Sustainable Northern Communities Monitoring

Project Page

Indigenous wisdom. Twenty-first century technology.

Point Lay, AlaskaThe Sustainable Northern Communities program was established in 2008 by the Cold Climate Housing Research Center and members of rural communities around Alaska. Alaska’s rural communities have a shortage of housing. The homes are expensive to build, poorly-constructed, and often inadequate for Alaska’s extreme climate. Hundreds of people around the state are collaborating to develop energy efficient and affordable homes that can withstand the extreme climatic conditions of Alaska while reflecting each community’s lifestyle and culture.

The flagship project of the SNS program is the homebuilding work being done in Anaktuvuk Pass.

Newtok/Mertarvik, Point Lay, and Nuiqsut, Alaska also have projects in progress. The key to each project is local residents participating at all levels of design and construction. Using a charette format and meetings at each phase, residents express their interests, wants, and needs for housing. Building on this foundation of community participation, this unique process combines tradition, modern technology, and environmentally-responsible building design. Each project has an emphasis on using efficient, durable materials and energy systems that are specific to each building location. On a broad level, SNS contributes to the vitality of Northern communities at a time when unprecedented energy costs and difficult economic conditions cause hardship. The SNS process results in comfortable, economical, and long-lasting houses that are a natural fit for the people who call them home.

Update: 11/18/09 CCHRC, in partnership with GW Scientific, is now providing live data from the house. Click here to visit our data page.


Building Performance Monitoring
CCHRC partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to study the heating demand, electrical use, and indoor air quality of the Quinhagak and Anaktuvuk Pass prototype homes.
PDF icon Monitoring and Verification of Sustainable Northern Shelter Building Performance Anaktuvuk Pass Prototype House Final Report
PDF icon Monitoring Sustainable Northern Shelter in Anaktuvuk Pass
PDF icon Monitoring and Verification of Sustainable Northern Shelter Building Performance Quinhagak Prototype House Final Report


Knauf Insulation Monitoring in Tununak CCHRC and Knauf Insulation will be monitoring the moisture performance of the wall system in a truss house in Tununak, Alaska over two winters.
Sustainable Priorities for Alaska Rural Communities (SPARC) CCHRC participated in a project led by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to complete and document energy efficiency retrofits and resulting energy savings in in the two rural Alaska communities of Anvik and Hughes.
Hooper Bay Housing Analysis & Energy Feasibility Report This project was funded by a Department of Energy grant to investigate the potential for energy savings in residential and commercial buildings in Hooper Bay. The feasibility study explores the potential for job creation and other economic benefits of a retrofit program.
Public Safety Officer Housing CCHRC is helping several villages bring much-needed law enforcement to town through building affordable, energy-efficient homes.
Garage Wall Analysis CCHRC is looking at attached garages to see if they adequately prevent pollutants from entering the house.