Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hawaii Preparatory Academy Wins Green Ribbon

Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Kamuela, Big Island was named one of seventy-eight Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. This was the first year that the Department issued the award, which honors schools that exercise a comprehensive "green" approach in reducing environmental impact, provide a thorough environmental education including sustainability concepts necessary for the growing global economy of the 21st century, and promote health. Ewa Makai Middle School was the only other school in Hawaii to receive a Green Ribbon.

The jewel of Hawaii Prep's green initiative is its Energy Lab Building. The Energy Lab was the only building in the state to receive Platinum-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Schools 2.0 certification, which is the highest rating a building can receive.

The Energy Lab features sensors that monitor and control energy and water use, CO2 levels, artificial lighting, and natural airflow. The building also uses an innovative radiant cooling system that cools warm spaces during the day with water that is chilled with colder nighttime air. All of the energy for the lab comes from a 24-kilowatt photovoltaic system mounted on its roof.

"Hawaii Prep understands the demand for expertise to support the growing "green economy" and the production of energy," said Rep. Cindy Evans (North Kona, South Kohala). "I applaud the school for investing in our children and our future by providing a classroom building which displays sustainability, innovation and technology."

The Energy Lab, which opened in January, has already been awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honolulu Award of Excellence, AIA Honolulu Jack C. Lipman Members' Choice Award, AIA New England Honor Award, AIA New Hampshire Excellence in Sustainable Design and Development Award, Boston Society of Architects Honor Award, Learning by Design Grand Prize, and the Merit Award for Integrated Design/Integrated Development.

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