News

March 17, 2008

New York City is Site of U.S. Green Building Council Design Competition

Integrated design, sustainability, innovation are aims of Lafayette’s student team. Project: convert warehouse complex into middle school, community arts center

Several students from various majors have teamed up to compete in the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) 2008 Natural Talent Design Competition sponsored by the Emerging Green Builders group.

USGBC’s Natural Talent Design Competition provides applied learning experience in the principles of integrated design, sustainability, and innovation, all of which are components of the LEED� Green Building Rating System�.

Under the guidance of Arthur Kney and David Veshosky, associate professors of civil and environmental engineering, the students are implementing green design principles into the conversion of an abandoned historic warehouse complex and adjacent state park in Brooklyn, N.Y., into a middle school, community arts center, and commercial space.

The students are working in teams to develop designs for the regional competition on June 8 in New York City. The first place winning team will receive $1,000 and advance to the national competition Nov. 19-21 at GreenBuild, the USGBC’s Annual Green Building Conference and Expo in Boston, Mass. There, finalists’ entries will be displayed and final judging will occur. Regional winners’ travel and registration expenses for the national competition will also be covered. Awards for the national competition include $5,000 for first place and $2,000 for second place.

Participating students include mechanical engineering major David Yankovich ’08 (Richboro, Pa); anthropology and sociology major Jason Urton ’08 (Concord, Mass.); engineering studies majors Robert Elliot ’11 (Dighton, Mass.), Deitrich Hoefner ’10 (Takoma Park, Md.), Marcella Nehrbass ’09 (Ringoes, N.J.), and Rebecca Nickerson ’08 (Farmington, Conn.); and civil engineering majors Karla Barbiche’08 (Bozeman, Mont.), Michael Beldowski ’08 (Bristol, Conn.), Alfie Bronakowski ’08 (Shenandoah, Pa.), Lindsey Brough ’08 (Durham, Maine.), Ryan Clark ’08 (Sellersville, Pa.), who is also pursuing an A.B. in international studies, Veronica Escobar ’08 (La Paz, Bolivia), Christa Kelleher ’08 (Tigard, Ore.), Dave Kendall ’08 (Lebanon, Pa.), Katie Merriam ’08 (Hillsborough, N.J.), Christine Moore ’08 (Fredericksburg, Va.), Jennifer Namias ’08 (Boxborough, Mass.), Deborah Perrone ’08 (Fair Lawn, N.J.), Bailey Simone ’08 (Westfield, Mass.), and Hugo (RJ) Sindelar ’08 (Houston, Texas).

Veshosky is pleased with the support this project has received from administration and alumni since its inception as well as all of the students on board.

“We have a really good group of students,” says Vershosky. “And several alums and other professionals here in the Lehigh Valley and in New York City have offered to be advisors/consultants to the student teams.”

At the urging of multiple alumni, Turner Construction Company is supporting the project with a $5,000 grant, which is allowing the students to purchase necessary materials and make visits to the site.

“The students have finished data collection and development of preliminary design parameters and are beginning to work in teams of five on their designs,” says Veshosky.

According to Veshosky, this project qualifies as the senior capstone design project for civil engineering majors as well as students in the engineering studies and policy studies programs. The project is providing a worthy design experience for students from every year and major involved.

posted in Academic News, Collaborative, High-Impact Learning, Faculty and Staff, News and Features, Students

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