[permaculture] Good news for natural building in Hawai'i

John Schinnerer eco_living at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 23 02:13:00 EDT 2002


Just read (in the NY times no less) that Maui County, on the impetus of
a few remaining local builders of 'traditional' hales and their
advocates and in cooperation with a state task force on
indigenous/traditional archetecture (or something close to that), has
created some permitting conditions that let lashed-pole and purlin
framed, thatched roof hales ("houses") be legally constructed for
certain uses.  They can be legally used as "outdoor" pavillions -
meeting places for church/community/etc. groups and events, canoe
clubs/canoe storage, sleeping (sounds like a place to live to me! ;-),
a few other things like that.

Some of the traditional materials ('ohia poles, pili grass thatching)
are scarce or gone (on Maui, at least) and substitutes ('ironwood' -
here meaning causaurina - and eucalyptus poles, fan palm thatching) are
used, but the methods are basically traditional, including
ocean-soaking the poles for insect/rot resistance.

Maui community college is starting up a training program in traditional
hale building and has been designated as the 'certified' (whatever that
means - for permitting purposes I assume) training center.  There are
lots of people eager for the program, and the results, apparently.

John Schinnerer, MA
- Eco-Living -
Cultural & Ecological Designing
People - Place - Learning - Integration
john at eco-living.net

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