LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v2.0
701 Bishop St. Tenant Improvement
LEED Platinum 2011
* This profile has been peer-reviewed by a USGBC-selected team of technical experts.
The below stakeholder perspectives address the following LEED credits:
WEc1.1, WEc1.2, EAc1.1, EAc1.2, EAc3, MRc5.1, MRc5.2
Goals and motivations
What were the top overarching goals and objectives?
The primary goal of this project was to retain the beauty and character of this historic space while at the same time creating a long-term home for Hau`oli Mau Loa Foundation that reflected its mission of, "promoting stewardship, preservation, and protection of the environment." We also wanted it to be welcoming, functional, and aesthetically-pleasing for employees and visitors.
A narrative LEED wall plaque (on the column to the left of the conference room)
What were the motivations to pursue LEED certification and how did they influence the project?
- Cost/utility savings
- Design innovation
- Organizational priority
The Hau`oli Mau Loa Foundation wanted the renovation of its offices to be as environmentally-responsible as possible. Another impetus for LEED certification came out of the building's historic nature. HMLF wanted to show that the goals of LEED certification can complement, as well as benefit, a historic building - rather than compete with it - while providing an interesting and inviting office environment for staff and visitors. Additionally, LEED certification prompted the use of utility sub-metering that provides verifiable energy usage for HMLF, and documented energy savings is an attractive asset to any office tenant in future lease negotiations.
What were the most notable strategies used to earn LEED credits?
We reduced our water use by installing ultra-low-flow lavatories, kitchen sinks, showers, and toilets. On the energy side, the main chiller is a house unit, so while we could not change that, we were able to change everything downstream of it, including demand-control ventilation systems. We addressed all lighting to make it high efficiency and high controllability.
Note translucent walls made of recycled resin panels, cork flooring, and conference room sideboard made from reused wood.
Basically, everything from the capital treatment up, we didn't want to touch. The previous lighting scheme was done in the 70's or 80's and had a lot of track lighting; aside from being inefficient, you couldn't look up and see the beautiful ceiling. Part of our strategy in reducing lighting was to increase natural and up-lighting; we wanted to bounce as much light as possible into the space to enjoy the historic ceiling. A lot of this up-lighting was accomplished through an interior light shelf, a strategy which also saves energy by reducing the need to artificial light
One of the greatest features of the space was the historic fold treatment for the existing concrete beam, which we treated with a faux stain to make it look like wood.
Ma Ka Hana Ka 'Ike, a construction skills training program for at-risk youth aged 14 through early 20s and based in Hana, Maui, was brought in to work on the reception desk cladding. We live in a rural environment about two-plus hours from the city and on a day-to-day basis, we practice sustainable building and learning. We had several sources of downed and discarded tree limbs gathered from the East Maui region that we recycled into a work of mosaic art.
Visitors are greeted with this artwork made of all-natural salvaged wood from forests in Hana, Maui, and created by the youth of Ma Ka Hana Ka 'Ike, a group supported by the project owner.
We were told the size of the spaces needing to be filled; that the wood must be sustainable and naturally-procured; and the hues/color tones that would work. The kids sat down in a brainstorming session to determine what to create in line with the mission and philosophy of the foundation; they came up with the ideas. We went out and gathered the materials: mac nuts, pheasant wood, and downed mango. The beauty of a piece like this is that you don't need large pieces of wood; you can use small pieces of downed material. In this way, the project taught youth about the recovery of regional materials and how to use them to showcase green building practices.
What cutting-edge strategies or processes were implemented?
The team focused on increasing natural light infiltration into the space through the use of translucent walls made of recycled resin panels. We also worked with the manufacturer to develop a blended fabric/resin panel that works as an interior light shelf over the main conference room. The material blend in the light shelf panels bounces 80% of the natural light deep into the space while allowing 20% of the light to diffuse into the conference room below. This creates a soft glowing lid which, for most purposes, eliminates the necessity for any artificial lighting during normal business hours.
Recycled resin (3-form) panels bounce light deeper into the space and allow the light to filter softly into the conference room below. The custom trellis is made from FSC wood.
While the recycled content of the ecoresin panels directly contributed to MRc4.1 and 4.2 the real benefits, though no credits were earned, are realized in improving daylighting to the offices toward EAp2 and EAc1.1 as well as improved glazing reducing heat loads which allowed mechanical systems to be sized down and more efficient toward EAp2 and EAc1.3.
