Every year, CSUN competes in the PSWS (Pacific Southwest Symposium) in a variety of engineering competitions. One of these competitions is the Timber Design Project, in which each team must fully design, and eventually construct, a structure per the specifications given for the given year's competition.
This year's structure will consist of a six foot by six foot structure, with a maximum height of twelve feet. The structure must be built up to California code, and must adhere to OSHA safety regulations. The first step of the project is to come up with a design for the structure. The team must design plans for the structure that are submitted to the governing body and then approved. The plans must include calculations for the structure, ensuring proper members are used and the structure can sustain its own weight, as well as additional loads.
One of the extra requirements for this structure is to have a cantilevered beam that extends four feet from the face of the structure. This beam must also be able to withstand a point load of 150 pounds at its furthest point from the structure. Once the plans are designed and submitted, the team must begin pre-fabricating the walls to be assembled on the day of the competition. Finally, when the day arrives the walls will be assembled and the roof will be built on-site, within a given time limit. The structures are then evaluated and scored based on a criteria determined beforehand. This project helps students understand the process of residential construction design and planning, as well as the final construction process.