701 Bishop St. Tenant Honolulu, Hawaii, is home to an organization with a mission to promote stewardship, preservation, and protection of the environment. Their name, Hau’oli Mau Loa, means “eternal happiness,” and they decided to renovate their office space to help bring happiness to their employees, the community, and the Earth. The organization wanted to prove that the goals of LEED certification could complement and improve the historic building they resided in, not compete with it. They achieved this goal with flying colors and achieved platinum certification in 2011.
By focusing entirely on the goal of showing a historic renovation could be done with efficient and sustainable concepts in mind, the team of people involved in the project accomplished one of the most unique and rewarding goals of the design. The Hau’oli Mau Lao Foundation (HLMF) was able to retain much of the original Italian Renaissance/Mediterranean Revival inspired features that previously existed in their space such as the beautiful ceiling beams and unique column capitals. Instead of rearranging the entire interior space, the majority of the interior walls were preserved because of interesting innovation on the part of the architects. Instead of having to removing interior walls to allow for better light flow, the designers replaced the interior walls along the entry corridor that were parallel to the exterior windows with translucent surfaces made from recycled resin.
The use of natural light in this office space was important to the clients so the architects used another interesting method called light shelves to control the amount of light brought into the office space.
Light shelves are horizontal surfaces built of somewhat reflective and translucent material that extend from the exterior to the interior of a building. They are installed to prevent unwanted direct sunlight (glare), decrease the amount of heat entering a space, and increase light levels in the space. In the HMLF building, the light shelves are made of recycled resin panels from 3-form and extend over the conference room to let the sunlight filter softly into the room.
Do you think that light shelves would be a benefit to a work space? Does natural light make people happier and more productive?