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How to Wash a Metal Building

Steel Building Maintenance- Part 1 Keeping a steel structure in tiptop condition begins with knowing how to wash a metal building. Ignoring the foreign matter building up on your structure is not an option. While cleaning a metal building is a very simple procedure, there are a few guidelines. Dirt, grime, greasy residue, leaves, bird stains, and mineral deposits naturally collect on all structures. The longer the grime builds up, the greater the chance for corrosion and oxidation to damage your metal building. Ultraviolet light (UV) can degrade the color of steel building panels— just as it does on your car. Once bright, attractive, glossy panels start to look faded over time— especially in very sunny southern climates. Rain washes…

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Building Green Helicopter Hangars

Steel: The Environmentally Sound Choice for Chopper Hangars Astute aircraft owners choose to build green helicopter hangars with steel. Chopper businesses and recreational enthusiasts alike appreciate the environmental benefits afforded by steel construction. An Arial Perspective on the Planet Hovering high over our incredible planet offers chopper pilots and crews a unique view of Earth’s beauty— and its struggles. Along with breathtaking natural vistas, they also see man’s marks on the land: clouds of pollution, urban sprawl, decimated forests, overflowing landfills, and rivers choked with debris. Such a perspective gives helo crews a heart for the land— and a deep desire to help alleviate mankind’s scars on it. When constructing hangars to house their choppers, environmental responsibility ranks high on…

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Steel Helicopter Hangars

Protecting Whirlybirds with Sturdy Metal Hangars Fun, functional— and fragile— rotorcraft require the exceptional protection of a pre-engineered steel helicopter hangar. No other building system guards helicopters and other aircraft as well as a sturdy, durable steel hangar. Helicopters Protect Lives Many servicemen and women, as well as civilians, owe their lives to dedicated chopper pilots and their amazing airborne machines. All branches of the U.S. military, including the Coast Guard employ helicopters in day-to-day operations. Like fliting dragonflies, whirlybirds maneuver effortlessly into inaccessible— and sometimes hostile— areas to rescue people in dire circumstances. Used for medical evacuation and emergency medical transportation, military and hospital helicopters move the injured swiftly to life-saving medical care. Flying fire pilots in choppers disperse…

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A Steel Building Obsession

Higgins Armory Museum: A Tribute to the Iron and Steel Industry I am sometimes accused of having a steel building obsession. Certainly, most of my adulthood has been spent in the pre-engineered steel building industry. However, I just discovered I am not the first man obsessed with steel. Compared to John Woodman Higgins, mine is an amateur obsession. A Passion for Steel John Woodman Higgins enthusiasm for iron and steel came naturally. Even as a child, young Higgins showed an aptitude for mathematics and mechanics, as well as an insatiable curiosity about metalworking. John’s father, Milton Higgins, owner of the Worcester Plunger Elevator Company, was an ideal mentor for his industrious and gifted son. Milton Higgins sold the company to…

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Steel Buildings in Massachusetts

Savage Weather in the Bay State Demands Stronger Structures New England’s punishing hurricanes, blizzards, and snowstorms mandate storm-resistant steel buildings in Massachusetts. Structures all across New England here need to stand up to hurricane-force winds and massive snowfalls. Five of the Worst Massachusetts’ Storms Let us look at few of the most grueling storms to strike Massachusetts in the last 65 years. 1991— Hurricane Bob: Startling weather watchers, Hurricane Bob progressed from a tropical depression to full-blown hurricane in only 18 hours on August 17, 1991. Rapidly strengthening, Bob reached Category 3 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale by the next day. The cooler Atlantic waters weakened the storm to a Category 2 before it barged into Rhode Island and…

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After the Storm: Hurricane Clean Up

The Daunting Task of Debris Removal after Cyclonic Storms It is hard to wrap your mind around the scope of hurricane clean up. At first, just surviving day-by-day, crisis by crisis takes everyone’s full attention after a hurricane. Then reality sets in. Rebuilding cannot begin until the rubble left behind is removed. What do you do with the great piles of rubbish created by a major storm? The Debris Crisis The sheer size of debris created by strong tropical storms and hurricanes seems insurmountable. Powerful hurricanes destroy property and landscape by fierce winds, violent tornadoes, flooding rainfall, storm surges, and pounding waves. As the storms sweep inland, they grind vegetation, vehicles, and weaker structures into splintered rubble. Hurricane debris includes…

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After the Storm: Environmental Impacts of Hurricanes

Three Ways Hurricanes Harm Ecosystems While the immediate effects of major cyclones dominate new stories, the environmental impacts of hurricanes can last for decades. As the media focuses on the human loss of life and property, the ecological devastation of natural habitat tends to get lost in the headlines. Hurricanes wreak death and property destruction on both people and wildlife. Man and animals can both suffer the ability to feed and house themselves and their families. Hurricanes inflict environmental damage in three major ways. 1. WIND DAMAGE Strong straight-line, hurricane-force winds— as well as tornadoes spawned by tropical systems— shred the landscape. Winds break, denude, and uproot trees and underbrush. Flowers, fruit, and seeds stripped away by howling winds leave…

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Hurricane-Resistant Construction- Part 3

Five Ways to Design a Structure in Hurricane-Prone Areas Hurricane-resistant construction starts in the design phase. While no structure system can promise to be 100% damage-proof in severe cyclones, there are several ways to decrease the risk. Tropical storms and hurricanes inflict destruction several ways: • High-velocity straight-line winds • Tornados spawned by the storm system • Flooding caused by downpours and storm surges Avoiding flood damage depends more upon location than design. Consequently, we will focus on structural design methods to maximize hurricane resistance. Building to Defeat Wind Damage Straight-line wind damage compromises the structural integrity of a building when it punches through the building envelope. Any opening or design feature that allows wind to break through to the…

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Hurricane-Resistant Construction- Part 2

The Worst Hurricanes in U.S. History In part one of this series on hurricane-resistant construction, we looked at hurricane basics. This installment lists the deadliest and most destructive hurricanes in America’s history. Hurricane or Typhoon? Many people think hurricanes are born in the Atlantic Ocean and typhoons form in the Pacific Ocean. That is a misconception. Storms forming above the equator in the Atlantic— and reaching sustained winds of 74 m.p.h. or more— are known as hurricanes. However, cyclones appearing in the Pacific east of the International Dateline (and above the equator) also receive a hurricane designation if they strengthen to 74 m.p.h. Pacific storms forming west of the International Dateline (and north of the equator) are called “typhoons” when…

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Hurricane-Resistant Construction- Part 1

Understanding Hurricane Dangers Before Building Building in cyclone prone coastal areas demands hurricane-resistant construction. Building the strongest possible structure requires thoughtful planning. Risking your building investment— or your life— by choosing a sub-standard building system is not an option. Historical Hurricane Background The first record of a U.S. tropical cyclone was in 1495, when Christopher Columbus and his crews encounter a storm on their voyage to the New World. In June 1502, on his fourth voyage to the New World, Columbus anchored in a natural harbor in Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic). Columbus warned the local governor that he believed a huge storm was imminent. Publicly laughing at Columbus’s prediction, the governor ordered a fleet of treasure ships to leave…

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