The Energy Lab at Hawai’i Preparatory Academy is the third building worldwide and the first K–12 school facility to achieve “Living” certification through the Living Building Challenge (LBC).
The science building, completed in January 2010, houses classroom and meeting spaces for a school curriculum focused on renewable energy. Incorporating elements of traditional tropical huts, the structure uses passive strategies like natural ventilation and lighting as well as rainwater harvesting, onsite wastewater treatment, and a 26 kW photovoltaic array. LBC standards require that the Energy Lab harvest at least as much energy and water as it uses over the course of a year, incorporate low-impact building materials, and produce zero waste.
In its first year of operation, the building generated more than twice the energy it used. The project attained Platinum certification under LEED for Schools in December 2010.