Skip to Main Content

Design a Sustainable Village (Holmgren 9th Grade): Your Assignment

Implementing biomimicry and sustainable design with an emphasis on the application of ecological principles.

From Flickr Creative Commons

Challenge Question

Your challenge question is as follows:
The Saguaro National Park, located within the Sonoran Desert, is accepting bid designs for consideration in the construction of a permanent guest village within the park boundaries. The park administration has stated that this design must incorporate ten permanent guest structures for overnight accommodations on a three acre site located within a central, isolated region of the park. The administration’s intent is to provide a true desert experience for the park guests. They have specified that these bids must emphasize sustainable design, energy and resource conservation, while continuing to provide for the protection of the natural environment and species of the area. Your architectural firm wants to be awarded this bid. What design strengths will make the committee choose your work?


You have just listened to three leading experts in the field of ecology, biomimicry and the societal need for sustainable design. Your challenge question’s solution will require you to encompass aspects from each of these areas. Your group should begin by collectively asking yourselves what is unique about the area of this construction. What is distinctive about a desert compared to building in one of our other national parks? What species live there and how do we guarantee their protection? Is it important to understand their needs? Are they able to survive in this locale due to any special adaptations and do those adaptations suggest any particular approaches for our design concept? Begin a list of these questions and your initial responses. Your list will grow and shift as we complete the lessons of this module. Continue to modify it and let this be the stimulus of your research efforts.

Grading Rubric for the Presentation

Challenge Question Presentation – PPT

Grading Rubric

Team Members: _______________________




 Time:     Start:___________   Stop:__________    Total: ________



            Energy Source:



            Temperature Control:


            Food Resources:


            Species Protection:


Strength of Visuals:

            Reading Ease

            Images – Supporting Design Concept

 Presentation Professionalism:

  Areas of Weakness:


                                                Final Grade:_______________________