FIU Collaborates with the Social Impact Organization ARC+ on its Buildgreen Initiative


On January 29th, 2016, The FIU College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) and the nonprofit organization Architectural Research Collaborative (ARC+) launched ARC+ Buildgreen.

CARTA Dean Brian Schriner said that this collaboration “…provides a unique opportunity for companies and community stakeholders alike to take a more proactive role in producing and retaining South Florida’s most highly skilled and trained graduates.”

The Architectural Research Collaborative (ARC+) is a social impact organization whose mission is to create collaborative solutions that empower communities to build a more sustainable future. (Source: ARC+)

ARC+ Buildgreen is a program for collaboration with construction companies, architectural firms, and real estate developers on green building initiatives and sustainable architecture. The program coordinates site visits to construction projects around South Florida and provides FIU students with valuable insight into the challenges of incorporating sustainable solutions into their designs and applying them into the built environment. (Source: ARC+)

Students from FIU’s Methods and Materials of Construction II course attended multiple site visits throughout this Spring 2016 semester. On April 15th, 2016, students visited a Coconut Grove residence in development. Marcelo Fernandes, of Grove Properties, led a workshop focused on LEED implementation and educated our next generation of architects on both the difficulties and accessibility of building more sustainable projects in today’s marketplace.

“Their questions and comments exemplified they had given this some thought. I hope this real life experience will further encourage them to incorporate sustainable designs into their future project designs and professional endeavors,” said Fernandes.

Said Joey Woodworth, President of Buildworks, Inc: “I view this as a natural extension of our constant commitment to building a more sustainable Miami and our continued support of FIU and the Miami Beach Urban Studios.”


Carlos Bravo of Urvanx, and founding sponsor stated, “As architects, we should have a leading role in bringing sustainable practices to the built environment.”

Caitlin Bonet, a fifth-year FIU Architecture student who is a Teacher’s Assistant for this participating class, said that the site visits were as beneficial to her as they were to the third-year students in the course. “I was lucky enough to be a part of this experience with ARC + Buildgreen for its first time being integrated into the curriculum at FIU,” said Bonet. “Being able to experience architecture in the field generates some of the best knowledge for students.”

ARC+ is housed at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios at 420 Lincoln Road, home to the CARTA Innovation Lab. The organization will be working with FIU faculty to incubate a unique public/private collaboration that benefits not only students but also the community as a whole.

John Stuart (Director of the Urban Studios and Associate Dean for Cultural and Community Engagement) said, “One of the most amazing things about the ARC+ Buildgreen program is that it provides the means to build infrastructural and institutional bridges between the academic environments that study the green building practices and the actual building sites where the practices are put in place.  There are very few – if any – other programs of similar nature in the United States at the moment; what Peter has done is extraordinary.”

Peter Licavoli, the Executive Director of ARC+, said, “We believe that working closely with Florida International University as an anchor institution is the first step towards building a more collaborative and synergistic approach to sustainability and resilience as a city…[O]ur hope is that more institutions, both public and private, will join us in this effort.”

For more information on ARC+ Buildgreen, click here.

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