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Georgia International Convention Center

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Georgia International Convention Center

At inception, the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) was destined to be built of materials historically common to this type of structure. Structural engineers Browder LeQuizamon and Associates specified concrete and structural steel to envelope the sloping, curved wall exterior of this striking new building. At the time, 4/12 slope, horizontal light gauge steel trusses were probably the furthest solution from the building team’s mind. However, with some creative thought, innovative engineering, and a truss system capable of virtually limitless configurations, an opportunity was born. Enter Tim Liescheidt, PE, and General Manager of Superior Steel Components (SSC). Prior to SSC’s involvement with the project, Browder LeQuizamon had been approached about utilizing light gauge.

However, many difficult details were yet to be addressed. Tim seized on the opportunity to replace the field erected, structural steel skeleton of the GICC’s glass façade with a series p re - e ngi n e e re d , factory built Ultra-Span trusses installed in a horizontal orientation. Hardly your typical application for light gauge steel trusses! After consultation with Jim Looby, PE and Chief Engineering Manager at Aegis, it was determined that this unorthodox application of Ultra-Span trusses may indeed be an ideal solution to eliminate cost and time from such a high profile project.

When Holder Construction was first approached with this somewhat “off the wall” concept (no pun intended) they were skeptical. However, the detailed shop drawings and thorough project estimates prepared by SSC, with the aid of Aegis’ comprehensive suite of software, quickly convinced them that Ultra-Span was the solution for which they were looking. SSC began fabricating the 160 trusses, consisting of 13 of unique profiles in their facility in April 2003.

Within 2 weeks, all the trusses, many of which were more than 45’ long, were built and on the job site. Installation contractor NSR was faced not only with the unusual task of installing light gauge trusses on a horizontal plane, but also with stringent guidelines imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The GICC is directly under the flightpath of aircraft approaching Atlanta’s Hartsfield, the busiest airport in the world! As a result, Lee Amlick and the NSR team were unable to utilize any cranes over 75 feet tall.

In the final analysis, the Georgia International Convention Center stands as a monument of sorts to the versatility of the Ultra-Span system. In the hands of innovators such as Superior Steel Components, the power of the software, engineering, and products supplied by Aegis Metal Framing can be unleashed to deliver unique and dramatic structural solutions.