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New Trimble Technology Lab Gift to UMass Amherst Expands Training and Research for Building Design and Fabrication


A significant in-kind gift from Trimble will expand the University of Massachusetts Amherst's leadership in training and research in 3D building design, digital fabrication and the sustainable built environment. Partnering with Trimble allows UMass Amherst to more fully integrate across its curricula the technological tools that are rapidly transforming how building and living environments are designed and constructed.
The gift will establish the 1,300-square-foot Trimble Technology Lab in the new Design Building at UMass Amherst. The lab will include equipment such as Trimble's laser scanners, advanced robotic surveying systems, imaging rovers, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and many of Trimble's software packages including RealWorks® scanning software, Trimble Business Center, Vico Office Suite, GCEstimator™ Suite, Tekla® Structures, Sefaira Architecture and its popular 3D modeling software SketchUp Pro.

Potential applications of these technologies range from the scanning of historic buildings to ensure their preservation, design and 3D printing of architectural building models, digital fabrication of custom-lab equipment, coastal erosion monitoring, and improvements in construction cost estimating and scheduling to reduce costs.

"This relationship highlights Trimble as a forward thinking company, and I commend it for its very strong commitment to education, research and public service," said Steve Goodwin, dean, College of Natural Sciences. "The possibilities of the Trimble Technology Lab are limitless. As many more students and faculty across campus have access to these technologies, UMass Amherst will broaden our applications of surveying, 3D building modeling, performance analysis, and digital fabrication in new and exciting ways."

"We are extremely excited by our new relationship with UMass. Trimble's broad portfolio is highly relevant for students at the university," said Roz Buick, Trimble vice president. "The next generation of architecture, engineering, construction and operations professionals will be able to experience the breadth and depth of our construction lifecycle solutions. We also look forward to supporting and learning from these new professionals as they experience and apply our solutions to real-world applications in their curricula."

The gift was made to the University's Building and Construction Technology Program (BCT) in the College of Natural Sciences and is part of the successful $300 million-plus UMass Rising fundraising campaign.
At the onset the Trimble Technology Lab will benefit three colleges and four departments: College of Natural Sciences (the Building and Construction Technology Program, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department of Geosciences); College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning); and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts (Department of Architecture).

"We are very excited about receiving this state-of-the art technology and to be able to share these new capabilities with our colleagues in the Design Building—the Department of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning," said Alexander Schreyer, senior lecturer and BCT's program director. He is also the author of the popular textbook "Architectural Design with SketchUp."

The Trimble Technology Lab will tie into existing "makerspace" on campus to encourage experimentation, rapid prototyping, entrepreneurship and fabrication spaces.
Schreyer said that Leers-Weinzapfel Associates used Trimble's 3D modeling software as one of their primary tools in designing the new Design Building. As the largest heavy-timber structure in the Northeast, it already sets new standards for digital-based, sustainable construction on campus.

The Trimble Technology Lab will be housed in a temporary location in Holdsworth Hall until the opening of the Design Building in the spring of 2017.

About UMass Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst, founded in 1863, is the flagship of the five-campus UMass system. Home to the Commonwealth Honors College, UMass Amherst incorporates modern teaching methods involving new communication and information technology, yet remains an immersive, residential campus serving more than 22,000 undergraduate and approximately 6,300 graduate students across a comprehensive array of academic programs.

True to its land-grant roots, UMass Amherst is engaged in research and creative work in all fields and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a doctoral university with the "highest research activity" or R1. Together, students and faculty are deeply engaged in collaboration with communities—both regional and international—to improve their social and economic conditions. For more information, visit: www.umass.edu.
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