Ian Tierney

Ahead of the Build + Buy Green 2018 Conference on the Big Island of Hawaii, read about three exemplary LEED projects we will be touring.

Over the past decade, "the Big Island" of Hawaii has quietly become a leader in the local green building movement, most notably in net zero energy, water and waste initiatives.

In 2018, USGBC Hawaii will host its first-ever Build + Buy Green Hawaii Conference, from September 21–22, on the Kailua-Kona coast. The conference will offer two days of site tours, networking events and continuing education credits for USGBC and AIA.

We picked three LEED Platinum tour locations on the Big Island that underscore what Build + Buy Green Hawaii is all about—sustainability, innovation and collaboration.

Early bird registration for the event is open through August 3. For the latest news and updates about the conference, subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for the conference—contact us to learn more, or if you have any questions about the program.

Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Lab, Kamuela

LEED Platinum Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Lab, Kamuela

Completed in January 2010, the Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Lab received LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certification. Today, it continues to run as a living laboratory for high school students pursuing environmental consciousness and alternative energy study.

The Energy Lab’s innovative measures resulted in a net zero energy building that generates more energy on-site than it consumes annually. The students themselves can study sustainable systems inside and out. Inside, the students have access to small project rooms, a large research center, a laboratory and spaces that encourage collaboration. Outside, a Hawaiian sense of place, or 'ike, ties the building into the surrounding environment.

Come see it for yourself on Day 2 of the BBG Conference 2018, with a tour provided by the staff.

University of Hawaii Palamanui Campus, Kailua-Kona

LEED Platinum UH Palamanui Campus, Kailua-Kona

Earning LEED Platinum in 2015, the University of Hawaii Palamanui campus is a sustainability learning laboratory incorporating numerous design innovations in the facility. Five hundred college students use the campus’s classrooms, offices, libraries, culinary arts kitchens and science labs.

Included are on-site photovoltaics for electricity, passive solar orientation, a “living machine” constructed wetland wastewater recycling system, certified sustainable wood and low-emitting paints and adhesives. The campus is designed to recycle 100 percent of the grey and blackwater for irrigation, and 40 percent of its energy comes from solar panels. The HVAC is designed to use mixed-mode ventilation controls—when the windows are opened, the air conditioning shuts down and fans kick in to circulate air. Sustainability certified, glue-laminated timber structures were chosen rather than steel, to minimize the carbon footprint associated with materials.

Join us on Day 1 of the BBG Conference 2018, to tour Palamanui Campus with the architect Urban Works.

Hawaii Gateway Energy Center, Kailua-Kona

LEED Platinum Hawaii Gateway Energy Center, Kailua-Kona

The Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (HGEC) visitor center achieved LEED Platinum in 2005, AIA COTE Top 10 Green Projects in 2007, and is a net zero energy building. The HGEC visitor complex serves the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA).

The HGEC is designed as a thermal chimney, capturing heat and creating air movement using only building form and thermodynamic principles. Outside air is moved through the building without the use of a mechanical system. HGEC employs extensive daylighting. Because of the aggressive energy efficiency design strategies, the photovoltaic system helps to make this a net zero energy building that exports electricity. Native landscaping, porous paving and locally produced materials round out the sustainability strategies.

Hear from architect Ferraro Choi on the Day 1 tour at the BBG Conference 2018.

Register for Build + Buy Green Conference 2018 to tour the LEED buildings