Construction – [as] https://alexschreyer.net AEC CAD/BIM, SketchUp, Timber Engineering, Web Design and more... Sun, 24 Feb 2019 15:44:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i2.wp.com/alexschreyer.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cropped-as-square.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Construction – [as] https://alexschreyer.net 32 32 6702894 Discussing MassTimber and the Olver Design Building on MassConstruction’s Podcast https://alexschreyer.net/construction/discussing-masstimber-and-the-olver-design-building-on-massconstructions-podcast/ https://alexschreyer.net/construction/discussing-masstimber-and-the-olver-design-building-on-massconstructions-podcast/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 14:20:48 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=7415 Joseph Kelly of MassConstruction.org visited our BCT program at UMass a few weeks ago for a tour of the Olver Design Building, our award-winning home at UMass. He also brought along his microphone and taped a two-part podcast with Peggi Clouston and me about the Design Building and the current wave of new MassTimber buildings. You [...] Read more..

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Joseph Kelly of MassConstruction.org visited our BCT program at UMass a few weeks ago for a tour of the Olver Design Building, our award-winning home at UMass. He also brought along his microphone and taped a two-part podcast with Peggi Clouston and me about the Design Building and the current wave of new MassTimber buildings.

You can listen to the podcast embedded below (just click “play”) and find the complete podcast archive (and subscribe to his series) here or on iTunes.

Part 1:

(Direct link)

Part 2:

(Direct link)

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False Color @ UMass https://alexschreyer.net/design/false-color-umass/ https://alexschreyer.net/design/false-color-umass/#respond Fri, 27 Oct 2017 15:08:57 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=7039 As anyone who follows our UMass social media feeds (@UMassBCT on Twitter and Facebook) knows, this fall we (the BCT program at UMass) organized an exhibit of some of our work under the title of “False Color”. This exhibit was up in the UMass Design Building since October 8 and will be taken down tomorrow, [...] Read more..

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As anyone who follows our UMass social media feeds (@UMassBCT on Twitter and Facebook) knows, this fall we (the BCT program at UMass) organized an exhibit of some of our work under the title of “False Color”. This exhibit was up in the UMass Design Building since October 8 and will be taken down tomorrow, October 28th.

Some of my work was part of the exhibit and is shown below.

The 3D model of thermographic imagery of the single-family house was actually an older project of mine. For this exhibit, I teamed up with a colleague and we created another one for the Design Building (which houses our offices). You can read more about this project here.

My false color paintings were also an older concept that I had been envisioning for some time now, but never had the time (or occasion) to finish all the paintings. This exhibit finally gave me reason to do so. Here’s my concept behind those:

Painted Data

Acrylic on canvas, 2017

The visual element in data presentation and its ready digestion by the observer can lead to unquestioning acceptance of data that may be perceived as fact. Aesthetically clear visualizations can easily lead to negligence in questioning parameters and assumptions on which the visualizations were based. Because much of such imagery is used to form public opinion, the possibility exists that what should be considered a good tendency—the public and broad understandability of data—can lead to misinformation and lack of depth in understanding the issues at hand.

The paintings shown here were created based on scientific data visualizations. They all employ a False Color display methodology. However, the artistic process of painting removed the direct association (pixel by pixel) between color and data. What at first looks like a clear presentation of data ultimately highlights the fact that the process of creating a visualization consists of limitation, interpretation, and the setting of reference scales.

1: Stress field around a hole
2: Thermal imaging of a house at night (with temperature target)
3: Temperature gradient of a laptop keyboard
4: Census data

This third piece was also a collaborative effort and allowed people to experience thermography interactively. It was basically a thermal camera (FLIR’s IR module), strapped to a display, which proved to be great fun for gallery visitors.

Over the next days, we will be archiving the exhibit on our BCT site. Visit that link soon to see everyone else’s work as well.

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My new book is out! Schreyer authors fourth edition of ‘Fundamentals of Residential Construction’. https://alexschreyer.net/construction/new-book-schreyer-authors-fourth-edition-fundamentals-residential-construction/ https://alexschreyer.net/construction/new-book-schreyer-authors-fourth-edition-fundamentals-residential-construction/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:38:16 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=6877 UMass Press Release: Alexander Schreyer, director of the building and construction technology (BCT) program, has revised and expanded “Fundamentals of Residential Construction” to produce the fourth edition of the guide to professional construction of single-family and multifamily homes. Schreyer joins Edward Allen, formerly of MIT, Yale University and the University of Oregon, and Robert Thallon [...] Read more..

