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Affordable housing drives CNRE undergrad's research

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Category: research Video duration: Affordable housing drives CNRE undergrad's research
Justin Brandt is an undergraduate research fellowship recipient in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Brandt is studying the effect of encased bamboo on the structural properties of cross-laminated timber.

My name is Justin Brandt. I'm an undergraduate student in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. My fellowship began last year when I was a sophomore. I just really enjoyed learning about sustainable biomaterials, definitely wood. And through all this, I learned about a building material called cross laminated timber, which is CLT. And it's wooden plies, thick plies, and they're folded over each other. It makes the wood really strong, makes it a great building material. Since it is such a solid material, it's often hard to hide wiring in it. What I discovered and what I wanted to research more is what if we included hollow chases going through the CLT panels. I was thinking about how I can maintain integrity, maintain the physical properties. Since I am studying sustainable bio materials, I look towards another biomaterial, and that being bamboo. What I was testing today is I was seeing if the CLT panels fitted with the bamboo maintain structural integrity, or if it does lose mechanical value. I want to focus more on lower income housing. Making more affordable homes. sustainable bio materials is definitely the way to go, which is why I want to keep on researching and keep on testing with them. I feel like with Virginia Tech, especially in the CNRE, they offer a lot of experiences to their students. All you have to do is go and ask. And I'm super thankful that I was able to have this opportunity and I'm very grateful that I was able to pull it all together.