On Monday, October 15, 2018, the Yale School of Architecture and Columbus House will host an open house for the 51st Building Project in New Haven.
Each year since 1967, students in the Yale School of Architecture’s professional degree program have designed and built a house in the summer after their second semester. Founded by Charles Moore as the first academic design-build program in the country, the early years of the Yale Building Project resulted in community centers and campgrounds in Appalachia and New England. Since 1989, the Building Project has created homes for over 50 New Haven families.
Students participating in this year’s Jim Vlock First Year Building Project, created in partnership with Columbus House, a New Haven-based homelessness services provider, have designed a two-unit home in New Haven’s Hill neighborhood. This home, clad in shingles, makes extensive use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, an innovative and sustainable wood product, for structural and insulating vertical and horizontal surfaces. The panels were trimmed offsite and then craned in, continuing experiments in prefabrication that began in last year’s project. “It’s important that students have an opportunity to work with new materials and new methods of building,” says Deborah Berke, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture. “I hope the use of CLT panels pushes forward our conversations around sustainability.”
This year’s house is also the second built in a five-year collaboration with Columbus House, and the two units will welcome two formerly homeless New Haven families.