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April 20, 2012

ULM School of Construction Management students to participate in World Vision Disaster Shelter Competition

On April 20-21, students from the University of Louisiana at Monroe's School of Construction Management will compete in the first ever World Vision Disaster Shelter Design Competition on the campus of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.

Construction management students from John Brown University and architecture students from Judson University, near Chicago, will also participate.

World vision seeks creative solutions to solving the housing problem for people involved in a disaster.

Student teams are asked to design and construct a rapidly deployable emergency shelter for use by aid organizations in response to natural disasters.

ULM's team includes Greg Stuart of Calhoun, Cameron Wilson of Elmer, Shane Young of West Monroe, and Katelyn Hogan of Monroe.

The competition includes a written paper, the design, construction and testing of a prototype portable shelter that can be quickly shipped to disaster sites around the world and is rapidly assembled to provide safe, temporary shelter for up to four people.

The design requirements include 3.5 square meters of space per person, resistance to wind, snow, and earthquake loads, and a weight limit of 300 pounds.

Students must also demonstrate that the shelter will provide individual privacy and can be livable for up to one year.

The total cost of materials must less than $1,500 and students must erect the shelter in less than one hour.

A judge will rate the livability of the design after spending a night in the shelter.

The earthquake load will be simulated by shaking the shelter atop a 16 foot by 20 foot wooden platform on wheels. ULM students designed a hexagonal shelter approximately 12 feet wide, composed of light wood framing and foam insulation board.

The ULM team is coached by Dr. Hollis Bray, professor in the ULM School of Construction Management, and Al Gonzales, owner of Eason Portable Buildings in West Monroe. Gonzalez assisted the team with know-how, tools, material, and transportation.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that serves close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries, including earthquake and hurricane survivors, abandoned and exploited children, survivors of famine and civil war, refugees, and children and families in communities devastated by AIDS in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The staff of more than 40,000 includes experts in a broad range of technical specialties, ranging from hydrology to microenterprise development to public health.

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