Admitted to the Union in the year 1959, Hawaii is the 50th state of the United States. It is home to roughly 1,455,271 people, and ranks as the 43th largest state, occupying an area of 28,313 km². The only state of the country that is also an archipelago, Hawaii also enjoys the status of being the only state that is located entirely within the tropical zone. Lying just below the Tropic of Cancer, the weather is dominated by two seasons - summer (kau) and rainy (ho‘oilo). Summers are hot and humid, influenced by trade winds and last from May to October, while the rainy season (which is also identified as “winter” or ho‘oilo), lasts from November through April, is cooler but sees more rain and thunderstorms. Despite its position on the map, Hawaii is less prone to tropical storms and cyclones as the water surrounding the islands are cool and the atmosphere in general is not favorable for storms. In the last 63 years, the island state has only been hit by 4 major hurricanes.
As Hawaii’s climate and geography are different from that of the other states, it comes as no surprise that their roofing systems are also different in character. The state is known for its distinct “Hawaiian roof” system. Designed by C. W. “Pop” Dickey, architect who spent his formative years in the state, such roofs are characterized by its double pitched structure, where the upper portion is at a steeper angle compared to the lower portion. Besides offering an aesthetic unique to the history and culture of the area, these roofs are also by far the most efficient in every aspect. Typically, Hawaiian roofs are made from tiles, asphalt shingles or wooden shingles. Clay and concrete tiles are also used, albeit on a lesser scale.
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