up engineer is always critical to ensure the WWR utilized is appropriate for slender wall design.

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The Andersons Celebrates Grand Opening of New Headquarters

The Andersons Celebrates Grand Opening of New Headquarters

There was excitement and anticipation for the ribbon cutting and grand opening of The Andersons new $54 million Corporate Headquarters in Maumee, Ohio. On October 3, 2016, the wait was over and The Andersons opened the doors to their 128,000 square foot facility. The building emphasizes openness with exposed structural steel members and a large open interior atrium space with an expanse of natural light. The open atrium space was a main design feature that allows better collaboration and interaction between the various divisions within the company. The building also features expansive windows, cantilevered conference rooms into the main atrium space, trading pits and a boardroom with outdoor patio. A common theme utilized in the building was agricultural features such as the use of lighting made from sections of corrugated steel grain silo and reclaimed wood.

Needham DBS was chosen as Engineer of Record after successfully completing work on another Headquarters office with the same architect. Needham DBS worked with the client and the architect, The Collaborative, Inc. to design an expressive open building that integrates the exposed structural steel framing and bracing into the building architecture. Needham DBS created a 3D Revit structural model that was then integrated into the architectural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing models to provide better coordination, a smoother transition and efficiency in the design, detailing and construction process.

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