Connection Newsletters

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Feature Article

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On the Jobsite

If you have some good pictures of a unique project your firm has worked on, please contact our Editor John Linn. See past issues of Connection above for samples of previous On the Jobsite articles.

NISD Guidelines for Successful Presentation of Steel Design Documents

This document is intended to support the AISC Code of Standard Practice for Steel Buildings and Bridges, which sets forth the minimum requirements for completeness in contract drawings. We hope to quantify the economic benefits to the owner and impress upon all team members the importance and value of adhering to the AISC code. Nothing in these guidelines for successful steel construction is meant to depart in theory or practice from the AISC Code of Standard Practice. Download a copy of the NISD Guidelines For Successful Presentation Of Steel Design Documents. This is a .PDF file, so make sure you have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be found at

NISD Industry Standard

The information resource about the steel detailing industry’s practices and procedures. An essential addition to reference libraries for:

  • Construction Managers
  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Structural Engineers
  • Steel Detailing Firms
What’s inside the NISD Industry Standard?

This eighty-seven page manual consists of forty-nine pages of text and forty pages of sample form work. Derived from the consensus understanding of the steel detailing industry, this document strives to improve understanding and communication between members of the detailing community and construction industry as a whole. Specifically, this document:

  • Provides background and a history of the detailing industry and the National Institute of Steel Detailing.
  • Identifies and defines the role of Steel Detailing firm in the construction project.
  • Presents the business, technical and professional values and practices of the detailing industry.
  • Provides an authoritative reference by defining terms, concepts and principles that have been adopted by the detailing industry.
  • Outlines the rights and responsibilities of the steel detailing firm with respect to the client and the construction team.
  • Provides model documents and illustrations useful in establishing business and technical practices.
Subjects and Objectives

This practical and useful document is divided into seven chapters with the following general subjects and objectives:

Chapter 1: Introduction and Commentary Provides background and a history of the steel detailing industry and the NISD.

Chapter 2: Overview of the Steel Detailing Industry Identifies and defines the role of the Steel Detailing firm in the construction project.

Chapter 3: Practice and Principles of agreements to provide Steel Detailing services Presents the business, technical and professional values and practices of the steel detailing industry. Outlines the rights and responsibilities of the Steel Detailing firm with respect to the client and the construction team.

Chapter 4: Business Operations; Framework for Providing Service Provides an authoritative reference source, that defines terms, concepts and principles of business operations that have been adopted by the detailing industry.

Chapter 5: Managing Steel Detailing Projects Text supporting the sample documentation for a model management system that is tailored to steel detailing projects.

Chapter 6: NISD Industry Standard Glossary of Terms

Chapter 7: Appendices Contains a suggested Cost Accounting Standard applicable to individual cost element analysis with respect to the detailing industry. Log of sample documents used in the project management system.

The NISD Industry Standard is available for US$30 per copy to NISD Members, and US$45 per copy for non-members.

To order a copy, click here.

Position Statement on Backcharges

The following POSITION STATEMENT on backcharges has been accepted by the NISD Board of Directors:

Policy Regarding Backcharges

In order to aid the steel industry to better serve the public, the National Institute of Steel Detailing, Inc. recommends to its members and to the structural steel industry that the following procedure be adopted by the parties unless otherwise agreed by them in writing at the commencement of any detailing project:

Upon written explanation to the detailer by the customer of any alleged inaccuracy in the detailer’s drawings, the parties shall at the earliest possible date meet and assess the fault and costs of such inaccuracies. The detailer shall be allowed a tolerance of 5% above the total detailing price (the original bid plus any revisions or additions). Should the cost exceed such tolerance, the detailer shall be liable for such additional costs up to a maximum of 5% above the tolerance; the cost of direct labor, taxes, insurance and necessary transportation needed to correct the deficiency. All material costs shall be paid for by the customer. The customer shall notify the detailer of any discrepancy when discovered, so that the detailer shall have the opportunity to correct the same. In the event such notice is not promptly given, the detailer shall have no responsibility for any costs incurred.

The Institute excludes from consideration as an error or omission any item which is the direct result of any incorrect, missing or ambiguous portion of the contract documents issued to the detailer for preparation of his or her details.

Any dispute between the independent detailing firm and its customer with regard to the justification or amount of back charges shall be resolved by arbitration before the American Arbitration Association according to its rules then obtaining.


The growing trend towards Design-Build and Fast-Track methods of construction have made it more important than ever for there to be cooperation between members of the steel industry in the construction process. In its 3rd Edition of Detailing Guide: For Steel Erector’s Safety and Efficiency, the Steel Erectors Association of America and the National Institute of Steel Detailing have partnered to update its practical guide for erection procedures.

The Detailing Guide includes information on the team, pre-drafting, and offers checklists and more than 50 sketches. In its first update since 2009, many of the sketches were improved, FEMA Seismic Criteria was added, the Pre-Construction checklist was updated, and all material was reviewed in context of current standards and regulations.

The Detailing Guide is available in both print and digital formats from both NISD and SEAA. Members of the associations can purchase printed hard-copies for $50 and download the digital version for free. The price for non-members is $75 for the printed hard copy and $75 for the digital download.

To order a copy, click here.

Hot-Dip Galvanizing “What We Need to Know”

This book is to help the architect, design engineer, fabricator, and detailer better understand the process of preparing steel for the highest quality corrosion resistant coating (galvanizing.)

This book will assist you in your hot-dip galvanizing foundation by providing a look at the galvanizing history, galvanizing process, galvanized coating characteristics, performance, and design considerations. Following the information provided, the designer, fabricator, and detailer can ensure the highest quality galvanized coating.

To order a copy, click here.

Painting & Fireproofing From a Detailer’s Perspective

Painting and fireproofing is a vast topic with regional influences. We will identify the problems and pitfalls to be aware of when detailing painted steel and/or fireproofed steel. This book explains different types of paint for structural steel when it is used, and how. We will then move into the types of fireproofing. This book will provide insight for detailers on the following painting and fireproofing issues with regards to structural steel detailing:

  • Types of paint,
  • Types of fireproofing,
  • Examples,
  • Identifying pitfalls,
  • When different types are used,
  • Common detailing terminology,
  • Engineering details,
  • Bidding concerns,
  • Detailing information.

To order a copy, click here.

Detailing Training Series Online Course

The AISC Detailer Training Series was originally developed in 2000 by AISC and the National Institute of Steel Detailing (NISD) as a series of 12 CDs. Thanks to funding from the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT), the series is being made available as a free web-based service. This online course provides an introduction and overview of the roles and responsibilities of the steel detailer. This program consists of 10 modules — most with multiple parts. Each of these parts consists of a series of videos, followed by a quiz pertaining to the concepts covered in that section. After completing all 10 modules, the user may take a final exam. Upon passing the exam, the user is issued a certificate of completion.

Click here to launch the Detailer Training Series Online Course.