NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

Project Size:
60,000 SF
LEED Registered

In 2000, Ferraro Choi was retained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to plan and design a new 108,000 square-foot facility on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. The facility was to consolidate NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center Honolulu Laboratory and the Southwest Region Pacific Islands Area Office in a single location.

The project was the first in the State of Hawaii to be registered for LEED v2.0 for New Construction certification, the second version of the fledgling rating system which been launched by the US Green Building Council that same year. The project sought LEED Gold certification and was designed to reduce energy consumption by 60%.

The 2.2-acre site was bounded on the west by the East-West Center and on the east by Manoa stream. The development area was long and narrow in the north-south direction and limited to approximately 60,000 square feet.

The program called for wet labs, a necropsy lab, offices, dining and conference facilities, a research library/media center, an administrative core, and support spaces. Its most prominent sustainable design strategies included high performance, fixed-shelf shading/day-lighting system, radiant cooling with a liquid desiccant dehumidification system regenerated by an extensive array of solar hot water panels, and the delivery of 100% outside air to all occupied spaces.

At the completion of the construction documents phase in 2002, NOAA canceled the project when the opportunity arose to consolidate the Honolulu Laboratory and Area Office with all other NOAA programs statewide in the new Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center at Ford Island.

Although the project was not constructed, its highly innovative and sustainable design garnered considerable national and international attention. In 2002, it was one of only three U.S. projects to be selected for presentation at the 3rd International Sustainable Building Conference in Oslo, Norway.