Terri Meyer Boake B.E.S. B.Arch. M.Arch. LEED AP
Professor School of Architecture University of Waterloo

last updated January 2, 2017

Arch 384/685:
Independent Build Elective


In the spirit of the Habitat for Humanity Build Elective that ran from the summer of 2001 to the summer of 2005, this elective is designed to allow students to create an independent build experience for elective credit. The specific requirements will vary by case, but generally speaking you must be intensively involved in a not for profit (ie. you may NOT receive payment) build experience for a minimum two week intensive period (minimum 10 full days of work), document your work experience with photos, journal entries, a narrative, and create a web page of your experience that will be posted on this page.

The idea of the web page is to allow other students to see what opportunities are available, as well as to illustrate what was learned during the experience.

This work can be carried out anywhere in the world. Wonderful, humanitarian work can be done by our students that gives YOU a learning experience and helps those who are less fortunate.

I will make an effort to post links to opportunities, but students are encouraged to do their own research to find their own. If there are fees associated with the external agencies providing the opportunity, these costs are to be borne by the students. The University of Waterloo will not be held liable for any injuries suffered during these construction projects. Please be sure to fill out any associated legal liability/insurance forms with the associated agency or provider.

For a short tutorial on using Dreamweaver to make webpages, check out this link. The use of this program is not mandatory, but the lab at school does provide free access to this program.

This is a fully graded course. The physical submission will be used to assess the understanding gained through the build experience. It will be important to document the experience using a variety of media - drawings, sketches, photos and even small movie clips.

This course requires an override form.
Students interested in registering for these opportunities should contact me at tboake@uwaterloo.ca.

Known Opportunites:
La Sabraneque - Volunteer Opportunies in Provence, France info
Auroville Earth Institute info
Cadip - International Volunteer Opportunities info
Transitions Abroad info
Apare Work Camps - France info
Yestermorrow Design Build School info
Habitat for Humanity International (for all countries) info
Student Work Experience:
2006 Restoration Work At Salernes - Reconstructing A Xth Century Chateau (Apare Camp)

Nathan spent two weeks in France working on the reconstruction of a Xth century chateau - understanding and working with stone.

Nathaniel Rehorick - 4A
project documentation

general information about this initiative

2007 Restoration Build - Miramas, France (Apare Camp)

Dea spent two weeks in France restoring ancient structures. Her account was carefully documented in a notebook.

Dea Blaghoeff - 4B
project documentation

general iinformation about this initiative

2007 Habitat for Humanity Build - Petrolia, Ontario

Rosalie made the Petrolia newspaper for her efforts in working for Habitat for Humanity on this build in Petrolia, Ontario.

Rosalie Terpstra aka Little! - 3B
project documentation

general information about this initiative

2007 Auroville Earth Institute

Maneu attended a course that taught the age old method of rammed earth construction.

Maneu Tataryn - 4A
project documenation

general information about this initiative

2007 Volunteer Building in Guatamala

Paul spent time in Guatamala assisting in the construction of housing for the poor - much more concrete block work than has ever been done in the Arch 172 Masonry Wall Building Field trip!

Paul Cohoon - 2A
project documentation

general information about this initiative

2007 Global Studio

Matthew participated in the Johannesburg Global Studio, which brings students from all over the world to assist in building with the less fortunate.

Matthew Hague - 3B
project documentation

general information about this initative

2010 Restoration Build - Salon-de-Provence, France (Apare Camp)


Natalie participated in the Apare Restoration build in Salon-de-Provence, France, from August 14th to September 4th, 2010.

Natalie Sham - 1B Planning
project documentation

general information about this initiative

2010 Pisco Community Centre, Peru
Aurelia Adams


Aurelia travelled to Peru to assist with the Earthbag construction of a new community centre.

Aurelia Adams - 3A
project documentation
2010 Basement Renovation, Don Mills, Ontario


Carlo did the planning and construction for this transformation of a Don Mills, Ontario basement into a livable space.

Carlo Pasini - 4A
project documentation
2011 Habitat for Humanity Build


David worked for Habitat for Humanity, and has documented his Winter Construction.

David Domanski - 4A
project documentation
2012 Proyecto Humanitario Proveyendo a mi Hermano Guatamala


Allison worked in Guatamala building a school.

Allison Suffel - 3B
project documentation
2016 Rift Valley Resource Centre, Kenya


Anne Sewell worked on a design build project to house high altitude runners in Kenya - all made with local materials

Anne Sewell - Masters
project documentation
2016 All Hands Volunteers Nepal Rebuild


Maryia worked after the Nepal Earthquake of 2015 on rebuilding 3 schools.

Maryia Sakharevich - Masters
project documentation

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last updated January 2, 2017