Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Changes in Carbondale

By Chase Masters

For my 5th blog I wanted to share some of my experiences of being an architecture student and how it influences the way I look at new construction.  Whenever I see some sort of construction going around town I always am interested in what exactly they are doing, or what materials they are using as well as how things change the next time I walk by.  If you didn’t know already, the 710 bookstore closed and then was torn down.  There is now a new building being constructed in its place.  It will be an apartment complex that also has some retail on the first floor.  One thing from the construction that really got my attention was seeing a big crane in downtown Carbondale.  They were using this to lift and place the double T concrete floor panels on top of the concrete first floor walls.  They used different materials throughout the building.  They used CMU for the walls of the staircases, precast concrete flooring for the second floor, and they just started using wood for the residential part of the building.  This was very exciting to see since we are studying building codes for one of our classes.  The restrictions of the codes and trying to use cost efficient materials and construction methods start to influence what materials you use in construction.  The concrete fits in with the occupancy of the retail with stricter fire safety.  The use of precast concrete cuts down on cost of labor and thus total cost of the building.  The use of wood for the residential floors is a cheaper cost of materials, since it is allowable for the residential occupancy.  This all makes the total cost of a building cheaper, yet fit all of the appropriate building codes, than using the same material throughout the building.

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