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Steel Industry Ready To Assist

September 21, 2005 From American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc.

On behalf of the structural steel industry in the United States, the American Institute of Steel Construction expresses our deepest concern and support for all those who have been affected by the catastrophic events in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Several of our member fabricators and steel service centers have been directly impacted by Hurricane Katrina and report staff members that remain unaccounted for as well as the loss of both commercial and personal property. Our thoughts remain with them and their families during this difficult time.

We wish to commend our many member firms that have initiated collections for the relief activities that are only just beginning. In many cases member firms are making direct donations, matching employee contributions, providing transportation resources for relief supplies, offering employment and, as individuals, providing housing for some of those who have lost their homes. AISC encourages members of the structural steel industry to contribute to the support of those in need either through company programs or directly to the American Red Cross.

The rebuilding of New Orleans and central section of the Gulf Coast will require significant construction resources over the coming months and years. The AISC Regional Engineer for these states is already working closely with local structural steel industry resources to begin to assess the requirements this rebuilding will place on the structural industry. Already the resources of the industry are being mobilized to meet the immediate needs of securing the area.

Immediate construction needs are for short term housing and single family residential construction as well as repairs to industrial facilities serving the needs of the area and nation. The demand for construction materials will increase impacting project schedules and costs throughout the United States. Particularly impacted will be lumber, plywood, light gauge metal studs, roofing, gypsum drywall and cement-based concrete products. The increased demand for structural steel will not create any long term availability issues for structural material in other areas. Sufficient capacity exists in all phases of the structural steel industry – producing mills, detailing, fabricating and erection – to meet the needs of domestic construction even in the face of the challenge of Hurricane Katrina. Steel framed buildings in the path of Katrina that suffered damage are already in the process of being repaired as a result of the ready availability of structural steel and the fast response of the structural steel industry.

AISC and our member mills, service centers and fabricators will work closely with federal, state and local officials to suggest design solutions and methods of construction that will yield the greatest benefits of speed and flexibility in rebuilding the residential and commercial infrastructure of the affected area. In addition, AISC, as the responsible not-for-profit industry institute responsible for the maintenance of specification and Code of Standard Practice for structural steel design and construction, will participate in any design industry task groups formed to evaluate code requirements and design methodologies related to hurricane impacts and the required reconstruction.

The AISC Steel Solutions Center is ready to provide technical, material availability, industry and conceptual support to owners, architects, structural engineers and general contractors working in the affected region. This no charge service funded by the structural steel industry is an invaluable resource to design and construction professionals on every phase of the project from initial design through final construction. The Steel Solutions Center can be reached by calling 1-866-ASK-AISC or emailing [email protected].

For more information contact:

Scott Melnick
VP of Communications
(312) 670-8314
[email protected]


American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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