Concept To Completion
The 64 units at Kahuku Hauoli Hale on the North Shore were renovated inside and out by Hunt Building Co., Ltd. as general contractor for affordable housing developer Vitus Group.
Kahuku Hauoli Hale 'Tired' North Shore duplexes for seniors undergo rehab
Renovations to Kahuku Hauoli Hale (KHH), a 64-unit affordable senior community near the Kahuku golf course on Oahu's North Shore, was completed in mid-March. The $3.7 million project with developer Vitus Group and general contractor Hunt Building Co., Ltd., took just nine months to wrap up.
"Preserving affordable housing for seniors is especially important in rural areas of Oahu, where inventory is limited," Makani Maeva, director of Vitus Group's office in Kailua, said in a statement. "This project will remain affordable for at least the next 61 years, providing the Kahuku community with well maintained housing options for our kupuna."
KHH, which was originally built in 1979 to house plantation workers, is Vitus Group's fourth affordable housing rehab project in Hawaii since 2011, for a total of 208 units. Overall, KHH is the sixth Hawaii property that Vitus has acquired. Others include Kekaha Plantation Elderly Housing in Kekaha, Kauai, Lokahi Apartments in Kailua-Kona, Whitmore Circle Apartments in Wahiawa, Banyan Street Manor in Kalihi and the Towers at Kuhio Park Terrace in Honolulu.
"With decades of experience in the military family housing market, Hunt became active in the affordable housing rehab market in late 2010 and successfully completed three similar projects in 2011, totaling 144 units," says Bud Waters, executive vice president for Hunt Companies, Hawaii Region Construction Services. "Using this experience we were able to competitively bid this fourth affordable housing project in Hawaii."
The "tired interiors were brought back to life" by the many upgrades to the 574-square-foot, one-bedroom duplexes at 56-154 Puuluana St., says Chad Johnston, project manager for Hunt.
Each of the 32 units had siding and trim replaced along with getting new full-framed vinyl jalousie windows, fixed- and single-hung. All doors, electric panels and meters were updated, and wall and ceiling insulation was added. Along with new kitchen cabinets and granite countertops, Hunt installed Energy Star light fixtures and appliances and high-efficiency hot water heaters. Each unit got ceiling fans and vinyl plank flooring. The bathrooms were updated with tub enclosures with grab bars and low-flow plumbing fixtures.
Work on the common area improvements included renovation of the complex's community center with the addition of a wrap-around lanai and lanai cover, two gazebos and arbor. The center's interior received a full remodeling of the management office, bathrooms and kitchen.
"The work was performed in five consecutive phases for the residential units," Johnston explains. "Great care was taken to ensure the safety of the residents through all aspects of the work. Extra care was taken, in fact, as this is a property for seniors, some with disabilities."
During the rehab work, residents were given temporary lodging by Vitus Group for a three-week period.
"These thorough renovations provide for much improved living conditions for the residents through upscale aesthetics, better performance and increased comfort," Johnston adds. "And the newly expanded community center truly serves as a gathering place for residents. The new, covered lanai and gazebos offer attractive, comfortable places for meetings, social events and relaxation."
Adds Waters, "This was an important, worthwhile and rewarding project and we look forward to more opportunities to be involved in the affordable housing sector."top of page
Holomua: Affordable, with Stylish Amenities
Residential units in Holomua, a 23-story affordable housing condominium, were initially offered for sale in 2009, but with Hawaii in an economic slump, including real estate, the project failed to attract enough buyers to proceed with construction.
"For a while we thought that project was dead," recalls Glen Kaneshige, president of general contractor Nordic PCL Construction Inc., which had been selected in 2007 to provide design-build services for Holomua.
"The developers (KRC Partners LLC) were able to qualify for the (Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation) 201H program (as a public-private venture) and there appeared to be interest from buyers, so we began updating the construction budget in 2010 with the hope that the project would start sometime in 2011," he adds.
And this time buyers definitely were interested. According to reports, when sales began anew all 176 one- and two-bedroom units were sold within three hours; as many as 300 other potential buyers put their names on a list should one of the units become available. The project included units that ranged from 354 square feet to 752 square feet, with prices from $239,900 to $467,700.
Eighteen months after Nordic PCL began to build the structure the new occupants of the new high-rise at 1315 Kalakaua Ave. began to move in.
The first seven floors of the building have 211 parking stalls. The residential units are located on the upper floors, above the parking levels. The building structure is a reinforced concrete frame on a mat footing, and the parking and residential levels were designed with post-tensioned concrete decks.
"Although Holomua was designed under 'affordable' to qualify for the 201H program, the developer included amenities such as granite countertops and hard tile in the entry, kitchen and baths as part of the value that buyers would be getting," Kaneshige says.
The location of the condo tower made building Holomua "one of the most logistically challenging projects," he says.
"The property is bordered on the mauka side by the Kulana Hale Residential Tower, the Imperial Business Plaza on the Diamond Head side and a 7-Eleven store on the makai side. Plus, hoisting on the Kalakaua side of the property was virtually impossible with the overhead power lines and tree canopies," Kaneshige explains. "Because there was hardly any staging area, our project staff carefully coordinated deliveries so that they could be hoisted directly onto the structure as it was being constructed."
