Constructing Unique Homes in Navajoland

On Thursday, May 12th, I witnessed the designbuildBluff staff and volunteers (an ngo which constructs homes in southern Utah for Navajos) move a partially completed home from their headquarters in Bluff Ut to its final resting point in Westwater, adjacent to Blanding City.  The two modular units were constructed much like a double-wide, except they are offset both horizontally and vertically.

ddB is organized to give graduate architecture students experience in designing and constructing homes in poorer rural areas.  The homes they have constructed in the past have been very distinctive and innovative.  That also goes for this new in Westwater.

The two units for the Westwater home had to be jacked up (by hand) and anchored to trailers.  They were then hauled from the 26 miles from Bluff to Westwater.  The smaller modular unit weighed 11 tons and the larger unit 14.

Eleven-ton Modular Unit Ready to Hit the Highway

At Westwater, the modular units were off-loaded using a giant crane that came in from Farmington.  The units were placed on a foundation/frame that had already been constructed on site.  At one end, the home is 14 feet off the ground; at the entry end, it was only a couple of feet above ground.  The home will be completed on site. 

The Frame/Foundation for the Modular Home at Westwater

The ddB home is in marked contrast to the other new homes which were constructed last Fall.  These 8 homes, 3-bedroom ramblers, were constructed by Hearts and Hands in Action (a home building ngo) which will be building 3 additional homes this summer.

Crane Installing the Second Modular Unit

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