Welcome to A.C.E. 2010-2011.  We look forward to another fantastic year serving Chicago’s best and brightest students while introducing the professional fields of Architecture, Construction, and Engineering!  The Chicago chapter of the national A.C.E. program is made up of 7 teams, each team enrolling up to 30 students and led by a group of young professionals in the design and construction industry.  The mentors who lead these teams work at many of the top firms in Chicago and volunteer their time to teach a younger generation about a career in the A.C.E. fields- and have a lot of fun doing it!

The deadline for application to the program is October 04 and we encourage you to explore this page to learn more about the Chicago A.C.E. program.


Thank you!

Thank you to all of the talented and hardworking ACE students who participated this summer; and thank you to the many supporters of our inaugural summer program!

  • ACE Chicago Board of Directors, Associate Board, and Supporting Professional Firms
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Curie Metro High School
  • Bovis Lend Lease
  • Wight Construction
  • West Humboldt Park Development Council
  • the Ujima Community Garden
  • Cobb Connection
  • Arup Engineers
  • Helios Design-Build
  • Studio Talo
  • Cushing Company
  • Gibson Electric
  • Sharchitecture
  • the Rebuilding Exchange
  • Chicago Water Jet
  • the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Landscape Architecture Department
  • Claretian Associates
  • Academy for Global Citizenship
  • Chicago Center for Green Technology
  • Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
  • Landscapes in Motion photography
  • ..and many individual volunteers!


Director Summary:

These handsome photos were taken earlier in the week.. before final completion.  Eleven Chicago Public School students, all entering their senior year, were responsible for the design and construcion of this rain harvesting garden tool shed!  The shed was built for the Ujima Community Garden on Chicago’s west side, but installed on a temporary site at the Cobb Connection Urban farm (N. St. Louis and W. Franklin Blvd.). 

Congratulations to all of our students for their hard work this summer and on a beautiful garden shed design!  Note that the shed was completed aproximately $100 under budget!  Thanks to successful student budgeting and to some timely donations (such as the fabrication of your trellis panels by Chicago Water-Jet, and discounts on our reclaimed wood cladding through the Rebuilding Exchange).  ..if only we had finished on time!

Matt Snoap (ACE Design-Build Director)

Student Summary:

This week for week 7 we are framing and building the wall panels for the tool shed. At the beginning of the week, one group of the team started cutting the reclaimed wood and another group started to stain the reclaimed wood, while other groups started the framing of the wall panels for the shed.  We’ve had little problems here and there, but we fixed them. The second day, we started to construct the wall panels. We just are almost done with the installation of the rain barriers for the wall panels. We are going to put in a window on the south elevation panel. Right now, we have most of the wall panels done for now. All that is left for the panels with the rain barriers is to install the cladding using the cut and stained reclaimed wood.

Next we will start the construction of the roof panels. We will frame them first to have a layout of the roof panels. After that we will install the rain barriers for the roof. We are going to put in two skylights for the roof so that the tool shed can have natural lighting.  And finally we will build the interior shelves and racks. At the end of this week and the beginning of next week, we will be at the site working on the foundation of the tool shed using concrete and tubing for the concrete. We will have the tool shed finished by the end of the 8th and final week.

Steven Monroe (Workshop Participant)

Student Summary:

Week six was a tough week for us. We had a guest speaker come in, Carmen from Gibson Electric Company, he talked about how imporant it is to install electricity the correct way throughout a buildings, highrises, and homes. In his presention he had many complex drawing showing the power boxes, the electric room, how the wires are organize, etc. Carmen also gave us the idea to put some eltricity in our tool shed, so the people who is working inside to see; he suggested sensored lights. As you already know, we was over more budget by $3,000, so we had to redesign the toolshed. As as team, we decided to take away the greenhouse because this alone was $2,000. The client can still put up a greenhouse in the future.The design team had to redo all the cad drawing and hand drawing for the new shed. We still have our unique roofing, but we had to shorten the size. The build team worked on the budget, and made sure we caught up with our schedule. Starting next week we are going to have to start building the shed!

