Educating for a sustainable future is embedded in the Aims of a Punahou Education. Since the 2005 Sustainability Summit, which urged for greener practices at both the institutional and personal level, the School has furthered this goal in a variety of ways. In addition to fostering a campus culture that holds sustainability as a core value inside and outside the classroom, Punahou has invested significantly in efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and to act as a model for other schools in sustainable facilities design, programs and teaching philosophies.
While the School has made important strides in redesigning its infrastructure to reduce and reuse resources – including the construction of several facilities that are nationally recognized models of green building – some of the most significant advances in educating for sustainability can be seen inside (and outside) the classroom. The campus community today is a living expression of the School's pursuit of this value, and on any given day, teachers and students K – 12 are engaged in countless activities designed to encourage sustainable awareness and behavior.
Adhering to the highest levels of green design is an opportunity to include sustainability education in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Building on the successes of Case Middle School (LEED Gold) and the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood (LEED Platinum), Punahou’s commitment to sustainability aims beyond architecture and makes it a learning experience for students in the Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Community for grades 2 – 5.
Green Building Design / LEED
As Punahou School continues to build new facilities, it also continues to look for new ways to utilize sustainable design and construction.
One way is by seeking voluntary LEED certification of new buildings through the United States Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across:
- energy savings
- water efficiency
- CO2 emissions reduction
- indoor environmental quality
- stewardship of resources
Evaluated at the end of construction, Case Middle School achieved LEED Gold certification (the second highest rating) in 2005. Punahou later achieved LEED Platinum certification (the highest rating) in 2010 for the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood.