Graduate students in the architectural program at UNL are getting a unique opportunity to put their skills to the test.

"Being able to be participating in design build projects, it's a great experience for architecture students, for design students, to be able to actually get out in the field and be a part of how things are going together," said Darian Scott, a graduate student working on the project.

They're doing it with a material that is relatively new to the U.S.

"This has been emerging from Europe in the last 20 years, and we're looking at buildings now going up in Canada, the pacific northwest, in fact all over the U.S.," said assistant professor Jason Griffiths.

The material is called CLT, or cross laminated timber, and it has several benefits beyond its appealing look.

"It saves on construction costs, now we're finding, for tall buildings; it's lighter than using concrete, and one of it's most impressive things is that it sequesters carbon, so it's good for the environment," said Griffiths.

The building is going up in South Sioux City, Nebraska, for a community garden.

The students involved got to get right into the heart of the action.

"You use more problem solving, you're using your hands, you're visualizing new ways for things to come together," said graduate student Eric Eagler.

Another special part of the project was that the material came in from Nebraska, after several trees were cut down in South Sioux City due to the Emerald Ash Bore.

"So we ended up actually taking these ash logs that were left over and turning them into the siding, the cladding, for the building," said graduate student Aubrey Wassung.

The group said they are looking to start a fourth building project with CLT in the near future.