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For more than 20 years, our students have constructed full-scale projects to address Vermont community needs.

Building on the seven affordable-housing prototypes Norwich has developed since 2011, the Collaborative continues not only to design and prototype regionally informed, resilient housing, but also to organize and coordinate related research and programs between the schools comprising the College of Professional Schools and partner with community organizations.

As the only university in northern New England to offer integrated professionally accredited programs in Architecture, Business, Engineering, Construction, and Nursing, Norwich’s Design+Build Collaborative calls on students to “act as well as conceive” and create solutions for local, regional, and global challenges.

Affordable Housing Projects

  • “Nursing students are learning how to provide safe nursing care in the context of a changing and complex health care system … (that) is continually changing and impacted by innovations. In the context of design + build, Innovative thinking and design can be positively impacted by insights from nursing science including current trends in promoting health and managing illness and disease. This interprofessional interaction can propel innovative design forward and add important context to problems and solutions.”
    Professor Paulette Thabault Director, School of Nursing
  • “There are many forms of engagement involved with design build. The forms of student engagement depend upon the type and scope of the project, such as BIM (building information modeling) project, building component construction, or prototype house construction project. The most beneficial forms of student engagement with design build involves student-student interaction with faculty direction and guidance.”
    Professor Edwin Schmeckpeper Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair, Construction Management Grenville Dodge Chair of Engineering
  • "An essential component of a business education is preparing our students to interact effectively with people in a wide range of other disciplines, professions and trades. The skills we develop in business programs are too often taught in a sort of isolation. A design + build project (that) has collective goals enables our students (across all participating majors) to enhance their abilities to work effectively with those other disciplines.”
    Professor David J. Blythe Director, School of Business
  • “Design + build can allow students to take on responsibility and learn about their own abilities to stretch and learn through process. … In the ideal environment of hands-on learning, students have the opportunity to teach themselves the skills they need to go out into the world and be the forces of change and innovation that their world will require of them.”
    Professor Danny Sagan Associate Director, School of Architecture + Art
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