Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) The inside of the new cabins at Trefoil Ranch in Provo Canyon on Wednesday. The University of Utah's architecture school partnered with the Girl Scouts of Utah for a cabin building project. Leaders from the school have worked for the past year with a group of Girl Scouts to design three cabins.
Utah Girl Scouts design sleek, sustainable cabins

The collaboration with the University of Utah introduced girls to architecture and sustainable building.

First Published Aug 01 2014 12:38 pm • Last Updated Aug 02 2014 04:04 pm

The Girl Scouts at Trefoil Ranch in Provo Canyon have three new, sleek cabins to spend the summer in — and the girls helped design them.

The cabins were part of a two-year collaboration between the University of Utah College of Architecture and Planning and the Girl Scouts of Utah to introduce the field of architecture to the girls. A group of women architects and university students worked with about 18 girls on the project.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Scouts, in grades seven through 12, shared their ideas about what the cabins should have — a private changing room, natural light, bunk beds to save space, a large table in the middle and a communal area in front of all the cabins.

Those requests were incorporated into the design, said associate professor of architecture Jörg Rügemer. "They are the best clients because they told us up front what they needed."

The project also introduced the girls to a field dominated by men, said Rügemer and assistant professor Erin Carraher. Only about 14 percent of the architectural workforce in Utah is female, Carraher said.

"One of our goals has been to teach women the potential career options and ... it’s totally right there, it’s attainable for them," said Lisa Hardin-Reynolds, senior vice president for the Girl Scouts of Utah.

The girls also learned about a new sustainable building practice.

The cabins were made of wood from trees killed by mountain pine beetles — a challenge for Western forests. During the past decade, the native pest has chewed through more than 40 million acres.

The dead trees can be used for fuel, but burning them releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The U., Brigham Young University and the University of Idaho have worked with Euclid Timber Frames in the Heber Valley to instead develop a way to use the timber in construction. The product, called interlocking cross laminated timber, is fabricated into wall and roof panels.

story continues below
story continues below

Euclid Timber was the general contractor for the U.’s project with the Girl Scouts.

"There’s some serious influence from the way (the participating Scouts) think about material," Rügemer said. "It’s not just wood out of a forest, it’s very specific wood. They understand the issues with beetle kill suddenly — even a bigger impact than I would have thought."

After the project, 15-year-old Megan Lundberg knows she wants to be an architect. "I strongly recommend girls do whatever they want," she said. "They can go into any field."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.