completed projects ::
SHUMAN ELEMENTARY EDUCATIONAL GARDEN
After conversations with Chatham County PTA and the public school system in Savannah, and a tremendous show of support from IKEA’s regional distribution center, Emergent Structures identified 3 material streams in the Savannah area—two of which are beautiful homes in the Historic District that are being renovated—and designed an outdoor learning area from them, resulting in a design that is made from approximately 90% reclaimed materials. Board member Keith Howington assessed the quality and quantity of material available to us, and designed around those parameters.
We’ve coordinated numerous volunteer material reclamation events, supported StepUp’s Construction Apprentice Program that trains underemployed individuals, and have officially completed the structure! The garden itself—which is looking magnificent thanks to the hands-on support of SUGA (Savannah Urban Garden Alliance) and is the brainchild of Sandra Cason, PTA President—will be completed soon. Stay tuned for news of the ribbon cutting!
WTOC’s coverage of the ribbon cutting is here.
WSAV’s coverage of the groundbreaking is here.
THANK YOU TO OUR PROJECT SPONSOR:
THRIVE OUTDOOR EATING AREA
When Thrive Carry Out Cafe, 1 of only 2 certified green restaurants in the entire state of Georgia set up shop in a small stripmall in Savannah, Emergent Structures helped plant a green flag squarely in the middle of this dilapidated symbol of car-centric America by supplying guidance, manpower and 98% of the materials for an outdoor eating area outside the front door of the restaurant. That 98% of materials came from two sites we have been working on, and the other 2% was hardware. This project, part of a much larger initiative by several SCAD Design for Sustainability classes, also showcased a great collaboration between Emergent Structures and USGBC-Savannah’s Emerging Professionals, who provide much of the labor and the logistical support for the on-site construction. A plaque that describes the history of the materials hangs behind the eating area, informing everyone of the value of reclaimed materials.
Communication Arts coverage is here.
EAST JONES STREET
This historic home in downtown Savannah has hosted volunteers teams from Charlotte, North Carolina to Hanover, New Hampshire, and Fredericksburg, Virginia, not to mention some homegrown volunteer groups as well. Debra and Chuck Caldwell, owners of the 1866 home, opened their doors to Emergent Structures, and we made slow but steady progress in harvesting the thick yellow pine planks from the basement, and the plethora of cedar shiplap throughout the rest of the house. We had two years in that magnificent house, and what an impact the materials have had on the broader Savannah community!
The harvested materials have or will make their way into an extraordinary number of Emergent Structures projects, such as the Design for Ability greenhouse, the Shuman Elementary garden, the Thrive outdoor eating area, and the Humane Society joint fundraiser.
WE LOVE SCHOOL BOARDS
A denailing event with snow! With over 50 volunteers on a day when it snowed (in Savannah!), we denailed over 800 tongue and groove panels and over 900 studs. The materials are destined for projects to benefit Shuman Elementary School Educational Garden, Mercy Housing, Humane Society and a few other smaller projects.
As a way of supporting local green jobs training initiatives, we also employed 10 carpenter apprentices that were being trained through a Step Up Savannah program. The funding for this was supplied through the IKEA grant we received for the Shuman Elementary Educational Garden project. To learn more about that project, please visit our “Ongoing Project” page.
STUDS to TRUSSES
We worked with NorSouth Construction, and brought out 80 volunteers to denail 900 studs otherwise slated for the landfill on the actual site of Phase One of the Savannah Gardens Redevelopment, and several months later, these very same pieces of lumber found themselves in the trusses for the redevelopment. Now that’s a closed loop!
Savannah Morning News coverage is here.
for the GIRL SCOUTS of HISTORIC GEORGIA
There are numerous pieces to this collaboration with the wondrous GSHS—some of which are ongoing—but it could be said that our relationship all began with a 3-day deconstruction in the middle of a record-breaking heatwave. Over this 3-day period, 62 trusses were reclaimed, and 650 4′ tongue and groove panels were reclaimed and denailed. Two palettes of brick were also reclaimed and de-mortared.
PLAY UP SAVANNAH and the MOMENT JARS
When we enter into a building to reclaim materials, we’re always conscious of the role such durable materials have played in the ephemeral lives of those who lived there, and so it was somewhat poetic to share materials from the Jones Street House with an event that celebrated the public sharing of special moments in a life. The organization Play Up Savannah, created by SCAD Design Management alums Deepti Kundra, Briana Lang and Leslie Marticke, created a memorable, and highly interactive event at the Creative Coast which was by inspired by Mark Fried’s book The Moment Jars. Play Up Savannah gathered the materials, helped mark them with our Reclaimed stamp, built the installation, then returned the materials so that we could give them yet another life.
We didn’t do too much here—simply let a great organization with a great idea borrow some reclaimed materials—but we are proud to have been able to play a small part. From Play Up Savannah:
“… together we’ll create a communal legacy rich with stories, personal reflection, culture and eccentricity. Come play your part in making this fun and moving art installation — a physical and visible collection of our memorable Savannah moments. This city is a special place, share the day she won your heart!”