• Floored by DPR/Hardin!

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    By Scott Boylston

    The magnificent E.34 educational greenhouse is one more huge step closer to completion thanks to the ongoing contributions of DPR/Hardin Construction! This past Saturday, a crew of 8 eager and knowledgeable employees of DPR/Hardin came to the site to lay the brick flooring for the greenhouse. As photos in this blog show, incredible planning and teamwork has resulted in a beautiful brick floor for the greenhouse from all reclaimed brick. And thank you, RB Baker for providing the stone and Scott & Sons Trucking for the delivery!

    The team will be out in force again next week to help Emergent Structures and Design for Ability complete the last few big items on the list for the greenhouse construction: assemble and install two sliding barn doors, install two standard doors, install a greenhouse exhaust fanlights and ceiling fans, and complete the last of the window installations. We’re excited to welcome One World Sustainable’s contributions to the greenhouse, which will include the installation of solar photovoltaic panels.

    With the completion of this project around the corner (dare we say!), it’s as good a time as any to provide background for those readers who haven’t been following all along. Our first post on this project almost exactly 2 years ago, can catch you up on some details.

    In short, it looks a little like this:

    After a tremendously successful partnership with IKEA to build an educational pergola at Shuman Elementary School, IKEA graciously offered to provide initial funding for an even bigger project that Emergent Structures would lead. At that same time, Emergent Structures’ intern and SCAD Design for Sustainability masters student Meagan Hodge started working with Willie Mobley, a public school career coach for special -populations students in Savannah’s high schools on providing Willie’s students with meaningful training in the field, specifically through opportunities that arose from collaborations with the Southern Pine Company, another organization that Meagan had done an internship with.

    As a central part of her final MA project n Design for Sustainability, Meagan developed the concept of building a greenhouse that was embedded in a low-income community (and a food desert) so it could serve as an educational center for vocational training in food production, as well as perform as a community hub that attracted different generations of neighborhood residents to gather for meaningful conversations about community, self-reliance and healthy living.

    And so the project development began with dedication of Emergent Structures’ substantial IKEA grant, and picked up steam over the ensuing months. A primary challenge was to identify the right property, and a full 8-9 months of due diligence in seeking that property slowed our process more than we expected. We found a willing partner with just the right property in Southern Pine Company.

    Partnerships with companies such as DPR/Hardin Construction, Whole Foods, Gulfstream Aerospace Co., Guerry Lumber, Young Construction, Carroll Construction, McCarthy, Inc, JT Turner Construction, Savannah Technical College, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, and RNR Home Improvements resulted in step-by-step progress. And a successful Kickstarter Campaign created a substantial boost. While seemingly slow—it has been two years since the inception of the project!—the process has been a very unique form of collaborative enterprise that reveals the benefits of multi-stakeholder collaboration and inclusiveness.

    As a means of creating a loci for ownership of operations for the E.34 greenhouse, Meagan Hodge (with a newly minted graduate degree in her pocket) formed a brand new 501c3 non-profit organization called Design for Ability. Design for Ability has already proven its efficacy through a series of great design projects for her vocational students with collaborative partners like Oxform Studios and Jelinek Cork.

    Other indispensable heroes include individuals like civil engineer Mark Boyles who was instrumental in the permitting process, and former Emergent Structures Vice President Keith Howington of Greenline Architecture, and present Emergent Structures Vice President Mark Fitzpatrick of JT Turner, who have both contributed more to the project than could ever be adequately documented.

    So, there you have a little update! Stay tuned for more news. And thank you, once again DPR/Hardin for the influx of energy and expertise!

  • Transom Windows are Complete at E.34!

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    It’s been a busy few weeks at the E.34 greenhouse. In the weeks before DPR/Hardin started their work on the brick flooring, Randy and his carpentry team at Southern Pine Company were busy fabricating the transom windows.

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  • Greenbriar Garden Shed is Nearly Complete

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    The Greenbriar garden shed is nearly complete thanks to a concerted effort over the weekend by students in three Savannah Tech classes. The project, funded by a Gulfstream Aerospace grant, represents a collaborative model that Emergent Structures has created that brings together students at SCAD and Savannah Tech through civic engagement and innovative material re-use.

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  • Reclaimed Brick Flooring for E. 34

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    It’s been a little quite on the E.34 Greenhouse front lately, but things have quickly heated up again, thanks to DPR/Hardin Construction!! As a part of their commitment to help Emergent Structures and Design for Ability complete the E.34 greenhouse, DPR/Hardin brought a crew of energetic leaders out to the site this past weekend to hand lay the brick pavers for the greenhouse.

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  • A New Vision for Old Glass

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    The windows go in at the West Broad YMCA! This week the shadehouse for the Growing House Community Garden for Green Groceries was skinned with a combination of windows reclaimed from the demolition of the old Tybee Island police station, and re-purposed tempered glass from DIRTT Environmental Solutions.

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  • West Broad Goes Vertical!

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    Up goes the shade house at the West Broad Street YMCA!

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  • Breaking Ground at the West Broad YMCA!

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    By Scott Boylston | photos by Nancy Hiranprueck

    What a day at the West Broad Street YMCA! The school children at the Y came out to help break ground for the Emergent Structures shade house. The shade house is a a part of the Growing Edge Community Collaboration for Green Groceries, a 14-agency partnership to empower areas in the Coastal Empire that lack access to healthy, affordable food, and funded by a generous Live Well Be Well grant form Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. Read more

  • The Greenbriar Garden Shed Goes Up!

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    By Scott Boylston

    What a day at Greenbriar Children’s Center! Ninety-six degrees couldn’t put a dent in the construction process for the garden shed we built. Over the next week, we’ll get the door on, build a bench and some interior shelves, and then we’ll adhere a plaque to the structure to remind everyone that it couldn’t have been built if it weren’t for construction materials that were destined for the landfill until Emergent Structures stepped in.

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  • A Foundation for Greenbriar

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    The construction of Emergent Structures’s Greenbriar garden shed is moving fast!

    Yesterday, our interns Ethan and Sabrina worked with intrepid Emergent VP Mark Fitzpatrick in laying its foundation. A big thanks goes to JT Turner Construction for donating the fill from their Savannah Law School construction site.

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  • Permits in Hand for Growing Edge!

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    Thanks to our friends at Greenline Architecture, the permitting for Emergent Structures’ shade house at the West Broad Street YMCA has been approved! Eric O’Neill, architectural intern at Greenline has led the way in all of the design, architectural rendering, and permitting process under the tutelage of Emergent Structures’ project manager and past Vice President (and Greenline’s Senior Project Manager), Keith Howington.

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