This blog post, "On the Road Collaborative Sustainable Farm House Tour," was originally published (3/7/16) by Charles Hendricks on the Harrisonburg Architect Design Matters blog. Charles Hendricks and Deborah Smith from The Gaines Group are serving as On the Road Collaborative Community Teachers this spring.
This past week our On The Road Collaborative student group had the opportunity to tour a sustainable farm house under construction. Eric Beck, Beck Builders, was our tour guide and helped the students understand the career of a builder.
The students had lots of questions and the tour gave them a good idea of how big their rooms should be in the houses that they are designing. They had a chance to see cellulose insulation, precast concrete walls, and drywall dust. They experienced the cold and muddy conditions that he faces all winter. They got to see a partially complete house and use imagination to guess what it will look like finished.
There were questions about plumbing rough-ins, porch railings, and electrical distribution. They wondered about door placements and kitchen layout. They are becoming designers.
While the snow was falling and our tour was shorter than I hoped, the students learned a lot and all seemed to have a great time.
“Design This”, led by Charles Hendricks and Deborah Smith with The Gaines Group, is an interactive course with On the Road Collaborative that introduces students to the world of architectural design. Using a 3-D software program called Sketch-Up, each student will design a sustainable farmhouse for a family of 4. This class introduces spatial design, mathematics, programming, aesthetics, sustainability, and architecture in a fun and creative fashion. In the class each student will be introduced to typical construction terminology like wood studs, concrete, insulation, HVAC, flooring, shingles, siding, and foundations. They will have to decide how complicated and creative their homes will be as they work through the design. From the site tour of a house under construction to guest speakers talking about their role in the world of construction, this session will provide a glimpse into the wide array of career opportunities that exist. If you are interested in design or construction, this course will give you a first hand look into the exciting profession.