When the South Carolina forest products industry wanted to grow their lumber on longer rotations, they needed a new market for their lumber.
Although the pulp and paper industries were viable markets, many private landowners wanted to sell their timber as sawlogs into the construction industry and bring the timber to life in buildings, having useful and protected.
In 2011, the South Carolina forest products industry asked Clemson University to help expand their market. This was the beginning of the creation of the Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center, transforming an industry.
Patricia Layton, a professor of forestry at the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS), who would later become director of Clemson University’s Wood Utilization + Design Institute, began working on the issue to help forest owners.
She invited WoodWorks (which focuses on wood industry initiatives), the American Wood Council (which helps develop and understand building codes) and a few others to meet with her, Gerald Vander Mey, director of university planning and design, and John McIntyre, a capital engineer, to talk about the use of mass timber and new engineered wood materials.
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The group discussed whether there was interest in trying new engineered wood materials in a process similar to post and beam construction, what it might look like, and what the engineering and code challenges would be. . At the end of the meeting, Vander Mey said that Student Affairs was considering building a structure at Y Beach and suggested this might be a place to try it out. The area including Y Beach was part of the master plan for the west entrance to campus. The entire area was later named the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex.
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Student Affairs and the Campus Recreation Department oversee Clemson’s outdoor recreation and education program known as CORE, providing students with the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities ranging from outings from a day such as hiking on local trails, paddleboarding on the lake and white water rafting. fly fishing, skiing or sea kayaking (pre-COVID-19). Even covering bike maintenance, CORE helps students have experiences at all skill levels, so students can connect with the outdoors and develop passions for life.
What CORE needed was a place to live that was convenient for students and connected to nature, inviting and inspiring them to get involved and try new activities, an extreme upgrade from the old trailer and pigsty they used in the past.
With lake access and two premium courts that serve club and intramural sports, the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex provided an excellent base for students to engage on campus and presented a location ideal for housing such a leisure facility.
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With a prime location chosen for their new facility, the student affairs team began interviewing architects. They sought out partners who were committed to letting them participate in the design, as campus recreation facilities are very specific. Facilities must serve multiple functions and programs and be able to adapt to future recreational trends.
“When building a recreation facility on campus, budgets are limited and you need to make good use of the space and understand its impact from a recreational perspective,” Fiocchi said. “We have a strong fitness and wellness program, so we wanted to be able to take advantage of the unique beauty of this area to offer classes. When we entered the design process, we really drove the feature. As beautiful as the setup is, it is very functional and can be used for many different things.
Give the example
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Knowing they wouldn’t get a second chance to build a facility and wanted to capitalize on the beauty of the area, after the procurement process, the team chose Cooper Carry as the architect; Britt, Peters and Associates as the engineer, and Sherman Construction as the contractor to create a centerpiece like no other building in South Carolina – a building that used Southern Yellow Pine. This groundbreaking, multi-purpose facility would eventually be completed in 2019. In 2020, it was named the Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center, which students, staff, and faculty lovingly refer to as “Andy’s.”
Andy’s hybrid design elements include Southern Yellow Pine CLT which was tested and developed by Clemson’s Wood Utilization + Design Institute. Since its completion, Andy’s has won several awards, including Best Sports/Entertainment in ENR Southeast’s 2020 Best Projects and a Regional Excellence winner from the 2021 Wood Design Awards.
“As we developed our research and work on mass timber, some of our early students began working and developing cross-laminated timber from Southern Yellow Pine. It’s our local species, and it’s the material that ended up being used at the Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center,” Layton said. “This building really started something.”
The Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center performs all of the tasks that the university and designers intended, but it also has some very important work that has emerged from the process. It is an example of mass timber construction, inspiring the use of mass timber in other buildings – several in South Carolina alone.
Inspire the masses
The South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism brand department used solid wood in three visitor centers: South Carolina Visitor Center at Fort Mill, South Carolina Visitor Center at Dillion and the South Carolina Welcome Center in Hardeeville.
Clemson University also included mass timber in the newly constructed Samuel J. Cadden Chapel on the main Clemson campus. Other college and school buildings include Wofford College Environmental Science Building in Spartanburg, The Continuum in Lake City, Ten Oaks Middle School in Myrtle Beach, College of Charleston Admissions Office in Craig Hall, Charles Towne Landing Founders Hall in Charleston and the University of South Carolina. -Beaufort on the Hilton Head Island campus.
Other projects include Pleasant Ridge Camp and Retreat Center in Marietta, YMCA Camp Thunderbird Duke Energy Pavilion in Lake Wylie, Lynches River Discovery Center in Coward, Pepper Plantation Pavilion in Mount Pleasant, Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center in Charleston, James Island Town Hall in James Island, Canoe Club in Palmetto Bluff and even two hotels: Fort Jackson Candlewood Suites in Columbia and Home2Suites in Mount Pleasant.
The current residences are a passive house in Greenville and a beach house in Hilton Head. WU+D recently launched an interactive map to document all of South Carolina’s significant wood buildings.
“There are so many reasons to use solid wood – the speed of construction, the quietness of the process, little to no construction waste,” Layton said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for us to create more efficient buildings that last longer and have that natural beauty, while still being cost effective.”
Layton and Fiocchi said if the price hadn’t been lower than traditional post-and-beam construction, they wouldn’t have been able to do it.
“We were able to build an amazing building on budget and have a huge impact on campus. So, were there any failures? Absoutely. Were there times when we disagreed? Yes. But we all kept our common goals in mind and we all understood how important it was to Pat,” Fiocchi said. “We worked together and created something that uplifted the industry in South Carolina as much as it benefited and promoted Clemson.”
Andy’s continues to be an inspiration, not only to Clemson students who appreciate its services and surroundings or for parties invested in the state of South Carolina, but also for the country and beyond.
“As I sit on the porch and look out, I get emotional,” Layton said. It binds me. It also ties us all to the land and the will, that heritage of land and resources and doing good. It makes me feel good.”