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UMass Press Release:

Alexander Schreyer, director of the building and construction technology (BCT) program, has revised and expanded “Fundamentals of Residential Construction” to produce the fourth edition of the guide to professional construction of single-family and multifamily homes.

Schreyer joins Edward Allen, formerly of MIT, Yale University and the University of Oregon, and Robert Thallon of the University of Oregon, who wrote the book’s previous editions. The new edition, which is being published by John Wiley & Sons, promises to be essential to the process of learning about residential construction, according to the publisher.

“Construction is a slow-changing industry, but it changes, and keeping up with that is really important,” said Schreyer. “It was really exciting to be able to join this book as one of the authors so we can keep pushing the envelope and teach about residential construction. There are lots of people that need to know about it, want to know about it, and want to be builders or build their own house, and this book is really a great resource for them to learn about the details, the materials, the systems, and the basics.”

According to Schreyer, the most significant revisions to this edition include a larger focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, which have been given their own designated section, as well as a chapter on 3D construction modeling and CAD/BIM (computer-aided design/building information modeling) planning tools. The new edition also incorporates interactive supplementary online exercises that readers can use to practice concepts introduced in the book, without having actual construction materials on hand.

“Looking at plans and sections in a book only goes so far. You can always draw things, of course, to think them through a little more, but once you start putting stuff together in 3D, you’ll find out if something doesn’t fit,” Schreyer said.

From siting and foundations to finishing details, the book provides a complete walk-through of professional home construction. Over 1,200 drawings and photographs are included in the textbook’s five sections, which cover the context of residential construction, the materials needed, light wood frame construction, alternative construction systems and multifamily building construction.

Schreyer has taught building materials, structures and digital design for more than 13 years to interdisciplinary audiences on campus and understands how to combine the hands-on components of construction education with science- and research-based knowledge that is behind every step of a house’s construction. His interests span the range of planning and design, with a specialization in mainly heavy-timber type structural systems.

Schreyer has also written “Architectural Design with SketchUp: Component-Based Modeling, Plugins, Rendering, and Scripting,” a book about using the 3D modeling program SketchUp.

Following the latest edition of “Fundamentals of Residential Construction,” he said he is interested in possibly telling the story of the new Design Building on campus, which was built with state-of-the-art wood construction technology. Schreyer was involved in the collaborative planning stages behind the building’s wood structure, alongside the departments of architecture and landscape architecture and regional planning.

Outside the classroom, Schreyer says, his academic interests overlap heavily with what he likes to do on weekends. “A Saturday morning starting with a tape measure is a good Saturday morning,” he says.

You can now buy this book at Amazon.com and many other online and offline booksellers.

Links

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Dryer fix made easy with 3D printing https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/dryer-fix-made-easy-3d-printing/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/dryer-fix-made-easy-3d-printing/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:10:46 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=6861 As you can see in the image below, our dryer had a broken knob. It was just a small plastic part but without it, starting the machine became a bit of a hassle. To fix this, I could have gone to a site like Sears PartsDirect or similar, looked up the dryer’s model number, find the [...] Read more..

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As you can see in the image below, our dryer had a broken knob. It was just a small plastic part but without it, starting the machine became a bit of a hassle. To fix this, I could have gone to a site like Sears PartsDirect or similar, looked up the dryer’s model number, find the part, wait a few days and then get the original replacement part. I chose to go another route… I 3D-printed it myself!

Hard to start this thing without a functioning knob

Because this was such a simple part, it was very easy to model a replacement knob quickly in SketchUp. All I needed were the dimensions for the overall knob size and the small switch stem.

As you can see, the stem had a flat bottom that grips nicely into a void in the knob. Also, I was not too eager to replicate the original knob design (although that wouldn’t have been too hard). The knob just needed to fit and function as intended. So I went with a simple design that consisted of a disk and a box shape.

I might upload a video of the 3D modeling in another post, but I essentially used exact dimension entry and the tape measure tool for the main geometry and then the PushPull tool to form all the shapes (pull the grip up and then push the void in). The resulting shapes had quite sharp edges, so I also used Fredo’s Round Corner extension to round the top edges a bit. I then turned on the x-ray face style to be able to look into the object, which allowed me to find some stray lines that prevented this object from being 3D printable. After a few minutes, this was what I got and then exported to STL format using the SketchUp STL extension (click image to navigate):

Fortunate for us here at UMass, we have the MakerBot Innovation Center in the WEB DuBois library. A quick email and a trip to the library provided me with two versions of the knob in just a few hours (and for cheaper than ordering a replacement part):

Picking up the finished part at the library

So, did it fit? As you can see in the following image, it did (admittedly after some manual cleanup). Not too bad a solution!

