Sustainable Construction Lab
Welcome to the Sustainable Construction Lab!
This lab is dedicated to structural and earthquake-resistant structural engineering, with an emphasis on locally-attuned and more sustainable materials and building systems.
Dr. Mark Aschheim is the lead of the Sustainable Construction Lab in the Frugal Innovation Hub. He has a strong interest in performance-based earthquake engineering. He is currently developing techniques for performance-based seismic design and improved structural systems made with conventional and more sustainable (green) building materials.
Examples of projects in this lab:
Structural Housing Improvements in Oaxaca, Mexico, Using Arundo donax (Academic year 2015)
Humanitarian Award 2015
Students: Greg O’Neill and Jonathan Tadros
This project researches Arundo donax—a type of giant, perennial cane plant—to examine its use as a viable structural building material. Used alongside other traditional building methods, this material may offer new technologies for housing in developing countries.
Designing with Bamboo: Frames and Connections in Underdeveloped Areas (Academic year 2015)
Students: Bryson Kam, Andrew Spencer
Our project focuses on the construction and testing of a proposed structural system in which bamboo and concrete masonry block are incorporated with a plastic hinge mechanism. This structure would primarily be used in Haiti and other developing countries that are prone to seismic activity.
Material Effects on Strawbale Wall Seismic Capacity (Academic year 2016)
Students: Margaret Ackerson, McKenna Williams
Our seismic test series will analyze the effect of mesh wire type on ductility and the validity of the existing wall slenderness limits. By performing four tests in a consistent lab environment, the results can be reliably compared to each other and used as evidence to improve code.