By Lindsey Kesel Photo: Dave Miyamoto
Mike Fairall is on a mission. He wants homeowners to think about energy effi ciency even before their new home is built. He founded Mokulua Carpentry in 2005 and his fi rst creative, sustainable approach to architecture—a “tricked-out home with recycled materials”—won the BIA Renaissance Award for Green Building. Since then Mike’s business has evolved into Mokulua High Performance Builder. Every home he builds is ENERGY STAR certifi ed and often LEED and NGBS certifi ed as well.
The latest residential projects constructed by his crew are currently achieving effi ciency ratings 60 to 70 percent higher than a typical code-built home. “The heart of energy effi ciency isn’t blanketing everything with renewables,” Fairall says. “It’s fi xing ineffi ciencies in building and using renewable energy to account for the difference.”
Frustrated with the fact that Hawai‘i has done little to promote or incentivize green building, Fairall also advocates the funding and regulation of construction waste and waste recycling, with a company goal of producing less than 10 cubic yards of waste per project.
“I’ve created a process for how we build houses that inherently includes measures of effi ciency,” he says.
“It might cost a little more upfront, but I guarantee the electric bill will be much lower.”