Good as new!

I do have some tips and tricks in case you want to do something similar, too:

  • I didn’t use calipers to measure the exact stem dimensions. As a result, I didn’t get the dimensions correct. The fit was quite tight and I needed to ream the knob out a bit. Use calipers if you have them! Sparkfun has some cheap ones for sale.
  • This knob relies quite a bit on the strength of the perimeter of the internal void (to turn the switch stem, which has a bit of resistance). Therefore it is a good idea to increase the number of shells (the outside layers) during 3D printing from the default two to something like four.
  • I could also have used the SolidInspector or SolidSolver extensions to check and clean the model up for 3D printing. In this case, I didn’t need to do that because of its simplicity.

More

Interested in 3D printing with SketchUp? Want to learn more techniques and other ways to 3D print or otherwise make things with SketchUp? Check out my book Architectural Design with SketchUp, 2nd Edition.

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How much abuse can Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) take? https://alexschreyer.net/engineering/much-abuse-can-cross-laminated-timber-clt-take/ https://alexschreyer.net/engineering/much-abuse-can-cross-laminated-timber-clt-take/#respond Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:46:40 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6774 Being about a month away from moving my office into a Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) building, I am of course interested in answers to this question. As it turns out, many recent research projects proved that CLT can evidently handle quite a bit of abuse (beyond regular day-to-day loading and use)! I may be biased, but [...] Read more..

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Being about a month away from moving my office into a Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) building, I am of course interested in answers to this question. As it turns out, many recent research projects proved that CLT can evidently handle quite a bit of abuse (beyond regular day-to-day loading and use)! I may be biased, but this should really prove the point that CLT is a very capable and resilient building material.

So, without further ado – and for your viewing pleasure – here are three experiment videos that show how CLT can stand up to quite extreme loads and situations.

Earthquake

This seven-story CLT building shake table test was conducted in Japan as part of the SOFIE project by the Trees and Timber Institute of the Italian National Research Council and CNR-IVALSA.

More info can be found here and here.

Fire

This test on a stair shaft assembly was conducted by FPInnovations, Nordic, and the Ministry of Forestry in Quebec.

More info can be found here.

Explosives

This latest set of tests on blast resistance was conducted by WoodWorks in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, the Softwood Lumber Board, K&C and UMaine at Tyndall AFB in Florida.

More info can be found here.

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View UMass’ growth 1984-now in Google Earth’s Timelapse https://alexschreyer.net/web-programming/view-umass-growth-1984-now-google-earths-timelapse/ https://alexschreyer.net/web-programming/view-umass-growth-1984-now-google-earths-timelapse/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 22:32:27 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6711 Google just released a pretty amazing tool: Google Earth Engine Timelapse. This interactive tool (which is embedded below and can be reached via the link) lets you view global aerial photography from the past 32 years in an interactive timelapse video. Best of it, you can zoom into any region of the world and see what [...] Read more..

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2016-12-02_09-09-17

Google just released a pretty amazing tool: Google Earth Engine Timelapse. This interactive tool (which is embedded below and can be reached via the link) lets you view global aerial photography from the past 32 years in an interactive timelapse video. Best of it, you can zoom into any region of the world and see what changes have occurred over those years (e.g. sprawl in Las Vegas, glaciers receding). Also note how the quality of the imagery changes and especially over the past few years gained a much higher resolution. From Google’s description:

“Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016.”

This particular view zooms in on Amherst, MA and shows quite nicely (as good as one can make this out in the images) the building boom at UMass Amherst and the retail developments in Amherst/Hadley. Click on the play button get the video started.

Source: Timelapse – Google Earth Engine

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Opening of T3 building continues recent mass timber building trend: Six examples https://alexschreyer.net/engineering/opening-t3-building-continues-recent-mass-timber-building-trend-six-examples/ https://alexschreyer.net/engineering/opening-t3-building-continues-recent-mass-timber-building-trend-six-examples/#respond Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:12:41 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6694 Today’s opening of the T3 building in Minneapolis marks a spectacular milestone: The construction of the tallest contemporary heavy-timber building in the US so far! I am saying “so far” because as this trend continues, it will surely by surpassed in height very soon. Completion of the T3 building continues a recent trend of larger, [...] Read more..

