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The new education center at the CAC Beardsley Community Farm
The new education center at the CAC Beardsley Community Farm
July 15, 2015 5:00 PM CDT

General Shale partnering with University of Tennessee to build education center at CAC Beardsley Community Farm

Company contributing a significant amount of brick for the new education center


General Shale is continuing its longstanding partnership with the University of Tennessee by contributing a significant amount of brick for the new education center at the CAC Beardsley Community Farm.

During a recent groundbreaking ceremony for the education center, General Shale officials announced that the Johnson City, Tenn.-based brick manufacturer will provide 30,000 bricks to help construct the 1,200-square-foot facility. Recently, General Shale partnered with UT’s College of Architecture and Design to provide masonry training for the program’s students, who will work with university staff to help design and construct the education center.

General Shale is the North American subsidiary of Wienerberger AG and a leading manufacturer of brick, one of the world’s oldest green building materials.

Beardsley Farm is a nonprofit urban farm promoting food security and sustainable agriculture through practice, education and community outreach. The Beardsley Farm education center is a collaborative effort between the University of Tennessee Design/Build/Evaluate Initiative of the College of Architecture and Design, the city of Knoxville, the Public Building Authority, and others. The new facility will serve as a teaching tool to help the community gain a greater understanding of the benefits of sustainable farming.

“General Shale is pleased to partner with the University of Tennessee and the city of Knoxville to help bring this important project to reality for the Knoxville community,” says Charles Smith, president and CEO of General Shale. “The Beardsley Farm education center will serve as a model of sustainable design. With triple-width brick walls, this building will be extremely energy efficient – offering the thermal mass benefit of brick – as well as environmentally friendly and durable. Our company is proud to help Beardsley Farm attain an innovative, productive building that is in line with their sustainable practices, and which will effectively serve this community for many years to come.”
General Shale’s brick contribution will also play a role in helping the education center achieve certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system (Gold Level).

“The Beardsley Farm project is an excellent example of design-build education as applied research in the use of structural brick mass walls as the primary building material,” says Jennifer Akerman, assistant professor at the UT College of Architecture and Design. “This brings many sustainable design benefits related to life-cycle assessment, use of locally sourced materials, use of durable materials, and a reduced cooling load for the building. Through this facility, Beardsley Community Farm will gain significant community space that will help them educate the public about the benefits of sustainable farming.”

About the Author

Dawn Henning is with the media department of General Shale.


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