June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Community Engagement Division
Several faculty from the Engineering Department have been involved in the Minka House Project, which was brought to the University by an innovator in gerontology care and his partnership with the College Nursing and Health Professions. The house is designed and constructed to be have a small and efficient floor plan that is easily accessible -- so as to allow for longer period of independent living by the residents -- and to be modular in fabrication out of standard wood panels using CNC wood tools -- so as to allow for affordable construction but still allow aspects of customization by the residents. A pilot demonstration house is being constructed on the University's campus through a joint project between the Gerontology Department, the Engineering Department, and the external developer, which includes medical professionals as well as aging experts.
There are several aspects of the project that engineering faculty and students have been and are continuing to be involved in. The site selection for the on campus installation was primarily driven by campus facilities personnel, but civil engineering faculty also contributed to the planning. Prior to and during construction, the soils engineering class and the construction estimating classes both visited the work site (which is centrally located on campus) to collect soil samples, observe the construction process and talk with the workers. The thermal envelope of the building and additions and modifications to the climate control aspects of the house design have been considered by a mechanical engineering faculty. Aspects of the manufacturing process are being studied by a team of senior capstone design students to develop a work-cell arrangement for the future phase of the project that would involve building a community of these small houses, where fabrication would be done locally with new equipment.
The efforts and findings of these projects will be discussed, especially in the context of how engineering students are being used in this engaged project.
Field, B. S., & Tennant, A. G., & Ellert, D. J. (2019, June), Engaged Interdisciplinary Engineering Design in a Minka House for the Aging Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32706
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