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Hawaii Gateway Energy Center, a Fascinating Display of Solar Potential

HGEC

The Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (HGEC) is a 3,600 sf, $3.4 million facility situated on the south coast of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The new building serves both the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii and the Hawaii Ocean Sciences and Technology Park.  And as you may be able to gather from the images and models below, HGEC is a fascinating display of the future potential for synergies of solar power and building efficiencies.  The entire building is designed as a thermal chimney that captures heat and creates air movement using the structural form and thermodynamic principles.  Also, with the help of glazing, the building orientation and design pretty much eliminates the need for electric lighting during the day.  Notably, HGEC consumes about 20% of the energy that’s required by a comparable building. 

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Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue, a Modern LEED Platinum Building

JRC Synagogue

The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation synagogue is a beautiful building on 303 Dodge Avenue in Evanston, Illinois.  The Chicago Tribune reports that it’s "believed to be the first synagogue designed to achieve the highest level — platinum — in the [USGBC's LEED] rating system."  That’s probably true.  The  JRC board of directors mandated LEED Platinum certification, but my search of LEED Certified projects does not list the JRC synagogue yet.  Nevertheless, it’s a fine example of green architecture in the religious building context, which is something we don’t see too often. 

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Old Warehouse Converted to Modish Green Offices

RiverEast Center

Sometimes I wonder what kind of miracle it took to bring a deal like this to fruition.  You have this abandoned, 40-year old warehouse with contamination, structural, and code issues.  Nobody wants it.  And it’s probably much easier to go somewhere else and just do what everyone else does.  You rent space or build a new building.  But Jeff Reaves, president of Group MacKenzie, and Jay Haladay, owner of Coaxis, saw major potential in this dilapidated structure now known as RiverEast Center.  They decided to buy the property and wanted to convert it to office space for each of their growing company’s headquarters.  The result?

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