What to do with a pile of lumber will be the challenge facing architectural science and civil engineering students at Ryerson University as they team up in a fast-paced reality-TV-like design/build competition outdoors at the university campus on Gould St. in downtown Toronto.
Eight teams (of six each) will race against the clock and each other over the weekend to complete fully-functional structures that will be judged by a team of professional engineers and architects for structural integrity and architectural merit. Adding to the challenge is that the students won’t know what they are supposed to build until the start of the competition.
Aimed at promoting the use of wood in design and construction, the TimberFever event is also about getting architectural and engineering students to collaborate on a project – something they rarely have an opportunity to do, says David Moses, Moses Structural Engineers Inc., which is presenting the event. “They are taught in very separate streams and they usually never interact until they get out into the working world,” he says.
Moses adds that construction is neither discipline’s strong point, so he has called upon the Carpenters Loc. 27 to help students through the construction process. Mike Yorke, president, Loc. 27, says the Toronto-based union will have several journey-person carpenters on hand at the competition to advise students on best building practices and to make sure the students are using power tools safely.
“This contest is a great opportunity for students from the two disciplines to design and engineer a project together and then actually go out and build it,” says Yorke. “The experience will help them better understand the construction side of things — invaluable to them when they are working in their profession.”
He says Stanley Tools will be providing students with the tools required. Several other companies and organizations will be sponsors. The general public is invited Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Sept. 24-25.