The Institute will serve as a resource for professional career development and research through the sponsorship of pipeline pathway development, workforce training, public symposia, publication of white papers, continuing education offerings, and public exposure of student work through the many community channels maintained by SARUP. The Institute will engage faculty and students from the Department of Architecture as well as solicit and involve fellows from among SARUP’s distinguished alumni base to formulate, direct and guide the activities of the Institute.

Key outcomes of the activities of the Institute are to:

  • Engage in building a stronger and more diverse pipeline into architecture, construction, trades, and allied fields.
  • Innovate around sustainable building materials and practices to make a long-term impact on the construction industry.
  • Elevate the standard to which professionals in design and construction aspire such that their actions will contribute to a higher quality built environment.
  • Advance the relationship between architecture, the construction industry, industry trades partners, and allied fields in support of new training, new research, new curriculum, and new programs.

SARUP currently has a number of faculty and students engaged in full-scale construction projects. The fabrication and prototyping facilities at SARUP have expanded in research years.

A few examples of the most recent design and construction related projects at the school:

  • Research collaboration on Milwaukee’s mass timber project in partnership with the USDA Forest Products Lab in Madison
  • 10 plywood, mobile modular furniture prototypes designed for entrepreneurs in the Mobile Design Box space
  • 6 precast concrete designs in the Wells Precast Studio
  • 8 new affordable housing prototypes in the Habitat for Humanity Studio
  • 140 sophomores teamed up to design and build over 60 small scale interventions along the boundary perimeter of Milwaukee during COVID
  • SARUP virtual reality building model created in partnership with alums at Findorff
  • US Department of Energy annual Race to Zero Solar Decathlon Project 2nd place finish

We know it’s important for our programs and institution to be connected with our local communities. One larger goal of the Institute is to meet additional community needs across the city by advancing new design and construction models for energy efficient affordable housing.


The Design + Construction Institute will augment the coursework within the architecture program. Students will be educated in how to make good design along with innovations in efficient construction detailing, sustainable material selection, and budgets. The Design + Construction Institute Studios will instruct aspiring construction professions in design fundamentals.

Continuing Education

The Design + Construction Institute will provide continuing education opportunities for construction professionals. It will pursue and provide timely insight on critical
issues beyond those traditionally associated with core construction topics including sustainability, historic preservation, LEED, and building retrofits.


Our Institute aims to improve the quality of the built environment and promote more informed professional practice by blending construction and design disciplines. We aim to impact design fields, advance construction practice through consulting on high-performance design projects, to collect critical data, develop construction standards to inform public policy, and to lead sustainable construction education and curriculum development.


While architects design the way a building looks and works, they partner with the construction industry to decide how to build. Our architect/construction partnership provides students with an understanding of how to lead this process. The symposia will bring together individuals from a variety of perspectives to provide insights for students and professionals on industry trends and best practices.

Speaker Series

The Institute will host a number of nationally recognized and accomplished individuals from varied areas of expertise for its Speaker Series.

Student Support

The Institute will provide Teaching Assistantships for deserving students interested in melding design and a career in construction.

Summer Youth/College Build Program

During summer 2022 we will launch a new teen and college design/build program in partnership with NAF, UWM College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Milwaukee Public Schools (and Foundation), MATC, All Hands Boatworks, Journey House, and Metcalf Park Community Group. This 4-week program will radically transform the relationship between SARUP and high school students in Milwaukee Public Schools by bringing high school and college students together to design and build an eco-friendly community shade structure for two sites in Milwaukee – one county owned park and one city lot. The program also engages high school students interested in engineering who will complete a remote solar power station that will be installed on the community pavilion.