The Cave House Philosophy

Reasons to stay and not to stay at The Cave House

The Cave House is not a vacation rental. This information is for guests of John and Mary.

Cave House home

 

The Cave House at Kula Kai is very energy efficient, comfortable, and easy to maintain home. The sturdy construction is safe for the occupants and the environment.

 

The Cave House was designed to provide a comfortable and easy place to live, yet be very energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

If you are considering building your own house in Hawaii and want to do a short visit in another energy efficient house, the Cave House is a good place to see if you like it.

 

Indoor Temperature Control

The Cave House is properly insulating and designed to be very comfortable without any heating and air conditioning systems. Opening some windows during the day to take advantage of the ocean breeze may be helpful and closing all windows in the late afternoon will be best for retaining the day time warmth throughout the night. So far, the minimum overnight indoor temperature has been 69 or 70 degrees fahrenheit. If you are considering building or buying a house in Hawaii and are not convinced that central heating and air-conditioning are not necessary with proper insulation, then a stay at the Cave House will provide a firsthand conformation of the benefits of good design of energy consuming heating and cooling. The house is at about 1000 feet elevation above sea level, which makes the seasonal average temperature outside about 70 to 77 degrees. The average day to night outside temperature change is about 15 degrees.

 

Solar Hot Water Heating With Electric Backup

The Cave House uses solar hot water with electric backup hot water heat. Depending upon how much direct sunlight hits the rooftop solar collector, the minimum early evening water temperature is 78 to 85 degrees. Most people will finder water temperatures of about 82 and above quite comfortable for showers. On cloudy days when the water temperature may fall below 83 degrees you can turn on the manual switch which is next to the water heater. Within an hour, the 120 gallon tank will have enough hot water for many showers. You may want to turn the manual switch off, when your preferred temperature is reached. The water heater may have enough hot water to last another day even if the next day is before an assist is need from the electric heating elements. Most of the electricity in Hawaii is produced by burning oil; this is why electricity is so expensive and many people try to conserve.

 

Laundry

The washing machine is a large capacity front loading machine that is very water efficient. The dryer is also a large capacity front loading machine. If one is trying to save energy, the clothesline between two trees, about 50 feet behind the house, helps reduce energy consumption immensely.

 

Kitchen appliances

A smooth top stove, large refrigerator with bottom freezer, dishwasher, disposal, and microwave are all modern and energy efficient.

 

Catchment and Reverse Osmosis Pure Drinking Water

The Kau desert averages about 15 inches of rain a year and has no permanent surface streams. There is no public sewer and water utility in the Kau District. All appliances and toilets in the Cave House are water energy efficient. A reverse osmosis water filtration system in the kitchen supplies pure drinking water. Attaining low household water consumption still requires some self discipline by the user. The Cave House facilities make successful water conservation easier. If it does not rain and the catchment water tank runs low, The Kau Water Delivery Company can deliver a truck load of spring water from the station near Naateleau. The large 26,000 gallon water tank and catchment system has all the design features to keep the water safe and clean. It is treated with chlorine once a month. There are two filters for the entire system in addition to the reverse osmosis system next to the sink. We recommend this water for all drinking water. Reverse osmosis is the most effective filtration system available. If one forgets and drinks some water from the other facets, it is not harmful and consuming small amounts of this water is nothing to be concerned about.

 

Reduced Allergens

In order to reduce allergens, no pets are allowed in the Cave House. Several other features help to reduce allergens such as the adjustable air mattresses which are resistant to dust mites, no duct work to collect dust, a mostly tile floor, and no grasses planted next to the house. The smoking of any substance is prohibited in the Cave House and on the grounds, as is the use or possession of any illegal substances.

 

Long Term Energy Plans

There are few incandescent light bulbs in the house. The long-term goal is to have on site electric production and remove the few small base incandescent bulbs.

 

Steel Houses Save Lives and Property from catastrophic events

Steel houses such as the Cave House are resistant fires, big earth quakes, and extremely high winds, thus reducing the loss life and property damage from catastrophic events, Steel houses do not require poisonous chemical treatments to protect against termites, saving the environment from more harmful chemicals.

 

Appearance

On the outside, The Cave House looks like a Parker Ranch house, one of the common designs in Hawaii made famous by its use at the Parker Ranch. On the inside, the walls are all drywall, and the only sign of its stronger construction can be seen in a few places along the vaulted ceiling.

 

House positioning and location

The southern part of Hawaii has steady winds; this is very good for windmills, but sometimes uncomfortable for people. The 1907 lava flow created a natural wind barrier in the form of an aa lava ridge to the west of the Cave House, making outdoors a little more comfortable by reducing the force of the wind to a modest breeze.

 

Access

The Cave house is all on one floor, there are no steps in all the living space, three foot wide doors throughout, and comfort height toilets. The Cave House is almost completely wheel chair accessible. There is a small step from the porch to the red cinder patio around the house.

 

Kula Kai View Estates Sub-Division and the Ocean View Community

Kula Kai is a gated community with three acre residential lots. There is very little traffic on the only main street, Kona Kai Boulevard.

The Cave House is not in the Ocean View sub-division. The Ocean View shopping area serves the five subdivisions of Kula Kai View Estates, Ocean View, Ranchos, Kula Kai Gardens, and Kahuku Country. It has a few restaurants, grocery stores and two small shopping areas. The restaurants are not fancy. The Ocean View area is an Hawaiian version of small town America.

