Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) is the standard published by the American Institute of Steel Construction intended to account for the unique requirements of steel fabrications in exposed applications where visual quality and craftsmanship are paramount considerations. The increasing use of highly transparent facades, especially in long-span applications of 25´ and greater, have significantly expanded the use of exposed steel structures of all types, including truss and cable systems. Conventional welding and steel codes provide little guidance with respect to, for example, the visual quality of a weld. The designer may request a ground and polished weld, or a particular surface quality to a steel component. The AESS specification is intended to address these types of issues.
Enclos has provided AESS services to its clients for years, involving custom canopy and lobby structures of exposed steel.
Recognizing the growing importance and increasing sophistication of this service, the firm took steps to enhance its capabilities by acquiring strategic assets from a company expert in the field of AESS.
Enclos is able to provide comprehensive design/build AESS services on any project regardless of size or complexity, including the most advanced long-span structural glass facade systems.
The Dessert Bloom Porte Cochere at Casino Morongo is a tour de force of steel structure design fabricated under an AESS program. To facilitate erection, each of the four petals was divided into a series of individual curved wedge shape segments (“ladder” frames).
The division of each of the petals into lightweight ladders made the process of fabrication, shipping, and installation relatively simple and straightforward. The ladders were bolted together in the field with galvanized steel bolts.
The central light tower stands 60´ tall and was fabricated in two sections that were bolted together in the field. Approximately 350,000 pounds of custom-fabricated steel and more than 5,000 bolts were used for the project.
The Desert Bloom Porte Cochere at Casino Morongo won the prestigious National Engineering Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Steel Construction, 2004.
Photos 1-5 courtesy of Paul Turang.