Fourth-year architecture students featured at ‘State Spotlight’

October 14th, 2016 Comments Off on Fourth-year architecture students featured at ‘State Spotlight’


Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State University

MSU architecture students work on an interactive community design model they built for the residents of Eastmoor Estates, a neighborhood near Moorehead. Students are bringing the model to the community and using it to foster dialogue and ideas on what residents want their neighborhood to become. Pictured, from left to right, are MSU students Nathan Miley, a senior from Pearl, Elizabeth Bueche, a senior from Maryville, Tennessee, Taylor McKinney, a senior from Cantonment, Florida and Diondria Bingham, a senior from Pearl.

Next week the students will begin designing affordable houses that will placed in the master plan. This studio is sponsored by the College of Architecture, Art and Design and a 2015 Ottilie Schillig Special Teaching Project Grant awarded to Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn.

Energy-efficiency study leads to weatherization efforts in Baptist Town

February 5th, 2016 Comments Off on Energy-efficiency study leads to weatherization efforts in Baptist Town

Chris Johnson | The Fuller Center for Housing

Helping the residents of the historic Baptist Town neighborhood been a passion for Emily Roush-Elliott since she arrived in Greenwood on an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship in 2013 after receiving her master’s of architecture from the University of Cincinnati.



Helping families in need have simple, decent homes has been a passion for the Greenwood/Leflore Fuller Center for Housing since 1985, when it began partnering with homeowner families as a Habitat for Humanity affiliate. (They joined The Fuller Center in 2008.)

Their common interests are why Roush-Elliott — who is hosted by the Greenwood-LeFlore Economic Development Foundation and Carl Small Town Center —  and The Fuller Center have been frequent collaborators in the past few years. And they continue to lead efforts to improve the Baptist Town neighborhood, made famous as the home of blues legend Robert Johnson and the site of filming for the film “The Help,” which brought home the Best Picture Oscar in 2012.

One initiative that has had tremendous impact was the installation of 11 unused MEMA (Mississippi Emergency Management Agency) cottages that were designed for families impacted by Hurricane Katrina. With strong support from the city of Greenwood and approval by the Mississippi legislature, the cottages were turned over to The Greenwood/Leflore Fuller Center, which installed the cottages with a few tweaks and turned them into beautiful, cozy homes for families in need.

“All 11 cottages are fully occupied, and I don’t think we’ve had a single person miss a single payment since we had people move in over a year ago,” Roush-Elliott said. “We’re just looking to have it grow and do more.”

Doing more included using grant money from Enterprise Community Partners to institute such projects in the neighborhood as a storm water management garden, which they also have used to provide on-the-job training for some unemployed women in the community.

Another area of focus in helping residents is energy efficiency. With the help of Emily McGlohn, assistant professor of architecture at Mississippi State University, and her “Audit Squad” of students, they have identified ways in which residents of the Baptist Town neighborhood can save significant amounts of energy — and money — by taking seemingly small steps to make a tremendous difference.

The energy-efficiency study

The Baptist Town community became a significant focal point of McGlohn’s wide-ranging concern for energy-efficiency issues throughout the Mississippi Delta region. This historic neighborhood of Greenwood provided the perfect testing ground with its mix of old homes, newer Fuller Center construction and the Katrina cottages.

“You can always assume new housing is better than old housing, but until you put numbers to it, it’s not as powerful,” McGlohn said. “That’s what we wanted — to be able to quantify the difference and put it into dollars to help people understand how important energy efficiency is in affordable housing.”



Using an array of tools — most notably powerful blower doors and thermal imaging cameras — they studied the 11 cottages’ performance compared to 10 older homes and six Fuller Center homes.

“We had our hypothesis that the cottages would be the most airtight, The Fuller Center homes would be in the middle and the neighborhood homes would be the least,” Roush-Elliott said. “Our hypothesis was certainly proved true, but it was so much more extreme than expected. We were blown away by the unequal distribution of energy costs. It’s a real inequity that we can address.”

“Some of them, we couldn’t even get a read on,” McGlohn said of the older homes in the neighborhood. “They were so leaky that the machine couldn’t even pressurize them.”

