University of Michigan Design Build Team

University of Michigan Design Build Team We're a group of 1 professor, 22 undergrad students and 1 grad student from University of Michigan who have spent the last semester learning about green building and natural building techniques and logistics! Now we begin building a straw bale building!

Operating as usual

Come to our open house on October 7th, 1-4pm at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
09/18/2018
House of straw: A new face of sustainability on campus

Come to our open house on October 7th, 1-4pm at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

ANN ARBOR—Three students are working with a set of donated DeWalt tools. They are siting and squaring the foundation for a building, and they're trying to figure out how the devices work. Soon, the young men have a rectangular outline marked off using twine and stakes. They watch their instructor

06/09/2018
University of Michigan

University of Michigan

“I believe this building will bring awareness of not only what green building methods are but also new knowledge about sustainable farming and local food because of the Campus Farm,” said Wendy Zhuo, a rising junior studying architecture.

Powered by the Michigan sun and built by Michigan hands, the University's first straw bale house was erected this Spring at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The effort was led by Stamps School of Art & Design professor Joe Trumpey and students in his Green Building Class. #umicharts #PlanetBlue http://myumi.ch/65rgp

That calls an end to a spectacular month! Come check out the first student built off-grid straw bale building in Ann Arb...
06/01/2018

That calls an end to a spectacular month! Come check out the first student built off-grid straw bale building in Ann Arbor at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens!! Stay tuned for information on the open house in the fall!

BTN LiveBIG
06/06/2017
BTN LiveBIG

BTN LiveBIG

The University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) is proving the strength of straw with their new, green building.

Dear Design Build, Six months ago, I was determined not to have a Friday class and definitely not a 3 hour Friday mornin...
05/31/2017
To Whom it May Concern

Dear Design Build, Six months ago, I was determined not to have a Friday class and definitely not a 3 hour Friday morning on North Campus class. As you can see now, I did not hold myself very accountable to that determination. Now, I would not hesitate to click that sign up button. I remember the first day walking into the classroom thinking oh no, I don’t know anybody and other people seem to know people. [ 563 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/to-whom-it-may-concern/

Dear Design Build, Six months ago, I was determined not to have a Friday class and definitely not a 3 hour Friday morning on North Campus class. As you can see now, I did not hold myself very accou…

I think the word of the day is  o v e r w h e l m e d. My body is overwhelmed from the late nights we have spent pushing...
05/30/2017
We built a house.

I think the word of the day is o v e r w h e l m e d. My body is overwhelmed from the late nights we have spent pushing and pushing to finish the house on our deadline; nights when we had to use headlamps to apply adobe in the dark. My mind is overwhelmed, thinking about how four weeks ago today, we put four orange stakes into the ground on a hill overlooking Douglas Lake and said, "Here." [ 905 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/we-built-a-house/

I think the word of the day is  o v e r w h e l m e d. My body is overwhelmed from the late nights we have spent pushing and pushing to finish the house on our deadline; nights when we had to use h…

Before coming up to the Bio Station, never had I ever... - been to Northern Michigan - visited the UP - roasted so many ...
05/29/2017
Never Have I Ever

Before coming up to the Bio Station, never had I ever... - been to Northern Michigan - visited the UP - roasted so many perfect marshmallows - made up multiple versions of "the first cut is the deepest" - sang karaoke in public - eaten Cheerios with fruit juice - eaten oatmeal almost every morning - been consistently covered in mud… [ 399 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/never-have-i-ever/

Before coming up to the Bio Station, never had I ever… – been to Northern Michigan – visited the UP – roasted so many perfect marshmallows – made up multiple versions …

It was an awesome day friends! The entire crew was working hard and putting in some long hours. I left the site at 10:00...
05/28/2017
Day 27 (Recap)

It was an awesome day friends! The entire crew was working hard and putting in some long hours. I left the site at 10:00 pm, and there were still people in the housing working. We finished placing almost all of the porch roof on the front of the house, and we got started on the other three sides. We also had an awesome group sanding the windowsills on the inside of the house. [ 255 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/day-27-recap/

It was an awesome day friends! The entire crew was working hard and putting in some long hours. I left the site at 10:00 pm, and there were still people in the housing working. We finished placing …

After a morning of mixing adobe, the last thing we usually want to do after lunch is mix more adobe. But when our three ...
05/27/2017
Meet our little friends from the Biostation

After a morning of mixing adobe, the last thing we usually want to do after lunch is mix more adobe. But when our three favorite helpers – Addy, Elliot, and Rose – come running up the hill to help, we know that the afternoon will actually turn out to be filled with games and laughter. Over the past few weeks, these guys have helped make mixing adobe so much more bearable and we’ve loved getting to know them. [ 371 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/meet-our-little-friends-from-the-biostation/

After a morning of mixing adobe, the last thing we usually want to do after lunch is mix more adobe. But when our three favorite helpers – Addy, Elliot, and Rose – come running up the hill to help,…

Sorry for the late post but here's the blog from yesterday!We have two days to finish the house as much as possible befo...
05/27/2017
Day 25

Sorry for the late post but here's the blog from yesterday!

We have two days to finish the house as much as possible before an open house scheduled for Sunday afternoon, and tensions are beginning to run high on site. It’s been raining at night recently, and today it rained on and off all day. Thankfully the adobe-making is complete, but the redistribution of labor is leaving everyone on-edge and scrambling for a meaningful job. [ 481 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/day-25/

We have two days to finish the house as much as possible before an open house scheduled for Sunday afternoon, and tensions are beginning to run high on site. It’s been raining at night recently, an…

I am Addy. I am 10. I am homeschooled with my brother, Elliott, and sister,  Rose. Because of my dad's job we come up to...
05/25/2017
Guest Author — Addy!

