Program in Environmental Design

University of Colorado Boulder

Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative

Instructors:  Rob Pyatt and Kim Drennan

Environmental Design Program offers "Designing for People and Place: Sustainable & Affordable Housing for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation" through its Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative (NASHI), an interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty and students seeking to improve housing conditions on tribal lands through research, education and outreach activities.

Specifically, this initiative establishes a sustainable, affordable and culturally appropriate housing research, design and demonstration home project on the Oglala Lakota College (OLC) campus as the foundation for an ongoing academic service-learning program between the CU Environmental Design program and the Construction Technology program at OLC. The overall objective of the project will be to develop a comprehensive case study to help inform the future housing choices for the Oglala Sioux Tribe and an "applied research" laboratory to educate OLC and CU students in the design and construction of sustainable, affordable, culturally inclusive and regionally appropriate housing. The primary purpose of the project is to address the need for healthy, sustainable and affordable housing and increase the capacity and knowledge and resources of OLC to build environmentally sound, sustainable and energy efficient homes that are right for its community and region (people and places). Broader impacts include institutionalizing the information and results at OLC; applying the technology to foster broader economic development opportunities; and leveraging significant investment currently underway in the region.



January 15, 2015 - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
October 29, 2014 - Impact Design Hub
October 8, 2014 - Architect Magazine
September 25, 2014 - Indian Country
February 11, 2014 - ACSA/AIA
January 20, 2014 - High Country News
Building better homes in Indian Country
December 4, 2013 - Public Interest Design
NASHI Completes First Net Zero Energy Home
Fall 2013 - Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Investments Vol 25, Issue 2
Building Green and Respecting Native American Identity: Housing, Culture, and Sustainability in Native American Communities
November 21, 2013 - South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Video: Infrastructure on the reservation
March 1, 2012 - Architectural Record
The New Frontier in Education


Native American Housing Initiative