MOKULUA HPB recognized by USGBC as Award Winner!

In a press release by the United States Green Building Council on August 18, 2015, MOKULUA HPB was named as the awardee for the "Outstanding Single-Family Home of the Year"

This LEED Gold home is the first in Hawaii to certify under the latest version of the rating system, LEED v4. This project includes many innovative technical strategies, such as a fully enveloped radiant barrier from foundation to roof, which serves to manage one of the most prevalent risks (UV radiation) associated with home durability in Hawaii.

As a Kailua contractor committed to green building, this speaks volumes, achieving international recognition in the building industry for the state of Hawaii.  It's truly a honor to be recognized for such a prestigious award and we are thankful to have been a part of history.  Our efforts continue to provide our clients with high performance homes, whether it is new, remodeled or a small renovation.

High Performance Living

GREEN has become a word with several definitions, all of which are centered on taking responsibility of our earth.

When talking about GREEN in your home there is a trend in conversation…

Home Owner:  “MOKULUA, I have heard of you.  You are a green home builder right?”

MOKULUA:  “Green is a big part of a High Performance Home, and MOKULUA is Hawaii’s High Performance Builder!”

Home Owner: “Oh you install solar panels and Energy Star appliances in/on your houses.”

MOKULUA: “Those are great features, but if we only included solar and Energy Star appliances it would be like telling Baskin and Robins…so you only serve chocolate and vanilla.”

Home Owner: “Ok I am interested, but it is going to cost a lot more right?”

MOKULUA: “According the NAHB building a High Performance Home is 0-1% difference in cost.”

Home Owner: “That’s great, but I want my home to be comfortable and high quality”

MOKULUA: “Take a look at these pictures of a High Performance Home.”

Home Owner:  “Who knew a High Performance home is just common sense!  It’s beautiful, comfortable and high quality.  Wait what is High Performance?”

MOKULUA: “High performance home building is more than greening your home, it’s a combination of sustainability, green, healthy and durable.  It truly is the essence of the green building concept; an evolving formula for creating the most efficient end product taking into consideration Hawaii’s regional climate qualities and site specific details.  Its maximizing design, planning, construction and livability, it requires a knowledgeable team and a client who has high standards but is financially conscience.  A high performance home is a well-planned and successful investment for any homeowner who wants an optimal return on investment for the life of their ownership.”

Simple Sustainable Office Tips

At the MOKULUA office, the science of home building is always being analyzed to bring Hawaii the most sustainable, green, healthy and durable homes. As we work toward a more sustainable future we also do the simple tasks to help sustain our planet today.

Below are a few tips the MOKULUA office team does to reduce, re-use and recycle:

1. Replaced individual water bottles with a water service- Saves average of 6,360 plastic bottles per year

2. Replace paper towels in the restrooms with cloth hand towels- Saves average of 8,240 sheets of paper towels per year

3. Add segmented recycling bins next to rubbish cans- Saves average of 420 pounds of rubbish per year

4. Turn down the luminosity on your computer- Conserves 30% of the energy produced per computer

5. Change to CFL Light bulbs- Saves on office energy costs

6. Re-use file folders- Saves on office material cost and produces less rubbish

7. Bring in a plant (eureka palms are great for cleaning indoor air)- Creates a happier healthier office!

What sustainable practices are you doing in your office?

North Shore Hawaii Hideaway

Nestled deep in the back roads of Waialua’s agricultural land this newly built green home is nothing short of magnificent. Contracted to build the new home, MOKULUA High Performance Builder spent about 6months helping the owners build their personal utopian.

The board and baton stilts edged with moss-rock veneers lift the home high enough to have an impressive view of the tree tops and looming mountain range.   The house was built with an Indonesian inspiration of an indoor-outdoor feel.  Anderson’s Fibrex reclaimed vinyl windows line three quarters of the home, allowing natural light and ventilation to flow through contributing to the improvement of their indoor air quality and reducing  their dependency on un-natural lighting.  Eco-friendly dry wall and insulation in combination with low to no VOC paints and glue also cultivate a better in-door air quality environment.   In addition, the foundation of the home was constructed with pre-engineered studs and truss’s that helped to cut down on cost for the homeowner, reduce waste and maintaining a low carbon footprint.

