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Promoting Interdisciplinary Integrated Design Education Through Mass Timber

An integrated design process ideally involves close coordination among the professionals designing architectural, structural, and mechanical systems, and with the construction team and manufacturers of building products.

Published onOct 24, 2019
Promoting Interdisciplinary Integrated Design Education Through Mass Timber
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ABSTRACT

An integrated design process ideally involves close coordination among the professionals designing architectural, structural, and mechanical systems, and with the construction team and manufacturers of building products; however, this process is not universally followed in practice, nor is it a common model for design education, either in architecture or in engineering. New developments in the United States in mass timber products present a unique opportunity to advance interdisciplinary integrated design processes both in practice and in schools. As architects and engineers explore this field, they are finding that in order to understand material possibilities and limitations and better manage project delivery schedules they need to work in integrated teams from the start, including close coordination with manufacturers, fabricators and construction professionals. Faculty in the University of Oregon (UO)’s Department of Architecture have modelled this integrated practice method in a series of design studios focused on mass timber systems in which student teams either work with architecture faculty and interdisciplinary consultants or with teams of structural engineering students and architecture and engineering faculty. To further this integrated practice model, an interdisciplinary MS degree in mass timber design is being developed by UO’s Architecture Department and Oregon State University (OSU)’s Department of Wood Science and Engineering for architecture, structural engineering and construction management students with a professional undergraduate degree. The students will be working on projects in interdisciplinary teams with interdisciplinary faculty teams, preparing the next generation of professionals to be well equipped for a future of integrated design practice.

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