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Think Wood exhibit bolsters partnership between colleges

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Category: impact Video duration: Think Wood exhibit bolsters partnership between colleges
Edward Becker, an associate professor in the College of Architecture, Arts and Design says the Southwest Virginia and West Virginia region is the mecca of hardwood resources in North America.  Becker's research focuses on using low carbon, sustainable resources for building construction using mass timber products. Specifically, students work with cross-laminated wood.  The crucial element?  The joint effort with AAD and the College of Natural Resources and Environment. 

The Think Wood exhibit is presented by the Softwood Lumber Board, and is a culmination of the collaboration between the two colleges.

"There was an alternative, that it could be switched to wood." The exhibit is focused on the exhibition of student work in regard to timber and low-carbon methods of construction. As well as research that's happening across the university. And specifically in regard to the creation of low-carbon building products and systems. While also inviting in a national presence, the Softwood Lumber Board and the Think Wood mobile pavilion. To showcase how the work that we're doing in academia, research and teaching is not only housed within our university environment, but actually impacts partners across the country. As we move forward and we face these increasingly daunting climate concerns. As a society, we have to consider how embodied carbon can be reduced and obviously sustainable materials are key to that. Think Wood is an outreach operation of the Softwood Lumber Board, encouraging people to use wood and wood products and construction. So they're trying to show off different methods of construction and different materials. And one of the materials they're featuring is mass timber, which the main materials called cross- laminated timber. Each timber is running in a different direction. It knits this together like a fabric so that the wood is strong in two directions. Each panel is cut to size and with all the connections. So when you get to the job site, you're really kind of assembling a big 3D puzzle. So over the last few years, the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design has been engaged with the CNRE in regard to sustainable materials development and sustainable systems development for building construction. And it's been a really wonderful collaboration between the two colleges because we've been able to engage faculty in meaningful research, but also student groups in the classroom, as you can see around us, in projects that are related to multiple colleges. We're preparing our students to become the next users of these products, become the next producers of these products. One collaborative effort was the Radford train viewing platform. That was designed by, by Edward Becker and Kay Edge and their students. That was kind of a direct result of a lot of my research with yellow poplar developing a material and then bringing that to them and saying here, what can you do with it. When our students leave here, that's the environment they're going to be working in. They're going to be working with, with architects and designers and different people with different sets of skills. And the more they can understand how to work with others and collaborate on these kind of projects. The more successful they're going to be. the collaboration across colleges at Virginia Tech is really key. At a university level. It engages the Beyond Boundaries vision of the university. And what that means in practice, I think is that we're able to ask questions and solve problems through the collaboration with our peers in different fields that we wouldn't be able to solve in the same way without an engagement with them.