Category Archives: Greenhouse

Lights, Camera, Action!

The greatest and latest update with the Greenhouse Project, besides receiving the IKEA grant, is the involvement of a phenomenal film crew from SCAD. Jennifer Bird and Luke McMahon are bringing their camera and editing skills together as Directors of Photography, to create a video about the project for a new fundraising campaign.

They have been conducting interviews, visiting the sites and becoming consumed in the world of sustainable design.  They say they like the story we have to tell and you know what, I couldn’t agree more!

Additional film students have been collaborating on this project as well: Devin Lawrence: Sound; Taylor Jenkins: Sound, Gaffer;  Emily Van Horn: First Assistant Camera; Meagan Hodge: Director (yep, that’s right folks!)

Old and new footage of Emergent Structures, as well as the apprenticeship program DESIGNability, have been gathered and are on the way to being edited. The final video will tell the story from the beginning days of Emergent Structures to their selection of this project and finally the designs of the new greenhouse.  Multidisciplinary opportunities have expanded to not only include SCAD and Savannah High School, but also Savannah Technical College!

It’s amazing how construction has not even begun  for this project and the cross collaboration between multiple sectors is flourishing.  Everyone is so eager to take part in creating the story that brings to light the needs of Chatham County and for me, it’s all still a dream!  Stay tuned, for the final video and updates along the way!  And don’t forget: support local film professionals…video feed from your cell phone does not count as real footage!!


well, well, well….I’m Back!

Yes, ladies and gents.  It has been a while since I have posted any updates, hellos or how are you’s.

Well, here’s for an update….go big or go home right?

As you all know, I designed an off-the grid greenhouse for the students involved in the apprenticeship program, DESIGNability, which will expand their annual growth capacity, incorporate additional learning opportunities in construction and expose students to the importance of reclaiming materials.  Of course you all knew that!!!

Well, here’s the REAL news…..this small detail of my M.A. final project has been chosen by local-Savannah non-profit Emergent Structures, to be built, constructed and usable in the near future!

Yes, my designs will actually come to life with reclaimed window sash, un-wanted brick and even some hydro-ponic tomatoes (well, eventually).

IKEA, the scandinavian furniture company, has awarded Emergent Structures a $9,000.00 (big money honey!) contribution to fund another phenomenal project focused on adaptive re-use of material…enter stage left: Savannah High School’s Greenhouse Program and me, the humble designer.

So, hang on to your britches.  Meagan will have lots of updates coming to you in the near future and Happy New Year EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Window Sash, Polyethylene and Brick…Oh My!

Hello all. So here are a couple of images of the next big project for the apprenticeship!!! These are the conceptual drawings thus far.  They will be edited, refined and rendered oh in the next 7 days!!!  The final designs will be submitted to multiple funding opportunities to help support this dream become a reality!

This “educational” greenhouse incorporates modern technology with old and new gardening techniques.  The Savannah High Greenhouse Project will be using this facility for annual production of produce and plants.  Multiple educational projects will take place on site ranging from basic horticultural skills, reclamation of construction materials, compost production from all waste and carpentry projects.  Students will be able to participate in every phase of the construction: design, material preparation, on-site build and garden preparation.  And this isn’t just for the kids…entities such as Savannah Urban Gardens,  Well Fed Savannah, Savannah Technical College, Harambee House, Wooden Sheep, Southern Pine and Dilated Spectrum will all have a chance to get their hands dirty in this project!

Off the grid greenhouse to include…

  • Vertical growth of cucumbers and tomatoes
  • Horizontal lettuce growth with vermicompost system: Yay worms!
  • Rain collection with irrigation system powered by solar energy
  • Passive cooling and heating techniques incorporating a double envelope cavity
  • Permeable brick paver foundation
  • Reclaimed window sash, studs, timber and brick
  • Solexx Polyethylene 5mm rolled roofing panels
  • Solar powered vent openers
Feedback is encouraged!!!! What is missing, what else should be incorporated?  Sorry, no private hot tub will be included with this project.

Podponics: a Georgian, technical invention

Adaptive reuse of shipping containers is not a new concept.  However, outfitting these containers with hydroponic lights and a soil-less growing system, that is all backed with a triple bottom line, “local everywhere” approach is something new.   Take a look at The Atlantic’s newest article, video and interview.  This would be a great educational installation for the site…a sweet phone call for a charity donation never hurts, right??? And plus, we already have access to about 2o shipping containers, compliments of Ramsey!!!  Here is their website!  Very inventive, sustainable and down right awesome!

A Mobile Greenhouse Project: Compass Green

So it all started with a thought, then a truck, then a kickstarter.  Now Compass Green is on the road to spread the word of sustainable garden techniques to children, schools and the community, literally they are a greenhouse on the road.   So SCAD…wanna bring Compass Green to our campus??

Compass Green is a fully functional greenhouse built in the back of a box truck that grows vegetables and herbs and is powered by waste vegetable oil. We teach practical farming tools and raise awareness on sustainability through presentations, workshops, and greenhouse tours at schools, camps, organizations and communities. Our curriculum is focused on Bio-intensive methods of sustainable farming—producing the maximum yields with the minimum amount of resources.

With an ever-increasing population and an alarming decrease in farmable soil, we feel it is important to share practical solutions to turn our situation of agricultural scarcity into one of abundance. Compass Green will inspire people across the country to be creative and utilize any and all space they can to grow food.

Compass Green Website