Project Detail

Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy | Energy Lab

New STEM Facility | Waimea, Hawaii

Designed to meet Hawai'i Preparatory Academy’s goal to create a high school science building focused on the study of alternative energy, the 6,100-sf Energy Lab inspires students to experiment with renewable energy technologies.

The award-winning building employs photovoltaics and wind turbines to meet its energy needs (using no more energy than it generates over the course of a year), harvests rainwater to meet its potable water needs, uses natural ventilation, and has views outdoors from 100% of its occupied spaces. To promote environmental literacy, students can monitor the building’s energy use in real time.

The design supports project-based learning, a key component in 21st-century learning pedagogies, and encourages scientific study both indoors and out. Project ideas are conceived by teams in a project room, simulated at computer workstations, fabricated in the research lab or in workshops, and tested on the building grounds.

In addition to being certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council, the Energy Lab is the first K–12 facility in the world to meet the Living Building Challenge, an even more rigorous green assessment threshold.

Honors and Awards

AASA/AIA/CEFPI Walter Taylor Award  (2011)
Forest Stewardship Council Annual Design & Build Awards 7th Place  (2011)
ACEC Hawaii Grand Conceptor Engineering Excellence Award (2011)
 ACEC New York Platinum Award (2010)
Wood Design & Building Awards Merit Winner (2010)
IDID Merit Award Excellence in Sustainable Design & Development (2010)
AIA Honolulu Award of Excellence & Jack C. Lipman AIA Members' Choice Award (2010)
AIA New England Design Awards (2010)
Learning by Design Grand Prize (2010)
American School & University Architectural Portfolio Special Citation (2010)
BSA Excellence in Design Honor Award (2010)


David Andreu, Wood Architecture Today (2018)
Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, Creating Biophilic Buildings (2017)
Timothy L. Hemsath, Energy Modeling in Architectural Design (2017)
Brad Liljequist, The Power of Zero: Learning from the World's First Net Zero Energy Buildings (2016)
Sabrina Leone and Leone Spita, Eco Structures: Forms of Sustainable Architecture (2010)
Time Span 2008–2010
Type New STEM Facility
Client Hawai'i Preparatory Academy
Size 6,100 square feet
Cost $4 million
Design Team David Croteau, Principle-in-Charge; Kelley Banks, Project Architect
Consultants Civil Engineering: Belt Collins Hawaii Ltd.; Structural Engineering: Walter Vorfeld & Associates; Mechanical Engineering: Hakalau Engineering LLC; Electrical Engineering: Wallace T. Oki, PE Inc.; Surveyor: Pattison Land Surveying Inc.; Sustainability Consultants: Buro Happold Consulting Engineers
General Contractor Quality Builders
Photographer Matthew Millman
Certifications Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified Platinum; Living Building Challenge (LBC) Certified Living

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