Workers Turn to Green Design for Office Complex

Rep. Mina Morita
Rep. Mina Morita

LILIHA (KHNL) --  Workers put the finishing touches on this new design complex along South School Street.

It used to be home of the famous "Kaneda's" Delicatessen.

But now, it's been cleaned-up and refitted, complete with a full photo-voltaic array.

That, combined with a high-tech lighting system, has already cut the electrical bill in half.

''The lighting that is in the entire office is done by zones and then operates with occupancy sensors. So, when no one is the room for 20 minutes, it automatically turns off,"  said Laura Ayers.

Ayers is an architect with Philip K. White, one of firms who occupy the building.

She explains, the innovation doesn't stop with "saved energy".

A good number of the building materials are recycled, or environmentally friendly, such as the panelling and the flooring.

''The carpet that we use in the office and throughout the architectural studios is a sisal carpet which is renewable resource and a type of grass," said Ayers.  "This is our reception area. The floors are done with bamboo, which is a renewable material."

But, the emphasis is on taking a holistic approach, in hopes of changing lifestyles in order to save energy.

''We're encouraging people to bike to work and use the shower upstairs to get ready for work, or run or walk or whatever you want to do. We're also going to have special stalls for hybrid vehicles that are designated in the front and some carpool stalls as well. I mean, we feel it's important just to do the right thing."

The new office is described as a "living laboratory."

Ayers says, clients and visitors can experience for themselves the latest "green design" features, that they in turn use in their own homes and offices.