Two NE Tree Species Can Be Used in New Sustainable Building Material

Two NE Tree Species Can Be Used in New Sustainable Building Material

UMass Amherst study tested strength of mass timber panels created from eastern white pine and eastern hemlock February 27, 2020 Contact: Peggi Clouston AMHERST, Mass. – Two tree species native to the Northeast have been found to be structurally sound for use in cross-laminated timber (CLT) – a revolutionary new type of building material with sought-after sustainability characteristics, according to research by a University of Massachusetts Amherst timber engineer. The findings, published in the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, suggest that these trees – the eastern hemlock and eastern white pine – could support local markets for CLT. The manufacturing of CLT, a type of mass timber used for wall, floor and roof construction, could create jobs, improve rural and forestry economies and support better forestry management, which is a strategy to address climate change, the research says. “This is the future – prefabricated, panelized wood,” says lead author Peggi Clouston, professor of wood mechanics and timber engineering in the School of Earth and...
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Washington Post Article on MassTimber Features the Olver Design Building and BCT’s Research

Washington Post Article on MassTimber Features the Olver Design Building and BCT’s Research

Today, the Washington Post published an article about the rise of MassTimber buildings (which are predominantly made using glulam and cross-laminated timber). The article featured exemplary projects throughout the country with the John W. Olver Design Building at UMass as a prominent example. BCT's research into Eastern Hemlock CLT is being described in the article through interviews with Prof. Peggi Clouston and Conrado Araujo, a BCT undergrad student who has been involved in this research for the past year. Forget the log cabin. Wood buildings are climbing skyward — with pluses for the planet – Washington Post (12/12/2019)...
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BCT’s ‘False Color’ Exhibit is Open!

BCT’s ‘False Color’ Exhibit is Open!

From now to October 28th, 2017, UMass students, faculty, and the general public are invited to visit the UMass Design Building Gallery during opening hours (9am - 4pm on weekdays) to view BCT's latest exhibition on all things related to "False Color" visualizations. Showcasing work by our faculty and graduate students, this exhibition visually (and interactively) explores the various technologies of our research: stress analysis, energy analysis, thermography, laser scanning, and more... BCT would like to especially thank Trimble Inc. for their support through our Trimble Technology Lab. We are also tremendously grateful to Peter Chrzanowski, Sharon Mehrman, and Alexander Okscin for their invaluable hands-on help in putting this exhibition together. The following synopsis explains our thoughts on this exhibition: As engineers, scientists and designers we are often faced with data that is not immediately comprehensible in its raw form, consisting solely of numeric values and ranges. Either the volume of such data is too large to lend itself to easy evaluation or it is too limited...
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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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Excitement builds about possibility of local wood use for Cross-Laminated Timber

Excitement builds about possibility of local wood use for Cross-Laminated Timber

The Republican and Masslive reported today about Peggi Clouston's recent grant: AMHERST - Peggi Clouston gets almost giddy when she talked about the cross laminated timber beam that was on display at the celebration of the new $52 million design building at the University of Massachusetts. The associate professor of environmental conservation at UMass is hoping that this new composite can use wood species from the Northeast that are not being used now. She and colleagues received a three-year $390,000 National Science Foundation grant to show that the new material can incorporate currently underused wood species and creating a market for local trees and opening jobs in rural communities. Read on... The announcement was also featured on NPR in Connecticut. Click below to listen to the story: http://cpa.ds.npr.org/wnpr/audio/2015/10/ps_151027_eri_wood_demand.mp3...
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