Skip to content

Lincoln Engineering Group Helps Luxury Aviation Project Soar with Precision Detailing and Automation

Luxury private jet company Flexjet aimed to bring space-age vibes to Richmond Heights, Ohio, with the construction of their new global headquarters.

Local news sources referred to the facility as futuristic, with an architectural design meant to give the sense of aircraft wings and interior space for NASA-like operations center, with large screens mounted on round walls to monitor their worldwide fleet of private jets.

The ambitious design created many unique challenges for the project’s steel detailing team at Lincoln Engineering Group. It also secured them the Grand Prize in Commercial, Small Tonnage for the 2022 SDS2 Solid Steel Awards.

Here we’ll take a look at how they used SDS2 to solve detailing challenges, save time, and coordinate with other stakeholders to deliver a successful project with minimal errors.


Flexjet Headquarters site photo during steel erection
Flexjet headquarters site photo courtesy of Lincoln Engineering Group


Detailing round columns and other challenging features

One of the most striking features of the Flexjet project was also the most challenging: the many skewed and Y-shaped round columns that supported its wing-like rooflines. In order to help the fabricator achieve accurate copes on the Y-shaped columns, Lincoln Engineering Group provided full-sized wraparound templates for both cutting the pipes to fit and for layout and fit-up.

“This saved the fabricator weeks of work,” said Lincoln Engineering Group president Salah Bassiouny.

Shear tabs on the round columns were perpendicular to the world, rather than to the columns, which further complicated the detailing.

The structure also contained complex eyebrow framing at multiple levels with sloped beams, as well as stair towers, vertical bracing, embeds, and ladders.


Flexjet Headquarters - Model render of round, y-shaped columns and ladder
Round, Y-shaped columns supported skewed eyebrow framing on multiple levels of the Flexjet project.
Model provided by Lincoln Engineering Group and rendered by SDS2.


Saving time and rework with automated connections

Lincoln Engineering Group worked closely with stakeholders at all stages of the project, from design to fabrication and erection, often using data and visualization tools from SDS2 to coordinate decisions.

During the design phase, Bassiouny noted that they worked hand-in-hand with the consulting engineer on the connection design. Wherever possible, they used SDS2’s auto-standard connections, which calculate connections based on load criteria, fabrication preferences, and the framing condition. This helped them keep up with the fast pace of the project.

“We modeled the complete job through SDS2, including all connections, and sent the drawings along with SDS2-generated calculations to the engineer, which expedited the schedule, reduced the engineer’s efforts in designing each connection, and reduced the amount of rework we had to do,” Bassiouny said.

“SDS2 generated most of the connections,” he said. “For the rest, we were provided sketches by the engineer and forced the connections in SDS2.”


Utilizing model data in fabrication and erection

Throughout the project, Lincoln Engineering Group provided IFC files for the fabricator to use in BIM coordination meetings, but their role in coordinating the project went beyond just delivering files.

“There were many small parts involved, and we had numerous discussions with both the fabricator and erector to plan the best way for the project to be fabricated and erected,” Bassiouny said.

For example, they decided to shop assemble the eyebrows in sections in order to reduce the amount of field work. The SDS2 model was subsequently used to determine weights and sizes of built-up sections for shipping, handling, and erection.

Nova Structural Steel, who fabricated the project, utilized their Vernon Tool machines for the pipes and round columns of the project, as well as an automated drill line to cut and drill wide flange material.

“All the bevels, copes, and lengths were cut with precision for a nice fit up in our shop, which in turns saves on shop labor,” Nova’s Ray Mayer said.

Mayer also noted using the steel detailing model in many ways throughout the course of the project, from sending screenshots to the erectors in the field to establish angles and degrees, to coordinating with other trades.

“Due to the amount of pre-planning that was completed before and during modeling,” Bassiouny said, “the job resulted in only one field call—which was not a detailing issue.”

“We’ve been teamed up with Lincoln for over five years now,” Mayer said, “and we love their speed, accuracy, and detail to each project big or small. I believe Flexjet was a success because of their attention to detail.”


Lincoln Engineering Group is an Illinois-based company providing structural and miscellaneous steel detailing, as well as joists and deck, connection design, and design build services. Since opening in 2011, they have completed over 2000 projects of various construction types.

Nova Structural Steel is a structural and miscellaneous steel fabricator in Cleveland, Ohio. They serve a wide variety of companies through Ohio and the Midwest, offering a “one-stop shop” for fabrication needs and supporting projects through budget development, value engineering, fabrication, and erection.