Tabitha Stine is constructsteel’s Vice-Chair and General Manager of Construction Solutions Services at Nucor Corporation
Hello, my name is Tabitha Stine. I am the Vice-Chair of constructsteel. I am based in Chicago, IL, USA and lead a new direction for Nucor as we dive into the world of developing construction solutions here in North America as an early involvement partner with our customers and the specifying community. Construction feeds over fifty percent of all the products that Nucor produces, so it’s important that we are positioned to not just get the order but ensure that steel isn’t precluded as a viable option at the “napkin-sketch” phase of the project. In today’s market, whether an owner is building a high-rise residential project or a warehouse or data centre, material choices and innovation to accelerate project timetables are paramount. Ensuring there are market growth opportunities for steel to participate can only be achieved if we all take an active role in leading the charge for more research and development and shared knowledge to replicate success in our regional and country-specific markets. Many pockets of the world are trying concepts that have been broadly accepted into practice in other areas. It’s important that we look for ways to develop shared knowledge that we all can benefit from – while tracking emerging trends that when aligned, we can tackle strategically together.
It’s important to appreciate that in today’s world of globalisation, many key decision makers for commercial development, architecture, and engineering take on an international footprint. These influencers are managing a global portfolio of project needs, priorities and challenges. Many of the projects vary by local building code constraints, unique loading challenges or the specialised supply chain of materials in that portion of the world. Utilising the platform of constructsteel, we can help solve those challenges and develop tools and solutions at hand for consistent issues we all face worldwide, such as sustainability, interfacing with other materials thru composite construction and emerging trends. These are low-hanging fruit opportunities that can be approached from a global perspective, but then catered for the appropriate regional needs or experience.
Let’s take for example, timber construction. There is a train coming down the tracks that tells a powerful message that the owners and construction specifiers of the world are listening to for this bio-based product. If we compare the stories of steel and timber together, there are many areas where timber falls short and steel can participate and gain substantial tonnage intensity. Strength for long spans, embodied carbon when considering end of life, local availability and skilled trades, and proven connections for fire ratings – just to name a few – are areas that when approached holistically, solutions can be explored and developed for a composite steel and timber solution. Remember the mention of those global companies who are holding the purse strings for the projects around the world? They are looking for continued innovation and improvement of ideas, that can then be translated to country-specific applications as a downstream effort.
We at Nucor are proud to part of this initiative. While we all have different challenges and drivers locally, we work in a global world. We look forward to the efforts that constructsteel can spearhead and develop globally that can then be applied to our local challenges as they impact local issues such as labour force, building codes, and standards of mill production and fabrication practices.