Jenice (workshop participant)

Student Summary:

It’s already week 5 and we have accomplished very much in that short period of time. At the beginning of week 5, we had Todd Zima and Aash Desai visit and lecture us. Aash helped us with the budget and Todd discussed the new de Young museum. Designing this building involved using Computer Aided Manufacturing to create the copper panels on the exterior of the building.

During the rest of the week we continued to work on construction drawings (design team) and we also finished the tool shed model, foundation drawings, and we finished the budget (build team).

Friday was the day we finally met with the client to present our hard work. For the most part, they loved the design. The only problems they had with the shed was it’s foundation and it’s size, and also it’s cost of about $6,000 (our budget is only $3,000).

– Erica

Student Summary:

On week four we started off with two lectures. Matt .B and Matt.D showed up at Curie on monday to talk about materials, and structures. From there the design team started finalizing the concept plans for the shed. The build team putting the final walls for the physical model for the 1/4″ scale model. And started working on the 1/2″ scale model. Also we had the quantity take off. So the build team made a list of the materials that are need for the shed. At the end of the week we had a field trip to Home depot and to the re-build exchange, which we took prices for the list that we made of materials.

Workshop Observations:

  • Monday we had lectures from Matt. B, Matt. D. They talked about different materials, and their companies, and also talked the museum in chicago and the flying carpet which is a bridge.
  • We worked on the elevation of the shed. the build team was started constructing a 1/2″ physical model.
  • Quantity take off
  • We created a list of materials that we are going to need for the shed. And then went to Home depot.
  • We visited the re-build exchange building and Home depot. We looked for materials. And took the prices for some materials.

Student Summary:

The students finished the scale model of the garden site this was done by the build team. Also we had a lecture from Aash about schedualing and the three methods of delivery. This helped everyone to know how to get organized and also to see how far along we are in our project. We also took a field trip to South Shore Chicago Peoples Park where we saw a site that used to be overgrown in plants, and a lot of garbage. There was a lot of gang affiliation on the site because it was very hidden. The people from the neighborhood helped to work together to rebuild the park in honor of the people that died on that corner of the site. Another garden that we saw was also kept by the people where they pay to grow their vegetation and harvest when its ready. This experience was very helpfull to our project in a way that we learned about lighting and how to use the suns power to use for solar panels, also to have ventilation in our tool shed.

Sergio (Workshop Participant)

Workshop Observations:

Tuesday, Aash came for a presentation. He is a developer for Helios design build company. he taught about schedualing and the different types of delivery methods which are; design build, design bid build, and construction manager at risk. He also talked about what realestate is which is actual land with property. took a field trip to south chicago peoples park. We met pat O’Conell and Angela Hurlock both explained the history of peoples park and how it came to be and the different projects in the neighborhood.

Student Summary:

To start off our week we were given two interesting PowerPoint presentations by two professional landscape architects. They informed us on the major points of both landscape architecture and the relationships between clients and the communities. Both presentations helped us further realize the amount of thought has to go into every design plan.

Over this past week our program has emphasized on teamwork. We have split into two different groups in order to further our experiences in the field of architecture. The two teams consist of a Build team and a Design Team. Each team controls certain facets of our total design process and contributes to each other in order to create our final designs and models.

The Design group has created an elaborate and interesting layout for our Ujima Garden client and now the Build team is trying to construct a scaled model of the plans in order to show our clients what exactly we have in mind for their garden. During this process it is essential that the two teams stay in contact with each other in order to make sure that each team has an input on the final design and to make sure that all the measurements and designs are accurate.

-Kameron (Workshop Participant)

Workshop Observations:

  • We broke into our two groups (Design Team) and (Build Team).
  • Design Team consolidated all of our ideas and put them together.
  • Build Team constructed a scaled model of the Ujima model site.
  • Design Team also went over The City of Chicago Zoning codes for our site. They discovered certain setback requirements.
  • Property line discrepancy solved.
  • T-shirts for our program were designed and ordered. We needed to know the exact requirements of our shirts and how they were made.