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This durable, low-energy housing project won the hearts of our judges because of the way it integrates old and new technologies to nudge owners toward living more lightly on the Earth.
A PROJECT TEAM
Builder
James Keller
Armstrong Builders
Honolulu, HI


Architect
Daniel Sandomire, AIA
Armstrong Design
Honolulu, HI


Landscape Architect
Ray Higa
PBR Hawaii
Honolulu, HI


Interiors
Victoria Reventas,
ASID
Honolulu, HI


 


All of the homes in this 45-unit development sold in one day. In part, that’s because they’re uniquely situated on land that was ceded to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands decades ago. But it’s also due to the outstanding design and construction of each property.


These home lots on the island of O’ahu are reserved for people who can demonstrate native Hawaiian ancestry. In fact, says Daniel Sandomire, resident architect for Armstrong Builders, some would-be buyers have been on the waiting list for a home on this sacred ground since 1953. And once their name is called, their lives can change dramatically.


“They get a 20 percent grant up front,” Sandomire says, “and then financing at something like 1 percent. So typically they are living in their own new home more cheaply than their previous house.”


And the buyers in line for these homes will be living in homes that welcome the local environment into their daily patterns.


Natural Connections
That’s because Sandomire and builder Jim Keller planned the homes around traditional ways of living—with an emphasis on removing boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces. That task was made easier, Sandomire concedes, by the fact that Hawaiian homes require no heating infra- structure, but also because older homes on the islands had the right idea. “A lot of the old houses had whole house fans,” notes Sandomire. “And we really wanted to avoid the air conditioned boxes that are common here.”

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