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UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE OPENS IMMERSIVE-LEARNING FACILITY FOR DESIGN/BUILD PROGRAM

Press release   •   Jan 31, 2019 19:19 EST

The University of Miami BuildLab, louvered windows made from Kebony.

Coral Gables, FL – January 31, 2019 – The University of Miami this year unveiled the B.E. & W.R. Miller BuildLab, a physical space created by and for the Department of Architecture, where students are able to execute a modern architectural project from start to finish in a real-life design/build context.

Designed by Professor Rocco Ceo, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, Design/Build Studio students were tasked with completing the furnishings and interior and exterior details of the open-air building, which has a 40-foot by 40-foot concrete frame with 17.5-feet-high ceilings.

The BuildLab is currently operational and housing projects underway. Prior to its construction, students’ projects were built outside, exposed to the elements; the BuildLab provides a dedicated, protected space for students to see their concepts become reality.

As part of its construction, a series of containers were outfitted to hold building materials and tools surround the structure’s perimeter, allowing the main space to remain open and useable for physical work. The building’s walls are composed of louvered Kebony modified wood panels with inset doors that encourage air circulation and secure the site during off-hours.

“Kebony was the material of choice for the BuildLab’s louvers due to its remarkable uniformity, density, and ease with which to work,” Ceo said. “Kebony’ is also sustainably produced and therefore is an ideal material to impart the environmental values we aspire to for material selection in our design/build program.”

A double-height roll-up door located on one side of the building, with a built-in ramp, is dimensioned to the Florida Department of Transportation’s specifications to accommodate loading projects on a flatbed truck for transportation to the site for assembly.

The BuildLab also enables students to construct their designs in a setting streamlined for the projects they undertake, from eco-tents for the Everglades National Park, to a mobile orchid propagation lab for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. And the space is scaled for modular buildings that, once completed, can later be transported to the communities they will serve. It is an as an incubator of projects that solve real problems in tangible and meaningful ways while deepening the school’s commitment to immersive learning.

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Kebony is a Norwegian company which aims to be the leading wood brand and technology organization. Underpinned by proven timber modification technologies, it produces an enhanced wood of a superior quality that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

The company's headquarters is based in Oslo, with its production facility in Skien, South of Oslo. Currently employing about 60 people, Kebony has subsidiaries in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, sales representatives in Germany, France, UK and the US and a wide distribution network internationally. Shareholders are leading the venture with private equity investors from Germany, France, UK and Norway. The company has received numerous awards for its environmentally friendly technology and innovation, including its naming as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.

The Kebony® technology permanently transforms sustainable wood species such as pine into Kebony wood with features that are comparable, and in some cases superior, to those of precious tropical hardwoods. This unique environmentally friendly process is also a superior alternative to traditional wood treatment based on impregnation with biocides (wood preservatives). The company’s patent-protected production processes yield products that deliver major improvements in durability and dimensional stability, at the same time as being highly attractive. The Kebony products are suitable for a multitude of applications and designs – encompassing both indoor and outdoor applications.

Kebony’s mission is, through active innovation, quality thinking and understanding of commercial possibilities; give the world beautiful, long lasting and environmentally friendly wood products. The company will show social responsibility and contribute to improvements of the environment in a way that builds a better future.

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