We’re vertical!

The team got loads done this week at the YWCA! we started Monday by finishing the digging for the columns’ footings. We had to combat the rain, but the weather cooperated and we were able to pass our footing inspection. At AB tech, we had to disassemble our rafter sandwiches we had prefabricated in order to get a coat of stain on them. We also cut the proper angles on our shared columns that would support the rafters and girders. In the metal department, we were able to drill the pilot holes for the bolts that would eventually secure the columns to the stair’s retaining wall


Tuesday, the team was able position the columns in our newly dug footings and leveled them with braces. We also continued painting and staining on the stair columns and rafters. By the afternoon, everything was ready for concrete, and we poured and used wheelbarrows to set our columns’ footings. 


Wednesday, we continued work on-site with painting and staining, as well as putting up the girders in the pavilion. The team also kept on plugging away at the columns, and got the holes for the threaded rod drilled, and epoxied the rods in place.


Thursday, the team caught up on a bit of the design work relating to the bench and table. Our locust lumber was picked up from our craigslist contact, and taken to The Old Wood Co. to be planed and dimensioned. We also finalized our roof layout and overhang, and placed the order.


Friday was all hands on deck as we finished up more staining, rafter placement, and column placement along the stairs. We really accomplished a lot, but will need to strive ahead in order to stay on schedule for the August 8th ribbon cutting.

BIG Week 7


Big Week on the Design Build Front in Asheville NC.!

We started off the week at SODA fabrications understanding the processes of metal working. This introduction and the help from the SODA team propelled the process of completing our steel plate wall connectors for our cantilevered design.


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Team work was at its finest this week with the group spread across Asheville. We broke serious ground preparing the foundation footings. Getting Dirty At the YWCA! All the while metal fabrication and bench mock-ups were taking place.

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MOVIE NIGHT! Wednesday the group got together and had a movie night in the back yard of Architectural Designer Nicole Szlatenyi’s.

A BIG THANK YOU took place at the river to all the people who have donated time and helped us along the way. The Higlighted Speakers were Chris Joyell ADC Beth Maczka YWCA and instructors Luke W. Perry Miriam Gee, and Flexi- Pave’s Wilton Davis was able to show off their awesome  product. This celebration was a great way for the team to answer questions and show the design to the project contributors.


New Belgium Brewery Site Visit

The Team Was able to Visit the Construction Site of New Belgium’s new East Coast Distributing center being built in the river arts district along the French Broad River. Big Thanks to Jared Wheatley for keeping it real and opening many eyes to the perspective of the building construction realm of the process in which design becomes reality.


Weekend Workout

This sat and sunday with help from wonderful volunteers the team was able to further the construction process!


Laurey Masterton Memorial Garden


Alongside constructing a pavilion and stair covering, we designed an on-site memorial garden for Laurey Masterton.  Laurey was an amazingly positive and optimistic force in the community.  As a YWCA member, she educated the community about where our food comes from and the important role honeybees play in the process, from pollination to honey production.  The Asheville DesignBuild Studio has supplied a design for an on-site edible garden in Laurey’s remembrance and the theme is honey bees!


As part of this summer’s studio, the YWCA youth will help shape the design of the new west pavilion and stair covering.  There will be an interactive art installation on the chain link fence of the site!  The installation will include pre-manufactured “put-in cups” as well as colored, laminated, and arranged honey-bees from the YWCA youth.



A HUGE thank you to Wilton Davis and K.B. Industries, Inc. for donating over 6,000 dollars worth of their amazing Flexi-Pave product to the YWCA stair covering / pavilion project! 

Flexi-Pave is a porous paving made from recycled tires and this will be their first installation in Asheville.  Flexi-pave distributes storm water into the ground at a manageable rate while providing a comfortable and safe surface for outdoor play.  This permeable paving will cover the ground surface of the YWCA’s new West pavilion and become an educational model for environmentally conscience storm water management in the community.   

To learn more about Flexi-Pave and KBI’s other intelligent materials:

 Our team could not be more excited and proud to install Flexi-Pave on site and will continue to keep this great product in our toolset as young architects and designers!

Thanks again Wilton Davis!

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Week 5 Recap

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The week started off with a brief meeting with Structural Engineer, Edward Medlock, who visited AB Tech to take a look at our mock-ups after reviewing the permit drawings over the weekend. He offered a few solutions to the cantilevered timber structure such as increasing member sizes, installing extra rafters and bracing systems. In order to reach the goal of the week, the team divided and conquered the task of refining the mock-up structure, producing more presentable models at ¼” and ¾” scales incorporating the latest structural details of the roof design, contacting local suppliers material quotes and donations, and creating a booklet to update the community on the design process.

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On Tuesday, we were fortunate to have Mr. Wilton Davis over for a short and thorough informational session on Flexi-Pave, a highly sustainable and durable rubber composite that will serve as a porous ground cover suitable for the outdoor classroom as well as an alternative walkway through what is now the grassy area above the stairs. Consisting of recycled tires and rock aggregate, Flexi-Pave allows for high groundwater recharge, is flexible and does not crack or settle, and helps control erosion. We are anticipating a possible donation from  KB Industries that will cover roughly 500 square foot of ground area under the pavilion structure.


After the short lecture on Flexi-Pave, a few team members went down to the YWCA to participate in some physical playground deconstruction and information gathering on the mysterious concrete wall structure on the East side of the stairs where the cantilevered roof system will be built. Within three hours, two wooden equipments were disassembled and two six-foot deep holes were dug but no concrete footing was discovered. However, the digging reassured the team that structural columns will be able to be supported at least 18 inches below grade.


On Wednesday, the lumber order for part of our structure came in. We received another generous donation from 84 Lumber as they gave us a $300 discount on the $1400 worth of spruce yellow pine members. The team will be able to start prefabricating the built-up columns once the structural design is finalized.

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