The home was also detailed with beautiful imported goods from Bali that include a stunning Ironwood shake roof that give the home a unique texture and exceptional appearance.  Dark Merabu hardwood floors and Hawaiian ‘Ohi’a wood pillars  line the entire home giving off a warm exotic feeling while the country-cottage custom made kitchen cabinets and counter tops complete the overall charm.

MOKULUA HPB theme song

If MOKULUA HPB was a 90’s sitcom what would be our theme song…?


Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there
I’ll tell you how MOKULUA became the builder breathing sweet Hawaiian-air 

In east Oahu born and raised
On the job site is where I spent most of my days
Framing, finishing, relaxing all cool
And surfacing tile outside of the pool
When a couple of guys, wanted a home built good
So I started building houses in my neighbourhood
I got one big job and my mom was so proud
And said “You’re building custom houses in the sweet Hawaiian air” 

I whistled for a crew and when they came here the
they all looked so “fresh” and had no fear
If anything I could say that this crew was rare
But I thought nah, forget it, yo lets build homes in the sweet Hawaiian-air! 

I pulled up to the house about seven months later
And I yelled to the crew “Yo, this house couldn’t be greater!”
Looked at this home I was finally there
To sit on my throne as a high performance builder breathing sweet Hawaiian-air

Cozy Custom-Built Waimea Home Completed and Beautiful

This Haleiwa – Waimea Bluffs, hillside home is as beachy as they come!  Designed to maximize the ocean (and big surf) views, a wrap around lanai spans the entire makai side offering a comfortable outdoor living space with panoramic views of Waimea’s best surf and north shore sunsets.  The adjacent indoor space feels huge with vaulted ceilings, plenty of windows and sliding door systems to maximize the use of natural light and allow for that oh so Hawaiian indoor outdoor lifestyle.  Coming back from the beach, an outdoor shower leading into the mudroom welcomes the occupants and guests.  Stylish tigerwood engineered flooring adds an exotic style with all the benefits engineered flooring has to offer; from the protective finish coating to the recycled product used for the substrate, this was an easy choice.  Cherry cabinets, granite countertops, travertine showers, custom doors and an Audio Visual system that great for game day was balanced with great attention to the homes performance and efficiency.  Utilizing anti-ultraviolet roofing systems coupled with high density insulation and a photovoltaic systems keeps the radiant heat while increasing the homes energy efficiency.  With a reduced cooling load from passive ventilation features, energy star appliances, low voltage and LED lighting, a hybrid heat pump water heater and low flow plumbing this surf shack really made efficiency look
laid back… perfect style for this north shore bungalow.

View this home's full portfolio HERE. 

The Value of Green Labels

Is the economic ball rolling??  The markets seem to be moving again… home sales are increasing, developer inventories are slimming and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has announced another positive spike in permits and new home development for the 3rd quarter in a row… in the midst of the “pre-presidential” election, why aren’t we hearing about the proverbial backbone of our economy – the construction industry?  What’s fueling this growth?  What the heck will it look like this time around?   As the next wave of home building and growth emerges from the  recession ashes can we expect consistency?  We’ll it appears all the hype around green building may be a little more of a benefactor to than once perceived.

A recent study published in July 2012 formulates the “value of green labels”… in short they assess the intrinsic value of building a high performance home that is in compliance with one or more (Energy Star, LEED for Homes, NGBS, etc.) of the green label programs.  The first comprehensive study of its kind within the United States concluded; Green Labeled Homes will garner a 9% increase in home value on average and this value is inherently more in hotter more environmentally conscience regions and areas with higher utility rates, spikes or pending increases.  Well, DUH!!!  But then you got to stop and think…. all three of those conditions apply to Hawaii!

We have all heard that Solar Water Heating (thermal heating) and Photovoltaic (PV) are great upgrades that add a bunch of value to a home… okay, yeah it’s tangible, it’s new, it’s convenient and you get that instant gratification of seeing those panels on the roof and those sweet tax credits!  It does make sense if you’ve got $60K to burn… but let’s consider energy efficiency as a whole, I mean, before you go blanketing energy use and over-consumption with silicon and plastic that doesn’t always pencil.  While we’re at it let’s also take a gander at the most common home improvements from a whole value perspective;

PV – 3.5% increase – average cost $55,400 (4.5 kW system) – positive residual savings

New/Upgraded Kitchen – 4.6% increase – average cost $43,500 – no residual savings

