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21 Jun

Big D works with Design Build Bluff to build sustainable homes on Navajo reservation

SALT LAKE CITY – JUNE 21, 2013 — Big-D Construction (www.big-d.com) has worked with DesignBuildBLUFF  for several years by donating materials to create sustainable homes on the Navajo Reservation in Bluff, Utah.

DesignBuildBLUFF is a non-profit organization that gives architecture students at the University of Utah and the University of Colorado a chance to design and build new sustainable homes for deserving Navajo families.

The most recent of these projects to which Big-D contributed, the Raine House, was completed in December of 2012.  This 1,200 square foot home included thermal insulated concrete, reclaimed Cedar Fence exterior finish, and passive solar orientation for heating and cooling. One of DesignBuildBLUFF’s most challenging homes to date, it was also one of their most rewarding projects.

Located 30 miles north of Bluff outside the reservation, the site of the Raine House lacked electricity during construction. The relative inaccessibility of the site gave the students the opportunity to explore the nature of prefabrication through the lens of DesignBuildBLUFF while exploring alternative energy solutions.

“Working with Big-D is a huge asset to the construction phase of the design build program.  Big-D is accepting of the diverse houses that our DBB students design, making their contributions differ from year to year. We’ve received roofing material, concrete form work, cement block and even Structural Insulated Panels.  DBB essentially hands over ‘a never been done before idea’ and they say ‘how can we help’.  DBB is fortunate to have the support of such a prominent local company,” said Cindy Bithell, Non-Profit Director for DesignBuildBLUFF.

Another project, the Nakai House, was recently featured in the New York Times (See article).  This award-winning home was built for poet, farmer and entomologist Lorraine Nakai, and the design of Nakai House was inspired in equal measures by her love of the land and literature. Elements of this 700 square foot project include:

  • Reclaimed Spandrel Glass Exterior
  • Japanese Style Cedar Finish
  • Natural Ventilation
  • Reclaimed Oil Pipe Columns

“I think it is important for Big-D to support Design Build Bluff, because it builds better architects by giving students hands-on experience and allows for creativity in design and sustainability within a collaborative workshop setting,” said Jack Livingood, CEO of Big-D Construction. “The fact that they get to do great charitable work for these families while growing as architects, is icing on the cake!” 

About DesignBuildBLUFF

DesignBuildBLUFF is a non-profit organization that gives architecture students the chance to design and build new homes on the Navajo Reservation. They do this with a focus on sustainability and respect to the unique social, cultural and environmental needs of the region. Students are encouraged to explore alternative building methods, unique building materials and innovative solutions. It is, in a way, the ultimate sustainability—use of the elements naturally at hand, within reach, both physically and economically.

About Big-D Construction

Big-D Construction Corporation has more than 45 years of experience in providing Design-Build, General Contracting and Construction Management services to customers from a wide variety of industries. As one of the largest construction companies in the country, Big-D employs more than 700 associates throughout the western United States.  Regional offices are located in Salt Lake City, Ogden and Lindon, Utah; Pleasanton, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  For more information, please visit www.big-d.com.