Student-Driven Campus Design
For this project we were put into groups with 2-4 other students. Our task was to then to create our own mock architecture firm with our group members. We would then have to collaborate in designing a campus that we could possibly build in the future as our school. We started out by interviewing over 15 people in the community that would have a daily relation to the school to see what there needs and wants would be. We took all of our data from our interviews and then used design thinking to design a new campus. Then we took all our components, (budget, renderings, blueprints, etc.) and made a professional poster.
My biggest take-away from this project was learning about sustainable building materials. I had no idea how many effective alternative green building materials we easy access to. The most interesting material to me was hempcrete. Hempcrete is a concrete like material that is made by heating up hemp with lime. One of the great things about hempcrete is it is extremely good insulation. Building materials are given r-values which rates how good they are at insulating the higher the number the better.
As you can see above hempcrete is a much better insulator compared to a concrete foam wall. Hempcrete is also naturally fire, water, and pest, resistant. One of the downsides of hempcrete is it is not as strong as concrete so it does need to be combined with a wood frame. After all the benefits this is a very small price to pay. In my opinion the best part of hempcrete is that it is actually carbon negative meaning it absorbs more green house gasses then it produces. Through out my groups design I incorporated different things like hempcrete to design an eco-friendly school.
I worked with Jem, Sydney, Heleny, and Kammy on this project. Jem and I were definitely the leaders of the group with our driver personalities. Sydney and Heleny were really good at telling Jem and I when we were taking to much control. They were also good about asking what they could do to help the group. Kammy did not participate in the group as much, but I feel like part of that was on the rest of us because we never really told her what she could do to help the group. I think if we had made a list of things that we needed for her to do she would have risen to the occasion. There were a couple important days that I wasn't able to go to school or was late and group was really great about working with me to figure everything out. At the beginning of this project I was really worried about my group and if we would get anything done, but if I think we redid this project and got to choose our group members I would choose the same group. We all worked well together, but at the same time kept it really fun.
After completing this project I strongly believe in students, teachers, and parents helping in the design of a school not only in building design, but also in how the school operates as a whole. There was something very empowering about this project, never before in school has it felt like I was doing something that would changes the lives of future students, faculty, and parents. I kind of felt like we were doing an episode of undercover boss. In the sense that you can have a huge business, but the most effective way to make it better is to listen to the people that work there everyday. This project helped me grow as a student that cares about the school and its image. It also grew my collaboration skills and my ability to work with people I wouldn't normally work with. I think this is a great project that not only betters the students, but our community as a whole.