rs5thyears

2,200 Holes and Counting…

Over the last couple of weeks, the Horseshoe Hub Courtyard team has continued to fabricate the screens in the shop, and are nearly done! After working on the shorter eight-foot screens, the team moved on to working on the nine-foot screens that are above the stage and near the main entrance, as well as 18-foot screens and corners. Thanks to the jigs that were fabricated, a small assembly line was created to facilitate making the screens as equally as possible. 

This past week the team finished cutting and perforating all the steel tubes for the footings, walkway strut, and wall plates and started welding the tabs to the wall plates. Also, a huge shoutout to Zane and Cassandra from Blackshop Birmingham for donating the laser-cut plates that make-up most of the walkway, they saved the team weeks worth of work!  

In other exciting news, the team took a trip this past Monday to Hunter Trees LLC and tagged the trees for the courtyard! Thirteen beautiful single trunk, Natchez Crepe Myrtles, which will be planted on site shortly after the screens are up.

Of Local Interest

Howdy from the new center for Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation Research in Newbern, Alabama!

The team is fresh off their first presentation with reviewers Kim Clements and Joe Schneider. Kim and Joe are the founders of J.A.S. Design Build in Seattle, Washington. They helped the team develop a clearer way to explain the thermal mass and buoyancy ventilation theory.

The team reviewing the review on Monday morning.

Eventually, the team will be publishing a paper, with their partners at McGill University. The paper will aim to speak to architects and builders who could implement the thermal mass and buoyancy ventilation system in their buildings. Reviews with folks like Kim and Joe will help the team learn how to communicate best with the design and construction world.

The chosen materials, their components, and their processing

Besides preparing for their first presentation, the team has been working on material research. A crucial part of the Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation Research Project is understanding the embodied energy of their construction materials. The team will study exactly what goes into the making of the materials from harvesting natural resources to transporting the finish material to the construction site. Timber, brick, rammed earth, and concrete are the materials the team are considering for the thermal masses. To limit energy lost to transportation and as an investment in Alabama, the team is investigating local material manufacturers within the state.

Speaking of local, here in Newbern, the Hurricane Lilies are still in bloom, Rural Studio students are stealing all the sunshine, and a shark must have been spotted downtown. From the T.M.B.V. Research Project Team to you, keep it real and real local!

It’s Demo Time!

Reggie’s Home Team really tore the house down this week! With the help of our “5th teammate,” Mason, and the Bobcat, what was once a standing structure is now a pile of debris in the middle of the site.

Before we demoed the house

In order to make the best use of time and tools, the team had a dumpster delivered to site to make the removal of old construction material quicker. To reduce the amount of waste added to the dumpster, we only put building material in the dumpster and separated the wood to burn.

We used burn barrels for the smaller wood scraps
Reggie’s temporary home

In addition to being on site we also prepared a presentation for Kim Clements and Joe Schneider from JAS Design Build. This presentation allowed us to receive suggestions on how to approach site analysis once the site is clear. Joe and Kim also directed us to search for case studies that are more similar to the size and scope of the project.

That is all we have for now

Coming soon: The biggest burn pile Hale County has seen and a clear site!

After we demoed the house

Reggie’s Home Team

Hello from Reggie’s Home!

After 6 weeks of living in Hale County, Rural Studio 5th-years have chosen teams! Reggie’s Home team consists of four students eager to study passive design strategies and the possible use of unconventional building materials.

Ashley Bucher

Jacksonville, Florida 

Favorite Hair Product: Raw Sugar the Moisture Smoothie

Favorite Off-Site Activity: Reading and Painting

Zak Channell

Madison, Alabama

Favorite Hair Product: Mother Nature’s gentle breath

Favorite Off-Site Activity: Cycling and Recycling

Jon Schneider 

East Atlanta 

Favorite Hair Product: Dove Men + Care 

Favorite Off-Site Activity: going to Lions Club Skatepark

Marlyn Rivera

Lawrenceville, Georgia 

Favorite Hair Product: Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk 

Favorite Off-Site Activity: Learning how to cook

When talking to Reggie about his hopes and dreams of his future home he only had three requests: A roof, a bathroom, and an area where he could spend time outside. Reggie is not interested in having a home with air conditioning which will allow the team to focus on passive design strategies. After talking to Reggie the next question for the team was where to begin. Since Reggie is interested in reusing materials from his old family home, the team decided to start by going to the storage barns owned by the Studio in Newbern and quantifying what material were left over that could also be used.

Once that was done it was demo time! From now until the foreseeable future the team will finish demolishing Reggie’s old family home. This will allow the team to not only learn more about the site, but also form a connection with Reggie since he will be on site helping the team.

That’s all we have for now! In the meantime we’ll be trucking away with our site snakes!

Reggie’s Home Team

Workshop #6 Jake LaBarre

With his extensive background in construction and carpentry, Jake LaBarre has been teaching students how buildings come together and how to detail them since 2011, even acting as 3rd-Year Visiting Assistant Professor at Rural Studio for a year. Jake lives in Seattle, teaching a design-build studio at the University of Washington, and he currently works at Building Work.

The Detailing and Construction workshop, taught by Jake LaBarre, taught students how to begin detailing buildings. The intent of the workshop was for students to gain a better understanding of constructability through the examination of the order of operations in detailing. In order to achieve this, the workshop examined past Rural Studio projects to learn why and how they were detailed. In order for students to even think about creating their own details, they first needed to understand how other buildings were detailed and why those decisions were made.

This workshop acted as a complement and follow-up to the earlier Contemporary Structures, by Emily McGlohn. Firstly, it provided a better working understanding on typical components used in building assemblies. More importantly, Jake stressed the importance of not relying only on flat two-dimensional drawings of wall sections using three-dimensional drawings but to use three-dimensional drawings as well. This became clear to students when they constructed drawings of axons for the same buildings they had previously drawn sections for in the Contemporary Structures workshop. Students realized just how much information was not included when just shown in section. By drawing out how materials come together, the kinds of fasteners that were used, and the three-dimensional thicknesses added another layer of information about how the buildings were constructed.

Students gained the confidence to know where to start detailing. It became clear that before beginning any project that they should first do thorough precedent research. With so many details out there—even just in the catalog of Rural Studio projects where previous students spent a great deal of time figuring out the detailing—so there is no need to start from scratch.