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Stainless steel has many appealing architectural qualities. This article describes the contents of the Architects’ Guide to Stainless Steel, an online resource providing information on the design, specification, manufacture and maintenance of stainless steel architectural components. It is structured in two parts, technical reference and case studies, and the contents of these parts are described more in the following sections of this article. A new CD-based computer-aided learning package for architects, Stainless SteelCAL, is also described.
The first section includes structural and performance information on stainless steel and reviews in detail production and finishing processes. It focuses on those grades of stainless steel and techniques that are commonly used in relation to architectural components.
The second section provides an overview of the contemporary use of stainless steel in architecture. It comprises a broad and representative selection of building projects by leading architects and engineers. Each case study is illustrated with photographs and line drawings showing architectural details. The case studies are taken from around the world and include Waterloo International Terminal, Petronas Towers, Bilbao Metro Station and the Lowry.
Stainless SteelCAL is for architects and student architects wanting to explore the design possibilities in stainless steel. It is driven by design examples of the material used in all aspects of design in the built environment. The package is interactive, allowing the user to explore by type of design situation with activities that reveal something about the common design issues. Each interactive task is supported by links to a local library of images of stainless steel in use and to case studies from the online Architects’ Guide to Stainless Steel.