UMass Amherst Students Build Timber Grid Shell as Pop-up Exhibition on Fine Arts Center Plaza

UMass Amherst Students Build Timber Grid Shell as Pop-up Exhibition on Fine Arts Center Plaza

After a lot of work, the timber gridshell on the Fine Arts Center plaza is now finally up and open to the public. This multidisciplinary design-build project, led by BCT faculty Peggi Clouston and supported by BCT adjunct faculty John Fabel (and many others), involved many students from across UMass. You can find more information in the official press release (below) and on the accompanying website: AMHERST, Mass. – A massive and intricate wooden dome temporarily adorning the plaza of the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst was engineered and constructed by UMass students over two semesters as part of a wood design studio class. Known in technical circles as a timber grid shell, the structure is the end product  of a course taught by Peggi Clouston, associate professor in the building and construction technology program at the university. Thirty feet in diameter, the 3,500-pound shell rises to 11 feet at the center. The 52 longest laths in the...
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Schreyer’s 3D printing course featured on UMass Libraries video

Schreyer’s 3D printing course featured on UMass Libraries video

A recently published promotional video for the UMass Libary's Digital Media Lab featured BCT Program Director Alex Schreyer's Honors College seminar "Adventures in 3D Printing". It shows students from all over campus experiencing 3D printing through small hands-on projects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF-JE16vxSc&feature=youtu.be (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF-JE16vxSc) You can learn more about the UMass Library's 3D printing services here....
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Schreyer’s Book on Architectural Design with SketchUp in Second Edition

Schreyer’s Book on Architectural Design with SketchUp in Second Edition

AMHERST, Mass. — The second edition of “Architectural Design with SketchUp: 3D Modeling, Extensions, BIM, Rendering, Making, and Scripting,” by Alexander C. Schreyer is being released today. Schreyer is Program Director of the Building and Construction Technology program, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Conservation, and faculty member in the Department of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This book, which has since its first publication become the main reference, textbook, and sourcebook for designing with SketchUp, uses step-by-step tutorials and full-color illustrations to teach anyone 3D modeling and show what one can achieve with SketchUp. Trimble SketchUp, the application at the heart of this text, is a popular 3D modeling software that comes in a free and a professional version and is used by students, architectural and interior designers, landscape planners, builders, engineers, and makers worldwide. Coming three years after a successful first edition, this new version features many updates and improvements but also a completely new chapter on “Making...
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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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