Funding Priorities


Fostering a sustainable campus and educating students to work toward a sustainable future are core Punahou values that the School encourages inside and outside the classroom.

The School has invested significantly to reduce its carbon footprint and become an educational model for green building design and sustainable practices.

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 be a model for other schools in sustainable facilities design, programs and teaching philosophies. In 2018, the School announced the goal of becoming a net-zero campus.
Setting a Standard
Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Community for Grades 2 – 5
Kosasa Community boldly affirms the School’s commitment to sustainability, with its innovative building design and lush landscape that also support the School’s Outdoor Education and Hawaiian Studies programs.
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].