Mike Yorke, Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario President and Director of Public Affairs and Innovation discusses TimberFever in Milenio Stadium newspaper:
Every fall for the past five years Ryerson University has been home to TimberFever, a special competition that offers young architectural and engineering students an opportunity to join hands and work with members from Carpenters Local 27 in effort to arrive at design and building solutions for socially-responsible projects.
In past years the students have faced various challenges, including the design and construction of emergency refugee shelters, clean drinking water stations and dwellings where stressed city residents can take time to relax. This year the students competed to build a wood parklet featuring shade plants and seating geared for installation off urban sidewalks.
As president of the Carpenters District Council of Ontario (CDCO), I am proud of the students and their efforts to design, engineer and then build these projects – with guidance from our carpenters. It was a lot of energy and commitment for them over a weekend.
What I admire most is their collaboration – the teamwork between the students who represent the next generation of architects and engineers. TimberFever gives architectural students insight into how engineers think and vice versa. It also helps them better understand — through our Carpenters’ mentorship – if their designs are easy and practical to build.
Meanwhile, the friendships they make through TimberFever will carry on through their careers and they can harken back to the day it started when they were first exposed to each other at this competition.
We hope the experience broadens their views on construction as they start their careers because in this industry we Carpenters cross paths many times with various contractors and consultants and I expect the same will happen with these young people.
When the Carpenters were first approached by David Moses, the man responsible for putting TimberFever together, five years ago we were quick to jump on board. David had a great idea: a competition to build with wood – a green-friendly building material poised to play a growing role in the midrise residential and commercial sector.
Moses also saw it as a venue to team up the two disciplines which typically don’t work together. Our carpenters were ready to volunteer their time to advise and guide them on best tool and construction practices done in a safe manner.
To help ensure the competitions were top-notch, we have reached out to many of our industry colleagues such as general contractor Pomerleau and supplier Stanley Tools, both strong supporters of TimberFever. We are proud of that relationship.
TimberFever 2019 was the biggest ever, with students from 11 universities from Calgary to Halifax in the competition.