Collge of Design, Construction & Planning
Solar Decathlon 2011

Campus construction sites are invaluable teaching tools for undergraduate SoA students

December 04, 2012

On Nov. 29, Architecture Professor N. O. Nawari, working in collaboration with James Durkin, project manager at Skanska USA Building, was able to extend the architectural structures curriculum into the built environment using UF buildings currently under construction on campus.

“The knowledge of building structures in architectural curriculum is based on part theory and part applications,” says Nawari. “Teaching undergraduate students the principles of structural mechanics, analysis and strength of materials using physics, numerical equations and advanced computer modeling can be a difficult task.”

With the University of Florida campus situated in a mostly rural environment, faculty are fortunate to have a steady stream of building projects constructed on the campus over the past few years (even in a down economy) to use as teaching laboratories. Often it is when students are given the opportunity to make on-site observations of the creative applications of this complex science that the course starts to come together as a critical knowledge base for students.

This semester, Nawari used the more than 50 feet tall, steel framed UF Institute on Aging/Clinical Translational Research Building as a case study project to focus student research on structural framing and system details. The building is designed by Perkins and Will Inc. and the main contractor for the project is Skanska USA Building Inc.