• Mrozowski named distinguished faculty member by CANR

    Posted on February 25, 2017 11:39am

    Tim Mrozowski will receive a Distinguished Faculty Award.


  • AFS, Inc.’s Alan Scott to speak at Apr. 18 SPDC Industry Seminar Series

    Alan Scott, president and owner of Alan F Scott (AFS), Inc.

    Posted on February 23, 2017 3:26pm

    The MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) is hosting the 11th Industry Seminar Series event Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at the Human Ecology Building on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.

    The featured speaker is Alan Scott, president and owner of Alan F Scott (AFS), Inc. He is a 1973 graduate of MSU’s Construction Management Program. Scott was previously co-founder and managing member of The NRP Group LLC. He will present on “Challenges and Opportunities ahead for Single-Family and Multi-Family Builders.”

    As part of AFS, Inc., Scott is a builder and developer of affordable housing, market rate apartments, land developments and a shopping center.

  • National Charrette Institute expands reach through new university partnership

    Group participates in the Grand River Corridor Charrette. Photo courtesy © 2012 Matt Radick.

    Posted on February 21, 2017 11:24am

    The National Charrette Institute (NCI) entered in a new partnership with the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) and MSU Extension. The NCI’s new home will be at MSU and will grow through this partnership, reaching more people and more markets.

    “The NCI has been the go-to resource for communities looking for innovative, collaborative tools to help solve complex problems,” said Bill Lennertz, founder of NCI. “By partnering with MSU, we will now have the capacity to expand our reach outside the traditional planning audience, and increase our pool of trainers to provide more training and coaching opportunities statewide, nationally and internationally.”

  • Tiny house tenacity

    Posted on February 17, 2017 4:39pm

    Tiffany Pupa was going on break at about 3 a.m. She turned around to the tent she just left to see the dark of the night around her. The glow from the large white tent was spectacular in its contrast to the dark – but more spectacular to Pupa was seeing the shadows cast against the tent of the pack of volunteers she had with her at this insane hour of the day.

    What were they doing?

    For several weeks, the group of more than 150 students, faculty, their family members, and even some of their pets had assembled at the MSU Recycling Center to build the university’s first tiny house.

    “Sparty’s Cabin” is the house’s name and the brainchild of Pupa, who graduated in May 2016 from the Honors College with a degree in interior design from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Coming in at 177 square feet, the tiny house features an upstairs sleeping loft, modern kitchen and a composting toilet.

  • Ishpeming plans with eyes on a sustainable future for Bancroft Park

    Posted on February 6, 2017 3:29pm

    Nearly 50 community residents huddled around tables one spring evening discussing the good and the bad of a treasured community park in Ishpeming, Michigan. Concerns and hopes voiced included environmental quality of the area, accommodations for social events and community gatherings, and the economics of an adjacent non-profit museum. The conceptual vision that emerged that evening was one of a park that offered the community clean water for swimming and fishing, efficient and practical space for large community events and a financially sound venue celebrating the community’s culture and heritage. In short, it was a vision of a sustainable future in which the environmental, social and economic dimensions of the area were all thriving and working together for the benefit of the whole site.

    And, so is the goal of the Michigan State University Sustainable Built Environment Initiative (SBEI). Begun as a pilot in 2013 as a means of assisting communities to address physical planning, design and land use issues, it offers a graphic visioning process that provides citizens with a set of images and recommendations to guide improvements in their community with a sustainability theme.

  • ‘Yarn bombing,’ gardens and other ideas for a Cleveland Avenue corridor in Kansas City

    Posted on February 3, 2017 4:26pm

    Inside the Linwood YMCA Saturday, a video screen showed color sprouting on light poles and crosswalks along a stretch of Cleveland Avenue near a temporary bike repair shop and a community garden.


    This was how Cleveland Avenue between 27th and 31st streets looked to five students from Michigan State University. They’ve been studying the area in conjunction with a technical assistant on brownfields development working with Kansas State University. . .

