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Steel

A veteran’s best friend

By Colin Linneweber

Steel Framing Industry Association members build welcome center for Warrior Canine Connection Healing Quarters

October 2016 - “Dogs [have] got personality,” says filmmaker, screenwriter and actor Quentin Tarantino. “Personality goes a long way.”

Military veterans, the Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA) and its partner companies finished building a 20-foot by 20-foot welcome center for the new Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) Healing Quarters in Boyds, Maryland. Construction on the center, which sits on 80 acres of Maryland State Park land about 22 miles from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, commenced June 16 and was completed in late August. 

The WCC introduces trained assistance dogs to returning veterans who have sustained physical and/or psychological wounds while protecting America overseas. With the new facility the WCC expects to serve more than 48,000 armed forces personnel by 2025. 

The SFIA, whose members make up several tiers within the construction industry—including steel mills, coil coaters, stud and connector manufacturers, component fabricators, engineers, researchers, suppliers, distributors, builders and framers—donated 2 tons of studs and framing materials for the trusses to create the welcome center. “SFIA is honored to have helped the Warrior Canine Connection further its goal of creating this important new facility,” Executive Director Larry Williams says.

“We had an opportunity to give back to people in our community. It is so rare that you can use what you do for a living as a means of making that contribution. But it’s even better when it’s to benefit the brave men and women who have made such a profound sacrifice for our country,” he says. “It’s fitting that this project is the welcome center, because it is the first structure and a doorway into a much larger project that will train service and support dogs for thousands of returning veterans.”

The facility, which also offers mission-based trauma recovery services, career training and other animal-assisted therapies and forms of integrative medicine, was erected with load bearing cold-formed steel.

The material was chosen for its cost effectiveness and benefits. “The beauty of cold-formed steel framing is the precision with which it can be manufactured,” says Williams. “It’s possible to order materials to the exact length you need them. This almost eliminates the need to make any field cuts or trims.”

He also connected the material with the purpose: “Steel is a symbol of strength and resilience and our troops are strong and resilient.”

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Partners of peace

Williams credits Aegis Metal Framing, Simpson Strong-Tie, All-Span, Affiliated Distributors and ClarkDietrich Building Systems for contributing to this project. 

SFIA Technical Director Patrick Ford, sketched the structure’s blueprint and assembled a list of all materials that would be required to complete the center. “Pat’s list was sent to ClarkDietrich Building Systems,” says Williams, which “volunteered to provide the wall framing. They then [processed] everything to meet exact lengths, thicknesses and web sizes.“

Aegis Metal Framing, using trusses with the MiTek profile, provided the roof system. “Once they had the engineering plan for the walls, they produced the designs for the hip roof and then shipped the plans to All-Span, which fabricated all the trusses from their facility in Delaware,” Williams says.

Simpson Strong-Tie supplied all the fasteners and connectors and Affiliated Distributors granted financial support to equip the veterans who helped frame the structure with basic items, including gloves, protective gear and tools.

“Our veterans learned steel framing from us and we learned countless life lessons from them,” says Williams. 

As with countless building projects, obstacles arose during the project. One such obstacle occurred when the foundation’s dimensions didn’t align.

Truss work

“The biggest challenge we had was with the foundation, which was 4 inches out of square and shorter on one side than the other,” says Williams. “This meant that we had to make some adjustments on the fly.” This included having to cut down the length of some of the walls; and working to correct trusses so overhangs would be the same dimensions on all sides of the building. 

“We were fortunate to have the help of a crew from All-Span and Construction Specialties Inc., who were there when the trusses were delivered, to reach a solution that worked,” he notes.

A section of the welcome center’s structure remains visible so visitors can view the steel framing and read signs that detail the correlation between steel and military service. Most importantly, veterans who endured trying deployments now have greater access to service dogs.

As with canines, military veterans have personality and, thanks to the Steel Framing Industry Association and veterans, now have a warm and welcoming space to help them find the right personality match in their canine companions. FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc.

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. Rolleri USA Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss UFP Industrial

PRESS BRAKES

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

AMADA AMERICA, INC. BLM Group
Tishken Advanced Gauging Technologies Automec Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

MC Machinery Systems Inc.

WATERJET

Mayfran International Cincinnati Inc. SafanDarley Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

LVD Strippit

PUNCHING

Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation Scotchman Industries Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Trilogy Machinery Inc.

SAWING

WELDING

Osborn

METAL FORMING

Behringer Saws Inc. American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Cosen Saws Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers MetalForming Inc. DoALL Sawing T. J. Snow Company

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

HE&M Saw

 

Beckwood Press Co. Titan Tool Supply Inc. Savage Saws

 

Triform

 

 

 


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