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Contact Green Building, Pacific Southwest

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Tribal Green Building Codes Workgroup

Kayenta Township is the first tribal community in the United States to adopt an international green building code.

Kayenta Township is the first tribal community in the United States to adopt an international green building code.

The Tribal Green Building Codes Workgroup was formed in March 2011, by U.S. EPA and representatives from tribal nations and federal agencies.


In 2008, U.S. EPA Region 9, and representatives from the Regional Tribal Operations Committee Solid Waste Workgroup met to discuss green building topics. Topics raised by tribes included the importance of greening building retrofits, alternative energy opportunities, energy conservation and better partnerships between federal agencies to facilitate green building projects in Indian Country. EPA Region 9 began following up to tribes’ inquiries and reached out to other federal agencies to learn how they were supporting green building in Indian Country.

In March 2010, EPA focused on building codes, specifically the lack of building codes in Indian Country, as a key issue to address. Building codes determine the safety of a structure and how building resources, water and energy are used. As such, applied building codes have an impact on human health and the environment, as well as the affordability and operational costs of buildings. For these and cultural reasons, tribes expressed their interest in adopting green building codes and asked that EPA and our federal partners work with tribes to support a common goal, to increase healthy, and environmentally sustainable housing.

Towards this end, the Tribal Green Building Codes Workgroup was formed. In June 2011, the Workgroup convened a Tribal Green Building Codes Summit in Denver. A Summit Statement (PDF) (2 pp, 300K) was developed that outlines the Workgroup’s direction. The goal of this Workgroup is to advance tribal goals in developing, implementing and enforcing culturally relevant green building codes, policies and programs leading to healthier, more sustainable communities.

Related Resources

Benefits of Tribal Building Codes(PDF) (2 pp, 397K) – During the first Tribal Green Building Codes Summit held in 2011, tribal representatives identified a need to clearly articulate how tribal building codes could benefit tribal communities. This document was created to articulate the benefits of tribal building codes.

Tribal Building Code Adoption, Awareness to the Process (PDF) (16 pp, 265K) – This presentation outlines the process of adopting a tribal green building codes undertaken by the Kayenta Township and their Building Department.

Tribal Green Building Contacts in Region 9

Michelle Baker (baker.michelle@epa.gov)
(415) 972-3206
Tribal Green Building

Timonie Hood (hood.timonie@epa.gov)
(415) 972-3282
General Green Building, Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Adobe Reader.

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