Residential Energy Efficiency Design Guide for Tribal Lands

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Homeowners and renters on tribal lands have historically faced a disproportionate energy burden compared to the United States as a whole. The Indian Health Service (IHS), which serves these communities, strives to meet aggressive energy performance goals when constructing their residential housing. Challenges common in rural locations can hinder progress toward those goals, such as availability of materials, access to specialized labor, and budget constraints. This guide is for architects and builders who aim to incorporate energy efficiency (EE) into their residential designs. This report presents commercially viable energy efficiency packages for a variety of locations and home inputs to help guide home builders in choosing improvements for energy performance. The intention is to provide a diverse set of packages that can be used during the design phase to achieve energy savings compared to a code minimum building design. By presenting a set of diverse options with similar expected energy savings and life-cycle costs, final decisions can be left up to the building designers who can better determine the appropriate package given local costs, materials, and labor availability. Although this guide was developed for IHS projects, it can be used to help designers and construction professionals better make cost-effective choices when a detailed, project-specific building energy analysis is not possible.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages118
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-83732


  • BEopt
  • building energy modeling
  • building energy resiliency
  • energy efficiency
  • Indian Health Service
  • optimization
  • solar energy
  • tribal lands


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