A collaborative space to reuse materials, rebuild communities, and restore lives.

The PROJECT RE_ mission is to reuse materials and facilitate landfill diversion; rebuild communities by strengthening capacity of local residents; and restore lives by teaching people trade skills to secure a living wage. The 10,000 SF space includes a community room, design studio, gallery and workshops for wood, metal, masonry, and digital fabrication. It is a partnership between the UDBS, Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (TIP), and Construction Junction (CJ). The three non-profits are leveraging their assets to create opportunity for prosperity by expanding knowledge and skill sets.

The three year design and construction process involved close collaboration between students, clients, stakeholders, and consultants. UDBS students were asked to develop products featuring reused materials and public interest programs simultaneously. The design is firmly grounded in the physical limits of what can be made with hands and knowledge bases in training. TIP apprentices and Goodwill AFFECT Program workers assisted with construction as an exercise in learning and honing their carpentry skills. Additionally, the building demonstrates the value of deconstruction and material reuse as waste reduction strategies. CJ identified underutilized items and students invested time in designing processes for giving them new life. Each system employs reused materials in scalable, marketable building products that can be mass produced by trainees in the partnering organizations.

Products and housing prototypes developed in the space will be used to sustain the center and fund future community outreach projects. Job training will be offered for people looking to learn new skills. Workshops will be offered for the public to design and make do-it-yourself projects. Check with PROJECT RE_ for opportunities to participate.

Project Team


Construction Junction
Trade Institute of Pittsburgh


Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
CMU School of Drama Lighting Design
Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania AFFECT Program


C & C Lighting Design
G. A. Mattern and Associates
Iams Consulting
J & J Fire Protection Co., Inc.
Make Roots Marketing
McKamish Metal Fabrication Group
Merit Electrical Group, Inc.
Sauer Brothers Heating & Cooling


The Heinz Endowments
Colcom Foundation
Laurel Foundation
Ford Motor Company
Autodesk Foundation


John Folan, UDBS Director
Ming Ming Lin, UDBS Fellow
Alise Kuwahara Day, UDBS Fellow
Tony Krause, Master Carpenter
Daniel Gehr
J William Gott
Sharon Rubin
Kyle Woltersdorf
Jason Kim
Jaemin (Max) Park


Harris Mazur, Sandra Kalanyan, Marshall Knutson, Christopher Chan, Ying Lin, Marcos Gonzalez-Bode, Kevin Hyun, Issac Kwon, Emily Puhnaty, Daniel Quaintance, Noelle White, Karno Widjaja, Shin-Yu (Victoria) Pai, Robin Wohlforth, Naomie Laguerre, Garrett Rauck, Karen Branick (UDBS Fellow)



Swapnil Banzal, Abhay Bhandari, Laleh Gharanjik, Shaohua Guan, Himanshu Jampala, Priya Kambham, Runyu Li, Yu Luo, Arpit Prakash, Tarang Rajendra Kumar, Bahar Saghaei, Ankita Sharma, Ruhi Thakur, Jianan Wang, Chiaowei Yu, Omer Akin (AECM Coordinator)