MSU School of Architecture to co-host 2015 International BTES Conference

June 11th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU School of Architecture to co-host 2015 International BTES Conference

This summer, the Mississippi State University School of Architecture will be co-hosting the 2015 International Building Technology Educators’ Society (BTES) Conference with the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The conference theme is “Intersections and Adjacencies” and will be held June 24-27.

MSU School of Architecture Assistant Professor Jacob Gines is a co-chair for the conference along with Assistant Professor Erin Carraher and Professor Jose Galarza from the University of Utah.

MSU School of Architecture Associate Professor Hans C. Herrmann and Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn are also serving on the conference organizing committee.

Multiple MSU architecture faculty will make presentations, and two MSU architecture students, Ria Bennett and Cody Smith, will be receiving international BTES awards for their research paper, “The Leaky American Dream: A Study of Air Infiltration Rates of Residential Construction Over Forty Years.”

MSU architecture student presents at international education symposium

April 13th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU architecture student presents at international education symposium

IMG_6269 IMG_6268

Ryan Fierro, a third-year Mississippi State University School of Architecture student, recently presented his research at the 2015 North American Materials Education Symposium at Ohio State University.

Fierro, son of Mario and Sheila Fierro of Madison, Ala., began his research last summer under the supervision of Assistant Professor Jacob A. Gines.

Fierro was initially looking into the building product manufacturing processes for wood, glass, steel and concrete and their effect on the state of the atmosphere and the buildings in which they exist. However, in the course of his research, he shifted his focus as he began to understand more about certain byproducts that can be used as a substitute for Portland Cement, the chief binding agent in concrete.

Fierro presented these results, “Building Materials Stewardship and Sustainable Practices,” at MSU’s summer 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

“It was nice to get to really dive into something,” said Fierro, who decided he wanted to build upon his findings while serving as a teaching assistant for Gines this semester.

The replacement ingredients Fierro came across during his summer research became the center of his new work. He outlined the ways various substances similar in nature to cement can be used and the effects such use would have.

“By its very nature, the production of Portland cement is catastrophically bad for the environment,” said Fierro. “For every pound of cement produced, an equal pound of CO2 is released into the atmosphere.”

Fierro hopes his research can provide solutions to this egregious situation and serve as a referential guide for any builder or designer curious about the substances he studied.

Impressed by his work, Gines encouraged Fierro to submit to the 2015 North America Materials Education Symposium.

“The United States is the third largest producer of Portland Cement in the world, producing over 77 million tons a year,” said GInes. “India is number two, producing 280 millions tons, and China leads the way with around 2.5 trillion tons per year. The environmental impacts of producing Portland Cement are well documented. Ryan’s research is eye-opening and informative regarding various alternatives to Portland Cement as a key ingredient in concrete.”

Both Fierro’s posters – including his most recent, “Mapping the Regional Landscape of Building Materials,” – were accepted for presentation at the rotating international education conference, which brings together material educators.

“Being around people that were interested in the same things that I am was a breath of fresh air,” said Fierro.

“Presenting to a room full of material scientists and engineers can be daunting for an undergraduate architecture student,” said Gines. “But Ryan did an amazing job and won the respect of many in the process. His work was very well received by the audience.”

Materials class visits Columbus Brick

February 23rd, 2015 Comments Off on Materials class visits Columbus Brick


A group of 40 students in Assistant Professor Jacob Gines’ materials class recently visited Columbus Brick Company in Columbus.

A special thanks to Butch Reed, sales manager, who coordinated a tour of the plant’s entire operation for the group, which included a look at the raw materials as well as explanations of the processes of mixtures and molding, how the bricks are manufactured and the firing process.

This is the third year Gines has taken his class on a trip to Columbus Brick.

“It’s so wonderful the way they interact with the students,” he said. “For them to see the manual and then the mechanized part is pretty incredible.”

He said the highlight of this trip was at the end of the tour when students were able to work alongside four experienced brick masons who were invited to conduct a workshop and demonstration.

Students were challenged to build a temporary brick wall.

“Parts of it were not that great,” laughed Gines. “But that’s to be expected.”

Gines said he was especially glad his students were able to see the pride the masons take in their craft.

“What a wonderful opportunity to get some hands-on experience and to understand and appreciate the work of masons and that it’s extremely skilled work and not something everyone can do.”

School of Architecture, TSD hold reception for ‘Container Architecture Exhibition’

February 4th, 2015 Comments Off on School of Architecture, TSD hold reception for ‘Container Architecture Exhibition’

A reception was held on Feb. 2 for the current exhibition on display in the Giles Gallery.

The School of Architecture’s Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society (TSD) will host Jure Kotnik’s “Container Architecture Exhibition” through Feb. 25.

Jure Kotnik’s widely acclaimed exhibit explores the rising trend of shipping container architecture. The exhibit showcases the most high profile container projects from around the globe.

The exhibition features the work of Adam Kalkin (USA), AFF Architekten (Germany), DeMaria Design Associates (USA), HVDN Architecten (Netherlands), Hybrid (USA), Knock.Se (Sweden), Lot-Ek (USA), Luc Deleu (Belgium), MMW Architects (Norway), Nicholas Lacey & Partners (UK), Phooey Architects (Australia), Pierre Morency Architecten (Canada), Platoon + Graft (Germany), Shigeru Ban Architects (Japan), Spillmann-Echsle (Swiss), Spillmann-Felser (Swiss), Will Alsop Design Ltd. (UK) and Jure Kotnik (Slovenia).

MSU School of Architecture curates coast exhibit

November 3rd, 2014 Comments Off on MSU School of Architecture curates coast exhibit

photo by David Lewis

photo by David Lewis

(Via David Lewis)

A continuation and expansion of the “Modern Mississippi” exhibit will be on display through the end of December at the Charnley-Norwood House in Ocean Springs.

The exhibit was curated and photographed by MSU School of Architecture students Landon Kennedy and David Lewis with the help of Assistant Professor Jacob Gines, faculty coordinator and photographer; student Mary Sanders, photographer; and student Casey Walker photographer.

“The Charnley-Norwood House was designed by Louis Sullivan,” said Lewis. “At the time, Frank Llyod Wright worked for Sullivan and is believed to have worked on the house. It was recently restored after being extremely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.”

The renovation/restoration project by Albert & Associates Architects P.A. recently received an Honor Award from the Mississippi AIA.

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