Regen Maui

HOMES THAT HEAL

Regen Maui is dedicated to leading the design and build of Maui’s first Living Building Challenge-certified affordable home. We aim to showcase the feasibility and importance of creating healthy living spaces for occupants and the community, homes that nurture and restore our environment rather than deplete it. By spearheading this initiative, we aim to redefine the norms of home construction on Maui and demonstrate a regenerative and resilient approach that inspires a positive ripple effect in our community and beyond.

What Differentiates a Living Building from a Conventional Design?

Let’s construct homes that…

revive ecosystems
honor and embrace cultural heritage and sense of place 
foster food security
obtain all energy needs from the sun
capture and store carbon
replenish aquifers
exclude toxic materials
generate zero waste
create healthy indoor environments
stimulate local economies
uphold fairness and justice
embrace aesthetic beauty
inspire and motivate

Phased Approach to a Regenerative Community

  • REGENERATIVE

    “Regenerative” refers to the capability of improving and self-healing over time.

  • PHASE I

    Design the Home (Months 1-6)

    Community participation is paramount during the design phase. The final design of the project will represent both the Living Building Challenge requirements and the community’s needs and priorities, symbolizing a celebration of culture and place. The design will incorporate prefabricated, panelized components to facilitate quick, efficient, and affordable home construction. The success and scalability of this project hinge on community ownership and advocacy. Ensuring the community’s central participation in both the design and building processes is key to securing their commitment and involvement in making this vision a reality.

  • PHASE II

    Build the Home & Local Capacity (Months 6-12)

    After finishing several community outreach efforts and finalizing the design plans, the project will enter a construction phase that will last for six months. This phase includes the actual construction as well as the development of local skills. Involvement of architects, engineers, and builders from Maui, together with students in regenerative design and the apprenticeship program from UH Maui College, is crucial for developing and enhancing local expertise.

Living Building Challenge

  • Living Building Challenge

    “The Living Building Challenge (LBC) encompasses a philosophy, advocacy platform, and certification program, addressing development across various scales. Its fundamental principle is that buildings should emulate nature and its systems, using the flower metaphor to exemplify this concept. All components of the built environment, akin to a flower, are rooted in their specific location. In contrast to conventional buildings, a flower employs solutions tailored to its environment, fulfilling all its requirements while maintaining harmony with its surroundings. Envision a structure tailored to the unique characteristics of its eco-region, harnessing renewable energy, managing water resources effectively, operating efficiently within a broader community, serving as a resource for future buildings at the end of its life, and is beautiful…

  • Place

    The purpose of the Place Petal is to reshape our understanding and interaction with the natural world that supports us. It’s crucial that our buildings reconnect with the local ecology and the distinctive traits of each community, preserving, honoring, and enhancing their stories. The Place Petal sets clear guidelines for suitable building locations, methods for restoring and protecting an area post-development, and promoting communities that prioritize pedestrian accessibility over car dependence. In turn, these communities need to be supported by a web of local and regional agriculture that encourages the consumption of local, fresh and seasonal food.

    Urban sprawl and the growth of massive global cities pose a threat to the remaining wild areas. The scattered nature of our communities hinders our ability to sustainably source food, leading to increased transportation impacts and pollution. Overly dense urban centers squeeze out vital natural systems, isolating culture from a sense of place. As prime construction land dwindles, development often shifts to fragile areas, susceptible to damage or destruction. Invasive species pose a threat to ecosystems already under strain from existing human developments. The environmental impact of single-occupancy fossil fuel vehicles is catastrophic, but fortunately, there are numerous alternatives, including public transit, car sharing, electric vehicles, and bicycles.

  • Water

    The Water Petal aims to transform the way people perceive and value water. It focuses on addressing the energy and chemicals used in transporting, purifying, and pumping water, and aims to redefine ‘wastewater’ as a valuable nutrient and resource.

    Water scarcity is a critical global issue, with many countries facing acute shortages and deteriorating water quality due to climate change. Even regions historically rich in fresh water are now at risk. The effects of climate change, unsustainable water usage patterns, and the ongoing depletion of major aquifers point towards impending challenges. Adopting closed-loop systems that utilize local resources and localized treatment can help alleviate these issues, leading to a more sustainable and resilient water future.

  • Energy

    The purpose of the Energy Petal is to foster the creation of renewable energy sources that enable projects to function all year round in a sustainable and pollution-free way. It also emphasizes energy efficiency as a strategy to reduce wasteful expenditure of energy, resources, and capital.

