Design Build Bluff

Architecture students at the University of Utah learn valuable lessons in the creation of homes for Navaho families in need south of Salt Lake City. In a semester-long project called Design Build Bluff aspiring architects gain practical experience while helping others.

“Our mission is to provide the architecture students with an education in how these building go together and how to better design them,” said program leader Hank Louis “The housing of the family is a byproduct of what we’re trying to do.”

At the cost of about $70,000 each home is built to maximize energy efficiency, utilize recycled materials, complement the natural landscape and honor the cultural traditions of native people. Louis, on the auxiliary faculty at the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning, said the students are taught to be responsible homebuilders.

“There’s the responsibility of an architect to actually house his fellow man,” he said. “But there’s also the responsibility of designing in an environmentally sensitive fashion.”

Funds for Design Build Bluff homes are raised through public and private donations. For more information visit

Design Build Bluff – on iNCONTEXT.TV from dutch rall on Vimeo.

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.