CHICAGO – Structural steel is already the gold standard for rapid erection. But what if we could make it even faster?

The American Institute of Steel Construction has launched a challenge. We’re looking for back-of-the-napkin ideas that could turn into the next revolutionary, non-proprietary structural steel connection system. And we’re offering up to three winners a $5,000 prize!

The key words are FAST and EASY–to design, fabricate, and erect safely. The ideal solution will be fast and easy to install, will reduce or eliminate welds and/or bolts (or use them in a different way), will use technology that is not typically found in construction (think: 3D printing, adhesives, etc.), and will be equal to in cost or less expensive than current designs and methods.

These ideas may come from outside the standard structural steel industry–for instance, mechanical engineers, material scientists, or carpenters may have a unique idea that we haven’t seen before.

“Someone out there has been kicking around a great idea for an innovative, fast connection–and they may not even know it,” said AISC Director of Market Development Erin Conaway, PE, LEED AP. “That’s why we’re reaching out beyond the steel industry to see whether other technically minded professionals can apply their expertise to structural steel.”

The SpeedConnection Steel Challenge runs through October 8 and is part of AISC’s Need for Speed initiative, which seeks to increase the speed of structural steel design and construction by 50% by 2025. This particular challenge applies to connections between beams and columns; future challenges will target splices and beam/beam connections.

To learn more or to submit an idea to the SpeedConnection Steel Challenge, visit herox.com/speedconnectionsteel.

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