They used the test results to determine the personal financial impact of air infiltration alone in trying to maintain a modest home temperature of 65 degrees in December — on top of other factors in heating or cooling a home. They found that air filtration alone cost an average of:

  • $176 a month for the 10 older homes tested, or 14% of a minimum wage earner’s monthly income
  • $88 a month for the 6 Fuller Center homes, or 7% of a minimum wage earner’s monthly income
  • $35 a month for the 11 Katrina cottages, or 3% of a minimum wage earner’s monthly income

“That’s money in your pocket,” McGlohn said. “Housing should be efficient for everyone but especially for those in low-income housing. But it’s not just housing in this sector — we can all do little things to save energy.”

The study’s results, though, are just a starting point.

“It’s great to just swoop in with this information and say, ‘Yeah, your house is leaky,’ but what do you do with that information?” McGlohn asked rhetorically. “The little things that you do really add up in these situations. The solution isn’t always to knock down your house and build a better one. You can fill air gaps and weatherize the house. So we provided weatherization kits for all the homeowners.”

“Emily was able to come back and make recommendations to The Fuller Center about really simple things that they can do throughout the construction process that will save their homeowners more money on the back end on their energy bills,” Roush-Elliott said. “We had a little bit of grant money left so that we could buy a small energy upgrade kit, a little retrofit kit, for everybody who participated. It’s very simple things like caulk and weatherstripping.”

The biggest culprit for the older homes in the neighborhood was window air-conditioning units, something McGlohn said is not unusual for any home with window units.

“We assume that even though homeowners are supposed to take them out in the wintertime, they don’t,” she said. “Those units become like a big hole in the wall, and I’m not sure everybody understands what the effect of that is.”

Roush-Elliott said that her agency is working with The Fuller Center and others to distribute and install covers for the window units in the older homes. She also said that the weatherization study has caught the eye of state officials, who will come to Baptist Town in the near future to discuss major weatherization grants with local residents.

“I’m amazed how many people at the state level have taken note even though this is really small, so I’m hoping that this might grow into something a lot more,” she said, adding that there are plans to follow-up on the weatherization efforts to determine how much they might be saving residents on their energy bills.

Greenwood/Leflore Fuller Center President Rocky Powers praised the work of both Roush-Elliott and McGlohn and said that their research will help as they partner with both existing and future Fuller Center homeowners, in addition to helping facilitate ongoing weatherization efforts for the older homes in the neighborhood.

HUD report on the Baptist Town project.

Architecture, building construction science students establish a national model for academic collaboration

November 18th, 2014 Comments Off on Architecture, building construction science students establish a national model for academic collaboration

Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Broyles visit the Collaborative Studio in Giles Hall to view models and full-scale mock-ups of the golf course facilities being designed and built by architecture and building construction science students. Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Broyles visit the Collaborative Studio in Giles Hall to view models and full-scale mock-ups of the golf course facilities being designed and built by architecture and building construction science students. Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design is paving the way nationally when it comes to collaboration between the fields of construction and architecture.

In the fall, CAAD’s second-year architecture and building construction science studios come together to form a joint Collaborative Studio, where students are challenged to bring knowledge from their two disciplines together.

Assistant Professor of architecture Emily McGlohn, coordinator for the studio, explained that buildings are becoming more and more complex and require construction and architecture professionals to work together – what is referred to in the industry as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

“The students are learning the earlier the constructors and architects come together in the design process, the better the building will be and the less headaches they will encounter along the way.”

Each year, students in this studio are challenged to work together to design and construct a full-scale product from start to finish for a real client. Last year’s fall Collaborative Studio constructed two bus shelters for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. This year, students are working on two lighting shelters for the MSU Golf Course.

“Every class gets a chance to do a project like this,” said Associate Professor of architecture Hans Herrmann. “That’s rare,” he said, going on to explain how important hands-on learning is for students. “The reality of making is different from drawing. Gravity becomes a reality for them,” he laughed.

And the students have, in fact, dealt with their fair share of challenges, both with learning how to work together and actually building something they have designed.

“This is a pretty intense, hands-on learning experience for them,” said building construction science instructor Lee Carson, who said that students are learning “the idea of drawing with materials.”

This year’s project includes two separate shelters with restrooms for the golf course – one with cypress wall panels as an exterior skin and the other with a concrete skin. Both facilities will have cisterns to capture rainwater that will be used to flush the toilets.

After working on individual, small-scale designs, the 49 students split into four teams to tackle designing and building the two facilities in pieces – a wood wall panel team, a concrete wall panel team, a roof truss team and a concrete wall cistern team. This teamwork has allowed for a peer-review atmosphere, which has resulted in improved quality of design and construction.

“The students’ work has continued to impress us,” said Bill Broyles, interim vice for student affairs, who has been consulting with the group from the start.