Also, he notes, Holomua needed approval on a variance to go up to 220 feet in height from the allowable 150 feet. "There was resistance from the residents of the neighboring buildings; however, the variance was approved so that the project could go ahead."
The close proximity of residents and businesses required "an effective operational plan to mitigate dust, noise and interruptions to traffic. Safety would require utmost vigilance since any object that could fall off the building during construction would have landed in an adjacent property," Kaneshige says.
A mat flooring was used, he says, because "a driven concrete pile foundation would have been risky with adjacent structures nearby. Our crews placed the concrete mat foundation in a single operation on the following evening after Thanksgiving 2011. Thirty-eight concrete trucks delivered approximately 3,000 cubic yards of ready-mix concrete through the night, beginning from midnight."
The concrete pouring was completed in less than 12 hours and required shutting down Kalakaua Avenue between Beretania and King streets.
"The 18-month schedule to complete the project was aggressive for a high-rise on a logistically challenging site. Placing the mat footing in a single pour got our team off to good start," Kaneshige says.
"I think that our team gained confidence on building a high-rise on an extremely tight site in the middle of a heavily trafficked area."top of page
Maui Business Park
Making Space for Commerce
The north project area of the Maui Business Park phase II is ready for occupants with Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., Ltd., recently wrapping up infrastructure work on the light industrial subdivision in Kahului.
"I'm kind of excited to see what sort of businesses open up there," says Hawaiian Dredging project engineer Jay Fujimoto.
Hawaiian Dredging was chosen by A&B Properties, Inc. to do the 38-acre north portion of the 179-acre park, which is located near The Home Depot and Walmart. Construction on phase II of the $39 million project got under way last January.
Along with site preparation and earthwork, Hawaiian Dredging did utility installations including storm drainage, sanitary sewer, potable and nonpotable water systems, roadway improvements, underground electrical system and landscaping improvements. The site was laid out in 32 lots, ranging from a half-acre to 3.3 acres.
"It's been an interesting project for me because it was my first subdivision job," says Fujimoto.
A&B Properties, the real estate subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc., said in July that Maui Business Park phase II is designated for warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, retail and office use.
"There hasn't been an infusion of business space in quite a while," Grant Chun, vice president of A&B Properties on Maui, told Building Industry magazine in November. "And with the down economy, businesses were reluctant to expand. Now they're more confident about growth or buying their own space."
Phase II work on the site entailed unique challenges. Hawaiian Dredging listed "geology" among them, noting that "considerable quantities of hard rock were encountered during mass excavation and utility installation."
Says Fujimoto, "Yes, there was a lot of solid rock we had to go through, more rock than we anticipated."
Other challenges, according to Hawaiian Dredging, included dust control —"additional water trucks were required to control dust due to high winds through the central valley"—and the project schedule due to an "aggressive schedule to turn over Phase 1 for Costco expansion improvements."
The project afforded Hawaiian Dredging the opportunity to make full use of new GPS technology in preparing the site.
"The Trimble system incorporates a 3D model of the project and utilizes GPS to guide machines for grading operations and provides site positioning for our gradesetter for stakeout/quality control," says Hawaiian Dredging, adding that the system allowed the machine operator to "look at a screen to determine the positioning of the cutting blade on the grader or dozer, versus the conventional method of installing pins and pulling string lines."
Another benefit of the Trimble system, says Hawaiian Dredging, was that the job of "staking out points can now be done by one person versus the standard total station that requires two people to operate."
Infrastrucure work on the 141-acre south portion of the Maui Business Park is a project of Goodfellow Bros. top of page
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Affordability nestled in the heart of Kakaako
Six Eighty, the new 54-unit affordable residential development at 680 Ala Moana Blvd., is the first major contstruction project of what is being billed as a live-work-and-play neighborhood in Kakaako. When the upgrades to the area by owner Kamehameha Schools are complete, the neighborhood will also include stores, cafes, parks, lofts, preschools, senior centers and upscale housing.
The 54 apartments at Six Eighty are the first of 2,750 units that Kamehameha Schools expects to build as part of its 29-acre master plan in Kakaako.
"Allied Builders has a long history of renovation projects," says Justin Izumi, vice president of Allied Builders System, the general contractor for Six Eighty. "When Kamehameha Schools invited us to bid on this project, we knew it had our name on it. We were selected along with four other contractors to submit bids for the project. We won the bid and worked closely with the owner to deliver a project on schedule and within budget."
From Renovation …
Izumi said the project involved the conversion of a 45,000-square-foot, four-story building from office and retail use to residential and upgraded retail use. "The building was completely stripped to the concrete and steel structure," he says, "and an all-new utility infrastructure was installed to accommodate the residential units and ground level retail shell space."
He notes that the second, third and fourth floors were built out as rental apartments with complete kitchens, bathrooms and interior finishes. Additionally, new exterior windows, doors and commercial storefronts were installed, along with trash and recycling chutes for the upper floors. Also, the elevator shaft was extended vertically to accommodate a new elevator and a new stop at the roof-level recreation deck.
"Two of the key challenges were working with the existing structure and keeping the project within a tight budget," Izumi says. "Structure and budget remained challenges throughout the project, requiring the project team to come up with many creative solutions."
Along the way, some plans required small modifications, he says, "to preserve signature architectural elements that were part of the building's original design."
