Ponohouse and our neighborhood
Sustainability and Livability
It's Easy Being Green
In the case of Ponohouse, Kermit was flat out wrong. Ponohouse is energy efficient because it was designed that way from from first principles. The sweeping roof and extensive overhangs provide shade from the mid-day sun, and the thick ceramic blue tile roof efficiently sheds heat and insulates the rooms under it.
A large photovoltaic system supplies the bulk of the power. The system is grid connected and uses Enphase micro-inverters for optimum efficiency.The Ponohouse PV system was purchased outright, there is no lease or other constraint. The hot water is solar heated with a large collector system hidden over the garage.
The swimming pool is solar heated, and the pump is an efficient variable speed system. It’s a salt water pool with a catalytic chlorinator.
The extensive gardens are both beautiful, and largely edible! The mature gardens generally require no watering. An irrigation system is installed, but other than annual testing has not been used for the last six years.
Edibles include coconuts, bananas, starfruit, Hawaiian peppers, Cara Cara orange, grapefruit, lime, Meyer lemon, kaffir lime, avocado, kumquat, allspice, medicinal and culinary herbs, and more. Everything grows here at an insane rate. Gardening consists mostly of thinning and reducing. Our citrus trees bear fruit several times per year. There’s always fruit to pick.
The large Ponohouse gardens take a fraction of the irrigation that even sparse ornamental plantings require on the south side. Mature plantings, permaculture practices plus evening rains make all the difference.
Simple and Beautiful
With no heating or air conditioning system required, it’s easy to be energy efficient. Most of the lights at Ponohouse are LED. The largest load is our electric vehicle, the perfect car for Maui. The garage includes a high-power Siemens EV charging station. While the cost of energy might seem a trivial expense for a person contemplating a multi-million dollar property, it’s still deeply satisfying to pay utility and water bills that are a fraction of what people with similar sized homes on the South and West side are paying.
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