Construction began on site with the pouring of the foundation in late September. Students are currently working on the formwork for the cistern wall while the other teams are fabricating their components off site. Construction on both buildings is set to be finished by the end of the month.

The project will wrap up with a final review on Dec. 1, where students will explain the design and construction process. A ribbon cutting ceremony and reception – open to the MSU community – will be held on the golf course in the spring.

“The students are really excited to have an investment on campus,” said Herrmann. “And we are grateful to have a project to work on,” added Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture.

According to Jim West, the college’s dean, CAAD is the only college in the country where the entire group of construction and architecture students from one year-level come together in a joint studio.

“MSU is truly reframing innovative architecture and construction education,” said the new director of the Building Construction Science Program Craig Capano, Ph.D., and Roy Anderson Professor.

“For our students, the idea of IPD and project collaboration is going to be a familiar concept,” added Berk.

“And we are setting a standard we feel will be modeled in the years to come across the country,” finished West.

School of Architecture, Building Construction Science to host ‘Integrated Project Delivery Theater’

November 5th, 2014 Comments Off on School of Architecture, Building Construction Science to host ‘Integrated Project Delivery Theater’

Vignette Diagram

(Via the ACSA website)

Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture and Building Construction Science Program, in cooperation with the Architecture and Construction Alliance (A+CA) announce the Integrated Project Delivery Theater. This interactive symposium is designed to introduce the exciting but complex world of Integrated Practice.

The two-day symposium features the project team responsible for the commission, design and construction of the New Orleans Bio Innovation Center, a LEED Gold building. Featured presenters include Jose Alvarez, AIA, LEED AP, Project Architect and Principle with the 2014 AIA Firm of the Year Eskew+Dumez+Ripple; Kevin N. Overton, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Project Manager for Turner Construction Company; and Brian Bozeman, LEED AP, Executive Director ADAMS, (client’s representative) for the New Orleans Bio Innovation Center.

Coupled with this dynamic project team, integrated practice educators Assistant Professor Michele M. Herrmann, Esq.; Assistant Professor Emily M. McGlohn, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; and Associate Professor Hans C. Herrmann, AIA, NCARB, LEED Green Assoc., will offer an exceptional educational opportunity. The unique interactive theater-like presentation includes problem-based learning activities and illustrative visual and verbal presentations designed to generate synthetic comprehension of IPD.

The A+CA, through its generous sponsorship, has enabled the MSU faculty to develop this special event. As a critical component to the symposium’s success, the A+CA and MSU School of Architecture and Building Construction Science Program invite students and faculty members from all programs of study engaged in Integrated Project Delivery to attend.

The free symposium will be held in Giles Hall on the MSU campus in charming Starkville, MS.

For more information on the participating practitioners and MSU faculty presenters please visit:

Symposium Date: January 29–30, 2015
Location: School of Architecture
Giles Hall, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762
Local Accommodations: Hotel Chester, Downtown Starkville, MS

School of architecture alumnus, professors author poster accepted to ASC Conference

January 23rd, 2014 Comments Off on School of architecture alumnus, professors author poster accepted to ASC Conference

School of Architecture Assistant Professors Alexis Gregory, AIA, and Emily McGlohn, along with architecture alumnus and former Building Construction Science faculty member Chris Cosper, had a poster accepted to the 50th International Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC).

The poster is titled “Teaching Today’s Master Builder:  A Collaborative Studio in Architecture and Construction Management.”

The poster explores the spring 2013 combined architecture-construction management studio at Mississippi State University.  Surveys were given to both groups of students, and the results and recommendations are explored in the poster.

From the abstract’s ‘research impact:’ “Assuming the Architecture-CM studios develop as planned, the integrated studios at MSU may be of interest to other universities who have architecture and construction management programs and wish to address the critical issues surrounding fragmented design and construction practice.”

The 2014 ASC conference will be held from March 26 – 28 in Washington, D.C.


Collaborative Studio ends semester with ribbon cutting ceremony

December 11th, 2013 Comments Off on Collaborative Studio ends semester with ribbon cutting ceremony

web ribbon cutting 12022013_24

Philadelphia bus shelter and students with MS Band of Choctaw Indian Chief Phyliss J. Anderson. Steve Murray, planner for the MS Band of Choctaw Indians, said the design has been well-received. “It looks like it’s got elements of the Choctaw culture,” he said, adding that the design looks like a basket.

web ribbon cutting 12022013_39

Tucker bus shelter and students

Second-year building construction science and architecture students have been working together this semester in a collaborative studio with Professors Lee Carson, Alexis Gregory, Hans Herrmann, Emily McGlohn (all architecture) and Tom Leathem (building construction science).

