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Open Air Steel Structures

On October 27th 2016, PelGC attended the West Michigan Design and Construction Expo. Among the several vendors that were set up throughout the venue, the Expo also held six different seminars on various topics relating to Design and Construction as well as the Management of those businesses as well.

We were pleased to have the opportunity to sit in on a presentation on Open Air Steel Structures given by Jason Smith, who is the New Business Development Director for Porter Corp. The presentation given by Jason was the highlight of our Expo experience. Not only did he have a rich history in the business to share with us, but he also shared his extensive knowledge of Open Air Steel Structures. Jason, originally from Alabama, has traveled all over the world working on Open Air Steel Structures. He even lived in London for 10 years where he was responsible for the Open-Air Steel Structures featured at the London Olympic Games during the summer of 2012.

Jason has an innate ability to break down the design and construction process of Open Air Steel Structures into layman’s terms for all of us to understand.

The term, ‘Open Air Steel Structure’, is just a fancy way of saying ‘Canopy’. We all know a canopy as a structure that is open to the elements with no walls, windows, or doors. Open Air Steel Structures have many applications and uses. For instance, they can be used for walkways to get from point A to point B, they can be used as entrances into and out of various areas, they can be used as public spaces, performance spaces, and much more. All of these structures accomplish one main goal, they define the space and give us a place to meet, greet, and interact in our daily lives while still being connected to the outside world.

Not only are we connected to the outside world on a more physical level, but also on a more emotional level as well. Canopies can connect to the outside world and nature by how they are designed. Current design trends show Open Air Steel Structures using elements of Biophilic design, which is the architecture of life. Biophilic design uses these elements to connect with nature. Canopies have also shown trends of biomimicry. Biomimicry design is inspired by specific elements in nature such as waves, leaves, trees, shells, etc. These inspirations are worked into the look of the structure itself.

One of the most captivating parts of Jason’s presentation was when he informed us that Porter goes through all of the stages of budget, pricing, concept, design, construction, and assembly with their clients. These amazing steel canopies come in a fully arranged kit ready to be assembled once they reach the job site and the process only takes about 4-6 months from concept to completion. Porter ships out 5-7 Open Air Steel Structure Kits per week.

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our time spent at the Design and Construction expo. Pel GC would like to extend a huge thank you to Grand Rapids Builders Exchange for putting on this great event, all of the vendors who took time out of their busy schedules so that we could interact and network with them, and all of the awesome guest speakers (especially the speakers we got to interact with) who took the time to prepare their presentations and share their knowledge with us.

Pel GC is looking forward to what next year’s Design and Construction Expo has in store for us, and we are also looking forward to working with Jason’s team in the near future to add an Open Air Steel Structure to one of our very own projects!

If you would like to learn more about how PelGC and Jason Smith with Porter Corp can present you a multitude of options for your facility, give us a call!

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