EPA Releases Tribal Green Building Toolkit
“There is a tremendous need for healthy, green, affordable tribal housing – almost 20 percent of tribal households spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing,” EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said. “This toolkit will help tribes develop affordable green building strategies that can dramatically cut utility costs.”
Tribal nations are not under the jurisdiction of state or local building codes, which can lead to building standards and methods that are not in line with sustainability goals. The Tribal Green Building Toolkit provides a checklist for tribal authorities to develop their own codes, as well as policies and enforcement strategies.
“The Green Building Codes have helped the Tribe to consistently make sustainable choices not only for new homes, but for even the smallest renovation,” said Environmental Programs Manager for Big Sandy Rancheria Jaime Collins, whose organization worked with the EAP to adopt green building codes in 2014. “Public and environmental health are now in the forefront of every design and decision, from incorporating renewable energy to the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in flooring. The implementation of the codes continues to increase staff and resident awareness of sustainable building choices and empowers the Tribe to address a variety of environmental and cultural concerns.”