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First tribal community in the nation adopts international green building code

Release Date: 04/14/2011
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan (415) 947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov


EPA applauds Kayenta, located on the Navajo Nation


SAN FRANCISCO – Kayenta Township (Ariz.) is the first tribal community in the U.S. to adopt the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), a building code designed to reduce the environmental impact of construction projects while keeping safety measures intact and enforceable.

EPA’s Pacific Southwest Green Building Team worked with Kayenta and works with other tribes and federal agencies to support the development of sustainable building codes that meet tribal priorities. In addition, Kayenta will be working with EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities to pilot community Smart Growth Guidelines for Sustainable Design and Development.

“As one of the first communities to adopt this code, Kayenta Township is forging a path for sustainable development,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Their commitment to green building design will not only protect the public health, but water and energy savings means precious local resources will be preserved.”

“The IGCC is put in place for the community to save on energy costs, encouraging wise use of the water supply, safeguarding the depletion of natural resources, and the energy codes will be used to regulate future development practices,” said Philbert Tso, Building Official for the Township.

Kayenta Township, a political subdivision of the Navajo Nation with about 5,000 residents, is located south of Monument Valley. Kayenta has been designated as a growth center of the Navajo Nation and hosts restaurants, shops, hotels and other businesses. Kayenta is also the future site of the Northeast Arizona Technical Institute for Vocational Education (N.A.T.I.V.E.) campus. The N.A.T.I.V.E. campus will provide quality career and technical education to tribal students upon its completion in September 2011. This campus will also be the first project built using the IGCC code.

The IGCC Public Version 2.0, which will be a published as a model code next year, was adopted on a voluntary basis and may be incorporated into the community’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. Kayenta adopted the code with specific requirements related to protecting greenfields, conservation areas, and agricultural land.

Follow the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest region on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EPAregion9 and join the LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/e/vgh/1823773/

R9 Tribal Green Building Resources http://www.epa.gov/region9/greenbuilding/resources.html

EPA Smart Growth Guidelines http://www.epa.gov/dced/sg_guidelines.htm