… to Innovation
"This project is the first major step in the renovation of the block that will include further preservation and adaptive reuse of existing structures, accommodating a variety of commercial uses that will provide a much needed amenity for Kakaako residents," Izumi says.top of page
The new Sports Authority in Hilo is the chain's sixth outlet in Hawaii.
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Sports Authority, Hilo Geared Up for Fun and Games
No longer do Hilo sports enthusiasts have to pack for a day trip and make the 200-mile roundtrip drive to Kailua, Kona to browse the equipment and apparel at Sports Authority. The general contractor, GW Construction, recently wrapped up work on the chain's second Big Island location.
The 48,000-square-foot store at Prince Kuhio Plaza brings to six the number of Sports Authority outlets in Hawaii—among the company's 450 stores nationwide.
As the general contractor, GW Construction was tasked with renovating the former Woolworth's location within a construction timeframe of three months. The work, says Gerald Yamada, president of GW Construction, included the demolition of existing space, new plumbing, electrical and HVAC, interior improvements and exterior entry and mall facades.
"We were contacted by Pete Whalen of SA Construction. Sports Authority was looking for a local company that could help with its warranty and maintenance work," says Yamada. "The timeframe was extremely escalated. It was essential that all materials arrive on time. Work started almost immediately. With Sports Authority scheduled to open (on a set date), it was extremely important that the schedule be met."
"Materials that were not shipped in on time had to be flown in. Manpower had to be readily available to install items the day they arrived," says Yamada, who praised the crew for helping complete the job on schedule. "Sports Authority was a great company to work for. Pete Whalen of SA Construction was a great project manager. The staff at Prince Kuhio Plaza (General Growth Properties) was also really great. Kim Shimabuku (PKP general manager) and Thomas Carson (PKP facilities manager) really helped to accommodate and move the project along."
Overall, Yamada adds, the $2.3 million renovation "was a great project for GW Construction. We gained more experience in fast-paced tenant improvement projects, experience that will surely help in the future."top of page
FBI: The Feds Flock to Kapolei
An aerial view of the new FBI headquarters in Kapolei
Photo courtesy of © 2012 Ed. Gross The Image Group, LLC
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For 32 years, the FBI called the Prince Jonah Kuhio Federal Building on Ala Moana Boulevard its home in Honolulu. In November the FBI packed up and began moving into its new, 200,000-square-foot headquarters on Enterprise Avenue in Kapolei.
Built by general contractor Charles Pankow Builders Ltd., the four-story complex houses about 235 agents and administrative staff. Along with a one-story annex building, there's a 50,000-square-foot parking structure. And, as you might expect for the largest federal law enforcement buildings in the Asia-Pacific region, there's lots of security for the FBI on Oahu, which is also responsible for federal law enforcement in Guam, American Samoa and Saipan.
"The project provided invaluable insight and experience to everyone involved, both in relation to the design and construction of this specific type of secure office facility," says project manager Brian Viloria, "as well as in relation to the unique procurement method utilized by the federal government to provide this facility to the FBI via lease agreement with a private development entity."
Penrose Walsh FBI Honolulu LLC won the contract to build the facility and lease it to the FBI for $8.2 million a year for a minimum of 20 years.
Among the features of the full-service office facility are an employee lounge, break and copy areas on each floor, a fitness area including full locker and shower facilities, a command center, an executive office area, the main lobby, an arms vault, a mail receiving area/mail room, loading dock and a vehicle service annex that includes a compressed air system, overhead power and lighting reels and dedicated vehicle exhaust systems.
The $65 million project, designed by Architects Hawaii Ltd. and covering a 10-acre parcel, required stringent security needs. "Strict security requirements relating to the control of personnel, material deliveries on-site and documents related to the design and construction of the project made the design development and procurement phases of the project a challenge," Pankow says.
The project, the company says, entailed focusing on utilizing local subcontractors "to provide on-site collaborative over-the-shoulder reviews during design development," and on material scheduling and product selection to minimize the impact of the project's security measures.
"The most critical aspect to the successful completion of the project was the ability of the development/design/construction team to interpret and understand the specific requirements of the GSA (General Services Administration)/FBI with regard to functionality and security, and from this, deliver design and construction that satisfied these specific requirements," Pankow says. "This was driven by project-long collaboration between the FBI/GSA and the development, design and construction teams via weekly and monthly project meetings, as well as continual on-site observation and input by the GSA and FBI field personnel and consultants."
The project received a boost from technology with the inclusion of a solar system to make the building more energy efficient.
Pankow says the photovoltaic system that was added to the project—and funded separately through the developer, Penrose/Walsh FBI Honolulu LLC—was designed and installed by Energy Industries, LLC of Honolulu. It includes a 710-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic array atop the parking garage structure. The PV system, which is sited on the 50,000-square-foot parking garage rooftop, will deliver approximately 750,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually, Pankow says.
"The total system includes approximately 2,300 308-watt SunPower premium efficient solar panels, four commercial inverters, monitoring system and the 'balance of system.' The garage structure was designed specifically with a sloped southern exposure to maximize the solar irradiance for PV," the general contractor says.
Looking for Gold
Pankow says the project currently requires a LEED Silver Certification, although it is currently targeting LEED Gold. Energy-saving measures include the selection of custom, high-efficiency air handlers, the integration of a building lighting control system and the implementation of a photovoltaic power system.
