student abroad/community projects
Weber State building design program inspires redesign of grad’s future
April 19, 2023
OGDEN, Utah — When Abigail Trejo began looking into Weber State University’s Architectural Design program, she didn’t realize she already had a special connection to it.
In 2019, Trejo and her family were recipients of a home built by Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties — a home that students and faculty from Weber State’s construction program had spent the last year working on.
Weber State Students in Kenya
37 Weber State Students, Faculty, Staff and community members traveled to Taru, Kenya over spring break to assist the Daruma tribe in constructing the foundation of a community learning center in partnership with a non profit specializing in empowerment through education. The group also enjoyed a safari and participated in Special Olympics at a special needs school. Architectural Design, Interior Design & Construction Management students have been designing the building since Fall semester of 2022. The Kenya Keys community learning center will have the largest gathering space in the community and host community events such as weddings, community council meetings, and other special events. It has the largest library outside of the capital city and includes a state of the art computer classroom. The community learning center is truly the "Keys to Success" for this community in Kenya. Upon completion of the trip, the group pooled its money and is actively sponsoring a freshman in high school for the next 4 years to be able to complete high school which is not paid for by the government and would otherwise not have access to education past 8th grade.
Weber State Students Build New Deck for Homeowner in Need
A woman in Ogden had needed a new back deck for several years. With its rotted wood, loose floorboards, and not being secured to the house, it was extremely unsafe. She was even tripping over a gap between the back door and the entrance to the deck. Jeremy Farner, Building Design & Construction Program Coordinator at Weber State University, brought his students to build her a new deck as part of hands-on experience for their major. In less than two days, they tore out the old deck and built a new, safe structure.
Funding for the materials for the new deck was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation. The U.S. Bank Foundation grant also supported the completion of a home build in Ogden at the end of 2021.
Ghana Make a Difference 2022
The Weber State University Global Community Engaged Learning “Global Agents of Change” program traveled to Ghana over Spring Break with 55 students, faculty and staff. They have partnered with Ghana Make a Difference since 2019 to design a school for children who are being rescued from slave and sex trafficking. The group started the school by using local materials to make over 3000 bricks that will require no mortar to construct the school and onsite foster care for children they are unable to reconnect with their families. Interior Design students implemented noise reduction design solutions to dampen noise pollution using local fabrics that also beautified the existing classrooms in an abandoned chicken coup and inside the concrete dining hall. A fresh coat of paint on the gate and construction of shelving and organization of all books in the library based on grade level added to the success of the trip. Rainwater collection on the main building using a gutter and downspout system will allow irrigation of the soccer field and on-site gardens.
Savings from making the estimated 30,000 bricks is allowing 8 locals to be retained for the next 12-18 months to complete the construction of the school and foster housing.
Students from the Department of Construction and Building Sciences at WSU, led by Professor Jeremy Farner and project manager Janae Thomas, recently built a Net-Zero Energy efficient home.
The home was built with the help of various sub-contractors and is a top 10 finalist in the 2020 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon collegiate competition.
“Fifty-plus students, 20-plus subcontractors, Ogden City and so many more folks benefitted from the education, the in-field training and energy efficiency advances this home showcases,” Thomas said. “These are the game changers of the future.”
39 Weber State University Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and community members traveled to Nambouwalu, Fiji over Spring Break to finish projects undertaken in 2019 such as delivering and setting up a computer classroom with 30 computers. The group constructed a covered walkway on all sidewalks and walkways between classrooms on the Vuya District School campus. The group enjoyed working side by side with their Fijian brothers and sisters. The group enjoyed working at the local hospital, teaching classes in grades kindergarten to 8th grade, playing rugby and just socializing with the villagers over great food and dancing daily. It was amazing to hear the school kids chanting "Weber State, Weber State, Great, Great, Great"!
Fiji 2020 Gallery (SmugMug)
37 Weber State University Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and community members traveled to Nambouwalu, Fiji in May 2019 to improve a primary school in a forgotten village that is suffering from long term devastation from Cyclones that ravaged their village. The group constructed a computer classroom, teacher offices, sick bay for children, and addition to an existing pre-school. The projects were augmented by rainwater harvesting for back up water to be used during the dry season and murals to remind everyone that they are now part of a larger Weber Family. The group enjoyed working side by side with the locals and school children to construct the projects and feel the projects were a huge success to give a hand up instead of a hand out to their Fijian brothers and sisters.
“These are life-changing experiences for not only those receiving the service, but for all of us who are privileged to render the service” said Jeremy Farner, Building Design & Construction associate professor and trip adviser.
"Fiji was the experience of a lifetime. More than just a paradise, an opportunity to give back. To encounter culture and adventure lasting a thousand lifetimes. With bonds of new friendships as deep as the ocean between us" - Student
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
This shed was built by the Construction & Building Sciences department for the home across the street from Bonneville HS.
Students installed the decking on the top and bottom of the front deck.
Ogden family gets much more than new home in 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' (Standard-Examiner)
First Ogden family to receive 'Extreme' home makeover revealed (Standard-Examiner)
WSU Collaborates on Net-Zero House for Parade of Homes
OGDEN, Utah – A unique partnership among Weber State University, Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties, Dominion Energy, Rocky Mountain Power, Davis Technical College and Ogden-Weber Technical College will result in the first affordable net-zero home to be featured in the Northern Wasatch Parade of Homes July 5-20.
Ultimately, the 2,000 square-foot house will belong to a mother and six children, who lost their home to the tornado that hit Ogden in 2016. Since losing their home, the family has been separated; some of the children have stayed with relatives.
Habitat for Humanity and WSU Dedicate Home for Homeless Veteran Student
When a homeless veteran of the Gulf War entered Weber State University, he knew it would change his life. What Travis Parsons didn’t know was that fellow Wildcats would also help build him a home.
“I just cannot believe that this is true,” Parsons said. “I am getting a new house. Seems too good to be true. Sometimes dreams happen.”
Nyafumba, Africa - 2018
A documentary film on the many struggles of people in the eastern Ugandan village of Nyafumba. Clean water, disease, availability of education, healthcare, and orphaned children are among the many trials these people face on a daily basis. This film highlights the efforts of college students from Weber State University in partnership with Hope 4 Kids International and the Lee Family Foundation to further progress clean water and education initiatives while bringing to light a child sponsorship program.
Students from Architectural Design Engineering Technology, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Construction Management, and Interior Design who partnered to research, design, and construct the project using the latest green building methods and materials. Students implemented best practices from green building certifications such as LEED For Homes, National Green Building Standard, Energy Star, Resnet (HERS), and Passive House Standards into the tiny studio.
Windows of Change
OGDEN, Utah – Two new classrooms, a library, new books and a latrine are making life and education more accessible for the children of the Eduardo Mondlane Secondary School in Mozambique. A documentary chronicling the
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