I am Addy. I am 10. I am homeschooled with my brother, Elliott, and sister, Rose. Because of my dad's job we come up to the U.M.B.S for the summers. We have come for four summers. This will be my fifth, but this year we stayed for the whole year. This spring my family and I had just returned from a trip and the Design Build class was here. [ 345 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/guest-author-addy/

I am Addy. I am 10. I am homeschooled with my brother, Elliott, and sister,  Rose. Because of my dad’s job we come up to the U.M.B.S for the summers. We have come for four summers. This will …

Hey everyone, Hana here! Now if you know me, you know that I love the app "1 second everyday." And if you don't know tha...
05/25/2017
Seconds of the month

Hey everyone, Hana here! Now if you know me, you know that I love the app "1 second everyday." And if you don't know that, then you haven't spent enough time with me and you should look it up, its great! Since we are about a week out from finishing our magnificent house, I decided to create a fancier version of 1 second everyday showcasing our time spent here at the Biostation, on and off the work site, enjoy!!

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/seconds-of-the-month/

Hey everyone, Hana here! Now if you know me, you know that I love the app “1 second everyday.” And if you don’t know that, then you haven’t spent enough time with me and you…

by Kingsli Kraft Today I spent my entire day enjoying my favorite job on site: adobe-ing (yes, adobe is a verb now) the ...
05/24/2017
“Human-Made”

by Kingsli Kraft Today I spent my entire day enjoying my favorite job on site: adobe-ing (yes, adobe is a verb now) the walls inside and out. It’s not an incredibly social job, like mixing adobe in the kiddie pools, but the quiet time alone with my thoughts is really pretty nice, especially on a nice day like today. It’s not too bad when it rains either, as long as you’re inside the house. [ 1,052 more word ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/human-made/

by Kingsli Kraft Today I spent my entire day enjoying my favorite job on site: adobe-ing (yes, adobe is a verb now) the walls inside and out. It’s not an incredibly social job, like mixing adobe in…

If you asked me a month ago what it would be like to build your own house with 22 other undergrads I probably would’ve r...
05/23/2017
The Sounds of the Site

If you asked me a month ago what it would be like to build your own house with 22 other undergrads I probably would’ve responded with some vague answer about manual labor and how I would be really sore by the end of it. Now some of that is definitely true. My muscles ache in new ways and my fingers are cracking and dried out, but there is so much more about building a house that I couldn’t possibly describe. [ 528 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/the-sounds-of-the-site/

If you asked me a month ago what it would be like to build your own house with 22 other undergrads I probably would’ve responded with some vague answer about manual labor and how I would be really …

1. Surround yourself with conversationalists who are also good at coming up with intriguing questions or silly games. Ne...
05/22/2017
Rachel’s How-To Guide To Survive the Kiddie Pools, (Aka the dual pits from hell)

1. Surround yourself with conversationalists who are also good at coming up with intriguing questions or silly games. Never-have-I-ever is a must. 2. Create several music playlists. There are days when you need some solid trap music to shake your booty to, other days when you need nostalgic throwbacks, and days where you just need something chill that shuts everybody up. [ 411 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/rachels-how-to-guide-to-survive-the-kiddie-pools-aka-the-dual-pits-from-hell/

1. Surround yourself with conversationalists who are also good at coming up with intriguing questions or silly games. Never-have-I-ever is a must. 2. Create several music playlists. There are days …

Experienced consumers of this blog will know by now that we completed the roof. Given the rather mercurial weather this ...
05/21/2017
Jared’s Musings

Experienced consumers of this blog will know by now that we completed the roof. Given the rather mercurial weather this week, and the repetitive tarping such climatic lunacy entailed, the completion of the roof was a satisfying and relieving achievement. The adobe is still finding its way from the pools to the walls, and sometime next week, the porch will come up. [ 551 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/jareds-musings/

Experienced consumers of this blog will know by now that we completed the roof. Given the rather mercurial weather this week, and the repetitive tarping such climatic lunacy entailed, the completio…

In a group of 20 people, there is an 80% chance that there are two people who have the same birthday. We have 2 pairs. T...
05/20/2017
Day 19 Double birthdays!

In a group of 20 people, there is an 80% chance that there are two people who have the same birthday. We have 2 pairs. Today is Livvy and Corey's birthday! Happy birthday! Coming in, I would never expected that birthdays were a big deal. We celebrated Kingsli's birthday earlier this month. Now it's Livvy and Corey's birthday. Sarah, Will and I started planning making a surprise cake yesterday. [ 273 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/day-19-double-birthdays/

In a group of 20 people, there is an 80% chance that there are two people who have the same birthday. We have 2 pairs. Today is Livvy and Corey’s birthday! Happy birthday! Coming in, I would …

We went morel hunting a couple of days ago and at first I was skeptical. I had heard the PitE majors talk about these mu...
05/19/2017
Find Your Own Morels

We went morel hunting a couple of days ago and at first I was skeptical. I had heard the PitE majors talk about these mushrooms and found it a little silly at first. Spend the day looking for mushrooms that are hard to find? I don’t think so! But it was a beautiful day and I thought I’d try my luck. [ 698 more words ]

https://designbuildum.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/find-your-own-morels/

We went morel hunting a couple of days ago and at first I was skeptical. I had heard the PitE majors talk about these mushrooms and found it a little silly at first. Spend the day looking for mushr…

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