Pankow Foundation Greenlights Phase II of Hajjar’s Steel Plate Flooring System Grant
CDM Smith Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Jerry Hajjar announced a $415,000 grant constituting Phase II of a multi-year grant from the Charles Pankow Foundation totaling $835,000 to date. The award is in conjunction with collaborators from Johns Hopkins, Virginia Tech, Iowa State, West Virginia University, industry partners Magnusson Klemencic and Associates, and industry sponsors, including the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the MKA Foundation, Nucor Corporation, Schuff Steel Company, Herrick Corporation, Cives Steel Company, Atlas Tube, Owen Steel, and Metals Fabrication Company with in-kind support from several additional organizations. “We are excited to move to the next stage of this project,” said Hajjar, who noted that Phase I had already shown promising results towards designing a new and innovative structural system for steel buildings.
The project envisions the design of steel floors for buildings that can be built without concrete, fabricated offsite, and installed in a modular fashion. “The drive behind this project is to meet the AISC’s Need for Speed Initiative,” Hajjar explained, referencing the American Institute of Steel Construction’s push for a 50% increase in the speed of building design and construction by 2026. Speed means not only cost savings, but also increased capacity to meet society’s need for more housing, manufacturing, offices, and other spaces. “However, our proposal brings many advantages beyond speed: less concrete during construction means lighter buildings with potentially less embodied carbon, more design space for piping, ducts, and wiring, and, notably, the ability to design in the future using 100% recycled steel made from 100% renewable energy,” Hajjar explained.
In Phase I Hajjar and collaborators investigated the viability of their design using computational simulation and experimental testing. In Phase II, the researchers will conduct a wide range of prototype structural analyses, including gravity loading, vibration and acoustics tests, viability of the flooring’s use in existing building designs, and assessment of the new flooring’s interaction with the rest of a building’s structural systems.