    Currently, buildings are the largest consumers of energy. Much of this energy comes from ecologically harmful and often politically destabilizing sources like coal, gas, oil, and nuclear power. Large-scale hydroelectric power, though cleaner in its generation, disrupts ecosystems significantly. The use of wood pellets and other biomass for energy releases particulates and carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, posing risks to public health and burdening land that could be used for food production, while also depriving soil of essential nutrients. The cumulative negative effects of this energy infrastructure are increasingly apparent as rising carbon emissions from energy use contribute to climate changes, threatening the safety and well-being of communities globally.

    The Energy Petal aims to redefine human interaction with energy, envisioning our living, working, and leisure spaces as catalysts for a healthy and resilient future.

  • Health & Happiness

    The goal of the Health + Happiness Petal is to develop spaces conducive to the well-being of all species, fostering a connection between people and nature while ensuring indoor environments have clean air and natural light.

    Currently, many buildings offer inadequate conditions for health, with over half of the world’s office workers lacking access to natural daylight. Research indicates that a connection to nature positively impacts productivity, creativity, and stress management. Maintaining healthy environments involves more than just the initial design and opening of a building; it demands ongoing monitoring and attention to ensure that any changes over time continue to support and enhance human health.

  • Materials

    The purpose of the Materials Petal is to foster the development of a materials economy that is non-toxic, environmentally regenerative, and transparent. Building materials, throughout their lifecycle, contribute to a range of environmental problems, including personal health issues, loss of habitats and species, pollution, and depletion of resources. The imperatives of this petal are to eliminate the use of the most harmful materials and practices and to encourage the shift towards a genuinely responsible materials economy. When impacts cannot be completely avoided, there is a duty to not only offset the negative effects associated with construction but also to pursue improvements within the industry itself. In the last decade, the introduction of the Red List has significantly changed the building industry, moving it from a sector where ingredients were often kept confidential to one where transparency is increasingly becoming the new normal.

  • Equity

    The Equity Petal aims to prioritize equity as a key goal in projects, transforming developments to cultivate a fair and inclusive community where everyone can participate, thrive, and realize their full potential. It is based on the belief that a society which embraces all sectors of humanity, ensuring equal access and fair treatment, is best equipped to make decisions that protect and restore the natural environment sustaining us all.

    Current troubling trends include the privatization of infrastructure, the externalization of social and environmental impacts, and restricted access to nature. Coupled with increasing income inequality, these trends intensify polarized attitudes of “us” versus “them” and hinder full community participation for everyone. Addressing the most pressing environmental and social issues requires acknowledging our shared responsibility and interconnectedness.

    Living Buildings are designed to be accessible and welcoming to everyone, highlighting cultural diversity and ensuring equitable access to fresh air, sunlight, and clean water and soil. The design, construction, and operation of Living Buildings should also positively impact job creation and include those who have been disadvantaged, excluded, or faced discrimination.

    Just, the Institute’s social justice transparency platform, plays a crucial role in the Equity Petal. As a publicly available label and online database, Just is a vital tool for project teams to evaluate their organizational equity and to identify and support other organizations committed to a socially just and culturally rich future.

  • Beauty

    The Beauty Petal aims to acknowledge the importance of beauty and the connection to nature as essential factors in fostering a desire to protect, conserve, and contribute to the greater good. In our society, we frequently encounter unattractive and impersonal physical surroundings. The secret to designing beautiful buildings lies in adopting a biophilic design approach, highlighting the interconnection between people and nature. This approach emphasizes the significance of integrating the local environment, climate, culture, and community as key elements in creating aesthetically pleasing buildings.

  • Living Community Challenge

    The Living Community Challenge serves as a comprehensive framework for master planning, design, and construction. It is designed as an instrument to foster a harmonious relationship between people and every facet of the built environment.

    This initiative urges governments, educational campuses, planners, developers, and neighborhood groups to develop communities that are as interconnected and aesthetically pleasing as a forest.

On August 8, 2023, Lahaina experienced a catastrophic fire that resulted in the destruction of over 2,000 homes, the displacement of more than 6,000 individuals, and the tragic loss of over 100 lives. This calamity highlights the critical importance of how we build our homes. The sight of survivors, dressed in hazmat suits and respirators, sifting through the hazardous ash of their former homes, underscores the crucial role of the materials used in home construction.

Envision a future where every home contributes positively to the well-being of our communities and our planet, where each home embodies biophilic design.

This is truly what ‘good’ looks like. 

  • homes that… restore ecosystems

  • homes that… celebrate culture and place

  • homes that… recharge aquifers

  • homes that… grow food

  • homes that… sequester carbon

  • homes that… are powered by the sun

  • homes that… have no toxic materials

  • homes that… create healthy & happy spaces

  • homes that… are made from sustainable materials

  • homes that… are equitable

  • homes that… are beautiful

  • homes that… are inspirational