Ron Klemencic Named ENR’s 2018 Award of Excellence Winner for Revolutionary Steel Core System

(Photo: AISC)

AISC congratulates this year’s Engineering News-Record (ENR) Award of Excellence winner, Ron Klemencic.

For daring to innovate, for spearheading the age of cooperative research and development and for his relentless pursuit of a better and more constructible built environment, Klemencic, chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates Structural + Civil Engineers (MKA), has been selected the 53rd Award of Excellence winner by the editors of ENR. Klemencic has led the development of SpeedCore, a revolutionary method of composite structural-steel framing, aiming to replace the reinforced concrete core in steel office-tower construction.

A steel-framed building using a SpeedCore system is expected to take 40% less time to build than one using a reinforced concrete core. A decade ago, Kle­mencic championed Pankow-funded lateral load tests that resulted in design guidelines for the system’s core walls, consisting of stacked modules of cross-tied steel plates field-filled with rebar-less concrete. “We are excited to be working with the Pankow Foundation today to further advance the capabilities and simplicity of the next generation of this great game changer,” said Charlie Carter, AISC’s president.

Rainier Square Tower, the system’s 850-ft-tall “proof of concept” project, is now underway in Seattle (see the article “Core Solution” from our February issue). “Rainier Square [combines] my insatiable search for ‘better,’ and passions for R&D and intense collaboration with the building team to create a breakthrough,” says Klemencic.

Its radical core is engineered using an earlier paradigm shift in global practice, also triggered by Klemencic, called “tall-building performance-based seismic design,” a sophisticated methodology that results in safer, better-performing and more cost-effective high-rises in earthquake zones.

You can read more about Klemenic’s achievements on ENR’s website, here. To learn more about the revolutionary SpeedCore system, visit