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Today’s opening of the T3 building in Minneapolis marks a spectacular milestone: The construction of the tallest contemporary heavy-timber building in the US so far! I am saying “so far” because as this trend continues, it will surely by surpassed in height very soon.

Completion of the T3 building continues a recent trend of larger, taller, and more technologically advanced wood buildings. This trend is helped along by a stronger environmental awareness, better recognition of this amazing building material by code officials, better education and awareness of the actual properties of wood, and the recognition by the public and developers alike that wood is simply beautiful and “feels good”.

Continuing my older posts about tall (and big) timber, here is a (likely incomplete) list of exemplary recent North American buildings in wood (all finished in 2016, I believe):

T3 – Minneapolis, MN

The seven-story, 220,000-square-foot T3 office building in Minneapolis’s North Loop district will become the tallest modern wood building in the U.S. when it opens tomorrow. Designed by Michael Green Architecture and the DLR Group, the T3—which stands for Timber, Technology, Transit—features cross-laminated timber (CLT) and nail-laminated timber (NLT) clad in weathering steel.

Link: T3 Minneapolis mass timber building opens this month in Minneapolis – Archpaper.com

UBC Brock Commons Phase 1 – Vancouver, BC

A hybrid of mass timber products with concrete and steel components, the 18-story, 174-foot-tall structure will house 404 students.

Brock Commons

Link: The University of British Columbia’s Brock Commons Takes the Title of Tallest Wood Tower – Architect Magazine

Kern Center – Amherst, MA

The 17,000-square-foot center, designed by Bruner/Cott & Associates, is designed “to be entirely self-sustaining and meet the Living Status of the Living Building Challenge.”

kern-center-hampshire-college

Link: New solar-powered Massachusetts college center is as green as a building can be – Inhabitat

Albina Yard – Portland, OR

Albina Yard in North Portland is the first building in the U.S. to use domestically produced cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels for a building-wide structural system

Albina Yard

Link: ALBINA YARD – reworks

Common Ground High School – New Haven, CT

The school … offers public school students an innovative curriculum of urban agriculture combined with sustainable land-management practices. Last April it [opened] the doors to the nation’s first building to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a “stressed skin” assembly.’

2016-11-30_10-36-24

Link: WOOD: ADVANCING ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP – reThink Wood!

What’s Next?

The Design Building at UMass Amherst is an 87,000 sf academic structure that features not only CLT and glulam in its structure but is a first in the US for a long-span wood-concrete composite floor system and CLT shaft shear walls.

The Design Building is almost completed! As you can see in the image below, the contractors are putting on the last touches and are hopefully giving my new office a good final vacuuming. We will be moving in there in January 2017 with an official building opening scheduled for later that semester. I will post more about this building soon.

Design Building 2016-11-30

Want to learn more?

There’s a great recent publication by reThink Wood! about this. And the Smithsonian Magazine had this to say.

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Upgrading our Bath Fan Light – for Under $25 https://alexschreyer.net/design/5639/ https://alexschreyer.net/design/5639/#respond Sat, 28 Nov 2015 14:00:41 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=5639 Our bathroom fan light was driving me crazy for a while now. No matter how much wattage I would put into it, the plastic cover only allowed for a very dim light to come out. And the arrangement of the bulb in the fixture together with the housing forced most light to emit downward and to [...] Read more..

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Light upgrade detail
Light upgrade detail

Our bathroom fan light was driving me crazy for a while now. No matter how much wattage I would put into it, the plastic cover only allowed for a very dim light to come out. And the arrangement of the bulb in the fixture together with the housing forced most light to emit downward and to the left. Time for a light upgrade!

To fix these issues, I was thinking about adding a cool looking panel from 3form about 2″ under the light which would be offset by metal standoffs. Unfortunately, even the 3form remainder cutoffs are quite expensive. So I tried a different approach.

As you can see in the gallery below, I did find some standoffs. My 3/4″ x 2″ standoffs are from Signworld and cost me $11 for a set of four. While there are also stainless steel ones available out there, these look great and are well adjustable. For the panel, I went with two sheets of clear acrylic from Home Depot for under $5 each. To get a frosted effect, I decided to put vellum paper between the sheets – at least for now. Having two sheets there I will be able to experiment with all kinds of interlayers, though. I might try some grasses at some point, for example.

