Tiny Tuesday: LifeEdited Maui Update

We’re checking in on the latest project by Graham Hill and his architecture/lifestyle consulting company, LifeEdited. This beautiful, resourceful Maui home is nearing completion and receiving lots of press. An HGTV special is forthcoming.

In a previous post, I questioned the decision for someone who has repeatedly remarked on the economic and environmental benefits of urban life to build a house in a rural location. How does LifeEdited Maui reflect these values? Short answer: it’s off-grid. The Maui climate is near perfect for human habitation, a quality this house exploits to the fullest. Not only is there plenty of sunlight and plenty of rain, but the temperature is basically 80 degrees year round. Between solar power, rainwater capture, and agriculture, it’s easy to live off the land.

About 700 of the 1000 square feet of indoor space are claimed by four generous bedrooms, enabling the house to sleep eight comfortably. The bedrooms contain a variety of wall beds to give the rooms multiple purposes: one is a desk, another hides a sofa, a third converts into an informal dining/craft table. The rest of the house consists of an open kitchen/dining room (“large enough to host a dinner party for 20”), a hallway, one full bathroom, and two half baths.

 

This climate lends itself to outdoor living. HVAC is unnecessary when the ambient air never falls below room temperature, and ceiling fans provide ample air movement when it gets hot. The kitchen opens onto a huge covered lanai that serves as an all-purpose living space. The lanai has modular furniture that can be rearranged for conversation, activities, or dining; the coffee tables convert into dining-height tables. There’s also an outdoor bath. None of these spaces count towards the 1000-square-foot number, nor do the garage and utility room on the lower level.

Maui

The covered lanai with modular furniture, ceiling fans, and rain chain in the corner of the roof.

The house is powered by solar panels on the roof, and captures rainwater from the roof to store in 20,000 gallons worth of holding tanks. Instead of gutters, innovative “rain chains” in the four look gorgeous and apparently sound nice too. The water is then purified and used for sinks and showers throughout the house. The composting toilets avoid the need for a septic system… and with a little dirty work, they provide fertilizer for the gardens.

Read more about the project here. No word yet on structural design or the final price tag.

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