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Topping out a steel structure with a tree and What About the Welds?

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I'm a folklorist and the reason "why ironworkers place an evergreen (Xmas?) tree at 
the top of a steel structure once the final erection is completed" is because they
want to have something in a steel structure with the horizontal (and weaker) beams
ductilly connected to the column! (just kidding)  But it is poetic that among the
highest quality reliable connections are the so-called "column tree" connections!

But, seriously, I really enjoyed the post at :
Cracked! The Disaster Waiting To Happen Inside L.A.'s Steel-Frame Towers 

"Cracked! The 1994 Northridge quake alerted government authorities and L.A. 
property owners to a terrible truth: The welding metal used in L.A.?s 1,500
steel-frame buildings is brittle and prone to failure under seismic pressure. 
What?s being done about the potential collapse of the city?s high-rise districts? 
As Greg Brouwer found out, next to nothing."

And ever so seriously, I need the Seaint Listserv help re AISC Seismic Provisions.  
I submitted a code change in Oregon to adopt the AISC Seismic Provisions in the 
current code change cycle.  It was discussed by a Building Codes Division committee 
on August 24th and, I just learned, "disapproved" (while I was away on vacation and 
couldn't attend the meeting).  The Building Codes Division staff person who was at
the meeting would not tell me why it had been disapproved, but said I could read it 
in the minutes after they were prepared.

But, in the meantime; are there any other jurisdictions out there other than L.A. 
and the city of Fremont that have adopted these AISC Seismic Provisions?  Seems
to me, that for high seismic regions (UBC Seismic Zones 3 and 4; NEHRP 97 0.2 sec 
1.5 g spect. ord., 1.0 sec 0.6g spect. ord.), and particularly for large urban
cities founded next to faults; given what happened in Northridge and Kobe, this is 
the way to go.

I would appreciate any help and feedback out there I can get.  Thanks.

James Bela
Oregon Earthquake Awareness

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Paul Meyer <PMeyer(--nospam--at)> Tuesday, August 31, 1999 3:53 PM wrote:

Subject: Topping out steel structures with a tree

I've been asked why ironworkers place an evergreen (Xmas?) tree at the top
of a steel structure once the final erection is completed.  Any folklorists
out there?  My copy of "Steel Beams and Iron Men" just says that no one
knows how the tradition got started.  Surely someone must know?  I have a
niece counting on me for this.

 "Scott Melnick" <melnick(--nospam--at)> Wed, 1 Sep 1999 08:04:23 -0500 wrote:
Re: Topping out steel structures with a tree 

In October 1995, Modern Steel Construction ran a long article on this
subject. If anyone would like a copy, please send me your fax number and
I'll be glad to fax you a copy.

Scott Melnick
Editor, MSC

(P.S. - And as always, if anyone located in the U.S. would like a free
subscription to MSC, send me your name, company, address, ph & fax #s and
your day and month of birth--no year is needed.)