Buildings that Teach


The gallons of rainwater collected annually from roof sheds to storage cisterns in the Omidyar Neighborhood and Kosasa Community.


The number of square feet of mixed-use space – classrooms, office and back of house – that is equipped with LED bulbs.


The amount of kilowatt hours that the photovoltaic system is designed to produce on campus – metered April 2020 to March 2021.


The percentage of energy that is derived from photovoltaic sources on campus.


The number of electric vehicle charging stations.

* Kilowatt hours = The amount of energy used to keep 1,000 watts running for an hour. Between April 2020 and March 2021, Punahou recorded almost 5 million kilowatt hours on its HECO meter.

Punahou is a national leader in green educational building design. Case Middle School earned a LEED Gold designation, while the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood received LEED Platinum status. The Kosasa Community takes this further by being the first net-zero building for energy consumption on campus.

List of 2 items.

  • Indoor/Architectural Sustainability Features

    • Touch interactive digital monitors can be used to show video, view websites or as a touch-screen for writing and visual diagrams [1];
    • Digital dashboards provide comparative information about energy and water usage in real time across multiple buildings;
    • Ventilation systems prioritize natural cooling as much as possible, including energy efficient fans and clerestory windows that maximize trade winds [2];
    • Water meter displays in restrooms and refillable water bottle stations quantify the number of plastic water bottles saved;
    • Temperature-sensitive display ports alert students when natural ventilation is preferable to air-conditioning [3];
    • Daylight- and motion-sensor lighting systems automatically adjust brightness for exterior light and shut off when the room is empty to reduce energy consumption [4];
    • Exposed structural elements and cutouts of interior walls and lanai floors make elements like insulation, plumbing and electricity visible and teachable [5].
  • Outdoor Sustainability Features

    • Photovoltaic panels support the buildings’ net-zero energy consumption [6];
    • Vegetative “green screens” and light-colored roofs absorb and reflect solar heat and reduce the need to cool buildings [7];
    • A 25,000-square-foot native Hawaiian forest environment with trails and boulders supports an outdoor classroom [8];
    • Numerous plants support Hawaiian Studies curriculum, including kalo, palapalai, pili grass, noni, lonomea, koa, kukui and ‘ulu [8];
    • Backyard garden plots are dedicated to each set of ground-floor classrooms, and a 4,000-square-foot community garden is shared by the entire neighborhood [9];
    • Cisterns located outside of each building capture rainwater for gardening [10];
    • Permeable pavers, a gabion wall and bioswale absorb excess runoff – the bioswale also helps to illustrate the interconnected water systems of an ahupua‘a or watershed [11].



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