Grow Your Own Sustainable Barn

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2003: $7,396.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:


  • Additional Plants: trees, ornamentals


  • Crop Production: forestry
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display
  • Natural Resources/Environment: afforestation
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    Grow a tree, build a barn. That’s the idea behind this Western SARE grant on the island of Kauai. Project coordinator Robert Layer says the project will demonstrate the use of locally available, sustainable materials for low-cost construction. A quarter acre of trees and bamboo – a renewable woodlot – will be planted for building a 400-square-foot barn. The woodlot will include six species of fast-growing timber trees suitable for upright posts, beams, rafters and flooring. Two are toxic to termites and won’t rot. Workshops will be held at each phase (soil preparation, tree propagation, planting and mulching and barn construction). Inspired by Hawaiian architecture, the energy-efficient, simple barn will include solar-generated electricity and a water catchment system for irrigation and production of bio-fuel. The project will be documented with a video and displayed on a Web site.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.