How was the integrative process applied and what was the greatest benefit gained?
Throughout the process, the design team worked together to strive for new ways to push beyond just replacing systems and equipment with more efficient versions. We looked to readdress how systems interact with each other to ultimately provide an even more efficient and desirable outcome. Mechanical, electrical, and lighting design disciplines were all used from the beginning of schematic design to bring the project and its constraints to their maximum potential.
Steps were taken to maintain the existing air handling unit while retrofitting it for maximum efficiency. This was due to the fact that a new unit's cost-to-benefit ratio was not desirable and the owner's leasing structure did not allow for replacement. The existing constant air volume air conditioning system was retrofitted to a variable air volume with bypass system. Variable air volume diffusers installed in each space provided for efficiencies not possible with the previous setup. Integrated in the diffusers was a temperature control, allowing each space to alter the temperature of delivered air. In effect, this efficiency measure ultimately provided the ability to give each occupant controllability of her own space, an additional amenity which would not have been possible without the new diffusers.
Working with the design team's mechanical and lighting designer allowed us to reduce cooling loads. Analysis of the exterior glazing eventually showed that the optimum glazing type would allow the team to reduce south-side ducting by more than six inches in width, exerting less loading on cooling equipment and allowing the design team to maximize a tight head height under the ducts. Since the new glazing effectively let more light into the space then the existing tinted glass, electric lighting could be minimized, reducing loads from electric lighting and further reducing cooling loads due to a reduction in heat gain from lighting.
What were the most important long- and short-term value-add strategies and what returns on investment (ROI) have been experienced or anticipated?
While the aesthetics of the tenant improvement will undoubtedly add value to the space, energy savings provided the most attractive return on investment. Through the passive and active strategies applied, the facility can expect to save about 18,500 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The estimated annual energy cost savings is $3,700. Over a conservative lifespan of 20 years, the total utility savings adds up to $74,000 based on a continuous rate at today's energy prices. This, coupled with the fact that the client elected to pursue EAc3 (Energy Use Measurement and Payment Accountability), allows them to substantiate their energy use and use it as leverage in future lease negotiations.
It can be hard to get clients to make that leap of faith and buy into the benefits of improving glazing. But this owner was more interested in pursuing that effort than a lot of others. For this client, we did a quick analysis to compare the existing glazing (doing nothing), tinting it with a ceramic tint, and two different glazing options that fit into the glazing pocket. Based on that analysis, we chose the best performer, and though there was a large upfront cost, the resulting savings were very significant.
What project challenges became important lessons learned?
While the historical charm of the space was certainly a project attribute, it also presented its share of challenges. As a project listed on the National Historic Register, few, if any, modifications could be made to the exterior. As such, our effort to replace all of the exterior single-pane glazing took considerable research to source a product that would not only work with LEED's envelope energy requirements, but also allow the team to retain the historical window frames.
In all phases of the effort, Hawaii Architecture LLP worked closely with Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division to keep the department aware of the proposed changes, which resulted in a very efficient review process once final documents were submitted to the City for final permitting.
We ended up with a laminated glass with a low solar heat gain coefficient and a high visual transmittance to let as much light in as possible. We were trying to stay on a "passive first" mentality to get the light as far into the space as possible. The glazing significantly decreased heat gain in the space, which reduced the cooling load throughout the lifecycle of the space and allowed the HVAC system to work much more efficiently without the vast temperature variables that existed prior to the glazing upgrade.
What was a pivotal moment that impacted the project's direction?
Restrictions to façade modifications due to the building's historic nature prompted the design team to develop an interior light shelf, rather than use a more conventional exterior shading device. The 3Form product was a version of eco-resin featuring inlaid fabric that can be controlled to manage translucency and reflectivity. A different fabric would allow almost 100% of light to reflect or it could allow 20% to transmit through the panel and 80% to bounce. We worked with the manufacturer to find a material that would give the ceiling in the meeting room a soft glow and would push light deeper into the space above it. We strove to keep the materials as light as possible without making it too bright on the horizontal surfaces, which would distract the mezzanine tenant. The cork flooring used on the first floor has a high reflectance and bounces light significantly through the offices and into the space. The resulting interior light shelf serves to accent an otherwise dark and neglected historic ceiling and is now a feature that is the project's highlight.
So, what do you think? Help us improve our new LEED project library by completing this short survey.