Construction and Design Team Honored with National Steel Award for Work on Accident Fund Headquarters Unique "Ship in a Bottle" Technique Enables Successful Conversion of Historic Power Plant to Nine-Story Office Structure

LANSING, Mich., July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. is pleased to announce that the members of the construction team responsible for the steel work on its recently completed corporate headquarters – including Accident Fund Holdings (Lansing), Ruby & Associates, Inc. (Farmington Hills), Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation (Lansing), HOK (St. Louis), ARUP (Chicago), Quinn Evans Architects (Ann Arbor) and The Christman Company (Lansing) – have received national recognition for their efforts. The group received the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) IDEAS (2) 2011 Presidential Award of Excellence in a ceremony today at the Accident Fund National Headquarters, the site of the rehabilitated, historic former Ottawa Street Power Station, in downtown Lansing.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100727/DE40865LOGO )

Conducted annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the IDEAS (2) awards recognize outstanding achievements in engineering and architecture on steel-framed building projects throughout the U.S. The award is the highest honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S., recognizing 14 projects in four categories out of nearly 100 submissions in 2011, with the Accident Fund project receiving the only Presidential Award of Excellence for structural engineering accomplishment.

"The 2011 IDEAS (2) winners demonstrate the innovation and creativity to be found in steel solutions developed by the entire design and construction team, from architects, engineers and developers to fabricators, erectors and general contractors," said Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC. "We are extremely pleased to recognize the Accident Fund project team for its unique solutions combining creativity, sustainability and technical achievement through the use of structural steel."

The project, which is featured in the May 2011 issue of Modern Steel Construction Magazine, presented the design and construction team with many challenges, including the need to construct a nine-story steel-framed office building inside an existing masonry structure, all the while being required to preserve and support the heavy shell. Further complications included the fact that much of the existing steel had to be removed before the new frame and floors could be installed. The team's collaborative solution was inspired by the technique of building a ship in a bottle, which enabled erection of the internal structure without disturbing the exterior.

The process involved installing two temporary 14' x 40' roof hatches at the top of the nine-story tower, hoisting all of the steel through the roof hatches and setting the new steel from the ground up. Utilizing a detailed erection plan, reliable communication system between iron workers and crane operators, and creation of a 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) model of the historic 1939 structure which engineers manipulated to "virtually" build the complex structure in sequence before the first steel hit the project site. In total, more than 1,000 tons of existing steel framing were removed before the new steel configuration could be installed, and 1,632 tons of new steel were put in place.

"We are very pleased to have our new national headquarters honored with this special award for its use of steel," said Liz Haar, chief executive officer of Accident Fund Holdings. "The ingenuity, expertise and collaboration of the team in devising a solution for the challenges presented by the old power station is indeed remarkable and we appreciate the partnership and contributions of all the fine companies and individuals involved."

For more information, visit: Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. (afhi.com); AISC (aisc.org); Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation (douglassteel.com); HOK (hok.com);  Ruby & Associates, Inc., (rubyusa.com) ARUP (arup.com), Quinn Evans Architects (quinnevans.com) and The Christman Company (christmanco.com).

Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.

Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. is a workers compensation insurance holding company conducting business through four operating units: Accident Fund Companies, located in Lansing, Michigan; United Heartland, located in New Berlin, Wisconsin; CompWest, located in San Francisco, California; and Third Coast Underwriters, located in Chicago, Illinois. Its insurance company subsidiaries are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best.  Accident Fund Holdings is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation

Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation is one of the state's largest steel fabricators, offering expertise and capabilities in all areas of detailing, fabricating and erection. Working in all phases of new construction, Douglas Steel has built office buildings, civic arenas, schools, government buildings, shopping malls, factories, warehouses, hospitals, power houses and airport terminals.

SOURCE Accident Fund Insurance Company of America



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