The Design Build program started in 2009, when Jim Adamson and Rocco Ceo joined forces to establish the Design Build partnership. This program remains today, with a focused interest in outreach work and developing projects that engage the community.
Jim Adamson is one of the early members of Jersey Devil, a nationally-recognized design build company that has built projects all over the world (i.e. - Africa, Cuba and Central America).
Students in Design Build have "hands-on" learning, and are able to see their projects through to completion. They learn building, construction, cost-estimating and construction management while effectively increasing their career opportunities, as future employers are able to see their "creations".
This program focuses on non-profit projects and the underserved communities - entities that don’t necessarily have the funds for good design. The designs are meant to be prototypes that can be replicated, mobile and reassembled, using minimally invasive and green materials. Students learn about choosing materials that are renewable and have a positive impact on the environment, learning a craft and how to build in a responsible way.
One example, the mobile orchid propogation lab, (funded by Fairchild), teaches students how to propagate orchids in a sophisticated lab anywhere in the county. Students here design, create working drawings, do the cost estimating, and build the project in a matter of weeks.
Most Design Build programs are one year or longer. Many students take the program while completing their other academic coursework, so most projects have to be modular (built on campus) -- to be disassembled, moved and reassembled at the end site. This adds a degree of difficulty, creativity and ingenuity to each project.
Some projects are systems-intensive (like the orchid lab), which include HEPA, independent water filtration, solar panels, electrical systems, etc.
Another example, the Eco-Tent for Everglades National Park was a prototype meant to be replicated near the park and to replace a damaged hotel.