University of Hawaii
West Hawaii is the only remaining major geographic area and population center in the State of Hawaii that does not have a permanent facility for higher education. Currently, the University of Hawaii Center West Hawaii (UHCWH) is located in a strip mall at Kealakekua. The first phase of the campus is designed to accommodate the transition from the present site to the new campus Hawaii Community College Palamanui Campus.
The most obvious site constraint is its isolation from any infrastructure and constructing on virgin lava land that has never been developed for modern use. Being off the grid, this provided the design team opportunities to explore sustainable and ecologically driven solutions. Key design strategies include sunlight harvesting (photovoltaic panels), daylighting harvesting, mix-mode air conditioning/natural ventilation system, onsite wastewater system (constructed wetlands) and water reuse for irrigation of the landscape (xeriscape). The 73-acre project site includes a large archeological preserve consisting of an extensive lava tube complex containing various archaeological features and human burials. This provides the opportunity to capture a unique spirit and Hawaiian cultural environment. Hawaii Community College Palamanui Campus was envisioned and designed as a learning laboratory: a place for learning and a learning tool itself.