Military projects grow momentum for LEED in the Top 10 state of Hawai'i | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Posted in LEED
Published on
Posted in LEED

Growing up in a military family means calling many different places home. While moving back and forth across the country and attending seven different schools, I always considered Hawai’i to be my home. Not only did I live there the longest as a child, but I am proud to be of Hawaiian ancestry and am lucky to have a beautiful Hawaiian name.

While growing up in the islands, I learned the importance of environmental stewardship. After all, the original settlers from Polynesia had organized themselves to survive and flourish by living off the land and sea. I have fond memories of volunteering to help restore an ancient Hawaiian fishpond on my Grandfather’s home island of Molokai.

Malama 'aina means to care for and nurture the land so it can give back all we need to sustain life for ourselves and our future generations.* Since this concept has been instilled in the islands’ inhabitants for generations, it’s no surprise to me that Hawai’i was ranked 6th in the 2014 Top 10 States for LEED.

In 2014, Hawai’i certified 30 LEED projects representing over 2.6 million square feet. This was up from the state’s 9th place ranking in 2013, which represented 17 LEED projects and over 2.3 million square feet. With an active USGBC Chapter, there are over 1,400 LEED professionals and 80 USGBC member organizations based in Hawai’i. For information about LEED’s growing momentum in the Aloha State, take a look at their state market brief.

After mixed-use offices, educational institutions and retail establishments, military bases are the fourth largest space type for LEED projects in Hawai’i. Bases have a special place in heart because my family had the privilege of living in two historic homes while stationed at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. Needless to say, they were not the energy and water efficient homes that we see there today. Whenever I return to the islands, I’m thrilled at the sight of the military housing’s transformation. For example, the Army built one of the first LEED for Neighborhood Development projects in the country at Fort Shafter on Oahu. Hundreds of housing units on the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam have been LEED-certified and I marvel at the large installations of photovoltaic systems whenever visiting my old stomping grounds.

As I reviewed the list of LEED-certified military projects in Hawai’i, several evoked memories from growing up in the islands.

  • Child Development Center (CDC) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam: The first LEED Platinum facility on a military base in Hawai’i was the Child Development Center (CDC) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH). Currently operating as a net zero energy use facility, the center features rooftop integrated thin film photovoltaic panels which were installed above the carports. Other features include a solar thermal domestic water heating system, advanced metering and sun shading. The CDC also offers a green building education program to more than 300 students, keeping them engaged in sustainability and the environment. I can only imagine that I would have been a student at the CDC, had the facility been on the base when I was growing up there.



LEED Platinum Child Development Center (CDC) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (Credit: ED GROSS, THE IMAGE GROUP, LLC)

  • Daniel K. Inouye Fighter Squadron Operations and Aircraft Maintenance Facility. The Hawaii Air National Guard built their first LEED Platinum project, the new Daniel K. Inouye Fighter Squadron Operations and Aircraft Maintenance Facility. This state-of-the-art facility was completed in 2014 on schedule and under budget. Energy efficiency was maximized by taking the island’s unique climate and environment into account. Some of the many innovative strategies include sun shading, daylighting, solar power, natural ventilation, occupancy controls and sensors, underfloor air distribution, high-efficiency chilled water, low-flow water fixtures and materials reuse. With a long-term energy goal of net zero, the project has already achieved a 72% reduction through conservation measures, as compared to the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 baseline design. I had the privilege of meeting Senator Inouye when I was a student leader at Maryknoll High School in Honolulu. This LEED Platinum project is a fitting tribute to our late great statesman and highly decorated war veteran.



LEED Platinum Daniel K. Inouye Fighter Squadron Operations and Aircraft Maintenance Facility (Credit: BURNS & MCDONNELL and DOUGLAS PEEBLES PHOTOGRAPHY)

  • NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center (IRC) Main Facility. One of my fondest memories as a child was playing on the shores of Ford Island, overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial. While a solemn reminder of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ford Island was also a goldmine of adventure for kids. We had old bunkers, underground bomb shelters and airplane hangars to play in. I was excited to learn that two of the historic hangars had been connected with a brand new central structure, creating a very large LEED Gold facility for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which also honors our late Senator.. The NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center (IRC) Main Facility features the state’s first passive cooling system, natural lighting, photovoltaics and a gray water capturing system for irrigation of the native landscape.


LEED Gold NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center (IRC) Main Facility (Credit: U.S. NAVY)

  • Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. With over 1 million visitors annually, the USS Arizona Memorial is the most popular tourist attraction in Hawai’i. Rebuilt by the Navy in 2010 and operated by the National Park Service, the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center has earned LEED Gold certification. Some of the sustainable features include natural ventilation, daylighting, sun shading, low-flow plumbing fixtures and a solar array. The curved architecture of the structures optimized the natural trade winds in Hawaii to utilize passive ventilation and provide thermally comfortable spaces.



LEED Gold Pearl Harbor Visitor Center (Credit: TOM FAKE)

  • Navy Public Order and Safety building. The Navy Public Order and Safety building was LEED-certified at the gold level at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard. I know that area very well. Not only did we live right around the corner from the site, but my father was the captain of a ship that spent several months getting fixed up in those shipyards. The project uses onsite renewable energy from solar, light wells to provide ambient lighting to interior spaces and low-flow toilet and shower fixtures for water conservation.

There are over 350 LEED projects in Hawai’i and the numbers continue to grow—I hope you enjoyed this sample. As a Navy brat, I’m extremely proud that the military has taken on a leadership role in the sustainability initiatives of my island home. 

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