Tag Archives: Construction

Final Prep for PSWC 2016

All of our design teams are busy making final preparations for PSWC 2016. With less than a week before conference, the KAP basement is full of activity from everyone from steel bridge working on final fabrication and assembly, concrete canoe preparing the stands, section, and display table, geotech building their box, surveying practicing, and environmental finishing their system. We’re excited to showcase our work in Long Beach next week!

The environmental team work on their filtering system.
The environmental team works on their filtering system.
The concrete canoe team tests out their new, reusable folding wood canoe stands.
The concrete canoe team tests out their new, reusable folding wood canoe stands.
Geotech captain Marissa measures the geowall box.
Geotech captain Marissa measures the geowall box.
Steel bridge team members discuss how to manufacture a part.
Steel bridge team members discuss how to manufacture a part.
Steel bridge members at work.
Steel bridge members at work.
The steel bridge box where pieces are transported.
The steel bridge box where pieces are transported.
The steel bridge team takes a brief break to pose for a photo.
The steel bridge team takes a brief break to pose for a photo.
Pieces of the Steel Bridge are laid out.
Pieces of the Steel Bridge are laid out.
Surveying team members practice in E-Quad.
Surveying team members practice in E-Quad.

USC Village Job Walk Spring 2016

Panorama of the central plaza

A handful of students were given the opportunity to visit the construction site of the USC Village and get an inside look at the operations happening behind the fences.

The good thing about having construction going on so close to campus is the opportunity to see it up close and in person. At around 3:15 on a warm Friday afternoon, USC civil engineering students of all ages huddled into the main construction office on the south side of the site. There we were given an overview of the project and what all was being accomplished. It was fascinating to see the rows upon rows of construction plans and schematics within the office.

McCarthy Honors College Nameplate
McCarthy Honors College Nameplate

The tour began with a stroll to the side of Building 4, the future McCarthy Honors College. We were shown trenches dug for electrical and utility lines, and the etched out nameplate of the structure.

Next, we walked around to the west side of the building, and we were shown where the exclusive dining hall would be located. The huge openings will eventually be filled with giant stained glass windows.

Building 4 Dining Hall
Building 4 Dining Hall

After that, we took a scenic route to Building 1, the MEP building of the village. MEP stands for mechanical, electrical, and power, and Building 1 is one of the few structures that uses CMU for its construction. Inside, there were numerous water pipes installed, and it will house many of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Village. In my opinion, this building was one of my favorites. It had plenty of mechanical detail and intricate features that I found interesting.

Interior of Building 1
Interior of Building 1

Once we left Building 1, we made our way between Buildings 9 and 4 to the central plaza of the Village. Building 9 will be a future location for undergraduate housing while Building 4 is strictly for freshman. Once we arrived at the plaza, were able to see the spire that was placed atop the clock tower just one week prior. It towers 145 feet above the ground, and it is quite a humbling sight to see. The central plaza is where most of the action of the Village community will go down. There will be numerous locations for dining, entertainment, shopping, and communal spaces for people to occupy.USC Village

In addition to these amenities, there will also be a central fountain (which has not been designed yet) and a statue of Hecuba, Tommy’s companion as some might say. In Greek mythology, Hecuba was the queen during the Trojan War.

Next, we toured the inside of Building 4, and we were able to explore the various bedroom layouts. We even got a view of the podium level courtyard in the center of the building and the interesting “Bridge To Nowhere.” This deceiving yet functional bridge spans the gap between  Buildings 4 and 9. The idea with this structure is that you would be able to walk into but not across to the opposite side. Study areas will be within this portion. It makes sense if you want to keep the freshmen separate from the upperclassmen. It is not impossible to cross, however. There is full access on the top level of the bridge.

"The Bridge to Nowhere" Occupants will be able to cross but not enter the adjoining buildings.
“The Bridge to Nowhere”
Occupants will be able to cross but not enter the adjoining buildings.

That pretty much concluded the tour as the sun began to set on that warm Friday evening. It was both a learning experience and a preview of what I hope to be involved in as a future civil engineer.

Podium level courtyard on the second floor of Building 4
Podium level courtyard on the second floor of Building 4

Pour Day 2016

I first joined concrete canoe my sophomore year because I was drawn to the aesthetic component of designing and staining the canoe. Little did I know how much of a large part of my time at USC concrete canoe would become. Two and a half years and multiple canoes later, I’ve successfully finished my fifth–and hopefully final–pour day. The feeling is a little bittersweet, but first and foremost, my co-captain Karina and I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who showed up to help us out (this is the first year that the entire ASCE eboard came out!). We made a few changes in the weeks between our first and second pour days, and the small alterations really made a huge difference in the process and final product.

This year, our canoe is named That ’70s Canoe, and aptly displays the vibe and colorful culture of the 1970s. The rule change this year banned the use of stains, so we incorporated colors in our own way by creating a tie-dye design and using precast concrete tiles to display a rainbow mosaic peace sign and flowers in the interior of the canoe. The pour day process to get all of our aesthetic components done was a long one–captains showed up to KAP at 8AM with the rest of the team arriving around 9AM, and we covered the canoe to wet cure at 12AM. There were a lot of ups and downs throughout the day, but everyone pushed ahead, and we were able to successfully complete the process, with the remaining members topping the night off with some celebratory midnight ice cream sundaes!
As a graduating senior, I’ve been heavily involved in 5 pour days now, and although it is a rigorous process, it feels a little strange to have completed the last one. Concrete canoe has taken up a huge chunk of my free time for the past two and a half years, but it has allowed me to meet some super amazing people and some of my best friends (that can also help me with my homework). I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished so far this year, and I can’t wait for the months to come and for PSWC!

Concrete Canoe December 2015 Update

The first half of Concrete Canoe 2015-2016 is officially over! We’re really excited about all of the new members that got involved this semester, and can proudly say that we poured our practice canoe! We spent the first Saturday after classes ended working hard in the KAP basement to mix, pigment, and place concrete to create a full-scale practice canoe. With all of the rule changes and new ideas we’re trying this year, we wanted to practice some techniques before pouring the real canoe for competition! Not to mention, the practice canoe will give our paddlers a great chance to paddle in the canoe they’ll be racing in just 3 short months at PSWC. We had a group of great people helping out at practice pour day (warmest thanks to those who showed up!), and we’re all super excited to see what our colored concrete looks like once we de-mold the canoe when we get back to school in January!

Overall, it has been a great semester full of great ideas and great people, and we’re looking forward to see what next semester has in store for us!

Erin Yamashita
USC ASCE Concrete Canoe Captain

Steel Bridge December 2015 Update

It’s been a long and tedious semester for everyone, but Steel Bridge doesn’t stop just because projects and exams pop up! We’ve got our design finalized, our steel bought, and our members know all the ins and outs of working with the machines.

Steel Bridge 2015

Although we didn’t get a chance to do much fabrication this semester, it was great having all of our dedicated members come out every week! It’s definitely dirty work cutting and welding steel, but the Steel Bridge team is totally prepared for next semester. Once January rolls around we’ll be cranking out our 20-ft bridge, and getting ready for the competition in Long Beach!

Jessica Maass
USC ASCE Steel Bridge Captain 2015

Steel Bridge 2015

Saturday Night PSWC Prep

We’re all working hard to get everything ready for PSWC 2015. Our Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge, Geotechnical, Dog House, and Concrete Bowling teams are all putting in long hours today in the KAP Basement, and everyone’s super excited for conference!