POSTED: 1:20 pm HST March 16, 2010
UPDATED: 5:07 pm HST March 16, 2010
Hawaii Buildings Receiving LEED Distinction Is On The Rise
HONOLULU -- More and more buildings are going green, meaning they are being built or renovated in ways that make them more energy efficient. That allows them to become certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED.
Companies like Philip K. White & Associates felt it was important not only to boost building efficiency, but to also obtain official certification that documents and validates the work that has been done.
Laura Ayers, of the architecture firm, said, “I think it’s important for the third level part to verify that. They kind of cross-check and make sure that everything was done appropriately and that everything is running properly to the ultimate efficiency.”
Stephen Ashkin, who previously served on The Green Building Council Board of Directors, said the benefits exceed the few thousands of dollars an office or home will spend to receive prestigious LEED distinction. The savings alone have been enough to drive the green building movement. “Everyone could appreciate what it would mean for spending no additional money to get a building that costs 30 percent less energy wise year after year,” he added.
LEED certification is based on four levels of certification with platinum being the highest. The implemented green factors are measured by points and that determines the level of certification. 40 South School Street is rated silver.
Some many renovations include a photo-voltaic array that powers about 40 percent of the buildings' electricity. Ayers said they use 35 cents per square foot of electricity. It was 54 cents before. And water and sewer use is down by 40 percent.
Also installed were dual flush toilets which saves nearly a gallon of water per flush and an automatic faucet that is hydro-powered and doesn't use electricity. Dual glazed windows and outdoor sunshades have been added to reduce heat gain. And stylish furniture to work stations to flooring are made from recycled materials.
“Showing the community what can be done, that they can do things that are green in an attractive way.” Ayers said.
The Green Building Council and Philip K. White & associates agree other benefits of green building include easily renting to tenants and attracting better tenants and creating a healthier work place for employees. It also saves an estimated 30 percent reduction in Common Area Maintenance costs which includes building maintenance, real property taxes, landscape maintenance and building management.