Pool/Landscaping – 2.1% increase – average cost $61,900 – negative residual savings

New/Upgraded Baths – 2.9% increase – average cost $13,500 – no residual savings

Green Label Retro-fit – 9.3% increase – average cost $21,800 (includes mechanical systems) – positive residual savings

These percentages are based on national figures SO keep in mind that regions like Hawaii tend to have a higher percentage because of the demand.  It also applies when building your home, the study has found that 65% of single family developers are building to some type of Green Label, most notably Energy Star but this has improved their marketability and value by offering higher comfort at a lower operating cost.  It has also been found that homeowners who take part in the process of building their home can have an immediate positive return on their investment in energy efficiency by pursuing a green label program.  The comparisons and numbers as follows;

Average (standard code) new construction – $230 / s.f. x 1,000 s.f. = $230,000

Utility and Operating Cost Yr. 1 – $335 / month x 12 months – $4,020

Appraised value Yr. 1 (home only) 2.8% avg. increase of new home at refi – $236,440

Positive Variance – $2,420.00

Average new construction to Green Label standard – $236.50 / s.f. x 1,000 s.f. = 236,500

Utility and Operating Cost Yr. 1 – $52 / month x 12 months – $624

Appraised value Yr. 1 (home only) 9.1% avg. increase of new home at refi – $258,020

Positive Variance – $20,896 (less the standard code construction s.f. difference of $6,500) = $14,396.00

Of course there are a lot of factors that play into these formulas, everything from climate zone, utility rates, size, architecture, etc. etc. but the concept still remains, within the typical appraisal and refinance period of 1 yr homeowners will yield an immediate ROI fr0m building a high performance home to some form of Green Label.  Not to mention the residual savings which compound annually… to me that just seems like the most efficient way to go!

Mike Fairall “LEED”ing nominee for NAHB Designee of Year

MOKULUA is proud to have our Principal, Mike Fairall, as a “LEED”ing nominee for the National Association of Home Builders Designee of the Year.

As a Master Certified Green Professional, Mike has not only represented his business, Mokulua HPB as a leader in green building but has also been on the forefront of representation for the State of Hawaii.  As a committee member in the Energy and Green Building sub-committee, Mike has actively used his experience as a MCGP to contribute to growing Hawaii’s green building experience.  Integrating Energy Star, NGBS and LEED best practices and standards into his firm’s construction process and offering clients a high performance baseline home by adapting Hawaii’s often controversial climate zone considerations.  Furthermore, he has promoted the growth of knowledge through education by encouraging his entire project management team to participate in the CGP program as well as two additional managers participating in the MCGP program.  Mokulua HPB can proudly state they have the only MCGP’s in the state!

Taking one step further, Mike has completed the CGB and is in the process of completing the GMB program.  As a graduate and approved trainer, he is working with BIA – Hawaii to increase NAHB’s education outreach and program awareness.  A leader in advocacy for green building in the state Mike has been working with MaGrann Associates, headquartered in Mt. Laurel NJ to assist in the integration of a state efficiency building program, which is set to go out to contract within the next year.  Mike’s ultimate goal for Mokulua HPB to give every client an energy efficient, sustainable, health and high performance home has been realized over the last couple years through the continued commitment to green building science, educating his team and improving on best practices as they pertain to the high performance homes built by Mokulua HPB.

Mike has continued his education and understanding of green building as a NGBS Certified Green Verified, a LEED for Homes Green Rater and a HERS rater.  To be understand how to build a high performance, high functioning home he went from the inside out to offer clients the best possible options without the financial strain to the budget.  He has also been a catalyst in the pursuit of these programs by industry professionals from Architect and Designers to Engineers and other Builders.  Always willing to share some knowledge Mike has continually looked as his efforts as those requiring mutual cooperation and as such has made a point to push for industry movement as a whole through competitive advantage and inspiring other professionals by example.

At the age of 31, it is inspiring to see the next generation of builders really taking initiative and action to make energy efficiency and green building a sustained part of their businesses and management process.  To keep the momentum moving it is important for other young entreprenuers to step into the fore-front and stand side by side with the men and women who have been pushing the NAHB in this direction for the last 25 years and continue their efforts through awareness, education and a dedication to improving the efficiency and sustainability of our nation’s building industry.

The Finest Builder and General Contractor in our Time!

