Toward the end of the spring build term, students execute landscape design to the extent that the compressed construction calendar allows. One hallmark of URBANbuild landscape design is the raised planter bed, often employed to mediate the transition between ground level and the legally required first floor height, several feet above grade.

At appropriate points during construction, small groups of students may have the opportunity to build raised planter beds utilizing wood beams secured in place with subterranean concrete footings that they mix and pour by hand. These beds are filled with soil during construction; at the end of the semester, students install sod, gravel, pavers, and other landscape elements both in raised beds and at grade in order to finish and fully realize their architectural and landscape design intents.

“I think the students, when they leave, they know they can come back in 10 years and still think that, I made this… they’ve actually altered a neighborhood, a family’s life.”

– Sam Richards, Tulane School of Architecture’s Shop and Building Manager, former UB construction Co-Director