Every year we show the latest work of DesignBuildBLUFF, where architecture students from the University of Colorado Denver "design and build a sustainable homes on the Navajo reservation. In doing so, we don’t just create a home for a family in need. We create better, more compassionate architects for the betterment of our entire community." They won our 2011 Best of Green Award and Peoples' Choice awards and have been perennial favorites.
This year, the students have renovated an unfinished house, literally turning it upside down. They have taken the roof trusses off the house and flipped them into a giant shading sombrero to shelter the house from the sun.
There is a warm core surrounded by straw bale and an outer, more public area with a lot of glass, in fact much more glass than I would have expected in that climate. According to Designboom,
The interior of the dwelling is divided into two separate volumes: private accommodation and public quarters. The more secluded areas, containing the bedrooms, are wrapped in highly insulative straw bale construction, with a sense of comfort provided with natural earthen plaster walls. opening up to the southwest, shared space includes the living, kitchen and dining rooms offering expansive views across the vast natural landscape. In winter, direct solar gain is obtained through two walls of orientation-specific solar glazing.
Lots more images at Designboom.