2 people in reflective vests holding a tablet

Holistic Steel Systems

R3: Holistic Steel Systems

The R3 initiative is a new industry-academia partnership to study steel design as a holistic system – including the impact of sustainability and resilience.

We are also developing a new Research Consortium for Holistic Steel Structures.

Reliable is the Structural Reliability of steel structures;

Robust is the ability to withstand adverse conditions. Steel structures can and will perform in a safe and predictable manner when called upon by earthquakes, wind, and snow;

Responsible is our obligation to perform in an accountable manner, be it a reduced carbon footprint, environmentally efficient design and construction practices, or reusability of our products.

The three R’s combined are greater than the sum of the individual parts. All components are interconnected and necessary for the next generation of steel infrastructure.

Project Sponsors:

SJI logo SDI logo         SFIA logo     logo


Current Projects:

All projects are part of a coordinated Steel Joist Institute (SJI) and Steel Deck Institute (SDI) initiative to increase the cost effectiveness of steel joists and steel deck by recognizing system reliability and combat the use of competing products in the marketplace.

Steel Joist System Reliability

This project covers a system reliability analysis on standard open-web steel joists. Validated finite element models of the joists along with collected information of the random distributions of the input variables will be utilized. Based on the output of this study, the advantages and disadvantages of considering joist system reliability will be discussed.

screenshot of joist finite element model

System Reliability of Steel Roof Deck

This project will study the reliability of multi-flange cold formed steel sections, specifically steel roof deck profiles that are commonly used on open web steel joists or steel beams on roofs. The intended result will be to develop an increased flexural strength for roof deck, similar to that currently permitted for floor joists in AISI S240-20.

Steel Joist Bay System Reliability

This project investigates the reliability of a bay of open web steel joists, Joist Girders, joist bridging, and steel deck. The goal is to obtain a more holistic understanding of the reliability driven design approach as applied to a bay of structural components, rather than isolating the structural components. The focus will be on the expected strength and deformation capacity of the joist bay system.

WN-Series Joist System Reliability

This investigation  involves WN-Series joist system reliability to help uncover potential benefits of a ‘reliability’ driven design approach to WN-Series open-web steel joist systems. The goal is to obtain a more holistic understanding of the reliability driven design approach of WN-Series Joists.

System Reliability of Cold-Formed Framing Systems

This project investigates the system reliability of cold-formed steel framing systems.

What is the Consortium for Holistic Steel Structures?

The Consortium will focus its efforts on the integration of all of the 3 R’s into a holistic whole, where the aspects of Responsibility are not considered separately as a Yes-No decision, but as a functional aspect of structural design. The Consortium will seek non-industry funding sources to extend industry resources.

Steel is an amazing construction material, strong, resilient, and environmentally sound. The Consortium will seek to provide research outcomes that will highlight the superiority of steel construction.

The Consortium is seeking industry sponsors from both trade associations and individual manufacturers of steel and steel construction products. Funding from sponsors will be used to support pilot projects that will help gain external funding sources from government agencies (for example, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense) and private foundations (for example, the Pankow Foundation).

Funding from Sponsors will be used to leverage this external funding.

A minimum donation of $10,000 annually will give your organization a seat on the planned Advisory Board which will provide input and suggestions to the Consortium. The Advisory Board will meet quarterly with the Consortium leadership.

The Consortium personnel believe in transparency and good stewardship of donations. An annual report will be provided to the Sponsors which will include financial information and a report on the work of the Consortium.


Why Should You Join as a Sponsor?

  • Be a stakeholder and leader in showing how steel construction can be Reliable, Robust, and Responsible when considered as a Holistic System.
  • You will have access to the Consortium researchers to assist in developing the future path for holistic steel system design methodology.
  • Through the advisory board, you will have the opportunity to help direct the future of steel construction.