Hawaii Department of Education Sustainability Advisor

From the State of Hawaii Department of Education website: “The Department’s Ka Hei program, a five-year endeavor launched in 2014, will integrate innovative energy technology with meaningful learning experiences while reducing energy costs. As a comprehensive energy and sustainability program, Ka Hei will transform the learning environment, reduce operational expenses and provide engaging educational opportunities for our students and community.”

In 2013, WRNS was selected to serve as Sustainability Advisor to the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE), one of the largest and most resource scarce school districts in the nation. Having successfully completed over 50 new construction and renovation projects on various K-12 campuses, WRNS is helping Hawaii’s public schools in their quest for energy independence and the goal to be sustainable, vibrant centers of their communities.

This landmark plan is called Ka Hei. With its striking natural beauty, temperate climate, strong sense of community, ethnic diversity, and deep cultural history, fewer places on earth offer as rich a context for the kind of placemaking to which we aspire as Hawaii. Its assets began architecture that is undeniably of its place, challenging us to look critically at color and texture, materials, porosity and landscape integration, and how to leverage natural resources like the sun, wind, and water.

When we talk about what we care about as designers, we talk about place. Place is our starting point – the landscapes, streetscapes, history, ecology, cultural underpinnings, and experiences of the people who call it home. A practice rooted in this viewpoint entreats a diversity in scale, aesthetics, and typology, as well as a deep commitment to social, economic, and environmental stewardship. As placemakers and green leaders unparalleled in planning and design excellence, WRNS will analyze the potential return on investment (ROI) and advise the DOE on the most effective improvements for maximizing the sustainability of the 255 facilities within the Hawaii Department of Education.

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