The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) is excited to announce its second annual COMPOSITES CHALLENGE – a design competition where architectural students working in teams will develop a novel composite architectural/building component or assembly.
Architecture is a rapidly growing market for ACMA members, and each year ACMA's Architectural Division works to create opportunities in architecture through the development of standards and other educational events. Through this challenge, ACMA hopes to expose more architects to composites and help them understand the value of FRP in architectural applications.
On April 7, a panel will discuss the entries to determine which projects will be seen at ACMA's Composites Pavilion at the American Institute of Architects conference, April 27-29 in Orlando. The winners of the challenge will be announced during the conference.
"Last year's inaugural COMPOSITES CHALLENGE set an incredibly high bar for composite material innovation in architecture," said Bill Kreysler, President of Kreysler & Associates and Chairman of ACMA's Architectural Division. "We're looking forward to the even more ambitious constructions the students will create with composites this year."
To facilitate the challenge, ACMA conducted a series of workshops for the participating students which included both seminars and hands-on activities that introduced various aspects ranging from material selection, mechanical properties, production techniques and safety. The first of these workshops took place January 21 at Clemson University and was attended by nearly 40 architecture students.
"It was very exciting to see how curious the architecture students were about composites," said Robert Steffen, Ph.D P.E., an associate professor at West Carolina University's Construction Management Department and member of ACMA's Architectural Division. "I think this challenge will get more and more young architects interested in FRP."
The Composites Pavilion will also feature the return of Composites Central – a series of presentations by esteemed composites experts that will give architects an inside look into the technical elements of designing and constructing with composites.
"Architecture is a rapidly growing market in our industry," said Tom Dobbins, ACMA President. "Between all the activities at our Composites Pavilion, AIA 2017 will be another fantastic opportunity for our members to present the benefits of using composite products in architectural applications."