"The facility was delivered as a fast-track, design-build project," says Pankow, "with design documents and permits being phased (i.e. mass grading and site utilities, foundations, superstructure, core and shell, and finally interior tenant build-out) to allow construction to proceed before full final construction documents were complete." top of page
Manoa Public Library
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Built by general contractor Allied Pacific Builders, Inc., a new, environmentally friendly Manoa Public Library officially opened its doors after a grand opening ceremony on June 9.
Located on Woodlawn Drive, the new 29,425-square-foot facility is more than 4.5 times the former 6,500-square-foot structure, which originally was built in 1966 and closed in July 2009.
The larger facility is designed not only to accommodate a larger library collection but also a separate children's room and meeting room, larger work area for the staff, a private shower room for employees who bicycle to work, covered bike racks, priority parking stalls for hybrid vehicles, and basement level parking with high efficiency lighting fixtures.
According to the contractor, work included the demolition of the existing building and extensive sitework, removal and disposal of asbestos containing materials, disturbance of lead containing materials, and removal of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and mercury that were limited to the lighting fixtures.
Construction of the new facility, which began in October 2009, included fulfilling LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements, structural steel, concrete and masonry work, metal fabrications, carpentry, cast stone, precast concrete, exterior finish system, steel and wood doors and framing, and aluminum sliding doors. A window wall and windows also were included, as well as a canopy, gypsum wallboard, ceramic tile, acoustical ceilings, resilient flooring, carpeting, painting, restroom facilities, fall restraint devices for the handicapped, projection screens, library circulation desks, a fire alarm system, hydraulic elevator, plumbing, central air conditioning and electrical work.
According to William Alicar, president of Allied Pacific Builders, one of the main challenges during construction was the limited working space for maneuvering heavy and large equipment. "We faced inadequate 'legroom' for the cranes and other heavy machinery to load and unload materials, especially during the installation of the precast concrete; however, we brought onto the site appropriate equipment that could properly fit in the tight project space. We also faced minor changes in the architectural design, which delayed the early completion of the project. Notwithstanding the challenges that we encountered, we managed well with the space constraints, challenging working conditions, and design changes with minimal impact on scheduling and completion of the project."
Go for Gold
Hoping to earn LEED-gold certification, the more than $9 million library includes a number of green building features, including use of natural lighting, water efficient fixtures and landscaping composed of native plants.
In addition, Greenpath Technologies (GPT) was subcontracted to install 1,000 square feet of solar photovoltaic panels on the south facing side of the library building that will generate at least 2.5 percent of the library's electrical needs. Also the new electric lighting makes good use of the photosensitive cells that brighten as natural light fades.
Subcontractor Honolulu Roofing Company installed the waterproofing and LEED-compliant roof using metal with recycled content and a coating that reduces heat accumulation, and a TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roof. Rainwater collected by the new metal roof will be stored in an underground tank for irrigation.
Alicar concludes, "The new Manoa library is now fully functional, energy-efficient and beautiful, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the state Department of Accounting & General Services on this important and highly visible project within an established community."
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Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach
Renewed and Rebranded
As seen in our August 2012 digital edition
Hyatt Hotels Corp. and hotel management firm Kokua Hospitality, LLC hosted a May 17 gala to com-memorate the completion of the two-tower Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach hotel.
Begun in April 2011 and completed in two phases, the fast-tracked, design-assist renovation of the former Waikiki Ocean Resort hotel was performed by general contractor Swinerton Builders.
Phase I consisted of upgrades to the 191 rooms in the Pali Tower, as well as to 30,000 square feet of public space, two kitchens, modernizing the overall infrastructure and elevator and improved landscaping. This first tower was opened before the November 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.
Following immediately, Phase II involved renovating the remaining 235 guest rooms located in the Diamond Head tower, which opened to the public in April 2012.
According to the Hyatt corporation, Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach is now the largest Hyatt Place hotel in the country, as well as the first conversion property for the brand.
Chris Evans, senior project manager for Swinerton, says the new hotel is a complete contrast from the former resort. "The Hyatt Place Waikiki went through a dramatic transformation from old Hawaii to new. Complete with high-end finishes and modern furnishings, the Hyatt Place Waikiki exemplifies a perfect modern urban island experience."
The refreshed rooms boast complimentary wireless Internet access, state-of-the-art media and work center with a 42-inch flat panel, high-definition television, plush Hyatt "Grand Beds" and sofa-sleeper.
Besides the converted guest rooms, the hotel also features a spacious, open-air lobby, bakery cafe and gallery bar, grab-n-go snack bar case, business center, and more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate conferences, corporate meetings, receptions and more. A rooftop pool deck features a.m. Kitchen Skillet, Hyatt's complimentary hot breakfast, StayFit@Hyatt fitness center and a fire pit.
Filling the Gaps
Explaining the work involved, Evans says, "(The project) required a significant gut of the existing room finishes, revised wall layouts (to increase the room count from 421 to 426), new mechanical system, updated electrical system, elevator modernization, and complete interior renovation of the public spaces, including new plumbing; heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and electrical systems."
Evans continues, "One of the challenges we faced was working with an incomplete design at the start of construction."
Construction began with only about 30 percent of the design complete, according to Kaulana Hansen, senior project engineer for Swinerton.
"Basically all we had were demo plans. Finishes, mechanical, electrical, door and hardware schedules were incomplete," he says.
