URBANbuild is a design|build program in which teams of students take on the design and construction of prototypical structures for New Orleans’ neighborhoods. URBANbuild has partnered in the development of these homes with Make It Right, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, Inc., and Harmony Neighborhood Development.
The program is an educational collaboration of individuals, organizations, and businesses committed to revitalizing New Orleans’ rich cultural and architectural heritage. Neighborhoods are strengthened by the rebuilding of homes, allied professionals and educators come together for a common cause, and students develop as designers with a deep understanding and commitment to the urban environment.
In 2009, URBANbuild Prototype 4 received LEED Silver certification from the USGBC. The United States Green Building Council awards LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification to buildings with improved performance in energy savings, CO2 emissions reduction, and improved indoor environmental quality, to name a few.
In 2010, URBANbuild was invited to collaborate with Brad Pitt’s Make it Right to develop a residential duplex strategy for the devastated 9th Ward neighborhood. Students completed the design and construction of their prototype in conjunction with local architecture firms BILD Design and John Williams Architects.
In addition to dwelling prototypes, URBANbuild has also investigated sustainable agricultural maintenance methods with the design and construction of the Mobile Goat Unit and has designed and installed a mobile assembly of market pods to aid in the development of local businesses in Central City.
Several URBANbuild projects have received recognition from the American Institute of Architects. The URBANbuild 3 Residence was awarded an AIA New Orleans Honor Award in 2009. URBANbuild Residences 4 and 7 were awarded AIA New Orleans Merit Awards in 2010 and 2013, respectively. The URBANbuild 8 Market Pods received an AIA New Orleans Honor Award in 2014. And, in 2016, URBANbuild Residence 10 was recognized with an AIA New Orleans Honorable Mention.