Solar Decathlon (5)-University of Hawaii’s hale pili honua of 2011


If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).

Now, let’s take a look at an intriguing design by the University of Hawaii in Solar Decathlon 2011, hale pilihonua: hale (a built structure), pili (connection, to connect), honua (earth and land), the name of the house suggests the connection between the home and nature: in the Hawaiian poetic, a house is like a gourd that holds the necessity of life. What we do in the ocean affects the land, what we do on the land affects the ocean.  The design of the house is also deeply connected with the land through the element of the sun, wind, and water.  This connection promotes sustainability because the house functions in harmony with naturally available resources.  On the exterior there is 3-dimensional organic PV  louvre panel array, farther in is the fiber reinforced plastic skin covering elliptically shaped shell structure/cross section. The shell undulates from one end to the next, creating a space in the underbelly for mechanical equipments and interesting interior space by changing the height of the ceiling from one end of the house to the next.  There is the aerogel insulation (the lightest solid known to men that is 99.9% air, with an R value of 13 per inch.) Aerogel




A flower is on a piece of aerogel which is suspended over a bunsen burner (Wikimedia Commons)

is a manufactured material derived from a gel in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is an extremely low-density solid, with a notable effectiveness as a thermal insulator. It is nicknamed frozen smoke, solid smokesolid air or blue smoke due to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material; however, it feels like expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) to the touch (compliment of wikipedia). With a budget of $250,00 limit, the design is broken up into six shell modules, individually assembled and connected at the site. Followed by installing the PV modules.  This marriage between the PV and solar thermal allows hale pilihonua to balance its energy with what has taken from the land. Now, please enjoy this contribution to the future of design from Hawaii–>







written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamamer,

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

HTML adl



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Solar Decathlon (5)-University of Hawaii’s hale pili honua of 2011”

  1. Eugene Baldo Says:

    Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too magnificent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is actually a terrific web site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2011-2018 · Susan Sun Nunamaker All Rights Reserved ·