“Having built our custom homes for thirty five years, dealing with large cost over-runs and long punch lists, we are delighted that these are in the past.

The finest builder and General Contractor of our life has been MOKULUA, as their planning,quality execution and integrity is, to quote a Tibetan phrase, para gate (beyond the beyond,) so that not only do we have the “Best in Class in Hawaii,” but also the most economical, creative with timely results.

They are a true synergy of the finest combination of a Pennsylvania work ethic and Aloha Spirit!  Mahalo Nui Loa.”  Rudy and Audrey Decker-Boznak

Congress Extends $2,000 Tax Credit for Green Home Builders

RESNET has achieved its number one legislative priority January 1st 2013, when Congress extended the $2,000 tax credit for builders who build energy efficient homes by a bipartisan vote 89-8 in the Senate and 257-167 in the House.

The extension was part of the compromise legislation aimed at averting the fiscal cliff.  The legislation extends the credit through December 31, 2013 and retroactively to January 1, 2012.

This is a significant achievement considering the political stalemate that has existed in Washington.  It also demonstrates that there is wide bipartisan policy support for high performance homes.  MOKULUA wants to express our deap appreciation to RESNET’s Washington team, RESNET’s strategic allies and Jim Petersen of the Pulte Group for their hard and effective work on this issue.

President Obama just announced that he would sign this legislation!


LAS VEGAS, Jan. 21 2013  Michael Fairall, CGB, CGP, Master CGP, founder of MOKULUA High Performance Builder in Kailua, Hawaii, has been named the 2012 Certified Green Professional ™(CGP) of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Fairall was honored for his longtime advocacy on green and sustainable design and construction issues and his focus on increased energy efficiency, improved indoor air quality and occupancy health, appropriate allocation of resources and most importantly consumer education – all goals for building to the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, on which the CGP class curriculum is based.

At both the state and national level, Fairall advocates for more refined construction practices and legislation that promote the same. As a member of NAHB Green Building and Energy Subcommittee, he represents Hawaii as a viable player in offering valuable solutions for tomorrow’s sustainable market.

NAHB’s CGP educational designation is earned through a combination of class work and industry experience. CGP designees learn how to make cost-effective, market-appropriate choices for energy, water and resource efficiency, indoor environmental quality, lot and site development and home maintenance

The CGP Designee of the Year is awarded to the industry professional who best showcases the importance of the educational designation and promotes professionalism. Fairall has held the CGP designation since 2009.

Fairall and other leading industry professionals will be recognized at the Designation Achievement Reception at the 2013 International Builders’ Show on Jan. 21 in Las Vegas.

  “Mike Fairall understands that it’s every member’s responsibility to promote professionalism in the industry, and that one of the best ways to demonstrate that professionalism is to stay on top of educational opportunities, understand best practices and pay attention to design trends, “ said Kimberly Chambers, chair of the Green Building Designations Board of Governors and a builder from Montana.  “I congratulate Mike on this well-deserved honor.”

 # # #

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.

MOKULUA HPB Voted Best of Houzz 2013

MOKULUA HPB of Kailua, HI Receives

Houzz’s 2013 ‘Best Of Houzz’ Award 

Annual Survey and Analysis of 11 Million Monthly Users

 Reveals Top-Rated U.S. Professionals

Kailua, HI — January 22, 2013 – MOKULUA High Performance Builder of Kailua HI has been awarded  “Best Of Houzz” 2013 by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design.  Hawaii’s leading green builder, MOKULUA HPB, was chosen by the more than 11 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

The Houzz “Best Of Houzz” award for 2013 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and DesignCustomer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from architects, and interior designers to contractorsand other residential remodeling professionals.  Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the community of 11 million monthly users, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 124 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via theHouzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app.

“Houzz provides homeowners with an in-depth, 360-degree view of building, remodeling and design professionals through images of their work, reviews and an opportunity to interact with them directly in the Houzz community,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community. “We’re delighted to recognizeMOKULUA High Performance Builder among our “Best Of” professionals for exceptional customer service as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like MOKULUA HPB but also those whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and evaluating their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.


MOKULUA stands for something bigger than building homes…
it’s a promise to our environment and the people that live with it; we will protect the environment and continue to improve our industry, the standards within as well as impact those around us to do the same.