Evans adds the engineering staff worked closely with the owner and architect in a team effort to complete the design and incorporate constructible design elements. "Through teamwork and precise execution, the team delivered a fully functional facility and opened its doors and was able to bring in much needed business to Waikiki," he says.
"This was a great project for our team, a great experience," concludes Evans. "Our staff learned how to work closely with design, and build great partnerships to get the project completed. This project has led to continuing our working relationships with happy clients, which is the main source of our success. In 2011, 98 percent of our business came from repeat clients. We understand our clients and their goals and work diligently to help them succeed, which is also a shared success for our people and our company."
Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club,
As seen in our July 2012 digital edition
In 2008, Nordic PCL Construction, Inc. completed the construction of the third tower at Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, labeled Phase 4, which included construction of the core and shell of what is now called the Hale Naia tower of the resort property, along with full build out of 114 of the 14-story building's nearly 250 timeshare units and 367-stall, elevated parking structure.
In May 2012, the general contractor comes full circle to complete the remaining 132 luxury units of the 489,379-square-foot high rise, which contains a mix of two and three-bedroom, penthouse suites and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-accessible villas, according to Chuck O'Neill, project manager for Nordic PCL. Begun in March 2011, the project involved interior framing and drywall, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, installation casework and millwork, granite, marble, and tile as well as appliances and fixtures.
The villas themselves are appointed with all the comforts of home, including a fully equipped kitchen with cookware and tableware; master suites with king-size bed, oversized soaking tub and separate shower; and televisions, DVD player, high-speed Internet and washer/dryer. Ocean, mountain or hillside villas also have their own lanai.
Nordic PCL also constructed Ko Olina Beach Club's second tower, Hale Moana, and its 162-stall parking structure.
Pointing out a noteworthy aspect in building operations, O'Neill says, "All the villas received occupancy sensors for the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, which allow the temperature to rise in unoccupied rooms above what was set by the guest to an agreed ambient temperature such as 78 or 80 degrees, only when they are not present in the room. As soon as the guests re-enter, the A/C (system) senses them and switches back on, quickly cooling back to … whatever setting that the guests have chosen."
This wireless HVAC system, according to Glen Kaneshige, Nordic PCL president, "(is) providing greater flexibility and increased functionality, as well as overall energy monitoring and savings."
O'Neill adds, "All the restrooms also are outfitted with occupancy sensors for the lighting. All the exterior windows are tinted to block ultraviolet light and minimize heat gain."
Because the tower itself and roughly half the units were completed four years ago, Phase 5 work was conducted in a semi-occupied building. "Our biggest challenge from my perspective was that our wing, which was an active jobsite, was separated from the occupied side of the building by only a half inch sheet of plywood. We had to complete all of our work within restricted hours so that we did not impede the operation of the active timeshares, as well as to preserve the experience of the guests etc. Noise and dust had to be kept to a minimum and no utilities could be shut down for any reason."
Because of this, Kaneshige adds, "The project team worked from the top down. While the upper floors were going through the turnover process, lower floors were receiving framing, rough-in, finishes etc."
Setting the Standard
"Nordic PCL established a goal of having zero punch list items to demonstrate its commitment to quality," says Kaneshige, explaining a unique component of the Phase 5 project. To achieve that, the project team used the completed units in Phase 4 as an example of the finish level expected and conducted multiple rigorous unit inspections before the final walk with the client."
O'Neill says the program was successful on 75 percent of the units. "This was done by strictly enforcing quality control throughout the entire duration of the project as well as the implementation of a managed contract completion and trade damage tracking list. These things, together with multiple cleanings and a strategically placed finish coat of paint, allowed us to turn over units that were completely ready for the owner to occupy and begin their furniture and fixture installation. This program resulted in very few punch list items actually making it onto the owner's punch list."
Hilton Hawaiian Village
Rainbow Tower Renovations
As seen in our June 2012 digital edition
Since opening in 1968, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort's Rainbow Tower has become a popular choice for guests because of its proximity to the beach and the property's Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. It features the world's largest ceramic-tile mosaic – composed of 16,000 colorful tiles – spanning 286 feet high by 26 feet wide on each end of the tower.
Most recently, the iconic high rise has undergone a $45 million makeover that upgraded all of its nearly 800 guest rooms, including the tower's signature suites, the Duke Kahanamoku Suite and the Niumalu Suite on the 30th and 31st floor respectively. The total makeover encompassed all furnishings, carpet, wall covering, bathrooms, tubs, fixtures, drapery and artwork.
According to Hilton, architect Pacific Asia Design Group used the colors of Hawaii as the basis for developing themes for the new rooms; for example, use of oranges and golds to represent the warmth and vibrancy of the sun.
General contractor Swinerton Builders began the comprehensive renovation project in April last year, performing the work in two phases, according to Mark Tacazon, marketing coordinator for the firm. Phase I involved the complete renovation of the top four floors of the 31-story building, with the remaining guest rooms in Phase II. Scope of work also included corridors and elevators. Upgrades to the signature suites themselves were valued at approximately $1.3 million.
Back of the House
"During construction, the team was met with the stringent task of asbestos removal and treatment for water intrusion, which required an additional week of production for each floor," explains Tacazon. "As a solution to this unforeseen problem, the Swinerton team quickly adapted and implemented a fast-tracked schedule working seven days a week with 12 hour shifts in order to meet the expected deadlines."
