rs5thyears

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.

20K Ann’s Home is complete!

On Saturday, September 21st, we celebrated the beautiful work of our 5th-year students, Ayomi Akinlawon, Jed Grant, Madeline Gibbs, and Yikuan Peng, and our lovely neighbor Ann at the ribbon cutting ceremony of 20K Anna’s Home. Thank you to all of our supporters and community! Without your support, none of this work would be possible!

20K Ann’s Home has a research and design focus of “aging-in-place.” The team took on the challenge of designing a home for the entire life of its occupant, not simply accepting the narrow understanding of “aging-in-place” that considers life following retirement. This meant providing spaces that are flexible and remain suitable as a family expands and contracts during different phases of life.

In addition to providing a living room that can easily transition into a third bedroom if required (when those teenagers need their own space or the favorite niece comes to stay), the design creates a strong connection between the interior and the porch with double doors. Not only does this approach create accessibility for someone in a walker, wheelchair, or even a hospital bed, it also provides space for families to gather and support one another. The house also prepares for this life cycle with details that are both durable and affordable to maintain.

Learn more about the 20K Ann’s Home on our website.

Workshop #3 Emily McGlohn

Birmingham, AL native, Emily McGlohn, currently runs the 3rd-Year Studio in Newbern. She has quite a long history with Rural Studio participating as a student in both the 2nd-year and 5th-year studios, and after graduation spent three years as “Clerk of Works.” Before bringing her expertise on building performance and hands-on education back to Newbern, Emily spent several years working in Virginia and teaching at Mississippi State.

The Contemporary Enclosures workshop, taught by Rural Studio 3rd-Year professor Emily McGlohn, primarily focused on learning from past Rural Studio projects by studying them through wall sections. This allowed students to identify the reasons why Rural Studio has gone from the inventive use of simple materials in projects to using common commercial materials while building an understanding of performance, specifically through thermal-, air-, and moisture-barriers, as well as learning about detailed construction. By examining the progression of Rural Studio projects and comparing R-values, students saw the greater attention paid to building performance that has occurred over the years and the variety of building types that have been tested.

It’s important that students confidently design for our subtropical humid climate, to know things such as when to use a vapor barrier versus a vapor retarder. After having looked at so many Rural Studio projects at a surface-level, students had the opportunity to study them in-depth through drawings, archived documents, photos, and in person. The drawings that students produced ended up being more accurate and detailed than the construction documents. Through this process, students gained both a more intimate knowledge of how buildings come together piece by piece and a familiarity with a myriad of different construction types and building materials. It became clear to students that while earlier Studio projects may appear more creative and unique, more recent projects have the ability to be easily maintained by its owners and replicated outside of Rural Studio.

Students gained the tools to design for the mixed-humid climate that they live and work in, making these performance strategies a priority in their designs.