Honolulu, Hawaii
2003 Honolulu AIA Award of Merit
2003 Honolulu AIA Sustainability Award of Merit


When Ferraro Choi was engaged to design the new AIA offices, the selected lease space proved to be the perfect opportunity to create a sustainable office space in a historic building. Large operable windows and high ceilings were the main elements that led to the application and acceptance into the U.S. Green Building Council’s National LEED® for Commercial Interiors Pilot Program (LEED/CI®) for the AIA office.


Guided by LEED/CI® criteria, dropped acoustical ceilings were removed to expose the original 12′ high plaster ceilings. The large double-hung windows were reworked to provide natural ventilation and ambient daylight for the newly renovated space. Recycled and environmentally sustainable materials were specified and much of the demolition and construction materials were recycled. The entire construction process functioned as an educational tool toward promoting, designing, constructing, and sponsoring sustainable interiors projects. All participants gained valuable experience in sustainable techniques that can be applied toward future “green” projects.


Sustainable Design Strategies:

  • Specification of all new furniture for its sustainable material content and sustainable manufacturing processes.
  • Reusing existing materials, furniture, and fixtures from the former office whenever possible in the project.
  • Specifying energy-fficient light fixtures with occupancy sensors.
  • Daylighting design.
  • Operable windows for optional outside air ventilation
  • Specification of sustainable materials (see below).
  • LEEDTM recognized strategies.

Specification of sustainable materials:

  • Drywall made out of 100% recyclable ash.
  • Carpeting made out of recycled products that can again be recycled.
  • Carpet adhesive and paints containing low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
  • Cork flooring, a sustainable and renewable material.
  • Wood shelves and counters manufactured from certified or renewable forested products.
  • Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) shelves containing no formaldehyde
  • Locally produced construction materials whenever possible.


Project Team:
Interior Architecture/Sustainable Design:
General Contractor:
Ferraro Choi And Associates Ltd.
WSP Lincolne Scott
Cornair Inc.