Throughout the semester, the students researched, designed and constructed two bus shelters for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

On Dec. 2, students and faculty from the Collaborative Studio celebrated at the two locations at Pearl River and Tucker.

The group was joined by first-year architecture and building constructions science students and faculty; Dean Jim West; Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture; and Dr. David C. Lewis, director of the Building Construction Science Program. Also present were Steve Murray, planner with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians;  the Tribal Council and other representatives; and Chief Phyliss J. Anderson.

Anderson welcomed and briefly addressed the group before the ribbon cutting.

“It’s always a blessing to have a relationship with the institute of education,” she said, adding that the bus shelter project is something that the students should be very proud of.

The chief then presented College of Architecture, Art and Design Dean Jim West with a handmade basket.

West thanked Anderson and said the on-going partnership has been a win/win for the college, and he explained some of the other projects the college has worked on with the MS Band of Choctaw Indians.

The first project was in 2009 when the college’s Carl Small Town Center assisted the tribe in preparing a Transit Plan with funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Tribal Transit Program.  The study was used to support several projects, including the new Transit Maintenance Center, which was recently completed.

Herrmann’s class constructed the first bus stop for Bogue Chitto a few years ago, and this year, two more bus stops were designed and built by the Collaborative Studio for Pearl River and Tucker. There are plans for more bus stops to be built for the community next year.

“It’s been a breath of fresh air to have young people come in and work with us,” said Murray. “They’ve thought about ideas we hadn’t thought about.”

Watch the video from the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Read more about the Collaborative Studio here.

Check out the video about the class created by MSU student Nikki Arellana for a TV Production course.

Working on the shelters:


Design, construction collaborative studio takes shape at MSU

October 31st, 2013 Comments Off on Design, construction collaborative studio takes shape at MSU

reviews 10162013_5_web

Watch the video by Leah Barbour where students and faculty discuss the challenges and rewards of collaboration.

By Leah Barbour | MSU Office of Public Affairs

Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design is offering a unique collaborative studio for architecture and building construction science majors.

“It’s the only one of its kind in the country,” said CAAD Dean Jim West. “The architecture students and the construction students are in the same studio with faculty from both groups team-teaching over two semesters.”

The university course offers a special learning opportunity, and collaboration is key to the students’ success, said Tom Leathem, BCS assistant professor.

While the nearly 50 students are working together in the classroom, they will construct two bus shelters for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in Neshoba County. The shelters will be delivered to Philadelphia at the semester’s end.

“The students have to work together hand-in-hand the entire time,” Leathem said. “The architecture students are being challenged with learning and executing architecture practices, and the BCS students have to be conscious of the impacts that they could make on the design when they’re trying to execute their construction portion of the project.”

Architecture assistant professor Hans Herrmann said the course offers the perfect opportunity to introduce architecture majors to fundamental building construction and design materials.

“The studio is very much focused on a non-traditional set of issues for beginning students,” Herrmann explained. “Engaging in the study and practical application of the effects of building materials and methods at this level in their education is highly unusual.”

By designing and building the bus shelters together, the students are learning how to make the compromises that will become an integral part of their professional careers, he said.

Several architecture majors said they initially thought the biggest challenge they will face will be to consider the construction aspects of their designs. Likewise, BCS majors anticipated their biggest struggle will be adherence to the design while realizing it with construction materials.

“Architecture and building construction science programs and students are just different,” said sophomore Ryan M. Fierro, an architecture major from Madison, Ala. and the son of Mario and Sheila Fierro. “I know I’m going to leave this studio still having my design sense, but I’ll understand how it will be affected and changed by the construction aspects.”

Finding pragmatic ways to realize the designs will be a challenge, but gaining real-world experience is preparing the entire group for the workforce, said junior building construction science major Brent M. Gaude’ of Natchez, the son of David and Ann Gaude’.

As the class began the project by sculpting clay models of the proposed shelters, differences between architectural and BCS mindsets were obvious, said sophomore Rashidat L. “Mo” Momoh, an architecture major and the daughter of Khadijat Momoh of Cordova, Tenn.

“After the first rounds of models were completed, you could easily tell which ones were done by architecture majors and which ones were done by building construction science majors,” Momoh said. “Even though there was a distinction between the majors, neither was right.

