April 24, 2023
Epstein has been a proud supporter of ACE Mentor Chicago since 2015, mentoring approximately 30 students each year. This year, our students entered the Construction Industry Round Table’s (CIRT) National Design and Construction Competition, which celebrates the innovations and contributions of the design and construction community to the quality of American life, while understanding the issues and challenges the industry faces to deliver on this legacy. The competition is maintained, coordinated, and judged by Construction Industry Round Table for ACE Mentor affiliate team entries.
We are beyond proud of Chicago Team 7, whose project placed as 1st runner up for the CIRT competition, out of 16 entries in the Humanitarian Center/Border Relief category! This was the first time Epstein’s ACE team submitted to the CIRT competition, which is an impressive accomplishment considering it required additional work to the standard ACE curriculum.
The goal of the Humanitarian Center was to accommodate for the overwhelming humanitarian support needed from health care, hygiene, food supplies, to temporary housing as migrants await disposition and legal processing. The team was to design a prototype to direct the flow to centers, handle the multitude of needs, and address security, safety, language, gender, ages, varied timelines and comfort of the influx of people.
The ACE Mentor Program runs from the end of November through the end of April, with final presentations taking place last Friday, April 21. The CIRT competition boards were due in mid-March, giving the students approximately 3-1/2 months to complete the design. The starting point was solely the CIRT prompt for the Humanitarian Center; the students selected a project site from the list of options, developed the program and designed the project.
The students and mentors met once a week for two hours, taking roughly 30 minutes to provide a presentation on the architectural, engineering, or construction industry, explaining their professions to the students including educational requirements, licensure, and daily responsibilities. After dinner, the mentors and students worked through the design. This year they tackled programming, site analysis and site planning, floor planning, architectural design and interior design, civil engineering, structural, and MEP engineering, sustainability strategies, construction logistics planning, construction scheduling, and construction estimation.
For the first half of the program, all students worked on tasks together as one group. Halfway through, the students chose whether to be in the architecture, engineering, or construction group, and worked on a discipline-specific scope through the remainder of the project.
The students mostly used hand drawing techniques to develop the project. The mentors did put the housing modules into Revit, which is where they documented the housing building and developed the renderings. While most of the work was completed during their weekly sessions, the students did have some “homework” to finish floor plans or other work at home between sessions.
Below is an outline of Chicago Team 7’s project:
The team researched border crossings along the southern US border and took into consideration the experience and basic needs of people crossing the border, those working or volunteering at a humanitarian center, and those visiting or picking up loved ones.
Next, they developed a program of buildings and spaces, sized for 1,500 people.
SITE SELECTION AND ANALYSIS
The team selected a site along the border for the prototype Humanitarian Center by analyzing the site, and looking into utilities, transportation, and proximity to the border crossing.
SITE PLANNING AND ARCHITECTURE
The team then researched sustainable building technologies that could be easily repeated, and developed floor plans based on planning bubble diagrams, and developed the site plan to organize the buildings in a logical manner.-
MECHANICAL, PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
The team evaluated site utilities and developed a solar array to power the center, as well as the MEP needs of the housing units.
From there, the team developed a site logistics plan, construction budget and construction schedule.
A huge congratulations is in order for the entire team! Job very well done!