The BIA Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards, established in 1986, celebrate excellence in design and construction of new and remodeled projects in Hawaii.

The 26th annual showcase, held May 4, featured 34 entrants from Hawaii, Kauai, Maui and Oahu, and recognized competing categories that included Details, Kitchen & Bath, Landscaping, New & Remodeled Commercial Building, New & Remodeled Residential Building, Public Works, Hawaii BuiltGreen™ and Historical Remodeling.

The entries were judged on creativity, use of materials, environmental and sustainability, functionality, design principles, value, interior space, overall quality and workmanship.


The highlight of the awards ceremony was the recognition of the top four Overall Grand Awards and the Carl Reppun Award. This column will feature the winner of the Carl Reppun Award, named after the first chairman of the Renaissance Awards program. Carl Reppun was a pioneer in prefabricated cabinet distribution in the 1980s, the first distributor of Diamond Cabinets, and he supplied cabinets to many small-volume remodeling contractors. This award is given in his memory to a small-volume remodeler who enters this awards program. The winner of The Carl Reppun Award was Mokulua Woodworking Ltd., Historical Division for “A Historic Remodel.”

To balance modern comfort with historic preservation, the key goals of this remodel were to refurbish where cost and design were effective, replicate where possible and update where necessary. Every area was evaluated to establish effective restoration costs while maintaining the historic design. Great care was taken to restore doors, windows, floors, trims, soffits and hardware to maintain the character of the home and reduce its carbon footprint.

When restoration was not feasible, custom fabricated doors, windows, cabinets, soffits casings and trims were created to match the existing elements. To bring the home up to code and modern energy standards, low-flow plumbing, low-voltage lighting, Energy Star fans and Energy Star appliances were installed. In the new twocar garage addition, the exterior of the home was built to match the existing home by custom built soffits, identical roofing and traditional garage doors.

Karen Nakamura is executive vice president / CEO of Building Industry Association of Hawaii.