Unique Features of Conducting Construction Activities within Tribal Communities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


As sovereign nations, tribes have unique legal and regulatory status in the United States, which effects the procedural framework that construction takes place within. The increasing complexity of construction projects creates the need for innovative delivery systems within tribal nations. This paper presents results of an interview-based study that sought to understand what makes construction on tribal lands "different"? The authors conducted this study to identify best practices for construction within tribal nations. The authors leveraged qualitative research methods to explore the viewpoints and distinct experiences of professionals, tribal and non-tribal, working on construction projects within tribal nations. The authors recruited interviewees at tribal conferences, and ended up interviewing 22 practitioners in Arizona, including planners, architects, contractors, and owner's representatives. The interview comprised 11 questions regarding the interviewee's construction experiences on sovereign tribal lands. Results of this study revealed 10 unique features of construction projects within tribal nations, ranging from unique land ownership agreements to diverse architectural expectations within the community. These features represent critical planning issues that must be explored and addressed prior to beginning construction projects in tribal nations. This paper concludes with suggestions for future work and explores themes related to developing a planning process for tribal projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConstruction Research Congress 2018
Subtitle of host publicationInfrastructure and Facility Management - Selected Papers from the Construction Research Congress 2018
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780784481295
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
EventConstruction Research Congress 2018: Infrastructure and Facility Management, CRC 2018 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Apr 2 2018Apr 4 2018


OtherConstruction Research Congress 2018: Infrastructure and Facility Management, CRC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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