    . . . One idea: “Yarn bombing,” said Pat Crawford, a Kansas City native who works with those students as associate director of the School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State. She described yarn bombing as a European thing starting to take hold in the United States.

    “A community gets together and they decide they’re going to bomb an area with yarn,” Crawford said to about 20 attendees. “They wrap things — they come up with patterns — light poles or power poles. The whole area is this colorful strip.”

    Or, she said, “celebrate the crosswalks” with paint, perhaps making one look like piano keys. There were digital displays and poster boards showing just what Crawford and her students had envisioned.

  • Applications now being accepted for MSU Sustainable Built Environment Initiative

    A public gathering place in Cadillac, MI, as envisioned by the SBEI process as part of the project.

    Posted on February 2, 2017 3:26pm

    The Sustainable Built Environment Initiative (SBEI) at Michigan State University is a means of assisting communities to address physical planning, design and land use issues. It offers a graphic visioning process that provides citizens with a set of images and recommendations to guide improvements in their community with a sustainability theme. MSU Extension (MSUE) and the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) have jointly developed SBEI to address sustainability challenges and improve the quality of life in Michigan’s communities.

    The SBEI seeks projects that integrate planning and design elements within a sustainability framework, including regeneration (vacant land reuse, brownfields, placemaking), renewable energy (green development and building technology) and resiliency (economic shock, climate adaptation, natural disasters) using the imaging/visioning umbrella of physical sustainable design.

  • Mayberry Homes’ Karen Schroeder receives NAHB Outstanding Industry Advisory Board Member award

    Karen Schroeder is awarded the 2016 Industry Advisory Board Member of the Year at the 2017 NAHB Student Chapters Awards Ceremony

    Posted on January 27, 2017 1:21pm

    Karen Schroeder, executive vice president and partner at Mayberry Homes, recently received the Outstanding Industry Advisory Board Member award from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for her dedication to the Construction Management (CM) Program at the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC).

    The award was presented to Schroeder on Jan. 12, 2017, at the NAHB International Builders’ Show, and recognizes a stand-out NAHB member serving on the Construction Management Industry Advisory Board at the nominator’s university/college. To be considered, the member must demonstrate their involvement in student affairs, such as mentorships and career fairs.

    Schroeder was nominated for the award by Professors Matt Syal and Sinem Mollaoglu (Korkmaz), because of her work with the Homebuilding Education Leadership Program (HELP) grant activities and students from the CM Program.

  • MSU alumna feels “love” inside new tiny home, constructed by students

    Posted on January 25, 2017 10:45am

    Rarely are students given the means to step outside the classroom and gain hands-on experience in their field of study. But for several students in MSU‘s School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC), that opportunity came in the form of Sparty’s Cabin, a 177 square-foot tiny home built over spring semester in 2016. The project involved more than 100 students and faculty across campus departments, academic units and disciplines, and was entirely designed, funded, planned and built by those SPDC students. 

    On Friday January 6, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, June Youatt, passed the keys to Sparty’s Cabin to their new owner and MSU alumna, Debra Levantrosser. Moving from a 3,000 square-foot home in the metro-Detroit area, Levantrosser expressed her excitement to downsize and begin pursuing new adventures in Sparty’s Cabin. As a graduate of MSU, Levantrosser also feels a great appreciation and connection to the students who built her new tiny home. [Watch “Sparty’s Cabin: Passing of the keys,” a video by MSU Sustainability]

  • Keys to Sparty’s Cabin passed to MSU alumna

    Posted on January 10, 2017 3:14pm

    Sparty’s Cabin — the student-made “tiny home” — has a found a new owner in an MSU alumna. The cabin’s new owner, Debra Levantrosser, was presented with a ceremonial key and quickly realized it was a perfect fit.

    Sparty’s Cabin was constructed by 60 students during the course of six weeks, a product of collaboration between the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction and several other institutions within MSU.

    After construction was completed, the tiny house was auctioned off through the MSU Surplus store. The bidding ended on Dec. 6, however the winner was not presented with the house until Jan. 6.

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