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The Build

When you come to a wall too tall to climb, throw your best hat over it.
You will then be well motivated to climb over.

- John F. Kennedy

The Energy Lab was the result of inspiration, determination, vision and support of the school board, contractors, and the single donor. At every decision point, the team’s central philosophy was to strive for evolution, to create a “new normal”, and to “think of forever.”

The design of the Energy Lab was driven by two green building certification standards: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the Living Building Challenge (LBC). A building can earn LEED certification at several levels: Platinum, gold, silver or “attempted.” The LBC is a more rigorous pass/fail certification, extending the challenge of LEED to include materials sourcing, one year post-occupancy auditing, and many other criteria. A building is judged on 7 "petals": Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Certification is only earned if the building meets or exceeds specific criteria for each petal. The Energy Lab was the third project in the world to meet the LBC standard. LEED and LBC are evolving standards, and the latest iterations of each include suggestions and modifications contributed by this project.
Click on the icons below to learn more about LEED and the Living Building Challenge.

The Energy Lab took shape over 12 months, with construction completing in January 2010. Given the remote location of Hawaii, the build team faced unique challenges in meeting the LBC's high standards for materials sourcing. The build also included the installation of a large 26 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array just uphill of the Energy Lab that feeds renewable energy to the rest of campus. As the project manager Ken Melrose described it, “we lived a process of creative tension, based on mutual respect.”

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