The Beauty of AESS – Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel

The Beauty of AESS – Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel

Without getting down to the elemental level of alloy recipes, it helps to know a few of the basics behind proper steel grade specification in architecture. So many of the really stunning designs you see in both commercial and fine residential architecture are enabled by the steel category commonly referred to by its acronym “AESS.”

Globally, Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel use is on the rise (no pun intended). According to the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), “more and more designers are choosing to expose steel in their projects—not just out of a sense of practicality or functionality, but also for its aesthetic attributes. They do so because they realize that steel can do more than simply support a design; it can also become an integral part of it. And in doing so, they often hold steel to as high a standard as any other fixture or finish. They aren’t just going for an industrial look. They’re elevating the material to a new level…”

Simplifying Steel Specification

When specifying AESS for your next architectural metals project, where do you begin? It makes a lot of sense “go with the Code.” The AISC Code of Standard Practice (ANSI/AISC 303-16) implements a defined approach to specifying AESS by using five categories—AESS 1, 2, 3, 4 and C.

Each of the AESS steel categories differentiate complexity levels of fabrication and erection. It’s important to note that as the numbers and subsequent letter in this tiered system rise, the time and dollar cost for fabrication and erection generally increase as well.

Here’s a brief AISC Code overview excerpted from Modern Steel Construction, November 2017

AESS 1: BASIC ELEMENTS. By default, AESS 1 is the minimum treatment of exposed steel beyond standard fabrication of structural steel. This category typically incurs the lowest cost of all the AESS categories and also serves as a prerequisite for AESS categories 2, 3 and 4.

AESS 2: FEATURE ELEMENTS NOT IN CLOSE VIEW. It is important to recognize that details are much less visible at 20 ft away as compared to an element 5 ft away. AESS 2 serves a level of fabrication and erection specific to structural steel elements viewed from a distance greater than 20 ft.

AESS 3: FEATURE ELEMENTS IN CLOSE VIEW. A higher level of fabrication and erection is provided as the AESS category number increases. AESS 3 represents the next level of characteristics, specifically for components within a viewing distance of 20 ft or less.

AESS 4: SHOWCASE ELEMENTS. The sculptural nature of steel is meant to be the main focus when specifying AESS 4. This category draws inspiration from the expression of form as the featured aesthetic in a project.

AESS C: CUSTOM ELEMENTS. Any deviation from the requirements of AESS 1, 2, 3 and 4 falls under the Custom category, AESS C. Occasionally, there are situations when sharp edges do not need to be ground smooth or erection and painted marks are not required to be removed from view. Allowing this flexibility in choosing characteristics provides designers with greater freedom but also notifies steel fabricators and erectors that there is a noteworthy difference from the typical category requirements.”

The Takeaway…

Holding steel to a higher design standard makes a lot of sense when you consider all of the amazing things for which it can be engineered. Fewer structural limitations open up more creative design avenues.

We hope this article provides you with a little more clarity on architectural steel and maybe a lot more inspiration to apply your creative talents and engineering skills toward using it. After all, the steel-supported structures sculpturing our skylines and the ornamental architecture that gleams along our streets and highways make our world more livable and pleasing to the eyes.

 

Teaching Educators and Kids about Opportunities

Teaching Educators and Kids about Opportunities

It’s rewarding to watch people grow and succeed in your
organization. We’re fortunate to have some highly engaged young people
on our professional welding team coming right out of high school,
learning new trade skills as they go. We have great career positions
open for young people, and as a manufacturer, we a far from alone!

TEACHING EDUCATORS ABOUT CAREERS IN MANUFACTURING

Higher education comes in many different forms and in some cases, it
pays you while you receive it!
Technical vocational careers open worlds of opportunities to all kinds
of people, most often at an early age. These jobs provide
organizational experience and a lucrative financial head start over
other professional career paths that put people in a deep debt hole
coming out of college. So why aren’t parents, teachers and
young people more aware of the highly rewarding career paths in making
and building useful things, i.e. manufacturing?
We need to challenge the conventional wisdom of getting a 4-year
college degree or higher before entering the full-time workforce as
the best path. Educators often tend to push more education as the best
career-building solution but that simply does not work for many kids
and in some cases sets them back financially as well as
experientially.
Young people who choose continuing education over “higher education” are living productive and happy lives. You can learn more about this and see a fine example of what we’re talking about by clicking to read the short & sweet article.

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NEWS FROM THE HOME FRONT.
As we continue implementing the modernization of our facilities, we’re
very excited about near-term plans to build a significant solar panel
array on our roofs. Estimates indicate this will supply enough energy
to power our operations. We’ll be sharing more details about this
advanced sustainability initiative in future news updates. Please stay
tuned!
-_Jack Gilchrist_

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

Our goal is to bring informative and helpful ideas about metal work to
our customers and the metal fabricating industries. Feel free to
contact us and share your ideas.

Phone: 603.889.2600

[email protected]

GILCHRIST METAL FABRICATING

18 PARK AVE.

HUDSON, NH 03051

Make things that make a difference in the real world!

Make things that make a difference in the real world!

We’re shouting out to students, parents, teachers and high school administrators with a valuable message for our young people. This message is primarily for students themselves: Higher education comes in many different forms and in some cases, it pays you while you receive it!

Technical vocational careers open worlds of opportunities at an early age. These jobs provide organizational experience and a financial head start over other professional career paths.

Do you want your job to have a significant impact on people’s lives and the work they do? Are you looking for the support of an organization with concern for your future?

Consider joining Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Company. A great career is right here!

Here you will create high-value, long lasting products for America and the world. And you won’t have to deal with urban traffic. You’ll work right here in clean, green, beautiful New Hampshire!

Make the things that touch our daily lives. With our support and guidance,

you’ll become an expert at precision machining, cutting, welding and bending of different metals, and a lot more!  You’ll learn to program high-tech CNC machines that perform automated welding, cutting and machining of large metal components.

You’ll literally transform simple blocks, bars and sheets of metal into completely new things that will totally amaze you!

Earn good money riding high in the saddle instead of being saddled with high college debt!

Just look at Tyler, who started with us 3 years ago. We recently captured him with a candid grin as he was welding an aluminum antenna mast for use in HDTV broadcasting. Tyler is building a great life today and has spending money to enjoy it. He is also saving for his future.

Ready to start your career now?

Gilchrist Metal Fabricating will work with your high school to set up an educational work co-op or internship. We’re ready to go the extra mile to offer great careers to rising generations of high school and vocational-technical college students.

Feel free to contact us about working with your teachers or school administrators to set up a career program for you and other students with an interest in making great things for a better tomorrow!

If you’re simply interested in job openings, give us a call or stop by and fill out an application and we’ll explore any potential opportunities of working together.

GILCHRIST METAL FABRICATING

18 PARK AVE.

HUDSON, NH 03051

[email protected]

Phone: 603.889.2600