WaterShed is a unique educational experience which not only teaches students about clean energy building practices and technologies, but also about the professional world they will enter.

Team Maryland operates as a flat hierarchy in which arriving at consensus is a central principle. All involved – students, faculty, and mentors – find themselves sometimes leading, sometimes following. The core of the project is not a single student or faculty leader, but rather a set of principles shared by the team about what it means to design a sustainable and sound building, which permanently connects and focuses our project.

Around these core principles, leaders from all invested disciplines – architecture, engineering, and plant science students – head up teams of students working on multiple fronts. Mentorship for these emerging leaders is provided by faculty members, architects, engineers, communication experts, and tradespeople who help the students learn rapidly about professional practice and the art and science of integrated design and building.

To learn more about the design process that WaterShed’s organization was modeled after, watch this video about the design firm IDEO.