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Native Hawaiian Homes Goes Green

[Photo 1: Landscape plan of project]

Kaupuni is to be an affordable-housing project that will consume no more energy than it generates. It will have the net-zero-energy designation. To achieve the net-zero-energy status, the three–acre site will utilize renewable power and energy-efficient technologies in each home. In addition it will incorporate traditional Hawaiian practices to support a self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.

The benefits of green buildings range from energy and water savings, to increased worker productivity, to overall environmental sustainability and conscientious use of local resources. All homes will be built for Leadership in Energy & Environmental (LEED) Platinum certification. That is the highest "green" rating receivable from the U.S. Green Building Council. Energy-efficient features including solar water heating, photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, and energy-efficient lighting and appliances.

These three-and-four bedroom homes will be anchored by Hale Kumuwaiwai (community resource). That will provide opportunities for community members to produce and prepare their own foods, share knowledge and recreate. To maintain a self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle, the site will include aquaculture fish ponds, farm plots, and a greenhouse.

In order to qualify for Kaupuni, applicants must be at least half Native Hawaiian. Families must be below 80% of the area median income for Oahu.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) signed energy partnerships with Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company, Hawaii Electric Light Company, and the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative to benefit native Hawaiian homesteaders. The development of Kaupuni, Ke Kaiaulu Ho'owaiwai (the Prospering Community) will be Hawaii's first net-zero-energy community.

The DHHL is using part of a $10.2 million block grant awarded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to cover hard costs for the Kaupuni subdivision project. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of the year 2010.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (hawaii.gov/dhhl).

[Photo 2: House diagram indicating green features]


Content Archived: October 18, 2013

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