completed projects ::


The Creative Coast is hard at work nurturing Savannah entrepreneurs at their Creator’s Foundry. As a way to support the local entrepreneurial community Emergent Structures handed 11 SCAD Furniture Design students discarded glass, discarded wood, and discarded rebar, then asked them to create tables for use at the Creator’s Foundry. IKEA and DIRTT Environmental Solutions, both in pursuit of zero-waste in their Savannah facilities, donated materials to Emergent Structures. Rives E. Worrell, a JE Dunn Company, provided the excess rebar from one of their construction sites, and the students did the rest, with guidance from their professor Aaron Heisler.

Companies and individuals sponsored the creation of each table, and once the tables were completed IKEA and DIRTT hosted an award event and sponsor-recognition luncheon.

There’s still time for individuals or businesses to sponsor a Savannah Rails table for $600. So far, we want to thank our generous supports:

• DIRTT Environmental Solutions • IKEA • Kimberly Till and Grey Katherine Powell • Jacqueline and Ken Sirlin • Queensborough National Bank and Trust Company

Here are the amazing designers: Alexander Bilzerian • James Ervin • James Gonzalez • Andrew Greenbaum • Shawn Horsey • Jasmin Pena • Derek Ball • Christian Dunbar • Levi Gordy • Pooja Pawaskar • Sahil Singh • Hui Sun




Emergent Structures is extremely proud to be a partner in the Growing Edge Community Collaboration for Green Groceries, a 15-agency partnership dedicated to establishing a healthy food resource center on the west side of Savannah. This amazing partnership has come together through a $110,000.00 Live Well, Be Well grant from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Emergent Structures led the design/build of a stylish shade house for the enterprise. With reclaimed window sash from the old Tybee Police Station, cinderblock reclaimed from three Savannah sites, doors and sink reclaimed from sites in Savannah, glass from DIRTT Environmental Solutions’ manufacturing waste stream and pavers reclaimed from another work site, this structure is 75% reclaimed materials!

Thanks got to Keith Howington, Emergent Structures’ project manager, Eric O’Niell, designer, both from Greenline Architecture and Andy McGarity of  Rives E. Worrell Co./JE Dunn who made it all happen!

Watch a video of the first steps here.




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. Our blog on the ribbon cutting is here, and coverage of the project development is here, here, here, here…and here




Thanks to gracious community grant from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Emergent Structures built a garden shed for the Greenbriar Children’s Centerto supplement their newly installed community garden! This project was a first exploration into providing mentorship to a collaborative effort between students at SCAD and Savannah Technical Collge. Ethan Weyrick, a recent SCAD Masters of Architecture alum, designed and managed the construction of the Greenbriar shed, while students in Steve Hartley’s construction technology class pre-fabricated the walls, and contributed to the on-site construction. The mentorship was coordinated by founding board member Mark Fitzpatrick. In the image below, the strong women of Greenbriar gather by the shed. We are very proud to have contributed to Greenbriar’s mission of promoting the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families

Materials for this project came from many sources, including a sound stage for the second SpongBob Movie, our Materialanthropists Debra and Chuck Caldwell, and our latest Materialanthropist Stratton Leopold, movie producer extraordinaire and owner of Leopold’s Ice Cream. For a complete list of the material history, please see the bottom of this post.





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.

Savannah Morning News coverage is here, here, and…here. Connect Savannah’s coverage is here.

Our coverage is here, here, here, and…here. And a great little film short on the project is here.



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.

Our coverage is here, here, and…here.



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.

Our coverage is here, and here.



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.

Our coverage is here, and  here.



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.

Savannah Morning News coverage is here,and District coverage is here.

Our coverage is here, and you’ll definitely want to check out how fast those Girl Scouts put some of the trusses into action here.



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!”