Students in Christian Laird’s civil engineering and architecture class are working on a project to build dream homes.
The class, which is new this year, is a Project Lead the Way STEM class. “There was a survey of students in engineering classes last year about what new engineering class they would like to see added at BNI,” Laird said. “The students said that they were most interested in a civil engineering and architecture class.”
“They will be learning many aspects that must be taken into account when designing a house,” Laird said. “The dream house design is a way for them to put everything that they are learning about to a practical endpoint.” When the students are assigned the project, they will have to follow specific rules to get a good grade. “For this project, each student is being paired with a faculty member and they have to design a house.”
“Over the course of the project, they are going to design the house’s floor plan as well as its plumbing and electrical plans,” Laird said. “They will also be doing various calculations to determine the environmental impact of the home, its projected cost, and its heating and air conditioning needs.”
Throughout this project, students will learn more and more about what it means to design a house. “They will learn about design aesthetics, construction methods, building codes, environmental impact, and many more things that must be taken into account when building a house,” Laird said.
Following the residential design unit, students will learn commercial design, site considerations, and commercial design presentation. “In our next unit, the students will be learning about commercial design and they will be renovating an old warehouse into a library,” Laird said. “Later on in the year, students will learn about taking site surveys and studying the soil composition of building sites.”