Buro Happold Project Achieves “Living” Status Under the Living Building Challenge Certification Program
The Living Building Challenge, a performance- and operations-based standard designed to reduce energy and promote sustainability, is one of the world’s most advanced green building certifications. This project is the third ever to attain the highest possible rating.
The passively-ventilated Energy Laboratory in Kamuela, which opened its doors in January 2010, has extremely low energy consumption. In its first year of operation, it generated more than twice the electricity it used, and the excess energy was exported to the rest of the campus. The building also boasts a net-zero water system, meaning that no external water supplies are needed to run the building.
“We are thrilled with Buro Happold’s work at the Energy Laboratory which enabled us to meet and exceed our sustainability goals,” said Dr. Bill Wiecking, Director of the Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Energy Laboratory. “The Laboratory has been a great way to teach our students about environmental responsibility and it has transformed our campus.”
Buro Happold developed the concepts for building systems and collaborated with the design team to meet the strict sustainability requirements that enabled the Energy Laboratory to earn full Living Building Challenge certification. The requirements needed to qualify for “Living” status include: net zero water, net zero energy, and the exclusion of Red List materials, such as PVC, formaldehyde and other chemicals and materials considered harmful.
“Buro Happold is proud to have played such a pivotal role in the development of this state-of-the-art building that earned the coveted ‘Living’ status,” said Craig Schwitter, Regional Director, Buro Happold. “Buro Happold has been a pioneer in sustainability since it was founded 35 years ago, and this certification is a reflection of our continuing commitment.”
The Energy Laboratory is an energy-neutral building with integrated sustainable systems, such as passive solar design, natural daylighting optimization, high-efficiency systems, and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Natural ventilation and daylight were key design drivers for the project. Buro Happold used computational fluid dynamics to establish effective placement and size of windows and louvers (vents), and to provide optimal natural ventilation on the 2,500-ft. leeward mountain, which made the installed fans and air conditioning units unnecessary in the first year of operation.
About Buro Happold
Founded by Ted Happold in 1976, Buro Happold is one of the world’s premier multidisciplinary engineering consultancies. Buro Happold presently operates out of five North American offices (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco) and 26 offices worldwide. The firm inventively integrates sound engineering principles and advances sustainable design in all of its projects. Buro Happold’s engineers work as members of design teams with architects and other professionals, providing either specific or comprehensive engineering services for complete developments, buildings, and their infrastructures.
Images available upon request.