Other noteworthy aspects of the project include:
> Innovative three-dimensional metal finishes on elevator doors and service access doors add a unique texture to the interior environment.
> The Far East floor (28th), which caters to the hotel's Japanese guests, have specialized water closets that include thermostat-controlled bidets and Toto washlets.
> The Duke Kahanamoku and Niumalu suites are appointed with handcrafted wooden artwork from Indonesia, modern custom bathtubs with stonetop ledges and audiovisual facilities. The main living area includes a dining area, family sofa set and living room, set to jewel tones of sapphire blues and golds intended to recall Hawaii's shimmering oceans.
> The modern redesigned elevator lobby uses heavy African Mahogany crown moulding millwork, Vegas Rock elevator surrounds and LED ambient lighting.
> Each room is equipped with 42-inch flat-screen televisions and video devices as well as Internet amenities.
> Top-of-the-line door closers and viewers by Schlage provide a-180 degree view of the corridor.
"This project was indeed a great project for Swinerton Builders," says Tacazon. "The Rainbow Tower renovation was a high-profile project on one of the most iconic resorts in Hawaii. We were able to showcase our high quality of work and successfully deliver the project on time. In the end, Swinerton raised the bar in high-end hotel accommodations, met and exceeded client expectations, and enhanced Hilton's reputation in Hawaii tourism."
Tacazon concludes, "One lesson that everyone can learn from this is that there is more to construction than just building structures. It's about building great relationships."
The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach
As seen in our May 2012 digital edition
General contractor Honolulu Builders, LLC completed extensive exterior renovations at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach that encompassed the hotel-condominium's two 12-story towers, including 359 residences, along with a lobby building, porte cochere and a tennis court building. Begun in March 2011, the $14 million project was completed in February 2012, according to Dan Shiraki, superintendent for Honolulu Builders.
"Extensive concrete spall repair was (needed)," Shiraki explains, "thus requiring replacement of the lanai railings with new lanai tile, new concrete planter boxes, new glass sliding doors and complete exterior painting." The railings and planters were custom designed to coordinate with a new color scheme in both towers.
In total, Honolulu Builders installed 100,000 square feet of lanai tile, 16,000 linear feet of railing and 418 sliding glass doors. More than 700 planter boxes were replaced and 22 lobbies were redone as part of the project. In addition, Shiraki continues, "Elevator lobby floor replacement was added to the project once we were under way."
Both towers remained opened for the duration of the project.
"An innovative approach was developed, where all the work was performed utilizing just the existing lanai, with minimal scaffolding just at the fire stairway tower areas to allow complete circumnavigation of each floor from man hoists, thus avoiding going into the individual apartments," says Shiraki. This allowed view planes and the resort ambiance to be maintained. Explaining further, Shiraki states, "The old railings were removed but reinstalled as temporary safety rails, which helped alleviate having the buildings look totally like a construction project. With the building remaining open and fully occupiable, the latest dust-capturing chipping guns and grinders were employed, along with a complete engineered cable safety system around the entire floor that kept the crews safe when the railings were being replaced. Custom aluminum bridges were created to access the area where the tower lanai pop out, along with custom planter dollies and custom railing rigging to help speed up the work."
As with most renovation projects, many unique challenges could be attributed to working within a fully functional beach resort. "Keeping guests informed of our activities was crucial and we could not have done it without (the resort's) operations and general managers, who both did a marvelous job in clearing the way for us to complete this work in a timely manner," says Shiraki.
"Logistics both on and off site were also a major hurdle," he continues. "With minimal storage space on site, scheduling material deliveries ... to coincide with the progress of the work, was critical. Accessing the tower man hoists was also a challenge as we had to build roads from the off loading areas to the hoists attached to the towers in critical locations. Work was performed from the top down, and started with the removal of the 600-plus original precast concrete planter boxes, weighing between 2,000 to more than 4,000 pounds each."
Shiraki attributes the success of the project to the cooperation amongst the team members. "We cannot overemphasize how important it is to foster teamwork between the owner's association and the building team to surmount the challenges that occur on every construction project," comments Shiraki. "Renovation work always has surprises and a good team can go a long way to minimizing the inevitable delays that the unforeseen causes."
Overall, it was a good project for Honolulu Builders. "We are grateful to the owners, our carpenters, the metal workers, the tile setters and the painters who exhibited consistent professionalism daily and helped spread the aloha spirit while working with the owners and guests at this resort," concludes Shiraki. "This type of discipline speaks well of the better part of human nature."
As seen in our April 2012 digital edition
With a scheduled grand opening of March 28, the new Walmart store in Kapolei is the newest big box chain to set up shop in Oahu's growing "second city." The store is the retail giant's ninth locale in Hawaii and its fifth on Oahu.
Built by general contractor Nordic PCL Construction, Inc. in just under a year, the building is a 171,000-square-foot structure with 736 parking stalls and landscaping on 20 acres of a 25-acre parcel of land bought by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in 2006.
"The structure of the single-story store consists of integrally colored masonry exterior walls with a structural steel roof supported by interior steel columns," describes George Burkards, construction manager for Nordic PCL. "The white TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) membrane roofing coupled with clay tile at the raised points of the roof helps to keep the interior of the store cool. The aesthetics of the building's masonry exterior were intended to fit in with the surrounding Kapolei community."
