Kehena House

Location: Kehena, HI (Puna Coast, Big Island)
Architect: Greg Higgins
Structural Engineer: Kris Hamilton, PE, Geiger Engineers, Bellingham, WA
Steel components: HabiTek, LLC
Scope: 1140sf with 770sf lanai; 2 bed, 2 bath

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The design for the Kehena House was largely conceived by the owner/builder and artist, Greg Buettner, after he visited the Honomu House. This is a testament to how readily the HabiTek system can be understood and translated into unique designs. The house consists of 3 levels: a ground level, largely open, where a storage room, catchment tank (cistern) and laundry are located; the main living area which incorporates a large lanai; and an upper level master bedroom suite and lanai. The house is nestled in tropical trees and plants, planted years before, left largely untouched during construction.

“With Hawaii’s tropical setting in mind, Greg Higgins of Habitek and I set out to design a house that was light in feeling with superb ventilation, and a layered indoor to protected outdoor series of living spaces. I’m not a builder by trade, but I acted as owner-builder for my new Habitek home in the village of Kehena, on the Big Island. The Habitek system is self-aligning, and the framework went up very quickly. The steel system is fast to dried space, important in the tropics.

I’ve been living in the house for almost two years now. It is a happy, sunny house. Because it is a post and beam system, it is easily modified. I already have ideas for additional rooms which will require very little to achieve. I have an incredibly strong yet light feeling home that is comfortable in whatever conditions prevail. Here’s to Habitek! – construction for a new century.”

–Greg Buettner, Owner