Jonathan Wright of Wright Builders speaks about their Living Building Challenge projects

Jonathan Wright of Wright Builders speaks about their Living Building Challenge projects

In the second BCT lecture of the fall season, Jonathan Wright of Wright Builders spoke about "Building at the Edge of Sustainability" as exemplified in their various Living Building Challenge projects. In his engaging talk, he outlined the process behind the Kern Center at Hampshire College and various other buildings and also provided an outlook for the future of sustainable construction. Synopsis Mr. Wright, a graduate of Hampshire College, has been an active regional leader in sustainable design and construction since 1976. The firm he co-owns, Wright Builders, Inc., recently completed two Living Building Challenge projects (R.W. Kern Center & Hitchcock Center for the Environment) achieving the highest standard of renewable and resilient design and construction. His upcoming book Spirit of the Makers will be published by Ecotone Press in 2019. His journalism has spanned several decades, and in 2018 his poetry and photograph collection Season of Dreams joined the 2014 poetry collection, After the Rain. Links Presentation slides Wright Builders Living Building Challenge ...
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Marc Rivard of WoodWorks presents on new opportunities in MassTimber

Marc Rivard of WoodWorks presents on new opportunities in MassTimber

The first talk of our Fall 2018 BCT Lecture Series was given by Marc Rivard from WoodWorks. He outlined the many technological possibilities that exist with new wood-based building materials such as cross-laminated timber, nail-laminated timber, and various others, many of which have been used in the construction of the Olver Design Building at UMass. Synopsis Mr. Rivard is Regional Manager at WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council providing free project assistance as well as education and resources related to the design of non-residential wood buildings. Mr. Rivard’s background in Structural Engineering with 15 years of relevant design experience using all of the major building materials, allows him to provide practical and cost effective solutions for Architects and Engineers. Links Presentation Slides WoodWorks - Wood Products Council ...
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Can College Kids Help Mass. Towns Go Green?

Can College Kids Help Mass. Towns Go Green?

BCT's extension faculty member Ben Weil and his "Clean Energy Corps" students (from the BCT 597R course) were recently in the news with their efforts to make buildings more sustainable for Massachusetts' municipalities: Let Us Introduce the UMass Clean Energy Corps Ask town officials what they think in Ware. Ask them in Natick, and in Greenfield. Palmer too. These are some of the towns where the new UMass Clean Energy Corps has touched down in the few months since its founding. The Corps is a student-centered initiative focused on helping communities across the Commonwealth develop and meet their clean energy goals. It was created by UMass Clean Energy Extension, a research and outreach program that in its first two years of life has been helping transform communities and businesses into cleaner, more efficient places to live, work, and grow into the future. UMass Clean Energy Extension is a program of UMass Extension (or as it was once known, Cooperative Extension), which, for over a hundred...
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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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Hoque receives CNS college’s Outstanding Service/Outreach award

Hoque receives CNS college’s Outstanding Service/Outreach award

BCT faculty member Simi Hoque just received this year's CNS college's Outstanding Service/Outreach award. We congratulate her on that amazing accomplishment! From the announcement: Simi Hoque, Environmental Conservation, recently received a five-year, $508,714 NSF CAREER award to develop an integrated planning tool that will measure, evaluate and predict the impacts of energy, water and land use, waste management and transportation systems at an urban scale. The green building expert intends it to help planners and policymakers guide growth and development in a coordinated, sustainable way. Hoque, an assistant professor in the Building and Construction Technology Program, points out that cities today account for almost two-thirds of the world's primary energy demand, a figure projected to increase to three-quarters by 2030. "The current urban outlook demands a comprehensive understanding of urban sustainability policies to address climate change and energy security," she says. Read more...
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