“The architecture majors did not consider how their models would be made out of real-world building materials, and the building construction science majors did not consider how playful and inviting a bus stop should be,” she said.

When the design phase was completed, both students and faculty members critiqued the models, and teams composed of both disciplines were asked to create new models. As the students discover how to learn from one another, they will be better prepared for the workforce, Herrmann said.

“The intent of our work this semester is to form a foundational understanding of integrated project delivery as a way of realizing buildings in the world,” he said.


Second-year architecture students travel to Ohio

October 17th, 2013 Comments Off on Second-year architecture students travel to Ohio


Field Trip Week for the School of Architecture was held Sept. 22 – 28.

During the week, architecture students visited various metropolitan areas to get exposure to the architecture as well as meet with large firms and see other sites. First-year students went to Dallas, Texas; third-year students visited Chicago, Ill.; and fourth-year’s trip was to New York, New York.

Second-year architecture students visited Cincinnati, Ohio, with professors Emily McGlohn and Alexis Gregory.

The trip included an extensive tour of the University of Cincinnati’s campus by architecture professor Patrick Snadon, which included buildings by Thom Mayne, Michael Graves, Frank Gehry and Peter Eisenman.

Students also experienced the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art by architect Zaha Hadid in downtown Cincinnati.

Exploration of the city was encouraged, and students visited other sites such as Art Deco’s Carew Tower, Findlay Market, Skyline Chili and Graeter’s Ice Cream – all landmarks of Cincinnati.

Gordon Watkinson hosts photography workshop

September 18th, 2013 Comments Off on Gordon Watkinson hosts photography workshop


(Photos by Professor Emily McGlohn)


photo1 photo2

The first Harrison Lecturer, photographer Gordon Watkinson, offered a short workshop on how to photograph a building to students in the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Collaborative Tectonics Studio.

Watkinson taught architecture and building construction science students how to use several pieces of equipment including a wide-angle lens.

The workshop’s subject was Giles Hall, and the resulting photographs will be used in the School of Architecture’s yearly publication of student work, BARNworks.

Students who participated in the workshop include:
Kapish Cheema (Architecture)
Robby Keifer (Building Construction Science)
Brent Gaude (Building Construction Science)
Rashidat Momoh (Architecture)
Ryan Fierro (Architecture)
Anna Barr (Architecture)
David Lewis (Architecture)
Cory  May (Architecture)
Katherine Ernst (Architecture)

Third-year architecture students present final projects, win BIA Awards

April 30th, 2013 Comments Off on Third-year architecture students present final projects, win BIA Awards

Haley Whiteman, who won a $1,000 Brick Award for her project, is busy at work before the final review presentation.

The third-year studio in the School of Architecture presented their designs for a Community Arts Center project located in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, April 23. Professors were Alexis Gregory, AIA; Emily McGlohn; Todd Walker, FAIA; and Chris Cosper, AIA (BCS).

The students worked on intermittent assignments throughout the semester with the second-year Building Construction Science students, allowing both studios time to work independently and as a team.

The students also researched and created the project programs consisting of three different focus areas for the Community Arts Center – Film/Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Historic/Industrial Arts. The students were allowed to choose one of the three possible program types, and they used this to create their building design. The students were also tasked with utilizing brick as a major component in their building but in a new and innovative way. This challenge, part of a yearly design competition funded by a generous grant from the Brick Industry Association (BIA), supports the pedagogical focus of the studio as the Tectonics II studio for the School of Architecture.

The reviewers of the student work included Glen Clapper, AIA, architectural services manager for the Brick Industry Association in the Southeast Region; Patrick Nelson, AIA, and Jermaine Washington, principals of Regarding Architecture in Birmingham; Brittany Foley, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, project architect with Williams Blackstock Architects in Birmingham; Matt Foley, NCARB, LEED AP, associate at Davis Architects in Birmingham; and Roy Decker, principal of Duvall Decker Architects P.A. located in Jackson.

The reviewers selected the winning projects by looking at how the students utilized brick as both a design and construction material in their project and felt that the winning projects were the most successful in their use of brick.

Brick Industry Association Winners 2013:
Samantha King – $1,000 Brick Award
Haley Whiteman – $1,000 Brick Award
Robert Ledet – Honorable Mention
John Taylor Schaffhauser – Honorable Mention

Students hard at work on their projects before the final reviews:

Final reviews:

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