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Design Build BLUFF has been operating within the University of Utah, School of Architecture since 2000. Every year, a group of architectural graduate students designs and builds a home on the Navajo Reservation in Bluff, Utah. It offers a great opportunity for the students to learn about design and construction, as well as fulfilling a need within the Navajo community. In recent years, the program expanded to the University of Colorado Denver where it provides students with hands-on, cross-cultural experiences and works in partnership with the Navajo community of San Juan County.

The MH Companies is pleased to have played an integral role in the Design Build BLUFF Mexican Water Cabin project. We worked closely with the students in the CU College of Architecture and Planning Design Build program to assist with the lighting design. And, since the program relies almost entirely on donations of building supplies, we reached out to our manufacturers for product donations. ConTech, BEGA, Primus, and Barron came through with donations of energy-efficient LED products. Through our involvement with the Design Build BLUFF program, we were able to give the students a practical working knowledge and deeper understanding of how lighting design and product specification plays an integral role in the success of a project.

The CU College of Architecture and Planning Design Build program is internationally recognized for their progressive approach to design. This approach was evident with the Design Build BLUFF project as they showed their ability to integrate with, and embrace the site, and provide a sustainable solution for the Navajo community. As a reward for their hard work, the project received the 2015 AIA YAAG Built Architecture and Interior Architecture award.

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