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...
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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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Some summer reading: Follow our BCT students’ internships!

Some summer reading: Follow our BCT students’ internships!

Many students in BCT sign up for construction-related summer work, either as internships, practicums, or just as a job that relates to their studies. They always have amazing experiences, which lets them practice what they learned during the semester. What we fond, though, was that in the past, their experiences were often just reported to their immediate faculty supervisor, which didn't allow others to learn about the breadth and the many details of "real world" work. This summer, we are trying something new: A blog for BCT students! This way, anyone can follow our students' amazing experiences and learn from what they are seeing in the field. Feel free to check out the latest posts at the following address: http://blogs.umass.edu/bct-interns...
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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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