Wow

Recapping the 2023 PIVOT Fellowship

This year’s Fellowship was unique in that it featured not one but two UO MARCH students, Josh Garhofer and Willy Benjamin. Josh and Willy each spent the summer working on research projects and gained hands-on experience working with current PIVOT project teams.

Willy’s project, “Biogenic Materials: Opportunities and Obstacles for Carbon Sequestration in the Building Envelope,” explored the viability of wood fiber, straw, and hemp as alternative options for insulation and wall systems. These biogenic materials have the ability to sequester carbon and reduce the embodied energy of the built environment, which accounts for at least 40% of global annual carbon emissions.

Driven by the climate crisis, Willy set out to explore barriers and opportunities for the implementation of these proven, yet alternative building materials. Willy investigated the materials by interviewing leading professionals all across North America including architects, builders, developers, and policy advocates. Additionally, he studied spaces currently using wood fiber, straw, and hemp as building materials and evaluated a current PIVOT project using computer modeling of biogenic materials to determine the carbon sequestration possibilities.

Willy found that there are great opportunities for products such as Hempcrete, Straw-SIPS, and wood-fiber insulation, concluding that these options are viable substitutes for their more common counterparts. Implementation may mean thicker walls, deeper windows, shorter spans, and deeper eaves, but Willy is hopeful that these building materials will become common place. He plans to continue his research while implementing biogenic materials into his own work.

To see Willy’s project, click here. 

Josh’s project, “Passive Aggressive House,” took him on a journey all around Eugene and Springfield examining the feasibility of manufactured housing for creating sustainable, affordable, and socially viable housing developments. After receiving a call to action from his HOA protesting plans to develop a mobile home park near his neighborhood, Josh was inspired to study a diverse range of issues concerning mobile home parks and manufactured housing with attention to the influence of their stigma on neighborhoods.

Josh started his project by digging into the different ownership models, policies, and types of manufactured homes. He then visited manufactured housing communities around Eugene and Springfield hoping to better understand the people and the design of these neighborhoods. Josh was amazed by the culture of the places he visited, and concluded that community building is one of the greatest strengths of this housing type.

Overall, Josh’s project worked to dispelled myths around manufactured housing communities, highlighting the importance of site locations with access to transit and amenities, and identified beneficial design patterns and strategies. He found that manufactured housing can truly be affordable housing, but Resident-Owned Cooperatives (ROCs) and non-profits must be the most common ownership models.

To see Josh’s project, click here.

The PIVOT Fellowship is a means of fostering original thought about issues outside the daily routine or obvious future trajectory of our firm’s thought process. PIVOT selects fellows based on the nature of their project proposal and other factors. It is a paid position and the term runs from June until September.

The PIVOT Fellowship is open to BARCH, BIARCH, MARCH, and MIARCH students for the summer preceding their final year of study at the University of Oregon. Students are selected following an application process that includes review of the candidates’ proposals for a project of their choice to be executed over the summer of the fellowship.

For more information or to apply for the position, click here.

Careers

PIVOT Architecture Summer 2024 Fellowship

 

PIVOT Architecture is pleased to announce the sixth PIVOT Architecture Fellowship. The Fellowship is open to University of Oregon BARCH, BIARCH, MARCH, and MIARCH students for the summer preceding their final year of study. One student will be selected following an application process that includes review of the applicants’ proposals for projects of their choice to be executed over the summer of the Fellowship. This project will constitute one half of the fellow’s responsibility. In addition to the project, the fellow will be incorporated into one or more PIVOT project teams for the duration of the program. The fellowship includes monetary compensation comparable to typical entry level professional architectural positions. Additionally, a $1,000 stipend will be provided to the fellow upon successful completion of the project and work term.

Applications for the Fellowship are due April 8, 2024. The term of the fellowship is from mid-June to Mid-September, 2024. It is expected that the fellow will work approximately 40 hours/week, with most of that time spent within the office.

Click here for more information or to apply for the position. 

Wow

PIVOT Hosts Educators for “Oh The Places You Can Go” Series

“This week we teamed up with Meili Construction to host a group of local teachers and educators at the PIVOT office as part of the “Oh, the Places You Can Go: Industry for Educators” series, hosted by Mary Leighton, PhD.

This 3-month series is designed to inform educators of different career paths available to their students, and provide them with a deeper understanding of our local economy. Our presentation gave insight into the AEC Industry and the role PIVOT and Meili play in the community, including our work with industry and community connected learning. :male-construction-worker: :female-construction-worker: Other industries these educators will learn about include healthcare, transportation, marketing, and more. 

Working with educators is one of the most rewarding aspects of the work we do here at PIVOT. We were honored to participate in this series and help these educators make connections between their role in public education and local industries.

Project

A Decade in the Making: the Eugene Family YMCA Officially Opens

Since its opening in 1887, the Eugene Family YMCA has been a cornerstone of Lane County. It is a place for community gathering and connection, bringing together people from all walks of life.

And now, a decade after the Y first approached PIVOT about designing a new facility, the Eugene Family YMCA Don Stathos Campus is officially open! This new facility will allow the Y to greatly expand their youth, health, and wellness programs, and we are honored to have been a part of creating this important community resource.

“The Y is so much more than a fitness center. It’s truly a community hub offering connections for everyone,” says PIVOT Principal Kari Turner. “Their services benefit kids through seniors including everything from childcare to disease prevention and support, to encouraging overall healthy living. The Y truly meets people where they are.”

At PIVOT, we are driven to design valuable community spaces that help make the world a better place. When PIVOT and the Y began talking about building a new facility back in 2010, we knew it would be exactly that. After those initial conversations, the project officially started in 2014 under the direction of the since-retired PIVOT Principals Eric Gunderson and Bill Seider. After years of fundraising, design restarted in 2020, led by Principal Kari Turner, Project Manager Karen Williams, and Interior Designer Martha Wassweiler.

YMCA design team, from left to right: Eric Gunderson, Kari Turner, Karen Williams, Martha Wassweiler, and Bill Seider.

Restarting the project in 2020 came with its own set of challenges. Not only did the way we work change with the pandemic, but the design did as well.

“As we were finishing design work in late 2020, the world was changing,” Kari says. “The pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, the local wildfires – they all reiterated the importance of the Y in our community as a source for childcare for essential workers, creating safe places for all people to connect, and providing a refuge for people escaping fires, smoke, or other natural disaster.”

Over the years, more than 20 PIVOT employees contributed to the project; each one inspired by what it meant, both for the community and for PIVOT.

Martha Wassweiler says it well, “To me, this project represents perseverance. We faced many setbacks and challenges. Seeing the owner, design, and contracting teams come together and persevere through these obstacles, that is what the project embodies for me.”

As the project wraps up, Project Manager Karen Williams shares her feelings on being a part of something people have been working towards for decades. “Finally seeing their dream come true has been really rewarding. It’s not something that I get to wear as a medal, but I get to know that I supported that dream.”

Our team will take lessons learned from this project; patience, resilience, trust in themselves, and teamwork, with them for the rest of their careers.

We would like to thank the team that helped make this dream a reality: ABD Engineering, Cameron McCarthy, Chambers Construction, Foundation Engineering, Gro, Hohbach-Lewin, KPFF, NIS, PAE, Redpoint, Sandow Engineering, and the entire team at the YMCA for their dedication throughout this project.

Together, after more than a decade of hard work, we opened one of the finest YMCAs in the nation.