Clouston and Schreyer awarded $390k NSF grant to study local CLT

Clouston and Schreyer awarded $390k NSF grant to study local CLT

Peggi Clouston (PI) has just been awarded a $390k grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study local Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). She will share this award with co-PIs Sanjay Arwade from CEE and Alexander Schreyer, also from BCT. This grant was issued through the NSF‐CMMI-Structural and Architectural Engineering (SAE) Program. The goal of the project is to verify that low-value lumber from local northeastern species is a structurally viable and safe material for incorporation into massive wood panel products, like Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). Creating this type of high-value market for low-value wood will help create green jobs in rural communities and spur economic development for the local forest industry, as well as  promote more sustainable building practices through increased use of wood in construction....
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Crowdfunding Campaign Underway for Wood on the Plaza Project

Crowdfunding Campaign Underway for Wood on the Plaza Project

Together with her graduate students, BCT Associate Professor Peggi Clouston is starting a crowdfunding campaign to turn the idea of a 30-foot wooden gridshell into reality. The project involves a large public art exhibition on Wood Architecture and Engineering to be held on the Plaza of the UMass Fine Arts Center. The plan is to build a 30 foot timber grid shell as a demonstration structure to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of wood construction while at the same time create excitement around the new UMass Design Building being framed in wood. The promotional video is below and here’s a link to the project website where anyone can make an online donation:  http://woodontheplaza.info/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRqNPCq3PVM&feature=youtu.be There are major company donors already but the team is seeking everyone's help in getting the word out. Please share this post with anyone who may interested in supporting the cause....
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Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

BCT Ph.D. Candidates Carl Fiocchi, Nariman Mostafavi, and Soroush Farzinmoghadam sponsored a session for “Eureka” which is on campus for the month of July. Eureka is a fantastic program where young women are exposed to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. In this session, “Why Buildings don’t Fall Down – Building with Macaroni” the girls, Eureka Scholars, viewed a presentation on buildings and bridges - elegant, strong, and safe; worked through a statics lecture solving a simple equilibrium problem, reviewed a vocabulary list of some structural terms and forces, and learned some of building techniques and strategies (with Macaroni). They then built a macaroni bridge and tested its response to greater and greater loads until finally the structures failed or in some cases until they started to fail as some girls wanted to keep their models. Some bridges were pretty darn robust --- check out the photos! You can find more images on our Facebook page....
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Article in Hampshire Gazette features wood-concrete bench

Article in Hampshire Gazette features wood-concrete bench

An article in this Monday's Business section of the Daily Hampshire Gazette described the Design Building project at UMass. It also featured prominently our student-built floor mockup bench that now adorns Holdsworth Hall. You can read the complete article here: http://goo.gl/2h16Su...
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Building a Wood-Concrete Floor Mockup Bench

Building a Wood-Concrete Floor Mockup Bench

As part of their independent studies, two BCT students, Henry Braley and Loran Kaleci (with help from fellow student Rommel Cordova-Fiori and shop manager Dan Pepin), this semester built an 8 ft bench for Holdsworth Hall. This bench (while arguably extremely overdesigned) serves as a mockup of the wood-concrete composite floor construction that will be in the new (Integrated) Design Building. As shown in the diagram below, it consists of a three-layer cross-laminated timber (CLT) slab, which we generously received from Nordic EWP (thanks!). Above it is a 3/4 inch layer of rigid insulation and a 3 inch cast-in-place concrete topping. The concrete and the wood layers are connected rigidly with glued-in shear "HBV" connectors by TiComTec from Germany (thanks for those, too!), making both act as a single composite element. If you want to learn more about this technology, check out this research spotlight. BCT has been researching this technology for quite a while now and we are excited to see it in a real building on campus soon. The floors...
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