Welcome to the course site for the Wood Design Studio – BCT597F at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


View from Design Building under construction, May 2016

Wood is quickly becoming the material of choice for showcase green buildings world wide. In the quest for sustainable building materials, life cycle studies consistently show wood as having top environmental benefits: it is energy efficient in production and operation, it absorbs and stores the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and it is renewable and recyclable.

This course provides an introduction to structural wood design and construction. Through hands-on projects, lectures, team design competitions, and lab demonstrations, students will get an in-depth knowledge of the engineering capabilities of wood and wood products. Focus will be placed on state-of-the-art wood technologies, like cross laminated timber (CLT) and Glulam, as used in the new UMass Design Building. Topics covered include engineering behavior of wood and wood products, structural design of wood members using design tables, and load tracing as it applies to wood construction. Students will work in teams applying engineering concepts to create, design, build and structurally test wood structures.

Course Objectives
Upon completion of this course, students will:
– be aware of state-of-the-art wood technologies and their many advantages
– have experience making and breaking wood components
– understand the basics of structural wood design
– know how to use wood span tables to size structural members
– have participated in public demonstrations on structural wood testing

Students will be evaluated based on 1 exam, 3 assignments, and 1 term project


Meetings: Spring Term. Mo/We @ 11:20-12:05, Design Building 162
Credits: 1

Instructor: Professor Clouston
Office: Design Building, Room 316
Office hours: Tuesdays (10-11am) and Wednesdays (2-3pm). Please email if you would like to set up an appointment outside of these times.
email: clouston@umass.edu

Teaching Assistant: Rachel Koh
email: rkoh@umass.edu
Office: Design Building, Room 158