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    Teaching Design/Build: Studio 804

    by Dan Rockhill

    Studio 804, which takes its name from the final design studio within the graduate architecture program at the University of Kansas, compresses every aspect of design/ build practice into an intensive five-month experience.

    In the ten years since the studio began, we've progressed from small-scale projects to creating affordable housing for the city of Lawrence to the point at which students now design, build, and install prefabricated homes for entry-level buyers in Kansas City.

    As a not-for-profit corporation that's associated with the university but receives no funding from it, we begin each year with nothing but the bank balance left by the previous graduating class and end with a completed design/ build home, a satisfied client, and an invaluable learning experience.

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    If there's a difference between Studio 804 and most other design/ build academic programs, it's that we are, as I like to say, a one-stop shop. That means the students work, not only with clients, neighborhood associations, and community development corporations (CDCs), but with uniform and international building codes, structural engineers, and inspectors who look twice at everything because of our nonprofessional status.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    This article is excerpted from Modern Sustainable Residential Design: A Guide for Design Professionals by William J. Carpenter, copyright © 2009, with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons.

     

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    Groups of students participating in Studio 804, a design-build studio taught by professor Dan Rockhill at the University of Kansas, have designed a series of modular homes in Kansas City, Kansas. The 2006 project, Modular 3, is pictured.
    Photo: Studio 804/ Courtesy John Wiley & Sons Extra Large Image

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    The prefabricated sections of Modular 3 rest on a site-built foundation structure of steel I-beams and concrete piles.
    Photo: Studio 804/ Courtesy John Wiley & Sons Extra Large Image

     

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