Barona's New Tribal Government Facility Awarded LEED(TM) Silver Certification From U.S. Green Building Council

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - April 21, 2010) -  The Barona Band of Mission Indians announced today that it has been awarded LEED™ Silver level certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its new Tribal Government building. LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, established by the USGBC and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

The new Tribal Government building, the site where all government-to-government relations are conducted by elected members of the Barona Tribe, represents the next era of responsible planning and development for governments across the nation.

"We wanted to build a state-of-the-art facility that continues our cultural tradition of environmental stewardship and is a model of environmental sustainability and eco-friendly construction and design," said Edwin "Thorpe" Romero, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "We are extremely proud of this facility and the recognition from the USGBC."

Designed by Atlanta-based Baker Barrios Architects, Inc. and built by Swinerton Builders of San Diego, the 35,412 square-foot two-story structure meets and in most cases exceeds local and state environmental requirements. 

According to John Boggs, AIA, LEED Senior Associate, of Baker Barrios Architects, Inc., the building was designed to be ranked with the most sustainable governmental buildings in the nation.

The USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program, known as LEED, awards points toward achieving status in the areas of water use, energy efficiency, materials used, construction debris hauling and environmental quality.

"With each new LEED certified building, we get one step closer to creating a sustainable built environment in San Diego and across America," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "As the newest member of the LEED family, the Barona Band of Mission Indians' new facility is an important addition to this movement."

A number of design and construction features contributed to the LEED certification of the Barona Tribal Government building. Barona received points in the following categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design. 

By using a centralized mechanical plant, air cooled chiller, computerized controls for heating and air conditioning in 48 separate locations and motion sensor lights that adjust to natural lighting, the building reduces energy by approximately 14 percent. It also reduces water use by 40 to 50 percent with its low flow fixtures and drought resistant plants, drip irrigation and minimal planting areas.

During the building phase, construction waste was reduced by 75 percent by reusing and recycling building construction materials. The building itself is composed of 20 percent regional materials as well as low-emitting paint, carpet, adhesives, wood, insulation fiber and sealants.

A green cleaning program is also being used for building maintenance with all chemicals, cleaning solutions and products selected from the USGBC products list.

The new Tribal Government building is the latest project as part of the Barona Valley Environmental Sustainability Program on the Barona Indian Reservation including the Tribe's Barona Resort & Casino and Barona Creek Golf Club. The program includes a state-of-the-art water reclamation plant, water recovery program, landscaping and wildlife preservation, golf course turf reduction, resort conservation programs -- carpooling, recycling and energy efficient practices -- and community outreach to increase awareness of eco-friendly events and programs.

The Barona Band of Mission Indians, recognized by the United States government as a sovereign nation, has lived on the Barona Indian Reservation in rural eastern San Diego County since 1932. Prior to that, the Tribe lived on the Capitan Grande Reservation which was established by the federal government in 1875. Long before living on a reservation, the Tribe traveled across Southern California in tune with the seasons and what nature provided. Today, the sovereign nation, governed by an elected Tribal Council, is serving its Tribal members, their families, and sharing with the San Diego region. One of the most successful gaming Tribes in the country, Barona also owns and operates the Barona Resort & Casino, San Diego's leading gaming resort, casino and golf course. For more information, visit

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Audrey Doherty/Jordan Cole