Skip to main content

ASC Among Winners of International Student Design Competition

ASC Among Winners of International Student Design Competition

Alfred State College was well represented among the winners of the 2010 International Student Design Competition. The architectural design competition, held by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA), is open to students of architecture currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program. This year’s project was to design a building to house a Classroom of the Future on a site in Tennessee utilizing tilt-up concrete construction. Emphasis was placed on the overall quality of the design and its strength as an environmentally sustainable building solution. Alfred State third-year students in the

The TCA holds the competition each year to increase awareness and showcase the capabilities of tilt-up concrete construction techniques. This year’s competition included an extensive list of entrants, including students from architecture schools around the world. Among the 26 top colleges and universities registered: Alfred State College; Cairo University; Cornell University; University of Malaya; People’s Friendship University of Russia; University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana; Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow; and McGill University.

The Concrete Classroom competition, an international, open, single-stage ideas competition, was sponsored by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association and the Tennessee Concrete Association.

Tilt-Up has a number of distinct advantages in construction. Among them:

  • Panels can be formed into any shape or finish
  • Panels can be large, more than 30-ft wide and several stories tall, since it doesn’t require transportation by truck. Size is limited only by the availability and capacity of cranes.
  • Concrete has inherent durability
  • Concrete has inherent fire resistance capabilities exceeding most other standard building materials
  • Concrete has thermal mass properties, important with today’s concerns for sustainability
  • Insulated Tilt-Up sandwich panels are energy efficient

The competition: The Tennessee Concrete Association owns 1.88 acres of property (light industrial zoning) less than two miles from the heart of downtown Nashville. The Association currently occupies a building on the property that has been adapted for office use but desires to build a state-of-the-art training center for use by members and potentially to rent to other groups needing training space. The new building will need to respond appropriately to the site.

The primary purpose of the building will be as classroom and educational space, but will also serve as a meeting space. Easy conversion of the space from one function to another is essential, and the space should encourage collaborative exchange and learning. Views to the outside are encouraged, but control of light levels will be important to the functionality of the space while in ‘presentation’ mode.

The Association wants the Training Center to be a showcase of concrete and sustainable building practices, especially those utilizing Tilt-Up construction methods. Obtaining an LEED Platinum certification for the new center is the goal and LEED Gold is a minimum requirement for the project. Energy efficiency is a key goal and new building should be as close as possible to a ‘net-zero’ building in terms of both energy and water use in the operational phase. Innovative and unique solutions are encouraged, but must be balanced with ease of construction and affordability.

The Association would like the entire project to be a ‘learning lab’ that can help future projects better implement effective sustainable building practices. The space needs to serve as a living exhibit for the concrete construction techniques utilized in its construction and highlight the features that were incorporated into the structure to earn LEED credits. Visitors should be exposed to these features as part of occupying the space, and consideration should be given to making building features as interactive as possible with the goal of producing a self-guided learning tour of the building in the finished product.

You (the contestants) have been awarded the contract, and need to prepare for your first owner meeting with a proposed solution.

Among the required specs:

  • Freestanding (with interior connection to existing office)
  • Seating for a minimum of 30 students
  • Instructional area, space for speakers, including large screen, white board space, and webcasting
  • Two accessible restrooms
  • Serving kitchen/break area including counter space for displaying and serving food items; refrigerator; storage cabinets and coffee service: Min. 300-400 sq. ft.
  • Sufficient storage for all tables and chairs when not in use
  • Separate “main” entrance to the Training Center
  • Outdoor space for breaks and hands-on demonstrations: Min. 1,000 sq. ft.

Required sustainable systems specs:

  • Integration of affordable solar devices (both PV and hot water)
  • All renewable energy sources should be considered
  • Water use for potable, non-potable, and landscaping should be minimized
  • Thermal mass of concrete wall system combined with appropriate insulation
  • Campus has two rainwater harvesting cisterns on property to capture run-off from existing roofs. Eventual goal is to make the entire site a “zero-discharge” site for storm water. New building must work within this goal.

Entries were judged on the following criteria:

  • Creative/aesthetic use of Tilt-Up concrete in the design solution
  • Tilt-Up concrete design - contribution to sustainable solution
  • Quality of overall concept, design, layout
  • Overall sustainable solution

Students provided a one-page design narrative explaining both the process rationale and the design solution and a 30-in x 30-in board graphically embodying a design solution containing the following:

  • Conceptual site plan
  • Unit floor plan
  • Elevations/sections/details
  • Sketches or 3-d views
  • Diagrams or other information which explain the solution

Awards were sponsored by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association and Tennessee Concrete Association. Prize package included cash to students (student cash awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd equal $1,500, $1,000, and $500 respectively) and reference materials to sponsoring departments as well as up to five free registrations ($500 value) to the 2010 TCA Annual Winter meeting, free registration to the World of Concrete ($35 value each), and a $500 travel allowance.

Special Note: This year, the Student Design Competition will provide the opportunity for the designer of one selected entry to work with the project architect of the Tennessee Concrete Association’s development to modify the design as necessary for construction.

The mission of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association is to expand and improve the use of Tilt-Up as the preferred construction method by providing education and resources that enhance quality and performance. The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) is a non-profit international organization that serves to expand and improve the use of Tilt-Up as the preferred construction method.