In 2006, 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.
Dave Thomas, PE, SE
I provided structural engineering assistance to Greg Higgins and HabiTek during the development of the system and the design of the Bunk House, Country Cottage and the Honomu House projects. The steel HabiTek components are lightweight, strong, and precisely made, and they fit together quickly and easily, using just hand tools. I know this first hand. I once visited the County Cottage during construction, and pitched in with the crew for an afternoon. It was actually quite enjoyable to help assemble.
Combined with wood, floor and roof panels, or even steel X-bracing, the system creates a tough, well connected structure able to resist earthquakes, high winds, and heavy floor and roof loads. The steel components provide a resilient well connected framework to secure the enclosure panels which participate in resisting lateral forces.