Native American students in northwestern New Mexico will soon be able to attend the new, environmentally friendly, 18,000-sq-ft Zuni Christian Mission School at the Pueblo of Zuni. Designed by Hibbard Architecture & Planning, the two-story pueblo-style building uses structural insulated panels -- large-size, insulated wall and roof components used in place of conventional wood framing, concrete blocks or concrete tilt-up walls -- manufactured by Premier Building Systems to reduce air leakage and heat loss. Other green features include solar water heating, interior lighting with natural sunlight and rainwater collection from the roof.

General contractor Murphy Builders is constructing this first of several buildings that will replace portable classrooms and other facilities hastily constructed after a fire destroyed the entire school and church buildings nearly forty years ago. Completion is expected by August 2011.