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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Environmental Sustainability

Green Buildings

The consumption of energy and materials in IHS facilities can be significantly reduced by integrating sustainable design features into new construction and building renovation projects. There are numerous federal mandates requiring IHS to make our facilities more environmentally friendly, and IHS staff is engaged in many activities to make our facilities more sustainable.

IHS green building objectives:

  • Ensure that all new construction, major renovation, or repair and alteration of federal buildings comply with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving .

    Under this guidance, buildings must:
    • Utilize eco-friendly and locally-produced building materials during construction;
    • Reduce waste and recycle as much as possible during construction;
    • Maximize the use of daylighting for indoor spaces;
    • Use energy-efficient lighting and electronic equipment;
    • Provide adequate air circulation using energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment; and
    • Purchase or generate energy from renewable sources.

  • Manage existing building systems to reduce energy, water, and materials consumption. We are also working to ensure that existing buildings and building leases will meet the Guiding Principles mandates.
  • In the future, all new buildings must be designed to achieve zero-net energy. A zero-net energy building consumes no net energy annually (i.e. energy is generated on-site) and generates no greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Utilize the Energy Star® Portfolio Manager's High Performance Sustainable Buildings checklist tool to benchmark IHS facilities and conduct sustainability assessments.

IHS regional and local planning objectives:

  • When planning for new federal facilities and leases, focus on transportation needs, energy and water needs, and environmental impact regarding waste management.
  • Ensure that all Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and Environmental Assessments (EAs) required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) identify and analyze impacts associated with energy usage and alternative energy sources.
  • Ensure the coordination and, where appropriate, consultation with federal, state, tribal and local management authorities regarding impacts to local ecosystems and watersheds.

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Additional Resources:

IHS Documents

Green Buildings