ISU Architectural Students Win National Unit Design Contest
This past spring the Masonry Institute of Iowa, along with King’s Material and Midland Concrete Products, hosted a unit design competition at Iowa State University’s college of architecture.
The goal of the annual competition is to design a new concrete masonry or hardscape unit that can be manufactured on a block machine or a big-board machine. Students in Professor Bo-Suk Hur’s Arch 343/644 Building Science and Technology IV class participated in the competition as a class project.
Iowa State’s top team was one of three teams chosen to advance in the national competition, held in August during the National Concrete Masonry Association’s (NCMA) midyear meeting, where the students were re- judged on their design. For the first time in school history, the ISU team placed first. In 2015, ISU placed second overall.
“The students experienced creative challenges as well as an educational component from this competition… We really appreciate to Masonry Institute of Iowa, Kings Material and NCMA for support this competition,” said ISU professor Bo-Suk Hur.
This year’s winning design is “Ampi Block”. This block is designed for both indoor and outdoor theater applications. This four-piece block mold is versatile, applicable for sound enhancement by allowing for flat, angled surfaces, and sound absorption. Sound absorption is facilitated with hollow spaces that can fit sound absorbing foam, as well as electrical and lighting capabilities. The blocks can also be arranged to allow for seating and a stage. An entire theater can be built with this block mold.
“Congratulations to all involved. It is an honor for Iowa State University to be recognized at this level, and it shows the hard work and dedication these students put into their project,” said Masonry Institute of Iowa association director Jenny Stephenson.
ISU’s unit design team included Colleen De Matta, Ayla Hendrickson, and Nathaniel Jones and ISU instructor Bo-Suk Hur.
King’s Material and Midland Concrete Products have several locations throughout Iowa and is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Masonry Institute of Iowa is the statewide nonprofit association dedicated to advancing the masonry industry.
July 12, 2021 3:33 pm