NEW HAVEN JOB CORPS 2020
New Haven, Connecticut USA
The City of New Haven, Connecticut, in partnership with the Yale School of Architecuture, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Fannie Mae, and Nordic Structures, Structure Fusion, and the New England Forestry Foundation have engaged in a next generation sustainable initiative and research project they call TIMBER CITY, led by the research of Alan Organschi. Their collective goal is to explore and position the city as a primary hub of mass timber innovation on the east coast.
Meanwhile, mass timber industry advocates like WoodWorks have identified the lack of mass-timber installation specialists (low- to mid-skilled labor) as a significant bottleneck preventing the widespread adoption of recent, large-scale advancements in engineered timber. Nonetheless, cross-laminated timber structural systems, as strong as concrete and yet a fifth the weight, are an emerging sustainable alternative to conventional concrete and steel options. Importantly, CLT systems embody carbon (capturing it) while concrete and steel fabrication release it. Such sustainable wood engineering, however, also requires the hands-on familiarity of contractors, estimators, technicians, and laborers that the industry does not currently have.
The New Haven Job Corps, already featuring carpentry training and the Home Builder's Institute, can become a dynamic participant in this larger initiative. The proposed 3.5 story learning laboratory accommodates indoor mass-timber installation training and testing, similarly sized to the recent UMASS Olver Design Building's design laboratory. The adjacent gabled structure provides the campus community a place of assembly. Below the assembly hall is a smaller-scale industrial woodshop for material prep and fabrication training. While this proposal positions these new facilities on top of an existing road (hoping to unify the two campus parcels), alternative locations on campus for this lab have been identified and indicated.
This research and design proposition identifies the United States Job Corps as a significant, nationally-scaled vocational training opportunity in an emergent green market sector. The New Haven Job Corps, working with TIMBER CITY and with New Haven Harbor redevelopment efforts, is politically, institutionally, and geographically well-positioned to lead the emergence of timber building technology and sustainable construction practices on the east coast.
50 ACRES PROJECT BRIEF
Fort Point & Boston Harbor, Massachusetts USA
The "Fan Pier" of the Fort Point neighborhood, located on the low-lying coastline Boston Harbor, was constructed over a century ago of infill. The area was originally conceived to support the conveyance of harbor-to-rail goods. Recently, the area has seen a proliferation of planning and commercial high-rise development. During the construction period of the Big Dig (1997-2007), a transportation tunnel under the harbor, the city, state and local community alike focused on what the redevelopment of Fort Point would and should be. These early planning efforts, including the planning of the Big Dig itself, occurred in awareness of documented flood zones (FEMA), but prior to the acknowledged, critical need for coastal resilience strategies to address rising sea levels.
Planning authorities, have since implemented large-scale studies and planning efforts to address the imminent impact of rising seas on their coastal populations and industries. Julie Wormser, for example, representing the Boston Harbor Association recognized that "today's 100-year flood could be 2050's annual flood and 2100's high tide." (Nov 2014)
The counter-intuitive boom of recent development in this categorical flood plain, however, appears to have been more informed by the financing cycles of traditional development practices than by recognized reality of global sea-level rise. The status quo strategy for "resilience," a sacrificial ground floor, belies the current inadequacy of design solutions (realized parcel by parcel) to address a systemic, regional threat.
Jose Martí and the IDEA of Nations
The Carribean Islands and Latin America import 6% of their rice supply annually (a collective annual cost of $300 million USD). The proposed institute (I.D.E.A. de las N.C.L.) is an urban roof garden innovating resilient germplasm with improved sustainability for locally cultivatable rice. It is also a utilitarian symbol of the unification of the Caribbean nations, working in the defense of the absolutely critical ecologies of rice. The following excerpt is from Eric Pulver’s insightful white paper written under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:
“Rice is grown in 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC), which produce over 22 million tonnes (Mt) of paddy per year. Even at today’s historically low grain prices, rice production provides approximately US$4.5 billion of income to the thousands of rice growers in the region. An approximately equal amount of revenue is generated in rice processing, distribution and retail sales. While significant improvements have been witnessed in rice production in the LAC, regional demand still surpasses production. The region has a net deficit of nearly 1 Mt of milled rice annually, resulting in a net outflow of revenue from the region of over US$300 million a year. There are 14 countries or states in the Caribbean with little potential for domestic rice production and they will continue to be rice importers. However, there are another 14 countries which are deficit in rice but with the necessary natural resources to support rice production. It is these latter 14 countries that are of prime concern, and with an appropriate development strategy combined with assistance from the international donor community, they have the potential to increase production to satisfy national demand.
“Cuba is a major importer of rice and in the last few years annual rice imports have approached 500 000 tonnes of milled rice. Rice production in Cuba is limited due to water shortages and access to essential inputs and other technologies. Imports could soar if consumers had increased purchasing power. Overall production has been on the decline for several years with relatively low yields of 3 t/ha; suitable land and water availability limit expansion of the cultivation area. Recently the Cuban Government has permitted private production on formerly state-owned farms, but growers have limited access to essential inputs, such as fertilizer; consequently, yields remain low.
“Haiti is the third largest importer of rice in the Caribbean. Haiti has a small irrigated rice area (approx. 50 000 ha), but water shortages, limited access to improved germplasm and use of rudimentary crop management practices mean that yields remain low at 2 t/ha. Haiti is a major recipient of United States rice provided via food assistance programmes. It is doubtful whether Haiti can significantly increase national production in order to compete with cheap and highly subsidized United States rice.”
- E.L. Pulver (Strategy for sustainable rice production in Latin America and the Caribbean)
BUSHNELL PARK, HARTFORD, CT
This 35-story high-rise design, predicated on Skidmore Owings & Merrill’s “Timber Tower Research Project” (2013), explores the interrelationships between the structural principles of CLT in high-rise design, urban residential programming, natural ventilation, among other efforts at sustainable best practices.
A ventilated double façade, for example, figures prominently on the southern and western exposures and augments the natural ventilation of each residential unit. Upon analysis of annual illuminance, fenestration and solar-gain walls were strategically placed to maximize daylight and solar-gain (one passive hot water system per dwelling unit).
COLLINSVILLE, CONNECTICUT USA
Three Rivers Community College