By Nina Wu
Another green home has been built on Oahu.
This one – a five-bedroom, two-story family home in Kaneohe — is the first in Hawaii to be certified at the gold level by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Another home in Kailua achieved the bronze level.
It seems as if the list is growing.
The spacious, five-bedroom home replaces a single-story, three-bedroom home built in the 70s.
While partially deconstructing the home, Mokulua salvaged the beams for reuse and sorted out plastic, cardboard, and wood for recycling, as well as metal and wood scraps. The crew created only one 40-foot dumpster of waste, compared to the average of four to six dumpsters for a project of this size.
The Arakawa family (with three kids and a mother-in-law) live in the home. Owner Kenny Arakawa says when thinking about the new home, he wasn't necessarily interested in being "green," but that he knew a solar PV system made sense. But it turned out building green fit into the budget, which worked out well — and will result in long-term savings on energy and water.
Green features include: A custom-designed 4.8 kw solar PV system powered by 15 panels (installed by RevoluSun), LED-recessed lighting throughout the home, Energy Star appliances, pre-engineered structural beams, and recycled trim, drywall and flooring. The driveway leading up to the home is terraced, allowing water to drain back into the earth instead of hitting concrete and flowing into the street.
The inside of the home features zero-VOC paint, laminate flooring made of 80 percent post consumer product, carpet with recycled fibers. It's been insulated with ecobatt, so it's also nice and cool.
Though there is split-air-conditioning, the family won't need to turn it on too often, with the breezes flowing throughout the home.
Mokulua Woodworking says it was able to frame the home using pre-engineered beams and trusses, which minimizes the number of lumber cuts needed for regular homes. Also, what I found interesting - its goal was to pour down the foundation as fast as possible (12 days) to minimize runoff.
Like the New Hawaiian Home in Kaimuki, there is a generous, covered lanai area which serves as an outdoor dining room, leading out to the yard.
The home is Mokulua's first to be certified as green, although it says it's been building similar standards in other homes all along - getting the certification requires paperwork. Mokulua intends to build many more certified homes.
It's nice to see the trend is catching on in Hawaii.
A public open house showcasing green features of the gold-level home is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, 45-610 Huinawai Place. A $10 donation benefits Habitat for Humanity. You can talk-story with Mokulua, Archipelago and other contractors about how to build a certified green home, plus what tax benefits you can qualify for.