Career Direction for Students in Architecture, Construction, and Engineering

Archive for the ‘ACE Design-Build Workshop’ Category

Design Charrette

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 07.18.2013 at .


Design Charrette

The ACE Design Build team traveled to the Chinese American Service League to host a design charrette for Ping Tom Memorial Park.  The design was initially supposed to be for a community garden, but as we split into different teams, new ideas surfaced.  Approximately 20 ACE representatives, 10 community members, and multiple designers and park district officials came together for the charrette.Image


Team Julia focused on working north of the field house, incorporating a picnic and relaxation area into a traditional Chinese garden setting.  One of their most innovative proposals was moving the already existing dirt into a cohesive pile to form a physical barrier against the noise pollution of the train and to act as a viewing point for the Chicago skyline.Image


Wentworth Group also worked north of the field house, deciding to focus their design around programming alternating with the time of day.  They also decided to incorporate traditional Chinese aesthetics, as well as designing reversible game surfaces with trellis-type surfaces that were able to compromise the garden idea with the desires of the community members.


The Greenhouse Group formed one design that could be placed in two different parts of the park.  They designed a greenhouse and a gazebo, which synergized the Chinese concept of Yin Yang with the community members’ requests for shade and Tai Chi structures.Image


Team Pagoda focused on a pagoda centered in the area north of the boathouse that had a terraced ornamental garden and a view of the Chicago skyline. (Their idea was, by far, the best.  And most liked by everybody.)Image


Mr. Yang’s Group focused under the 18th Street viaduct, working to use and improve existing structures.  They designed trellises along the columns of the bridge and space for a stage and BBQ pits.Image


Surprisingly, there was not much support for a community garden from CASL members; most advocated for either an ornamental garden or no garden at all.  Dan Cooper, the environmental engineer rep from the park district further stressed the idea of not having a community by telling the team that having edible plants in the area was not recommended, due to the excessive spraying of pesticides

“No farm.” -Everybody


In ACE Design-Build Workshop, General Information on 04.06.2013 at .


IMG_2571  week 08-site installation-0  week 09_last work day-1

ACE is seeking one to two students who have an interest in design, construction, and community development to assist with this year’s summer program.  The collegiate assistant will fully participate in the summer Workshop as both a team member and teaching assistant.  It is hoped that the selected candidate will help motivate and lead the  team through the design-build process, while also assisting the instructors with organizational or administrative tasks.  The Workshop runs from June 26 through August 9, meeting M-F from 8am – 12pm at Curie Metro High School on the Southwest side of Chicago.  Curie is easily accessible via the CTA Orange line or city buses.  The last week of the program will be conducted on-site and will require longer work days during construction.  The Workshop is lots of work but lots of fun (photos above represent last year’s beautiful project for the Children’s Garden of Hope)!

To be eligible for this position, the candidate must have completed at least 1 year of the ACE program and be currently enrolled in a collegiate architecture, construction, or engineering program.   There are no further restrictions.   Architectural or structural design ability, construction experience, familiarity with 2D and 3D drafting programs, and prior leadership experience are highly desirable; however, it is not expected that one candidate possess an expertise in all areas.

Interested students should email resume and cover letter to ACE DESIGN BUILD DIRECTORS at by Friday, April 26.  The cover letter, in addition to highlighting past experience, should include current contact information and provide the year/number of the candidate’s former ACE team.  In appreciation for your participation, ACE will provide a one-time college scholarship paid directly to you, for college related expenses such as books and supplies.  Award amount is yet to be determined but will not be less than $1,500.

Program Summary and Thank you!

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 09.04.2012 at .

Program Summary

“The ACE / CPS Summer Design-Build Workshop is a student educational program focused on career exposure and community building through hands-on experiences in design and construction.  The workshop, run in partnership by the Chicago ACE Mentor Program and the Chicago Public Schools Department of College and Career Preparation, provides a unique learning opportunity for high school students interested in a career in architecture, construction, or engineering.”

The third annual Design Build Workshop was a success by many measures, exampled by the photographs of the finished project above, and by the smiles seen on the faces of our students and clients!  The project above, named by our students as the ‘Inverted Umbrella Trumpet Flower’!, was designed and built by our team of 15 high school students for the Children’s Garden of Hope in West Humboldt Park, Chicago.  The project provides work tables and seating, and will collect rain water for the vegetable plots at the rear of the garden.  Students were additionally responsible for coordinating the construction effort, which spanned just two weeks (culminating a 7-week design build program), and meeting the project budget of $7,000 (final costs ran just over budget at approximately $7,500).

I would like to extend a thank you to each of our talented and hardworking ACE students who participated this summer; and of course to the many supporters of our summer program!

