The University of Hawaiʻi and the State Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are teaming to offer UH Mānoa architecture and engineering students the opportunity to use DHHL’s land, homes and development projects, as a learning laboratory. The partnership agreements was signed on April 30 at a ceremony in Kapolei between DHHL and Mānoa’s School of Architecture and the College of Engineering.
“Real world experience is key to transitioning our students from the classroom to their first job, and this partnership does exactly that, right here in our own backyard,” said President M.R.C. Greenwood. “This collaboration with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands provides our students a very unique and rewarding educational opportunity that they can’t get anywhere else.”
The School of Architecture has committed to designing 10 homes in 10 years for DHHL’s Kānehili subdivision in Kapolei. Architecture students will be involved in all aspects of designing affordable, custom-built, green homes for qualified Native Hawaiian beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust.
The College of Engineering plans on incorporating engineering research and innovation to help DHHL identify any current and longterm infrastructure and maintenance issues on its homes and land such as assessing rock fall mitigation concerns, drainage and water infiltration problems, or structural concerns with roadways.
This agreement builds upon a foundation set by a similar partnership between DHHL and the Hawaiʻi Community College. Over 3,000 students from several of the college’s applied technical education programs have taken part in building 44 homes for homesteaders on the Big Island, since the partnership began in 1965.
“This partnership goes to the heart of our mission of returning Native Hawaiians to the land,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Alapaki Nahale-a, “We are calling on the best our local university has to offer to help us build healthy, sustainable homestead communities and provide diverse homesteading opportunities to our beneficiaries.”