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Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Lab

The Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Lab is a high school science building dedicated to the study of alternative energy. A zero-net-energy, fully sustainable building, its primary goal is to educate the next generation of students in the understanding of environmentally conscious, sustainable living systems.

The building has a number of amazing sustainable features. An individual wastewater system provides treatment for domestic wastewater and on-site infiltration. Power for the building is provided by three discrete arrays of photovoltaic panels providing a total of 26.13 kW of PV power. Polycarbonate skylights, wood sun screens, and interior roller shades all work together to introduce, reflect, and control natural daylight. A cost-conscious approach led to the selection of sustainable, Living Building Challenge compliant, mass-manufactured products and materials.

Because Hawaii possesses very few native materials, a notable regional product was using the functional and symbolic exterior Ohia Wood Column. This salvaged wood column also contributed to the ‘Beauty’ petal.

A German alternative energy firm has funded the project, as they believe that generational education will be key in achieving improved sustainability. Completed in January 2010, the lab now strives to be not only a living laboratory, but further developing its educational goals as a great example of sustainability. Energy Lab Director, Dr. Bill Wieking hopes this is the first of countless schools worldwide to adopt the Living Building Challenge.

We’re definitely inspired.

For more information, read the case study.

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