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NYC Student Wins National Ace Design Competition

Fri May 29, 2009 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Officials from the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT) and the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program of America announced the winners of the 3rd Design Competition held on April 27, 2009, in Washington, DC as part of the CIRT annual spring conference.

“All of the teams did a wonderful job of providing innovative, thoughtful, and interesting solutions to the design challenges they selected,” said Mark Casso, president of CIRT. “In every case the teams exhibited hard work and enthusiasm for the projects. CIRT thanks all of the ACE affiliates and chapters for their interest and participation in this national competition.”

Students in ACE, the fastest growing high school, after-school mentoring program for the integrated construction industry were given the hypothetical task of designing a modular education pavilion, a cultural arts/theater center, a London 2012 Olympic Stadium or a redesign of the White House. Teams from more than 20 ACE programs nationwide submitted entries. Standards were posted on the ACE Web site in the fall of 2008. Sustainable design was a key element. Each team of students were to select one team member to present their project to representatives of the board of CIRT.

First place was awarded to the ACE New York City “Team 8” for its Cullian III London 2012 Olympic Stadium. Second place was awarded to the ACE Nashville program for its Modular Education Pavilion and third place was awarded to ACE of Hawaii for its Pacific Performing Arts Center. More information on each project is listed below.

Presenters were Rilwan Kujenya, a senior from Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, N.Y., Nathan Schine, a senior from University High School in Nashville, Tenn., and Mina Roy, a junior from Moanalua High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Honorable mention was given to the ACE Mentor Programs of Rhode Island, Frederick, Md., St. Louis, Sacramento, Palo Alto, Kansas City and additional entries from New York City and Nashville.

Judges for the competition were Mark Casso — president, CIRT (Washington, D.C.); Linda Figg — president, Figg Engineering Group (Tallahassee, Fla.); Robert Alger — president and CEO, Lane Construction Corp. (Orange, Conn.); Jim Kenney — president, Kenny Management Services (Northbrook, Ill.); and Matthew Walsh — CEO, Walsh Group (Chicago, Ill.).

“Each year the projects and presentations get better and better,” said Charles Thornton, chairman of the ACE Mentor Program of America. “I would put these designs up against any professional design — these kids are great,” continued Thornton.

About the ACE Mentor Program

The ACE Mentor Program was founded by the principals of leading design and construction firms, to introduce high school students to career opportunities in the industry. The mission of the organization is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring; and, provide a mechanism for their continued advancement in the industry through scholarships and grants. ACE makes a special attempt to reach students that otherwise may not become aware of the challenges and rewards of a career in the design and construction industry.

About the Construction Industry Round Table

The Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT) is exclusively composed of approximately 100 CEOs from the leading architectural, engineering and construction firms doing business in the United States. First organized in 1987 as the Construction Industry President’s Forum, the forum has since been incorporated as a not-for-profit association with the mission “to be a leading force for positive change in the design/construction industry while helping members improve the overall performance of their individual companies.”

For more information, call 203/323-0020.

Cullian III London 2012 Olympic Stadium

The stadium was envisioned as a fragmented hovering diamond, a “Crown Jewell,” bisected by St. George’s Cross and St. Andrew’s Cross depicted on the British flag. Sustainable factors include use of wind for ventilating while creating electricity, use of recycled materials for the finishes and fixtures in the stadium and use of low-flow plumbing fixtures.

The skin of the stadium is one of the defining aspects of the stadium’s character. It is manufactured with a high-tech plastic membrane called ETFE, which is 1 percent the weight of glass and transmits more light than glass, costs 24 to 70 percent less than glass and can bear more than 400 times its own weight.

The stadium is modularly constructed so that it can be disassembled and moved to other neighborhoods at the close of the Olympics.

“Athletes push their limits to compete in the Olympics so we wanted our design to push the limits of engineering,” said Rilwan Kujenya, student presenter. Accompanying Kujenya from New York were mentors Abdul Tabbara, Abed Elvahvah (WSP Flack and Kurtz) and Miguel Harris (New York City Department of Design and Construction).

Modular Education Pavilion (MEP)

Designed by a team of students from University High School of Nashville and Stratford High School, the MEP was based on the real experience with a temporary classroom.

“Because of overcrowding in our local schools, all students experience the limitations of a double-wide trailer,” said presenter Nathan Schine, who presented for his team accompanied by mentors Anna Ward Barnes and Clair Wallace from Gresham, Smith and Partners.

Built in 12 ft. square segments all pieces could be manufactured off site and assembled onsite by the students and families who would use the facility. The kits are made of recycled and local materials. Water collection tanks and a recycling center, along with photovoltaic panels for roof application were several of the sustainable aspects of the buildings. All buildings were insulated by recycled cardboard.

Pacific Performing Arts Center

Designed to reflect the Hawaiian culture, the roof of the entertainment theater incorporated the opihi, a Hawaiian symbol of sustainability. Using it as the basis, the project incorporated many “green” concepts including preferred parking for hybrid cars, rainwater catchment tanks, solar panels to reflect sun and light into the theater.

Diners who visited the center could visit the rooftop café with a garden that supplies fresh vegetables daily. Presenter Mina Roy was accompanied by Soon Young Kim from Moanalua High School and mentor Steve Baldridge of Baldridge Engineering Associates.

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