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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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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BCT/Arch/LARP Alumni Weekend event was a great success

BCT/Arch/LARP Alumni Weekend event was a great success

The combined BCT/Arch/LARP Alumni Weekend event on June 6th not only showcased the new Design Building, it also gave us a chance to reconnect with some of our successful alumni. Attendees came from Commodore Builders, Hill International, Integrity Design & Construction, and Next Step Living. The group photo above and the gallery below give some nice impressions of the event. You can find even more images on the BCT Facebook page. ...
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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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Schreyer introduces elementary school kids to 3D printing

Schreyer introduces elementary school kids to 3D printing

Often called the third industrial revolution, digital-based manufacturing and especially 3D printing is a technology that can enable easy (home-)production of various consumer and industrial goods. To demonstrate this technology to the next generation of designers and engineers, BCT Program Director Alexander Schreyer brought our 3D printer to Amherst's Wildwood Elementary School. As part of the fourth- and sixth-grade IT curriculum (led by "Mr. T", Trevor Takayama), he first demonstrated how to create printable 3D models and then let the students 3D print some of those. Many students had already designed objects using the freely available Tinkercad web app. As the images show, the 3D printer proved to be a popular addition to the classroom. All kids also took home a small 3D-printed key tag with the "WW" letters on them. In the time since this visit, the Amherst Regional School District has purchased its own 3D printer and is working on integrating it permanently into the IT curriculum. (All images by...
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