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Living Buildings Certification, anticipated in 2023

Community Rebuilds is expected to receive the first ever Affordable Living Buildings Certification in the world, and plans to be the 24th Living Buildings in the world. This rigorous certification takes a wholistic approach to building and is administered through the International Living Future Institute. ​


Utah Housing Coalitions’ Rural Project of the Year Award, 2021​

Co-Hosted the Natural Building Alliances’ Natural Building Conference, 2021


Design & Build Forest Stewardship Council Leadership Award, 2020

CR was granted this award for the Projects at Mill Creek due to our commitment to responsible forest management and utilizing more than 50% FSC-certified materials for wood products in the four homes.

Obtained the first Utah residential composting toilet permit, 2020

5 USDA Mutual Self-Help Technical Assistance grants, 2010-2019

In the last ten years, CR has qualified for financial assistance from USDA Rural Development to aid very low- and low-income individuals and their families to build homes in rural areas by the self-help method.

Awarded the first Utah Zero Energy Certification – International Living Future Institute, 2019

Zero Energy buildings have best in class energy efficiency improvements of 60-90% over baseline, providing the homeowner with freedom from fossil fuels and lending to a more climate resilient community.

Constructed the first straw bale dormitory, 2018

The 9 bedroom two-story straw bale dormitory built by CR alumni, now houses all of our interns and students that come to our campus to learn about sustainability. ​

Certified Energy Star Version 3 – Energy Wise Consultants, 2018

A CR home was tested with a HERS index rating of 51, which is 17.6% better than 2015 International Energy Conservation Code, thanks to our thick straw bale walls!

Obtained a HERS index rating of 51, 2017

Our home received the first Utah Residential Greywater Permit, 2017

Advocated to successfully change code within Moab city to unlock density, 2017

The code change helped by allowing flag driveways to be included in the ‘body of lot’ square footage required to build. This actualized a 3rd home on our project that year.

Assisted in the creation of a Community Land Trust, 2016 – 2018

Through our work on the Housing Task Force, we saw the need for a community land trust model to pair with our projects and other affordable housing projects in town. We placed board members (our executive director served as chair), applied for a 501(c)(3), helped identify land, and secured the land donation for 300 housing units. 

Introduced the first deed restrictions in Moab for primary residents/no nightly rentals, 2016

Partnership with Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute (HTPI) to expand our model, 2012

Trained HTPI on our model which actualized 4 homes in the Kikotsmovi Village, Hopi AZ. The HTPI continues to administer their Natural Building School and affordable housing programs.​

Utah Housing Matters Agency of the Year Award – Utah Housing Coalition, 2012

Awarded Agency of the Year at the 2012 Utah Housing Matters conference.

Champion of Change – The Obama Administration, 2012

Our founder, Emily Niehaus, received national recognition as a “Champion for Change” from the Obama administration during a ceremony at the White House.

Check out our Just Certification! 

ILFI invited Community Rebuilds to evaluate ourself through this social justice and equity lens and become a Just organization. Community Rebuilds has been certified to optimize policies that improve social equity and enhance employee engagement.With support from participating organizations, like us, Just will help create a better, more socially just and equitable world. 

Check out our Just Community Rebuilds certification HERE

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Thanks to support from Rocky Mountain Power Blue Sky customers and Synergy Power, the Community Rebuilds Bunkhouse now has a 16.575 kilowatt solar array, generating 26,126 kilowatt-hours of energy annually. 


Community Rebuilds joins more than 159 organizations across Rocky Mountain Power’s service area that, since 2006, have received awards for community-based renewable projects, including solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy. This project is one of a dozen selected this year through an evaluation process.


We are thrilled to be selected for this award and grateful to Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program which made it possible. This solar project is not only a win for the environment but for the local community, too. By generating our own electricity, we can save on energy costs and dedicate more of our budget to our mission of building energy-efficient housing, providing education on sustainability, and improving the housing conditions of the local workforce through an affordable program.


Community Rebuild's solar panels were installed in Summer 2020 and you can view our monitoring display and the performance of our solar panels at our public viewing link below.


For more information, visit

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