Hawaiʻi Off Grid moving state towards net zero building
Hawaiʻi Off Grid is one of the state’s premier multidisciplinary firms with over 60 years of combined experience and 20 years of off-grid and remote location knowledge. They focus on both residential and commercial architectural, civil and structural engineering, and offer permitting expertise as well as in-depth sustainability consulting and design services.
The building industry currently creates roughly 37% of global carbon emissions, and given Hawaiʻi Off Grid’s unique skill set, they are in a position to play an outsized role in reducing those emissions.
The firm’s protocols currently mandate that all buildings operate at net zero, meaning that once built, the buildings will not be responsible for any carbon emissions. All energy needed will be produced on-site, giving control to the homeowner, relieving the dependency on the grid.
Hawaiʻi Off Grid is currently expanding their approach to include embodied carbon, which are the carbon emissions created from the construction of the building and its materials. The firm is utilizing carbon positive materials, such as mass timber, and is currently researching methods of recording embodied emissions for their projects.
Hawaiʻi Off Grid’s designs always begin with the site, according to company representatives. They study the topography, the path of the sun, the prominent direction and behavior of the wind, and the annual rainfall at each site they work with- the operative word here being ‘with’, as they believe that in order for architecture to be successful, it must respond to the climate and location that it is in. It must work with the site, not against it.
Founder and president of Hawaiʻi Off Grid, David Sellers believes, “By keeping your energy off the grid, using a combination of Hawaiʻi’s renewable energy sources and green technology, you will not only save money, but you will save needless waste of carbon. Not only is it the right thing for your wallet but we believe this is the right thing for our community and Hawaiʻi’s future.”
It was recently announced that David Sellers, president and founder will be the new President Elect of the Maui Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Earlier this year, Hawaiʻi Off-Grid also received the award for the Top Small Business in Maui County. The Small Business Administration recognizes the top small businesses in each state and territory every year, along with special awards for the top companies run by women, veterans, families, and young entrepreneurs.
This award was given to the Hawaiʻi Off Grid for its impact on the community with its net zero building model along with other environmental programs and nonprofits like the Blue Planet Foundation and the Leeward Haleakalā Watershed Restoration Project, Mālama Maui Nui, and others.
One Hawaiiʻ Off Grid project currently under construction is the Kupono Hale, which aims to mitigate its carbon emissions and support the community by utilizing passive design principles and sourcing local materials and labor.
Kupono Hale is completely off-grid in both energy and water, with enough energy to intelligently support the dwelling and electric vehicles. The walls are constructed of Insulated Composite Concrete Forms made from recycled Styrofoam. The roof structure is made of glulam beams with locally sourced Cook Pine as the roof decking and interior ceiling. The roof has a parabolic curve that is derived from rotating the ridge beam to respond to the sun’s path while allowing the rest of the dwelling to align with the view and prevailing winds.
To learn more or view past projects, visit: https://www.hawaiioffgrid.com/