Having successfully proven that the program could deliver projects on time and on budget with URBANbuild 1-3, and having used projects 2 and 3 to test and experiment with prefabricated building systems, the studio decided the return to more conventional stick-built construction with URBANbuild 4 so design revisions and alterations could continue through the build semester. This allowed the program to return to its original ideal of treating projects as full scale study models.
This year focused on pursuing LEED certification. The project achieved a LEED Silver rating through the provision of an energy-efficient building in compliance with national energy standards and requirements. The house also responded to the city’s new hurricane preparation requirement through the invention of a shutter system using impact-resistant polycarbonate materials. In doing so, it also provided a home with remarkable qualities of diffused natural light.
URBANbuild 4 is the third house constructed in Central City. The year it was built, the community began to truly take notice and pay more attention to what the program was doing in the area. Neighbors of previous projects began to make their way over from a few blocks away to see what the students were building, and the program began to feel more firmly established in the neighborhood. With this fourth house, URBANbuild had fully satisfied its original HUD grant and would now have to seek alternate means of funding to continue.