UMass celebrates new Design Building’s construction

UMass celebrates new Design Building’s construction

On Friday, October 16th, 2015, UMass campus officials, local politicians, faculty and students celebrated a belated "ground-breaking" for the new UMass Design Building. This event was covered by the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Republican, and WWLP. UMass University Relations also produced the video shown below, in which the chancellor and the three program and department leaders elaborate on their vision for this new collaborative academic space. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENOuRscC6H0 We in BCT are of course tremendously proud of the fact that this building will be the most technologically advanced heavy-timber structure in the eastern US, which makes it a showcase for sustainable building with wood in the region and far beyond. It even includes wood-concrete composite technology that was researched right here in our program by Peggi Clouston et al. In a steel-dominated construction environment, this would not have been possible without the vision and support of many people. Those include BCT faculty Peggi Clouston and Alex Schreyer, former congressman John Olver, state representatives Stan Rosenberg and Ellen Story, and UMass administration with chancellor Kumble...
Read More
Hoque Co-PI in $1M NSF grant to study intelligent building systems

Hoque Co-PI in $1M NSF grant to study intelligent building systems

Together with Co-PIs Prashant Shenoy in Computer Science and David Irwin in Electrical and Computer Engineering, BCT faculty member Simi Hoque has received a three-year, $1M grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to work with Holyoke Gas & Electric Co. (HG&E) to develop smart energy services that will improve grid efficiency, encourage energy conservation and promote local renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar. This grant was awarded through Utility Driven Smart Energy Services and will be used to design more intelligent technologies and systems for buildings. Hoque and her students will be studying building occupants' behavior to understand how they interact with energy-using equipment in their homes in order to design systems and incentives that motivate energy awareness and energy conserving behavior. Link: http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-researchers-receive-1...
Read More
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....
Read More
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...
Read More
(Integrated) Design Building Sustainable Design Strategies

(Integrated) Design Building Sustainable Design Strategies

Ar a recent meeting, atelier ten, sustainability consultants on the (I)DB project, showed this beautiful depiction of all the sustainability features in our new building. Click on the image to view the full version. Also, as you can see above, the word "Integrated" has been dropped from its name to comply with university policies. Therefore, most recent documents simply refer to it as the "Design Building". Because of our faculty's preferences, we will, however keep the word in parentheses for now. For more on the project, visit this page....
Read More