Hawaii Gateway Energy Center / Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority

Project Size:
28,000 SF
  • 2005 AIA Honolulu AIA Award of Excellence for Sustainable Design
  • 2006 Northwest & Pacific Region of the AIA Citation Award
  • 2006 LEED -NC v2 Platinum (New Construction) Certification by the United States Green Building Council (one of only 81 projects worldwide and the only project in the State of Hawaii to have achieved such status)
  • 2007 AIA National Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Green Projects
David Franzen

Spearheaded by the State of Hawaii’s Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Hawaii Gateway Energy Center visitor center is the first phase of a 6.5-acre campus for renewable and distributed energy research and development.

The 3,600 square-foot visitor center houses multi-purpose space for community outreach, public presentations, education, and conferencing. In the future, the visitor center will connect to a 22,000 square-foot modular laboratory complex which will provide space for renewable energy research, development, distribution, and demonstration.

Focused on high-performance environmental stewardship, the HGEC visitor center design is innovative and sustainable. In November 2005, it achieved a LEED Platinum rating in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Building Rating System, one of only eight buildings worldwide so rated at the time. Unique aspects of the building’s design include passive deep seawater cooling combined with a thermal chimney that moves ventilation air without mechanical assistance, zero-net renewable energy production, and 100% daylighting.