The Build Lab is a project of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction and the Department of Building Construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Members of those communities are our most immediate users but the LAB is intended to be an interdisciplinary space whose goal is to foster the sort of serendipitous collaboration and discovery that might not otherwise happen in a ‘department only’ lab. The entire Virginia Tech community is encouraged to participate in Build LAB, the only thing required to bring to the LAB are a Kantian good-will.
The LAB houses faculty research activities, class activities, and personal projects in a flow and flux of space and resources. LAB activities exist at all those different project scales from long term research to short term courses and supports the cross-pollinization of ideas and skills that can occur when we bring together so many disparate people and goals. Material availability varies with our sources of support, users will generally need to bring their own materials, but we have an active scrap pile and many projects form directly out of what is available there. Specialized materials like raw stock for the 3D printer and vinyl for the plotter are available on a limited basis, just ask.
What the LAB does ask of its users is flexibility to help with our space allocation and schedule, a willingness to demonstrate at any time whatever work is being performed, and a participatory attitude. LAB culture will develop over time as a product of our users’ experiences and we will implement and revise various LAB policies for space allocation, material use, storage, operating hours, and whatever else we need to do to keep things humming along.
Hours of operation are always an early question. Being open depends upon having a trained and qualified individual (usually students) available and that depends upon funding. We find funding where we can and do our best to keep regular and long hours, the website is the best place to check current operating hours. Our website can only go so far in representing the LAB, you really just need to come by, no experience required.