The Wal-Mart corporation had initially planned to open the Kapolei location in 2008, but based on community concerns, had agreed to wait until the completion of several regional traffic improvements, including the Kualakai Parkway (formerly known as the North-South Road) and the Kapolei interchange, both of which are now completed.
Besides the structure itself, Nordic PCL's contract also included a 1,400-foot cast-in-place concrete storm drainage system, preparation of an out lot parcel on the remaining five acres for future development, and off-site roadway improvements on Farrington Highway and Makakilo Drive, according to Burkards. The roadwork was needed to help address the expected increase in traffic from the store's opening. Construction began in March 2011 and was completed at the end of February this year.
"Although we were on the short list to bid the project, our local experience with building the Walmart store in Manana along with other 'big box' construction certainly played a part with the selection of Nordic PCL to build this project," explains Burkards.
Burkards says one of the key challenges was the construction of a cast-in-place concrete box culvert, located alongside active 30-inch and 36-inch waterlines that service most of Kapolei. The concrete box culvert, which was 16 feet wide, 8 feet high and approximately 800 feet long, was buried underground once completed. "The culvert was constructed about 25 feet down in the excavation, which posed a huge challenge for us to ensure the box culvert could be built without undermining the active waterlines," explains Burkards. "We were able to prevent any movement to the waterlines by stabilizing the open cut with the application of a structural shotcrete mix on the slope. This kept the exposed slope in place and allowed us to build a sizeable concrete culvert within a few feet of the waterlines."
Because the 25-acre parcel upon which the store is built acted as the main passage for storm water mauka of H1 to the culvert underneath Farrington Highway, Nordic PCL had to build a new storm drainage structure to replace it, posing another challenge for the seasoned general contractor.
"This was an issue because in order to meet the schedule, we could not wait to complete construction of this new storm drainage structure before starting work on the building itself," says Burkards. "Here we were able to work around this by constructing a temporary drainage ditch, with all of the necessary best management practices of course, adjacent to our new construction of the storm drainage structure, which alleviated the passage of storm water and allowed us to construct the building and storm drainage structure simultaneously."
This aspect of the project really made it different from other big box projects with which Nordic PCL has been involved. The massive concrete storm drainage structure extended from the H1 freeway to underneath Farrington Highway and consisted of steep elevation changes that also required several large cast-in-place concrete retaining walls. "Overall the cast-in-place concrete structure con-
sisted of approximately 800 feet of 16-foot by 8-foot box culvert, 600 feet
of open drainage channel, and more than 1,000 feet of retaining walls with
some walls as deep as 40 feet," says Burkards. "With that, two inlets and
one outlet structure, made up of con-
crete slabs and grouted rubble pave-
ment, were placed to tie it all together."
Another challenge stemmed from the road improvements on Farrington Highway and Makakilo Drive that included widening lanes, road striping work, and installing new traffic signals and signage for bus stops. All the work occurred concurrently with the construction of the building, explains Burkards. "This required careful coordination with federal agencies, state agencies, city agencies and local community neighborhood groups to ensure the construction of a project with the least amount of disruption to the public."
Burkards says of the project overall, "It is satisfying to look back now and see how much got accomplished in a short time frame. Although one would expect that the focus would be on completing the store for Walmart to occupy, this project required a huge effort to plan and execute the sitework and culvert portion on 25 acres so that it would not impact the 171,000-square-foot store structure."
In addition, concludes Burkards, "We believe that the local residents were pleased with our efforts to be a good neighbor since several gave us compliments on how we managed disruptions and inconveniences created by construction. The appreciation of our efforts by the local residents was rewarding for our project staff."
As seen in our March 2012 digital edition
On a Pedestal
Built by general contractor Unlimited Construction Services, Inc., Safeway's new Beretania store sits on a lot nearly twice the size of its former location, with more than twice the square footage and number of parking stalls (see sidebar). Opened on Dec. 16, it is constructed in an elevated podium format, with parking at ground level and the supermarket on the upper level. It is the first of its kind in Hawaii and only one of two stores in the nation for Safeway, according to Robert Woodring, Unlimited's project manager.
"The new store features our 'lifestyle' format with inviting décor and a warm ambience," describes Susan Houghton, director of public and government affairs for Safeway.
The structure itself, explains Woodring, "includes two vertical transportation modules, one for escalator/cartveyor/stairway and one for two large passenger elevators from ground level parking to upper level store. The store contains a full service deli, bakery, meat & seafood, produce, and floral departments with production preparation areas for each, as well as an in-store Starbucks coffee kiosk and Bank of Hawaii branch.
"A covered outdoor patio, featuring custom lighting and furniture, complements the adjacent full service deli and coffee bar and can be accessed via an outdoor stairway from ground level parking area."
"The location also features … several standalone establishments, including an American Savings Bank branch, T-Mobile store and Panda Cuisine," adds Houghton.
T-Mobile and Panda Cuisine are located at ground level below the Safeway store and American Savings Bank is a separate retail building that opened on the same day as the supermarket.
"The store employs 210 team members and is open 24 hours a day," continues Houghton. "Compared with the former store, the new store features several energy-efficiency features, including strategic refrigeration, high-efficiency LED lighting, waste composting and material recycling."
