June 29, 2004

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Contact: Dan Rockhill, School of Architecture and Urban Design, (785) 393-0747, rockhill@ku.edu; John Harvey, City Vision Ministries, (913) 371-5200.

KU Studio 804 Modular 1 house wins international wood design award

LAWRENCE -- A Kansas City, Kan., modular house designed and built by 20 University of Kansas graduate architecture students has won an international Wood Design Award. The project by students in Professor Dan Rockhill's Studio 804 class was among 12 recognized, out of 189 entries from the United States and Canada.

The awards recognize excellence in architectural design projects in which wood plays a central role in the design's success. Design sponsors were especially interested in environmentally friendly, renewable or "green" building attributes in residential, nonresidential and landscape projects.

Winning entries will be published in the fall 2004 issues of Wood Design & Building magazine and, in Canada, Wood Le Bois magazine. Other than the publications, sponsors include wood trade associations and manufacturers of wood-related products.

Jurors commented that the Studio 804 project "demonstrates the clever use of factory-built, mass production technology to lower costs while creating living space of exceptional value. Students learned the process of integrating factory manufacturing with on-site construction, and the selection of materials for aesthetics, durability, renewability and economy."

The 1,200-square-foot wood-frame dwelling was prebuilt in five 12-by-20-foot sections in a Lawrence warehouse, then trucked to its site for final assembly in the Rosedale area of Kansas City, Kan.

For exterior wood siding, students chose massaranduba, a Brazilian hardwood that is certified by the Sierra Club and Forest Stewardship Council as an environmentally approved material. The wood is both rot- and impact-resistant and has a Class A fire rating similar to steel or concrete. In its natural state, the hardwood appears almost red-brown but will eventually weather to a grayish hue. Students liked the original color so much they applied a clear finish to the wood, hoping to sustain that reddish color about 10 or 15 years.

The 1-by-2 siding boards appear to float over the 12-by-60-foot house exterior. They were cut to size with mitered corners and attached with stainless-steel wood screws to a 2-by-4 framework that camouflages gutters. The siding also conceals the waterproofing and rainscreen system that involved wrapping the roof and exterior walls with a continuous rubber membrane.

Inside the house, the use of prefabricated wood trusses to support the roof and floors creates a more spacious interior appearance and eliminates the need for load-bearing walls on the main level or house jacks for extra support in the basement. Another sustainable material, vertical-grain bamboo with a clear finish and hardness similar to maple, was the students' choice for floors throughout the main level of the house.

The project was a cooperative venture of the Studio 804 class in the KU School of Architecture and Urban Design and two Kansas City, Kan., nonprofit community development organizations: City Vision Ministries (CVM) and Rosedale Development Association (RDA). In the partnership, the students handled the design and house construction processes. CVM and RDA paid for materials, provided site work and foundation construction and coordinated neighborhood and municipal compliance issues with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan. The house has been sold to a person who meets CVM-RDA qualification guidelines.

Rockhill set up the Studio 804 program in 1995 as a nonprofit corporation to give hands-on training to architecture students. Through the years, the class projects consistently have earned national recognition and numerous awards. Prize monies awarded go into the nonprofit corporation funds.

The 2004 Wood Design Awards book, scheduled for publication in November, will provide more detailed descriptions and photographs of each project. Also, each winner will receive a framed award certificate.

All Studio 804 students this year are master's degree students in architecture. Their names, hometowns, parents' names and high schools attended (when available) are:

From Lawrence and New Orleans, La.
Danielle Brooks; O. Perry Walker High School, New Orleans.

From Newton
Hallye Chau, daughter of Lan Duong; Newton High School.

From Olathe
Michael Haas, son of Chuck and Jean Haas; Bear Creek High School, Lakewood, Colo.

From Prairie Village
Nathan Couch, son of Peggy Couch; Bishop Miege High School.

From Leavenworth and Bullhead City, Ariz.
Troy Ramirez; Mohave High School, Bullhead City, Ariz.

From Leavenworth
Will Robarge, son of Ed and Janey Robarge; Leavenworth High School.

From Wichita
Nick Owings, son of Peggy Owings; Wichita North High School.
David Parks; Wichita Northwest High School.

From Wichita and Oroville, Calif.
Wade Gardner, Oroville, Calif., son of J.W. and Peggy Gardner; Wichita Southeast High School.

From Bullhead City
Troy Ramirez, Leavenworth, Kan.; Mohave High School.

From Oroville and Wichita, Kan.
Wade Gardner, son of J.W. and Peggy Gardner, Wichita, Kan.; Wichita Southeast High School.

From Boulder and Montrose
Brooke Knappenberger, daughter of Linda Knappenberger, Boulder, and Clifford Knappenberger, Montrose; Broomfield High School.

From Litchfield
Brian Finan, son of Doyle Finan; Litchfield High School.

From Barrington
Adam Gumowski, son of David and Mary Jo Gumowski; Barrington High School.

From East Dundee
Anne Painter, daughter of Tom and Marilyn Painter; Dundee-Crown High School, Carpentersville, Ill.

From Hinsdale
Tony Onesti, son of Barbara Onesti; Hinsdale Central High School.

From New Orleans and Lawrence, Kan.
Danielle Brooks, Lawrence, Kan.; O. Perry Walker High School.

From Chesterfield
Gregory Keppel, son of Robert and Mary Keppel; Parkway Central High School.

From Raytown
Zach Allee; Raytown South High School.

From St. Louis
Jeff Goode; Parkway North High School.

From Norman
Jennifer DeWitt, daughter of Donald and Beverly DeWitt; Norman High School.

From Dallas
Kevin Mut, son of Stuart and Marta Mut; Jesuit College Preparatory of Dallas.

Kai Raab; Col. Zadok Magruder High School, Rockville, Md.


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