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Kansas University New ‘Makers’ KUbe’ is a Win for Sustainable & Innovative Construction

June 27, 2024

Designs are unveiled for a mass timber building in Kansas University. We at BuildLabs hope this inspires campuses across the country.

The Construction Specifier recently published news about designs unveiled for a mass timber building at the University of Kansas. We applaud Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), BNIM, and the Kansas University (KU) School of Architecture & Design for their creative vision for the Makers’ KUbe.

As the Construction Specifier reported,

The 4,645 m2 (50,000 sf) mass timber cube structure is optimized to reduce material and curtail carbon-intensive concrete. The building’s light-filled, six-story open plan creates a layered and flexible studio.”

At BuildLabs we lean on our manufacturing facility and Building Information Modeling system to create precise foundations and timbercuts. This allows us to create flexible floor plans and cutting edge structures. While our methodology is new and innovative, the markets are integrating various sustainable practices and catching on. This is a trend we actually embrace, as these advancements only raise the tides for all startups on a mission to disrupt construction.

The article highlighted the University’s new structure will use “tight-fit dowels and notched glue laminated timber (glulam) to create an all-wood structure with columns and beams that run diagonally, without steel plates or fasteners.”

Similarly at BuildLabs, our timber is old growth timber that has been conditioned with the right moisture content to withstand weather-driven shrinkage, which ultimately impacts the quality of home. The timbers are made from an engineered wood known as glulam, which is short-hand for glued laminated timber. BuildLabs gets its glulam from Denmark, where it is made with old-growth wood. It’s the strongest timber with a guaranteed home lifespan of 100 years. Because this spells durability and longevity, this reduces waste over the long term.

We are trying to make the use of glulam the benchmark of new construction because we want to be cost efficient, but also provide quality for the cost.

College campuses are an excellent hub for testing innovation and new materials. It reminds and inspires the next generation about the importance of creating, building, and growing–but certainly not at all costs. We welcome other universities and architectural programs to contact us if they’d like to learn more about BuildLabs Hybrid off-site and on-site construction methodologies, as well as our design-thinking approach that has upended the traditional workflows. These systems have governed traditional construction processes for too long and overhauling it will only benefit the environment as well as the end-user–aka the very people who live and learn in these buildings.

In the mean time we look forward to seeing the Makers’ KUbe become a reality in the coming years.

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