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Green Building Tools for Tribes

Learn the Basics About Tribal Green Building

Green building can help maintain the natural resources that have historically sustained them and make buildings healthier and more affordable

Native Americans are the First Green Architects and Builders of the Americas

Multi-story buildings made of stone, without roofs and obviously abandoned, yet showing little sign of damage, sheltered beneath a cliff overhang.Mesa Verde Multi-family Cliff Dwellings in Colorado made from earthen material.  More information about Mesa Verde »Despite tribes’ early and long history of sustainable building practices, modern tribal buildings often do not incorporate many green building practices. Tribal green building can integrate traditional knowledge and values into tribal building codes. Green building can help maintain the natural resources that have historically sustained them and make buildings healthier and more affordable.

Getting Started

Tribes interested in green building practices can use EPA's Green Label programs for buildings and products: ENERGY STAR, Indoor airPLUS, WaterSense, and Burn Wise.

Tribal Green Building Toolkit

Tribes, as sovereign nations, have the authority to adopt their own building practices and codes. This is particularly important because state and local building codes, which include green building requirements, do not apply on tribal lands. Developed with tribes, the EPA Tribal Green Building Toolkit provides information and resources on prioritizing and implementing green building practices.

Benefits

Benefits of Tribal Building Codes

Funding

Federal, and in some cases tribal and state agencies, provide grants and loans that can be used to support tribal green building, renewable energy, and affordable housing.
More information about funding opportunities