MOKULUA HPB is a fully licensed and insured general contracting firm located in Kailua, Hawaii, with core values in sustainability. Those whom we have served will quickly tell you that we are Hawaii’s sustainable custom home-builder and remodeler. Not only will you find a supreme attention to detail and craftsmanship but also a studied and methodical approach to the design and build process.

About Houzz

Houzz ( is a leading online platform for home remodeling, providing inspiration, information, ‘advice and support for homeowners and home improvement professionals through its website and mobile applications. Houzz features the largest residential design database in the world, articles written by design experts, product recommendations, a vibrant community powered by social tools, and information on more than 1.5 million remodeling and design professionals worldwide who can help turn ideas into reality. @houzz_inc

The Essence of HPB…

High Performance Builder… oh yeah, sounds like a sales pitch, BUT what does it mean?

The essence of HPB is building science, and building science is defined as follows;

“skills and knowledge that allow us to design and create buildings that perform in a predictable way”

…that seems simple enough and what is more comforting than something one can predict; certainly homeowners want to know what they can expect of their new home, remodeled home or an existing home that might need a little T.L.C.  The GOAL of building science is to identify efficiency practices that reduce energy consumption without compromising comfort and include best practices (as coined by the International Code Council or ICC) identified by the International Green Construction Code or IgCC.  Best practice, as mentioned, is the development of methodology for the best way to construct a home, remodel a home or renovate.  It is should not be an upgrade to your budget but rather an inclusion by your competent general contractor.

 Through the use of analysis tools such a modeling software and performance testing we can ensure the what was designed and built will in fact play out and the home will perform as predicted.  Our thorough understanding of building science means we are using best practice methods of construction; building our homes to a higher level of performance and durability and by doing so we minimize the impact on our planet!

Simply enough, at MOKULUA HPB we leave our clients with a high performance home, no matter how simple the renovation or how big the build, by embodying building science in our work we know what to expect and leave our clients with peace of mind and a home we will standby for a lifetime.

Hawai‘i Making Waves in Financing Clean Energy

MOKULUA is about a lot more than home building and construction, we are about building homes that owners and the environment can depend on and be proud of for many generations to follow. That is why we take it upon ourselves to stay educated on the decisions Hawai‘i government officials make regarding clean energy movements, especially those in the home energy sector. Check out this article entitled "Hawai‘i Making Waves in Financing Clean Energy" and educate yourself on a bill that may effect your home or future home decisions. 

Radiant Barrier… Sounds cool, I’m a scientist

I’m interested to know how many people be it architects, engineers and especially contractors actually know what and how a radiant barrier works AND if the product is being installed properly, ensuring its effectiveness.  Sure, in Hawaii most people have heard of Tech-Shield… the most common radiant barrier sheathing on the market (shout out to LP) but, like most of us wonder… “what is my true purpose”?

I’ve heard a lot of shop talk on how Tech-Shield (radiant barrier sheathing) reflects radiant heat and keeps your home cooler… well, fortunately the later is true, IF it is installed with understanding AND measures are taken to ensure it’s NOT intended to reflect the heat.  Rather,  Tech-Shield is actually a “Low-E” product, meaning it actually doesn’t reflect heat at all, it absorbs it, much like any other roof sheathing, but the foil layer actually prevents emissivity… meaning heat transfer.  In essence, Tech-Shield is your roof’s bullet proof vest for heat, it will take the heat bullet but not let it pass through to your home’s envelope.

A typical sheathing, absorbs the heat and that heat transfers to the rafters into the attic space, increasing the temperature significantly.  So the trick here, is all about the proper installation of the radiant barrier, be it Tech-Shield or another product.  So next time you’re faced with the burning (hot) question of whether or not your roof will have a radiant barrier… be sure to ask an even hotter one… do you know how the radiant barrier you’re about to install works…?  Then throw in radiant heat transfer, low emissivity and  HOT Dang… you’re talking some serious building science! 

Mokulua HPB featured on HOUZZ is the online hub for all things home design. From furniture, to wall color, to interiors and to construction, Houzz is the one-stop-shop where any home builder, remodeler or home interior enthusiast can find inspiration to create their dream residence. We MOKULUA are honored to have been featured on such a huge home owner, builder and designer online network. Check out the Dreaming in Color: 8 Gorgeous Green Bedrooms to read a little more about what we do and draw inspiration for your next home project!