Hawai’i Convention Center Sustainability Efforts

LEED Gold Certification

The U.S Green Building Council was established in 1993 with the mission to promote sustainability in the building and construction industry. In 2000 the Council developed the now internationally recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification system.

This system provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

In 2018, after a thorough review process of these criteria, the Center was awarded LEED v.4 O+M: Existing Buildings Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Center is the first and only “public assembly, convention center” to earn LEED v.4 O+M Gold Certification in the U.S., and is the only LEED v.4 O+M Gold project in Hawai‘i.

Gold is the third-highest rating out of four total levels, including “Certified,” “Silver,” “Gold” and “Platinum.” Importantly, LEED provides a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions.

Energy Conservation & Efficiency

  • The design of the Center includes a canvas-type sail on the rooftop, allowing Hawai‘i’s trade winds to circulate throughout the building. This helps to vent off heat and reduces the need for air conditioning and the use of electricity for cooling.
  • A computer-based building management system controls lighting and air conditioning, ensuring guest satisfaction while properly managing the use of energy. Electricity use is closely monitored through accurate programming of meetings start/end times and incorporates pre-cooling. Lights are programmed to turn off when there is no activity in meeting rooms.
  • A jockey chiller is installed as an alternative to the original larger chillers, further reducing the amount of energy used for air conditioning.
  • Lighting in the ballroom, exhibition halls, parking areas and back-of-the-house offices and hallways was retrofitted to florescent and more efficient configurations.
  • Lights and air conditioning in the back-of-the-house areas are programmed to be off during weekends and holidays, when there is no activity in the building. Motion sensors in intermittent-use areas also help with energy conservation.
  • Energy use on large equipment is managed using variable frequency drives (VFDs) to adjust motor speed to output requirements.

Water Conservation

  • Automatic dispensers for sink faucets, hand towels, hand soap and hand sanitizer in all restrooms save on water, towels, and cleansing product.
  • Low-flush toilets and urinals and low-flow aerators in sinks and showers are used throughout the building to reduce water use.
  • Xeriscaping and drip irrigation in the landscaping minimize water use.
  • The Center installed five water bottle filler dispensers throughout the building in 2015. To date, these bottle fillers have saved 73,653 additional bottles from being purchased and put into the environment waste stream.
  • Recycled water from barrels is used to tie down tents for our rooftop events.
  • Recycled water is used to water plants and for cleaning facility.
  • Installed artificial turf on 25% of lawn space to reduce need for watering.

Air Quality

  • The Center established a building-wide no-smoking policy to maintain optimum air quality. Designated smoking areas are located to have minimal impact on public air quality.
  • Staff members use self-pedal bicycles, electric carts, and propane-powered lifts, reducing need for petroleum products, thereby improving air quality.
  • The Center provides for electric vehicles with a designated parking area and charging station for guest and staff use.
  • The Center encourages our convention attendees to take alternative modes of transportation such as Honolulu’s new bikeshare program called Biki which has a station at the Center. This new transportation service offers residents and conference goers a green and clean means to move about Honolulu and Waikiki.

Waste Reduction & Recycling

  • The center recycles glass, plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard from events and all administrative offices. Center staff manages the collection and sorting of recycled products.
  • Recycle receptacles for attendee and client use are placed in meeting rooms, public areas, convention offices and at food and beverage events.
  • Green waste collected from landscaping areas is composted and recycled into mulch.
  • Used computers, monitors and keyboards are recycled through a local service that repurposes current equipment for local communities and recycles older equipment.
  • Equipment and materials no longer necessary at the Center are offered to other State of Hawai‘i agencies or community organizations.
  • Contractors include recycling and repurposing of materials in their waste management plans for construction projects.
  • In 2018 we have diverted 92% our total waste from landfills with 48% diverted to recycling and 44% diverted to Honolulu Program of Waste Energy Recovery (H-Power), Honolulu’s waste to energy plant.

Event Practices

  • Event-generated waste, such as foam core boards, displays and furniture, are repurposed and donated to local organizations that service those in need.
  • Convention tradeshow giveaways are repurposed and donated to local schools and service organizations.
  • Center staff members work with event planners to plan and execute environmentally conscious events. Examples include tracking and documenting waste generated from specific activities, working to clear the Center’s landscaping of invasive plants detrimental to Hawai‘i’s landscape and planning sustainability-focused community service activities.

Sustainable Purchasing

  • The Center encourages a “buy local” procurement policy whenever possible. This extends to Hawai‘i-sourced food products and items created and produced in Hawai‘i, thereby reducing the shipping and packaging needs for products delivered to the Center.
  • Chemicals purchased by housekeeping, landscaping, engineering and food and beverage departments are ecologically friendly.
  • Energy Star ratings and other industry certifications are considered when purchasing new equipment and appliances.
  • Sustainable properties of building materials are included in the selection process for all capital improvement project purchases.

Food & Beverage Sustainable Practices

  • Food and Beverage buys from local suppliers and producers, menus featuring local tastes and products are customized for events and 808 Coffees Café, a coffee kiosk on the meeting room level, serves only locally grown and produced coffee.
  • Disposable food and beverage service ware is biodegradable and compostable
  • Food that is prepared but not served is donated to Aloha Harvest, which then distributes it to charitable organizations.
  • Food waste is used for animal feed locally. Oil used in deep fry preparation is recycled through a third-party contractor.
  • The kitchen uses a recycled water process that filters solid materials and pre-rinses, providing an estimated 50% savings on dishwashing water use.
  • The Center is a proud participant of the EPA Food Recovery Challenge where organizations pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results
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