Sustainable Northern Communities

Program Page

CCHRC works with design firms, tribal and regional housing entities, federal and state agencies, and partners across the state to improve building designs and mechanical systems in Alaska’s housing sector. With roots in the construction industry, CCHRC’s strength is the ability to integrate design, construction, and community development. CCHRC can both facilitate the design process between private sector firms and clients or contract directly with individuals and entities to provide consulting services. These services include feasibility studies, master planning, construction documentation, and construction administration and instruction.

CCHRC’s talented design team is made up of architectural designers, LEED Accredited Certified designers and graphic designers. A team of interns and drafting technicians assist with drawings and renderings. The architectural group is responsible for project design and detailing, beginning with initial planning to working side by side with the client through design and construction.

The Sustainable Northern Shelter program was initiated in 2008 to address the need for sustainable rural housing in northern climates. CCHRC designers work with local residents and housing authorities to develop homes that reflect the culture, environment, and local resources of individual communities. The designs emphasize energy efficiency, affordability, and durability.

CCHRC has developed several prototype homes that can be easily and affordably reproduced throughout communities to provide much-needed housing. The program, which started with an experimental house made out of spray foam in Anaktuvuk Pass, has grown to encompass more than a dozen villages throughout Alaska.


Watch an animated presentation of CCHRC prototypes. 

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Biomass Greenhouse Handbook CCHRC produced a handbook for school districts about how to build and operate a biomass-heated greenhouse.
Venetie Prototype Home The Venetie teacher housing four-plex uses super-insulated log walls to integrate traditional resources and high-performance building science.
Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS) CCHRC worked with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Lifewater Engineering to develop a simple in-home sanitation system for Kivalina to replace hauled water and honey buckets.
Holistic Pilot Project in Oscarville Bringing local communities together with development professionals to tackle the energy, housing, and infrastructure challenges in rural Alaska.
Bethel Aviation Housing CCHRC partnered with the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) to design two duplexes for flight school students in Bethel. The duplexes demonstrate the integrated truss technology and energy efficient building strategies in a hub community, helping to publicly vet these approaches and serve as model homes in the region.