Environmentally Secure Concrete Houses

Addressing the Need for Permanent Shelter in Hawaii

©1993 John August

I come to you as an entrepreneur, a visionary, and a realist hoping to find others like myself who believe in the importance of architectural direction in the area of permanent, environmentally efficient structures.

Note Bene:

Although this text was written to address problems specific to Hawaii, the topics discussed here are applicable to residential construction in any environment.

Shelter Overview

Select Any Topic Heading

1. Problems Facing Housing Market

  • Extremes of the elements
  • Rise of insurance premiums
  • Gabled roof format
  • Speculative construction
  • Housing as commodity
  • Redundancy in parts
  • Agency approvals

5. Examining the Resistance to Change

  • Architectural and engineering
  • Ready mix industry
  • Past failures
  • Lack of capital for research
  • Bureaucratic red tape
  • Vested interests
  • Uneducated public

2. Options for Construction in Hawaii

  • Thatched palm and bamboo
  • Lumber, steel, plastics
  • Concrete

6. Architectural Style: Choices and Challenges

  • Choice of available materials
  • Exposure to the elements
  • Retaining a regional character

3. Evaluating and Comparing Structures

  • Wood
  • Steel
  • Regular Concrete
  • Lightweight Composite (LWC)

7. Summary

  • Form following function
  • Is cheaper better?
  • Ignorance and education
  • Challenging the vision keepers

4. Advantages of LWC vs. Regular Concrete

  • Engineering
  • Handling
  • Aesthetic

8. Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

  • How strong is it?
  • Why isn't this stuff available?
  • Why does concrete have to be ugly?

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