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Architecture Students "Build on the Hill in 2016"

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Architecture Student Image

"Build on the Hill" is an annual spring building contest for architecture students at TMCC.

Teams of architecture students at Truckee Meadows Community College are designing structures they will "Build on the Hill" of Dandini Campus, thanks both to the mentorship of last year’s contestants and to generous donations from local businesses.

They will spend the night in their buildings, testing their work in the study and application of bracing against lateral wind forces.

“Amanda Stewart and Hillary Clark are second-year students who’ve been mentoring this year’s first-year architecture student entrants, offering advice on fastening details and bracing the structures,” said Kreg Mebust, Architecture Instructor. “Some of the teams are using donated wood pallets for vertical walls. Amanda and Hillary have been helpful in coaching them how to fasten the pallet walls together for strength against the elements.”

The college community and local media are invited to view the structures and meet students on May 5, at the site for "Build on the Hill" at TMCC's Dandini Campus.

  • When: Thursday, May 5, please arrive between 5-5:30 p.m.
  • Where: Ridgeline of hill near the new gravel parking lot, northeast side of campus

Most students participating are at the end of their first year of study, working toward the Associate of Arts, Architecture degree. Males and females work together on teams, and there is one all-male team.

“The guys’ approach is a little more rustic,” Mebust said. “They’ll be sleeping on plywood.”

One team is doing multiple rooms and using rope to help tie it together. Another team is using cardboard tubes that were donated by a local print company, Rick’s AEC Reprographics. A third team has a fabric roof, and is planning a carpeted floor. They’re looking for carpet sample remnants to construct a tapestry of carpet squares. The fourth team has a bamboo floor. The entries will not be as tall this year, to manage the winds, Mebust said.

D & D Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc. has also been generous in donating some of the supplies for the event,” Mebust said.

This year, the study of wind is being added to the competition.

“It’s in anticipation of high winds and bad weather that’s associated with spring in the Truckee Meadows — last year, the wind shredded an entry,” Mebust said. “The students are doing force diagrams for compression, tension, shear and lateral wind forces. They’re doing this diagramming with study models, so they’ll have the study models along with drawings to demonstrate for each other how the structures will stand up to the elements.”

The architecture students will camp out for the night in their creations. Two local architects will arrive the morning of Friday, May 6 to judge the designs. Mebust will introduce the teams, and then each group presents their structure to the judges.

“Judges will evaluate their design concepts and give suggestions,” Mebust said.

For more information about the Architecture and Design Technology Program at TMCC, please call 775-856-5300.