Green living isn’t just for humans.
Fei Mui, a 3-year-old Chinese shar-pei, is enjoying the natural ventilation and sustainable design of her "Green Dog Haus" built by Graham Builders.
The 20-square-foot shelter is constructed of reclaimed eucalyptus wood purchased from Re-use Hawaii, according to Mark Slivka, an architect at Graham Builders who designed the dog house. Open slats take advantage of natural tradewinds and provide cross-ventilation. Broad overhangs create shade, while a rooftop garden helps keep the doghouse cool inside.
All of the wood, including the base, was stained with environmentally friendly products from Green Builders Depot.
"We designed it to have some of the features we typically put into homes, including the large overhangs and good cross-ventilation, and bundled it up in a modern, clean aesthetic," Slivka said.
Green Builders Depot
Graham Builders built the Green Dog Haus to showcase its expertise in sustainable design, then auctioned it off at last month’s BIA Home Building and Remodeling Show. Honolulu resident Stephen Dung, Fei Mui’s owner, was the highest bidder at $750, which Graham Builders in turn donated to the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Dung said he bid for the doghouse, in part, to support the Hawaiian Humane Society’s mission.
"The concept of a ‘Green Dog Haus’ was intriguing to us, and the chance to support a great cause motivated us to bid on the house," he said.
Fei Mui, so far, seems to love her new house, according to Dung. She’s an inside-outside dog, but when outdoors, had only trees and shady areas in the yard for staying cool.
"This is the most elaborate house she’s had," he said.
The Dungs do not have a strictly "green" home to match the doghouse, but they do keep a compost bin in the yard for kitchen waste, maintain a vegetable garden, use compact fluorescent lights, and have EnergyStar appliances.
As avid gardeners, they plan to plant basil, lavender, oregano, chives, rosemary and other herbs on the dog house’s rooftop.
Slivka said he considered installing a solar-powered fan but didn’t want to go overbaord. Homes for humans, of course, can feature even more sustainable design elements, he said.