The new Safeway store at 1234 Beretania St. sits on the site of the former Schuman Carriage Motors, Inc. auto dealership. "The Schuman property represented an opportunity for us to expand our store and stay in the area – a convenience to our customers," states Houghton of Safeway's decision to build a new store and close the former Safeway at 1121 S. Beretania St., which was the first Safeway opened in Hawaii. "The new Safeway provides an increase in jobs and a greater variety of offerings for customers."
In the Bag
Discussing the store's construction, which began in January 2011, Woodring says, "The new Safeway building is a cast-in-place concrete structure with a 9-inch suspended slab and post-tensioned concrete beams. Structural steel columns, roof joists, and metal decking framing are utilized for the upper level store along with a cold-formed steel framed stucco exterior and both standing-seam and single-ply membrane roofing.
"The storefront glazing system around the building perimeter is a hurricane force impact system of three different tints, which required careful coordination and planning for successful installation.
"Other notable specialty finishes include extensive stone tile accent wall coverings, custom color ceiling grids, simulated wood floor planking, exterior simulated stone veneer, aluminum awnings, windows, motif panels of fiber reinforced polymer, custom light fixtures and Marlite finishes," adds Woodring.
The most challenging facet of construction was the project's tight 10-month schedule, stemming from Safeway's desire to open in time for the holidays. "We knew that our people would get the project done in that aggressive schedule," comments Jay Manzano, president of Unlimited. "On all our other projects, we have either met or preceded our contract completion dates. We know how to accelerate work and do it well, never sacrificing quality." Manzano adds that a key component was working with subcontractors with whom the company has had experience and knew would complete their work on time.
"Another substantial challenge was the project's location," continues Woodring, "bordered on three sides by some of the busiest intersections on Oahu: Beretania, Piikoi, and Kinau streets, requiring meticulous orchestration and coordination of deliveries in and out of the project, while ensuring that pedestrian and vehicular traffic was kept moving. We faced additional logistical challenges as we came closer to our December completion date because the City & County of Honolulu prohibits lane closures within 1 mile of Ala Moana Center beginning a certain number of days before and during the holiday season."
Finally, once most of the exterior skin of the structure was completed, construction crews were required to load the building through the future BOH space left open on the upper level, explains Woodring. "Large pieces of equipment/material such as freezer/cooler cases, deli/seafood cases, sales floor gondolas, checkout stands, etc. needed to be carefully forklifted into the building through this space as well as construction debris removed from the second level. This all took place while the exterior and ground level work was fully under way (i.e. grading, concrete sidewalks, paving, stucco, windows, lighting, etc.) Coordinating the movement of equipment and materials through this one entrance required us to work double shifts as needed to ensure the building was delivered on time."
At the Checkout Stand
Offering his final thoughts about the project, Manzano says, "This project was excellent for us because when Safeway asked for a 10-month schedule, Unlimited was able to show that it could be done when others in the building industry said it was impossible. Despite the compressed schedule, quality and safety were never compromised and it is a beautiful project that everyone involved is proud of. The experience we've gained will help Unlimited better service all our future clients."
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The Cole Academy,Kapolei
As seen in our February 2012 digital edition
All in the Family
Family-owned and family-operated, The Cole Academy preschool and daycare says its objective is to educate the whole child, while fostering intellectual, creative, social and physical development. The first location opened in 2004 in downtown Honolulu and soon expanded to include facilities in Kunia, East Oahu and Kailua.
To better serve families in Oahu's "Second City," The Cole Academy opened its fifth location in Kapolei, located next to the Kapolei State Library and Island Pacific Academy, on Oct. 17 last year. A groundbreaking ceremony attended by legislative and community leaders was held on Feb. 19, 2011. Intended to accommodate approximately 240 children from infant to five years old, the newest facility was built by general contractor Honolulu Builders, LLC.
Describing the structure itself, Dan Jordan principal of Honolulu Builders, explains, "The building is two-story, metal frame construction totaling 13,700 square feet on a lot a little over three acres in size. There are 19 classrooms and a small kitchen, staff office, reception area and restrooms."
"Honolulu Builders provided design-assist services on the project and established a fixed budget based on just seven conceptual drawings in June 2010," continues Jordan, "We began construction in February of 2011 with the permit drawings of 60 sheets and were within budget. We completed the project in September of 2011."
Jordan adds, "The challenge for Honolulu Builders was committing to a very tight budget based just on conceptual drawings. The fact that we achieved success is attributed to the open book communication and budgeting we had with the owner as well as the developer, Avalon Group, and the excellent working relationship we enjoy with the architect, Design Partners, Inc. The design consultants — including Brownlie & Lee (landscaping), Les Nagata of Structural Analysis Group, Inc. (structural engineering), Kevin Mendes of R.M. Towill Corp. (civil engineering) and InSynergy Engineering, Inc. (mechanical and electrical) — rounded out the team and worked with us to keep costs in check.
"Anytime we have the opportunity to work on a project from the conceptual stages, it helps the project become a success," says Jordan. "It also allows the owner to make good business and design decisions during the process if they have good information from their contractor."
Overall, Jordan concludes, "This project had a very lean budget and nobody on the team wanted to diminish the quality of the building through a value engineer exercise; so we managed to build a very nice preschool on a great piece of property within the tight budget."