Construction of Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center

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The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Kealia Pond Headquarters and Visitor Center is a 7500 square foot, LEED® Silver building (certification pending) that replaces a Headquarters/Visitor Center destroyed by fire in 2006.

Architectural concepts were developed with the locale and history of the Hawaiian island of Maui in mind. These concepts included double pitched roofs, lava rock clad footings and columns and siding that is consistent with the local architecture. The Visitors Center includes an exhibit hall, reception and lobby area, book store, bathrooms, and multi-purpose room. Sight lines from the reception area into the exhibit hall were stressed to encourage visitors to enter the exhibit hall. The project design employed a Building Information Model (BIM) in order to allow both the owner and the design team to accurately understand the coordination of architectural and structural elements and the aesthetic features of the complex roof-framing and open site lines. GHD served as the prime consultant and completed the civil, structural, mechanical and electrical system design, the environmental review and permitting, and is serving as the LEED® Project Administrator and Commissioning Agent.

The project design was completed on a five-month, fast-track schedule to meet the requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition, the design complied with the requirements of the Architectural Barriers Act and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The project’s sustainable design features include:

  • Natural daylighting
  • Xeriscaping with native species that require little or no irrigation
  • Photovoltaic panels for electricity and solar thermal panels for hot water
  • Natural bioswales for treating site drainage
  • Energy efficient HVAC systems
  • Use of recovered and local materials
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