As Master of Architecture student Jillian Tomaselli M ’16 settled into her first semester at the University of Hartford’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), she immediately constructed a new goal for herself: apply for and win the University’s Tai Soo Kim Travel Fellowship. Fellow student Ryan Glick M ‘16 put it on his drawing table as well. Both were successful and they will put the fellowship to good use traveling throughout Europe this fall to learn about Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), a new sustainable building technology. CLT is an engineered building material made of thin layers of wood placed across one another at right angles and laminated with fire-resistant glue to create a stronger weave. In buildings, instead of steel and concrete, elements like floors, ceilings, elevator shafts and stairwells can be made entirely of CLT. Developed in the 1990s in Austria, CLT is more widely used abroad, is less expensive, and more sustainable. For these reasons, the market for CLT is beginning to grow in the U.S.
“It’s another way of building skyscrapers, basically out of wood, “ Ryan explains. “CLT offers reduced carbon emissions tied to buildings.”
“We live our entire lives in buildings, but you hardly think about the affect it has on your life every day,” Jillian says. Ryan agrees. “Architecture is about problem-solving. You have to consider the sights, sounds, and uses of a space and turn them into your reason for a building design. You also have to think about the environment.”
Jillian says she can’t wait to see how structures built with CLT fit into the well-established landscapes of Europe, and to immerse herself into the culture. “Helsinki, Finland, has a ‘One-City Initiative’ where they are trying to develop a whole corner of the city using Cross-Laminated Timber,” she says, “so we’ll be researching different buildings in the design and construction phases.”
Jillian and Ryan applied as a team and will visit at least eight European countries where Jillian says they can “not only walk through structures, but also talk to local firms about how they handle changing building codes and convince clients to use a new building technology.”
This isn’t their first education-related travel. While earning their master’s, they went to Montreal, Canada to redesign a Mosque and Florence, Italy to study piazzas. (Read more about how they used new drone technology for their research).
Jillian and Ryan will present their findings to CETA students, faculty, and staff in the spring and intend to bring their knowledge to their new jobs. Jillian is working for a firm in southern Vermont, where she was an intern. Ryan is joining a firm in southern Connecticut.
The Tai Soo Kim Fellowship was established by Connecticut-based architect Tai Soo Kim H’15 exclusively for second-year University of Hartford graduate students to encourage the independent study of architecture. Recipients can travel anywhere in the world for a month, as long as their program of study includes a service component.