Erecting the Steel Framework

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Having completed the concrete pour for the slab in the office section of the building, the steel contractor mobilized on site to erect the steel columns and beams as the primary structural support for the new facility.

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Taken the last week of October, this picture shows the steel columns and beams in the foreground while the crane stands at the ready in the background.

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The vertical columns are erected first. The crane lifts each column into place--one at a time--and supports the weight while the steel workers bolt it down to the concrete slab.

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Once the columns have been secured to the slab, the horizontal beams are installed. Similar to the process used to install the columns, each beam is secured one at a time while using the crane to support the weight.

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The steel workers seem to truly enjoy their job despite working most of the day 20 to 30 feet up off the ground. Each worker is harnessed to the existing steel structure to prevent injury from accidental falls.

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Each beam is secured between two columns with several large bolts. Once the beam has been installed and all the bolts tightened, they are inspected for proper alignment and torque by the special inspections engineer. The entire steel structure will also be inspected by the local, Gloucester building codes official for proper installation.

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This steel worker is ensuring proper alignment between the column and the beam bolt holes. He uses a large metal dowel-like tool to accomplish this before inserting the bolt assembly through both the beam and column to secure them to each other.

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This job requires a great amount of strength, dexterity, and balance to get the job done!

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Like so many tools of the construction trades, the crane is an amazing piece of equipment that makes daunting tasks possible.

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As each beam is placed the structure begins to take shape and starts to look like an actual building for the first time.

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The horizontal beams not only provide structural integrity and stability to the vertical columns, but they will also support the entire second floor.

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With the horizontal beams in place the office section will soon be ready to pour concrete for the second floor. In addition, preparations are underway for the garage slab to also be poured and completed soon.

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As the steel structure continues to be installed, concrete workers layout the preparations for the garage slab to be poured. In order to support the weight of regular bus traffic for maintenance, the garage section will be twice as thick as the office slab and will require much more reinforced steel.

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Once the reinforced steel is laid out and the concrete slab is poured for the garage, the concrete crew will begin preparations on the second floor.

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