Architecture students complete Freedom by Design project
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is a campus organization which promotes collegiate architecture studies, industry professionals, and architecture itself. The AIAS boasts 100-plus chapters spanning across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Affiliated with AIAS is Freedom by Design, a purposeful community service and outreach program that allows architecture students to gain real world experience through design and construction solutions. Thousands of people are confined in their homes with no way to access stairs, bathrooms or even their front yards. Freedom by Design serves to correct these shortcomings by providing ramps, grab bars and other means by which residents may access parts of their own home and not feel trapped.
Recently, Lawrence Tech’s AIAS Freedom by Design chapter completed a design-build project in Southfield for a non-profit organization called Rebuilding Together Oakland County (RTOC). Kerry Comerford, the City of Southfield’s building inspector, contacted the chapter about a project for the Jordan family, who needed storage space on their property. The chapter had to come together to assess the site, design the storage space, prepare a set of construction documents, and get a building permit in a matter of only a couple of weeks.
After being approved for a building permit and receiving a substantial concrete donation from Superior Materials, LLC of Farmington Hills, the Lawrence Tech students came together to dig trench footings, construct forms and pour footings and the slab. Following the concrete work, the Detroit Carpentry Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, located in Ferndale, constructed the shed in parts in-house, which was ready to be installed on site. Carpenters under the lead of Bob Makowski of Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters installed the shed on site.
With the help of Freedom by Design members and student project managers Dave Andrus, Jake Boyd and Eliza Morales, designers Patrick Borden, Kevin Brown, Shaun Carollo, Samantha Doherty, Jason Flint, Susan Karczag, Meaghan Markiewicz, Ryan Maynard, Michael Neal, Ellen Rotter, Jeff Sebring, Ryan Tucker and Interim Architecture Department Chair Dan Faoro, the shed construction went off without a hitch.
In addition to designing the shed, the project awaits more publicity from City Cable Channel 15 of Southfield, which filmed the construction process and interviewed Lawrence Tech students. Stephanie Givens of Publicity Works submitted project information to CAM magazine to be published in the July issue. This project gave insight to students on the complexities of the construction process, including project management and time and budget management. For information, visit the AIAS-LTU blog.
– Vibha Kondur