Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.76
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Pennsylvania State University
ER-12: Sustainability Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Susannah Barsom
Associate Director
Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer a program that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive experience(s) offered by the institution:

Sustainable, Affordable Housing Solutions (Architectural Engineering)

American Indian Housing Initiative (AIHI) is a collaborative research and education program focused on applying sustainable building technologies such as strawbale construction and solar energy systems on American Indian Reservations. AIHI partners with and provides technical assistance to the Northern Cheyenne tribe and other tribal entities to help create sustainable building capacity on reservations.
The American Indian Housing Initiative (AIHI) courses are offered to students at Penn State as a three-part series. In the first part (Spring semester) students are introduced to Native American culture, history and current economics, in tandem with hands-on study of sustainable building methods and technologies, home energy systems, and construction project planning. In the Summer they participate in a community-based sustainable construction project on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana. The third part (Fall semester) allows students to document, reflect on and assess the project and the experience, and to make suggestions for future projects. AIHI also provides opportunities for students from other universities and for volunteers.
The annual projects are designed, planned, and built by students, faculty, and AIHI collaborators. To date, the completed projects include four homes, an adult education center, an early-childhood learning center, a technology center, and the reservation’s first all-solar home, MorningStar Montana, used by visiting faculty on the campus of Chief Dull Knife College.
Established in 2001, AIHI has grown to become a nationally recognized program addressing the acute housing shortage on American Indian reservations. It is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort that engages students, volunteers and tribal partners in sustainable building methods and technologies, concepts of sustainability, and home energy usage on American Indian reservations and in other low-income rural communities. This culturally rich and socially relevant, immersive educational exchange is carried out with a number of mutual partnerships, concentrating on our decade-long relationship with the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe.


The website URL where information about the immersive experience is available:

Information on other immersive experiences in sustainability are found on the Center for Sustainability website: http://www.cfs.psu.edu/

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.