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.