By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor
Ferraro Choi and Associates’ newly renovated offices have recently been certified with platinum under the LEED 2009 program for commercial interiors.
This is the first Hawaii-based project to have received this award. The platinum project comprises 4,951 square feet on the fifth floor of the IBM Building in Kakaako, the Pacific Business News reports. The project entails general office space, four private offices, two conference rooms, informal meeting areas, a library, a conditioned server room and an employee lounge.
In order to obtain the qualification, the company reused 93 percent of their furniture – built-in cabinetry and countertops, carpet tiles, ambient pendant fluorescent light fixtures, modular furniture and shelving systems and condensed file system. The new design included daylight harvesting controls as part of an office-wide lighting control system, making daylight available in 99 percent of the occupied space. In addition, 94 percent of the appliances that were installed were Energy Star-rated.
In related news, Hawaii Tribune Herald reports that Hawaii has seen a slight increase in building permits, while job opportunities in development have not increased. The Hawaii County Building Division issued 1,578 commercial and residential building permits in the first half of 2011, 1.6 percent more than last year. For a comparison, development in Hawaii peaked in 2005, with 5,663 building permits – year in which construction projects on the island surpassed $1 billion.
Craig Takamine, president of the Hawaii Island Contractors’ Association, declared to the Tribune Herald that the current reports are a strong indication that the industry will not improve soon.