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North Carolina State

North Carolina State University combines students from the schools of architecture and engineering to create its precast concrete program. In any university, this is a challenge because of the differences in the approaches that the schools take in educating architects and engineers and the structures of the classes.

Much of the funding for the program goes to help students pay for the materials in the classroom. Professor Dana Gulling, of the architecture program, says that this has allowed students, who are almost all self-funded, to take on a more experimental approach to their education.

 

“What I am now seeing, especially with our students is now they are going out and doing a lot more 3D or additive printing within our own facilities because those cost are being done, so I’m actually seeing a lot more experimentation now by the students because those cost are being handled,” says Gulling.

The grant covers three courses. ARC-503, it’s an advanced architectural design. There is also a Civil Engineering course that Greg Lucier teaches in the Masters of Civil Engineering program. The third class is a digital material translation course.

The courses are set up so they have three projects over the course of the semester. The first project is just the beginning, two to three weeks to establish a share of vocabulary amongst the courses and so the students it’s precedent study. Next students do a full scale casting and testing of a panel in groups. They bring the panels to the Construction Facilities Lab and erect them on a steel frame to test them for lateral stability. The third project is a more traditional studio project for the last 10 weeks. Architecture individually design a project, while CE students provide consulting service to them.

In addition to the work in the lab and the classroom, the students are out touring with the industry. The Gate Plant in Oxford, NC is about 45 minutes from the school, so all the students go on a tour there. Additionally, US Formliner came in for a workshop on formalizers and JVI presented a program on connections.

INDUSTRY PARTNERS

• Gate Precast

• Georgia/Carolinas PCI

• JVI Inc.
• Metromont Corp

• Tindall Corp.

• US Formliner