The Timber-Strong Design Build℠ (TSDB℠) Competition is an annual event sponsored by the the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in partnership with the American Wood Council (AWC), APA (the Engineered Wood Association), and Simpson Strong-Tie in which student teams design and build an artistically creative two-story wood light-framed buildings that are sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, and structurally durable. The competition enables students to gain experience in common structural engineering design as well as the business management and building practices used in construction environments. The authors of this article are graduating civil engineering students in the Civil Engineering program at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Portfolio homebuilders know that managing combinations of plan options can be unwieldy and time-consuming. Every set of homebuyer options introduces another layer of complication to the design process — and if adequate systems aren’t in place, it can be easy to get lost in the mess.
Designing my first building was truly a learning experience. I remember one event in particular when I determined the required thickness for a steel column base plate. That day I wrote “1.5-inch thk. min.” on my calc pad and months later while out walking the job, I got to see that 1.5-inch thick plate in the flesh. Let me tell you, it was much thicker and heavier in-person than on my calc pad. This eye-opening experience – the realization that what you’re designing isn’t just a word or a number, but rather a physical object with width, height, length and weight – is something every structural engineer goes through early in their career. Designing something on paper doesn’t convey those physical properties very well.Continue Reading