When you build in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it's pretty obvious when you don't have enough resources.

Last year, the BIA of Hawaii fast-tracked its own green building program, and the industry adopted the resulting self-certification checklist in a big way. Fifteen of 22 entries in the recent Parade of Homes were participants in Hawaii BuiltGreen.

BuiltGreen is a partnership among the BIA; the AIA-Honolulu chapter; the Cement and Concrete Products Industry; Hawaii Pacific Steel Framing Alliance; Hawaiian Electric Co.; the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Consumers voted Schuler's Mele model winner in Hawaii's first BuiltGreen Parade of Homes.
Consumers voted Schuler's Mele model winner in Hawaii's first BuiltGreen Parade of Homes.

Builders qualify their homes for the program on a points-based system, choosing to build at the one-star (35-45 points), two-star (120 to 130 points), or three-star (215 to 225 points) standard. Lower point levels in each category indicate requirements for naturally ventilated homes; air-conditioned homes must satisfy an additional 10 points. It's a voluntary program, but impressive progress in consumer education suggests builders who abstain will soon have plenty of questions to answer in the marketplace.

And that's not all. Sugarcane processors on Maui are commercializing DuraGreen, a new engineered building product that could replace OSB and eventually challenge OSL. Made from a formerly overlooked byproduct of cane fiber called begasse, the product is both locally renewable and available year-round because sugarcane is both planted and harvested continuously.

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