  • ACE Chicago Board of Directors, Associate Board, and Supporting Professional Firms
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Curie Metro High School
  • NeighborSpace
  • the Children’s Garden of Hope
  • Lend Lease Foundation
  • Adrian Smith Gordon Gill Architecture
  • Gensler
  • Halvorson + Partners
  • Helios Design-Build
  • Cushing Company
  • Chicago Center for Green Technology
  • ..and many individual volunteers!

Matthew Snoap, ACE Workshop Director

Week 08 Summary: Project Completion!

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 08.29.2012 at .

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Week 07 Summary: Site Installation

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 08.20.2012 at .

Week 06 Summary: Prefabrication

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 07.30.2012 at .

..student work on the Inverted Umbrella Trumpet Flower began with prefabrication of major elements at Curie HS.  By the end of the week, half of the team was on site digging foundations and pouring concrete into our premade formwork. far, so good!

Week 05 Summary: Construction Mobilization

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 07.29.2012 at .


Student Summary:


  • Todd talked to us about the restructuring of Lincoln Park that Studio Gang did. He also gave us opinions of our structure (and donated $20 to our budget. Thanks Todd!)
  • Adopted the metal flashing idea for the inside material of the inverted umbrella.
  • Received a rough quoted for the lumber.
  • Started final CAD model.


  • Started the elevation model.
  • Began to adopt the concrete foundation.
  • Finished foundation plan (concrete!).
  • Started sign design.


  • Updated the lumber quote.
  • Started CAD drawings of details.
  • Began hand-drawn perspective drawings.
  • Finalized model.


  • Ordered the pathway and boulders.
  • Continued the CAD drawings.
  • Finished model.
  • Finished sign design.
  • Started designing formwork.


  • Went to site and;

-began digging (ran into bricks, shingles, and electrical wires)

-layed out the pathway

-moved site of structure farther back (closer to vegetable garden)

  • Went to Menard’s and bought;

-screws, bolts, chicken wire, metal flashing, (and snacks)

Week 4 Summary Final Design

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 07.23.2012 at .

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We split into two groups, construction group and design group. The construction group is in charge of modeling, budget, schedule, and materials list. The design group is in charge of all drawings. Dominic visited and explained pavillion at Lincoln Park Zoo. Also, he gave us a list of drawings that we need to complete.


We started drawings recomended by Dominic, the new model, and finalizing the budget and schedual. Also, Matt brought in some inspirational pictures!


We started, yet again, a NEW model, continued the budget and worked on CAD revisions and elevations.


RANDY RETURNS!! (he said he was sick but really wasn’t sick… maybe he was sick of us??? idk) Made new revisions to the foundation plan and updated plans and elevations.


We went on a field trip to Lee Lumber. There we received a rough estimate of our material cost, and Bill gave us very helpful suggestions. We also went to a landscaping company and picked out samples of pathways and boulders that would work for our seating.

Week 3 Summary Design Development

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 07.16.2012 at .


-We worked on a schedule and budget with Aash

-Assembled the laser cut trellis

-Worked on site and model drawings


-Worked on CAD drawings

-Worked on Models (clay and physical)

-continued work on schedule and budget


-Worked on perspective drawings

-worked on AuoCAD and SketchUp Drawings

-worked on 1/2″ scale model


-Remade models

-finished the powerpoint presentation

-last minute change in the design

-finalized the drawings

-finished the CAD drawings


-Client Meeting


—Umbrella idea

—location in back

—completion of the path


—children’s planter beds

—save trumpet vine

—adding color to structure behind the latus

—tables at different heights


—Location of structure in front

—filter and overall maintenance

—overflow (capacity of the rain barrel)

—concern of metal chicken wire being stolen off of the structure

Week 2 Summary: Design Development

In ACE Design-Build Workshop on 07.09.2012 at .


  • Finished T-shirts
  • Started Model
  • AutoCAD drawings/SketchUp Model
  • Learned how to use illustrator/Exacto knife


  • Structural Engineering Presentation (powerpoint)
  1. Liveloads (things that move)/dead loads (stationary objects)
  • Foundations
  1. the larger the structure, the deeper the foundation
  2. below the frostline (42″) – min. depth
  3. High rise (80′-90′-foundation)
  4. concrete slabs (3″-6″)
  • tension, compression, bending, shear, torsion (FORCES)
  1. wood(cannot pull)
  2. concrete (compression)
  3. reinforced concrete (Steel rods in concrete)
  • continued models and drawings (computer model, site model, AutoCAD, Stechup drewings)

Wednesday: NO CLASS (4th of July)


  • worked on design for rain collecting structure (inverted Umbrella)
  1. Discussed materials
  2. possible Materials
  3. incorporate seating
  4. featuring an ornamental element (Blend with nature)
  5. Finished Models (site), drawings (AutoCAD)


  • Went to Adrian Smith/Gordon Gill Architecture Firm
  1. Used laser cutter to create trellis
  2. Saw the model shop
  • Visited the Pavillion @ Lincoln Park Zoo-Designed by Jeanne Gang from Studio Gang Architecture FIrm

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