So there you have it: A cost-efficient upgrade that looks quite sleek and elegant. The room is now much brighter and the fixture even creates some interesting shadows on the ceiling.

If you try this for yourself, make sure there is enough overlap so that you can’t see the innards of the fixture from the side. Also, use a cool light like an LED or a CFL or the panel might warp (but you were using those anyways, right?).

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Second edition of “Architectural Design with SketchUp” is now available! https://alexschreyer.net/cad-bim/second-edition-architectural-design-sketchup-now-available/ https://alexschreyer.net/cad-bim/second-edition-architectural-design-sketchup-now-available/#respond Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:00:12 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=5614 I am very excited to be announcing the release of the second edition of my book “Architectural Design with SketchUp” today! For this edition, I went back through the text and updated and improved a lot of content. As before, my main goal was to keep it relevant for as large a variety of SketchUp users as possible and [...] Read more..

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Schreyer2e_cover_finalI am very excited to be announcing the release of the second edition of my book “Architectural Design with SketchUp” today!

For this edition, I went back through the text and updated and improved a lot of content. As before, my main goal was to keep it relevant for as large a variety of SketchUp users as possible and at the same time provide thorough yet easy to follow examples and tutorials.

I am also very excited to announce a completely new chapter on physically making things with SketchUp that includes 3D printing, CNC cutting, and other techniques. Lots of fun stuff!

As before, this second edition will use the companion website at http://sketchupfordesign.com where you can find free sample chapters, videos, references, 3D models, and tutorials.There are also now over 30 videos that accompany the book and can be accessed using the instructions in the book.

Interested in getting the book? Check out Amazon or Wiley.

Here’s the official press release:

3D Modeling in SketchUp and Digital Making Come Together in Second Edition of “Architectural Design with SketchUp” Book

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 to 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 with SketchUp”. This added chapter provides clear instruction to translate what has been designed on the computer into real, physical objects using such techniques as 3D printing, CNC routing, or laser cutting.

3D modeling using computers is ubiquitous nowadays: Every object that we use—phones, furniture, cars, houses, planes—is designed using 3D modeling software. “Even our kids enjoy spending copious time with Minecraft, which is an app that lets them play using 3D modeling”, Schreyer says. He therefore makes the case that not only designers but arguably everyone should know some principles of 3D modeling. And SketchUp, which is used everywhere from elementary schools to multinational architecture firms, is the ideal software for this kind of wide appeal.

Using examples from architectural and interior design as well as construction, landscape architecture, and fabrication, this book takes the reader from a section that reviews the basic principles of SketchUp all the way to advanced architectural design concepts such as Building Information Modeling (BIM). Other topics covered are: photorealistic rendering and presentation, advanced 3D modeling using plugins and extensions, design to fabrication, and scripting using a language called Ruby.

The last chapter in this book on “Creating Geometry Using Ruby Scripting” serves two vastly different purposes: For designers, it provides a way to use a scripting language to create complex computational geometry. For everyone else—and increasingly for school kids—this chapter can serve as a “learn to code” curriculum, which teaches coding principles in a fun and accessible way. “Many argue that coding skills are essential to success in a technology-based society”, Schreyer says. Contrasting with other coding curricula, scripting in SketchUp can produce virtual 3D objects that can then be turned into real objects using 3D printers, which are increasingly available in schools.

This book is being released with a collection of over 30 instructional videos. In addition, an interactive companion website at http://sketchupfordesign.com provides previews of those videos, access to 3D models from the book, and a way to interact with the author and other readers.

This book is being published in paperback and ebook versions by John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

 

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Building a Wood-Concrete Composite Bench with CLTs https://alexschreyer.net/design/building-a-wood-concrete-composite-bench-with-clts/ https://alexschreyer.net/design/building-a-wood-concrete-composite-bench-with-clts/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 02:32:28 +0000 http://www.alexschreyer.net/?p=5574 Some of my students recently finished building a “severely overdesigned” wood-concrete composite bench that serves as a mockup for the floor system in our new building at UMass. You can read all about it (and check out the photo gallery) here: http://bct.eco.umass.edu/news/building-a-wood-concrete-floor-mockup-bench/

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CLT-Bench

Some of my students recently finished building a “severely overdesigned” wood-concrete composite bench that serves as a mockup for the floor system in our new building at UMass. You can read all about it (and check out the photo gallery) here:

http://bct.eco.umass.edu/news/building-a-wood-concrete-floor-mockup-bench/

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