 

 

Reasons why you might want to stay at the Cave House at Kula Kai

Your preference

 

The Cave House

Accommodations with lots of space.

1

The Cave House has 1800 square feet of living space and a 420 square foot front porch.

Convenience and comfort

 

 

You like having high speed internet connection where you stay.

4

You may connect directly to the LAN. The internet is supplied through Aloha Broadband.

You like new facilities

5

The Cave House was completed in May 2008.

You like modern kitchen and laundry appliances.

6

The washer and dryer are large capacity front loading for example. A smooth top stove, large refrigerator, and microwave

Conveniences such as grocery stores, restaurants, and other amenities are important

7

Within two miles are restaurants grocery stores and a small shopping center in Ocean View. The restaurants are not fancy. The Ocean View area is an Hawaii version of small town America.

Staying at a quite place in the country is nice.

8

Kula Kai has three acre residential lots.

You dont like a lot of automobile traffic nearby.

9

Kula Kai is a gated community with very little traffic on the only main street, Kona Kai Boulevard.

One floor plan is best.

10

There are no steps in all the living space, three foot wide doors throughout, and comfort height toilets. The Cave House is almost completely wheel chair accessible.

A semiarid place with only a slight chance of rain is preferred.

12

Average annual rain fall at the Cave House is 15 inches.

Health and Environment

 

 

The equivalent of bottled drinking water from a kitchen tap is a nice convenience.

13

A reverse osmosis water filtration system in the kitchen supplies pure drinking water.

A no smoking house is important.

14

The smoking of any substance is prohibited in the Cave House or on the Grounds. As is the use or possession of any illegal substances.

You want to experience firsthand living with solar hot water and other energy saving features.

16

The house uses solar hot water with electric backup hot water heat. There are no incandescent light bulbs in the house.

You want to stay in an ecologically friendly house.

17

The house is properly insulating and designed to be very comfortable without any heating and air conditioning systems.

You prefer sleep number adjustable air beds or you want to try them during your vacation before purchasing an adjustable air mattress.

18

The Cave House has three king size air beds. Warning, if you presently use innerspring mattresses you may not want to return to your old mattress.

 

 

 

Aesthetics

 

 

Being able to see wind mills in the distance gives a nice feeling.

19

Fourteen wind mills at south point provide up to ten percent of the electricity for the Island.

 

You appreciate lava flows and having a view over a large lua or puka.

20

The cave house overlooks a large lua (puka)* it is natures sunken garden. There are four cave entrances visible from the front porch. The driveway crosses a natural bridge, Arch Cave.

You like contemporary furnishing.

21

There are all modern furnishings throughout the house.

To come across an occasional wild orchid adds to the day.

22

Orchids grow wild in Kau and one is in the field behind the house.

Location

 

 

You want to be near Hawaii Volcano National Park.

23

Hawaii Volcano National Park is only a 45 mile drive from the Cave House.

You are considering moving to the southern part of Hawaii and want a central place from which to do your research.

24

Kula Kai is a good central area from which to work between Kailua-Kona and Hilo. It is a little closer to Kona than Hilo.

You want to be in short driving distance to the Green and Black and White Sand Beaches

25

You can see South Point from Kula Kai. The White, Black, and Green Sand beaches are in the South Point vicinity.

Kula Kai Caverns is nearby.

26

Professionally guided cave tours are available at Kula Kai Caverns less than a mile from the Cave House. Several different types of cave tours are available and all meet the highest standards offered by any show cave.

 

 

 

 

Reasons why you might NOT want to stay at the Cave House in Kula Kai

Your preference

 

The Cave House Disadvantages

Value

 

 

Do not like long driving distances with the related cost.

1

Kona is 45 miles and Hilo is 78 miles from the Cave House. Public transportation is very limited in Kau.

Location

 

 

You want to be next to the beach.

3

Kona Kai Boulevard goes toward the ocean (makai) but ends a few miles short. There is a nice view of the ocean; however, to get in the water requires a drive on route 11.

You prefer to stay at resorts with many amenities such as swimming pools, fancy restaurants on site or nearby, and large shopping centers.

4

Try further north on the Island. Water is expensive on the west side of the Island and fewer swimming pools are installed.

You prefer facilities with a concierge and other support services.

5

Concierges are rare in Ocean View and Kula Kai.

You like the night time social scene of a resort community.

6

Ocean View businesses tend to close early, and the celebrities generally dont stop here.

You dont like staying in small towns or rural areas

7

Honolulu on Oahu may be more to your liking.

You want to be close to the airport.

 

8

The Kailua-Kona Airport (KOA) is 55 miles from the Cave House. The Hilo airport is about 77 miles from the Cave House.

Health and Environment

 

 

You avoid holes in the ground, cliffs, and other hazards

9

You have rambunctious children who might go into the lua although they were warned about the loose rock and other dangers.

Aesthetics

 

 

You prefer water to arrive in a pipe from a large water treatment plant, and you do not like catchment water.

10

The Cave House has catchment water and is supplemented when necessary with water supplied by a water hauling company from a spring in Naalehu. The water from the catchment tank is filtered and drinking water in the kitchen is supplied by a reverse osmosis system.

You do not like lava and cliffs.

 

11

Hawaiian land is 100 percent lava; maybe the Caribbean would be more to your liking.