Engineering students from 18 universities in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii will get hands-on experience building with wood in the upcoming annual Timber-Strong Design Build competition. Timber-Strong is part of the Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC), the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) yearly three-day competition that challenges students to put their civil and environmental engineering skills to the test through a series of competitions.
In 2019, the event takes place April 3 to 6 in San Luis Obispo, housted by California Polytechnic State University. The Timber-Strong event introduces students to the advantages of building with wood, including its flexibility, speed of construction, durability, strength and environmental benefits.
Teams of four to six members, including at least one female, must design and build a wood framed structure scaled within a 4’ x 6’ x 6’ box (W x L x H). Intended to give the students real world experience, teams will prepare a project bid complete with a preliminary design, budget estimates, structural calculations and estimated carbon footprint. Points will be awarded for the most sustainable structure based on the submitted Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
Teams will assemble their structure in real time within a 15’ x 15’ area and receive additional points for the fastest construction. Each entry will undergo a stress test, which includes hanging 140-pound weights to the cantilever roof beam to demonstrate structural durability and vertical load. Timber Strong is sponsored by the American Wood Council, Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. and Binational Softwood Lumber Council.
About 1,500 civil and environmental engineering students compete in PSWC each year. The event concludes with an awards banquet recognizing the winning teams and individuals.