Move Forward on Hawaii ALTERNATIVE BUILDING CODES!

A draft of an Alternative Building Code is stalled in the Dept of Public Works... help ask Mayor Kenoi to move it forward!

In Hawaii, the building codes are hugely complex and create big extra expenses for small owner/builders.  They require buildings to be overbuilt for this mild climate, mandating construction techniques that are not needed here and materials that must be shipped in from far away.  We want to be able to build with local and recycled materials, using innovative techniques.

Thousands of people have simply chosen to quietly build their own homes with no permits or codes.  These people live in fear that they will be reported.  The county policy is to ignore the many people living this way until there is a complaint, and then the laws are selectively enforced.  

It is common knowledge, since the controversy over Bill 270, that alternative building legislation has broad support island wide and is long overdue. It has the potential to offer great relief to the occupants of over 7,000 non-compliant homes and to County staff that have the impossible task of enforcing the current building codes.

Councilman Zendo Kern has researched and written a draft for an alternative building code bill and submitted it to DPW for their review and comments, but nothing has happened for a long time. The Department of Public Works has sidelined this initiative and has effectively stalled the process.

Help us ask Hawaii Mayor Kenoi to get this moving!

Thanks so much! 

Amara Karuna, Secretary and

Graham Ellis,

Chairperson, Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance

Dear Mayor Billy Kenoi,

The Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance requests that you give your support to the introduction of ALTERNATIVE BUILDING CODE LEGISLATION that has been drafted by Councilman Zendo Kern and stalled by your Department of Public Works. Please help to move it forward.

Our Alliance represents 32 local organizations and over 650 members statewide. We wrote and introduced the alternative building code resolution that was unanimously adopted by the County Council in October 2011. This resolution called upon the DPW to "establish an alternative building code."

Our members are significant stakeholders in this process and have been patiently waiting for some action to occur since this resolution. As a result of our extensive research on alternative building codes used in other U.S. Counties we wrote and submitted a draft to DPW in March 2012.

Despite meetings and requests for more meetings the process was totally stalled by DPW.

During the 2012 election many local residents actively campaigned in support of Council Member Zendo Kern because his primary platform was for an alternative building code. Councilman Kern has also researched and written a draft for an alternative building code bill and submitted it to DPW for their review and comments. Once again your Department of Public Works has sidelined this initiative and has effectively stalled the process again.

It is common knowledge, since the controversy over Bill 270, that alternative building legislation has broad support island wide and is long overdue. It has the potential to offer great relief to the occupants of over 7,000 non-compliant homes and to County staff that have the impossible task of enforcing the current building codes.

We ask that you step in to move this draft out of the DPW  so that it can be formally introduced to the County Council in the very near future. Please inform us of any action you take in this matter.

Sustainably yours,
Graham Ellis,
Chairperson, Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance.

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