Hawaii Community College; Palamanui Campus

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

  • FIRM

    Urban Works Inc.


    University of Hawaii Community Colleges

  • AREA

    39,514 sq.ft.





Design team: John Ida (Principal-in-Charge), Karen Lee AIA, Brent Sumida AIA, Kevin Miyamura AIA, Miriam Gee

The first buildings of the Hawaii Community College Palamanui Campus were constructed on a lava field in Kona. The project site includes a large archaeological preserve, which provides cultural education opportunities and influenced building placement. ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY481COST PER SQ FT$709.00FEATURED IN2018 Architectural Portfolio siting of the buildings in the landscape ensured the preservation of views to Mauna Kea and the ocean.
The campus was envisioned and designed as a learning laboratory: a place for learning and a learning tool itself. Being off the grid provided the design team opportunities to explore ecologically driven solutions. Key design strategies for the hot and dry site included sunlight harvesting (via photovoltaic panels), daylighting, a mixed-mode air conditioning/natural ventilation system, 100 percent on-site stormwater management, on-site wastewater system (via constructed wetlands) and water reuse for irrigating the xeriscape plantings.
The design also includes modular buildings to provide flexibility for program variation and campus expansion and transitions. Exterior covered areas facilitate the extension of learning beyond the classrooms. Exterior circulatory paths reduce the need for conditioned space; and the Marae/Piko serves as a gateway and gathering space for visitors, students, faculty and staff. The project received LEED Platinum certification in 2017.