Buildings

Aloha! Honolulu Office Joins U.S. Buildings Practice

Honolulu, U.S. buildings, staff group cropped

©2016 WSP USA

The staff of the Honolulu buildings office is looking forward to working as a part of the U.S. region. The staff includes (front row, left to right) Grant Higa, Juanito Ganal, Alvin Javier, Samantha Nakamura, Kim Rand, Yuki Franklin, Charles Chaloeicheep, (back row, left to right) John Humel, Raffy Cabreros, Derek Fujikami, Reza Saberian, Mike Cruz, Josh McDonough, Elton Wong, Kevin Luoma and Albino Prieto.

The Honolulu, Hawaii buildings business office is starting 2017 as a member of the U.S. region of WSP.

The Honolulu buildings office was established in 1951 and acquired by the Australian firm Lincolne Scott, Inc. in 1991. It joined our firm in 2009, reporting to the Asia region. In addition to its buildings services, WSP also has an established transportation and infrastructure office in Honolulu.

Honolulu, U.S. buildings, Gene Albano, med

Gene Albano

“The transition to the U.S. region better leverages WSP’s corporate and regional technical expertise, which was limited due to being part of the Australia-New Zealand region and wasn’t always suited for the U.S.-centric designs and business processes,” said Gene Albano, president, WSP, Hawaii. Kevin Luoma serves as the office’s vice president.

The office has 21 full-time and four part-time staff in Honolulu and six full-time complimentary resource center staff in the Manila, Philippines office dedicated to projects led by the Honolulu office.

Honolulu, U.S. buildings, University of Hawaii IT Center

©ANDREA BRIZZI

The 80,000-square-foot University of Hawaii IT Center houses the University’s system-wide data/telecommunications infrastructure, IT public services facilities, and administrative and staff offices.

MEP Reputation

Albano said his office is well known in the region for providing clients with mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) engineering expertise.

“We have a long-standing local reputation as being one of the leading MEP firms, with a very strong ethic in sustainability and energy efficiency,” he said.

That reputation has led to MEP work on several high-profile projects in Hawaii. Recently completed projects included:

  • Ward Village Towers, a $405 million mixed-use property for the Howard Hughes Corporation featuring 500 residential units in two 35-story buildings;
  • University of Hawaii Cancer Center, a $130 million, 150,000-square-foot laboratory and office tower completed in 2013. The firm also provided audio/visual, lighting, security and sustainability services;
  • University of Hawaii IT Center, a $50 million, 80,000-square-foot facility completed in 2013. The firm also provided LEED certification services to help the client achieve sustainability objectives;
  • National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority Gateway Center, a net-zero energy use property in Kona, Hawaii and the first LEED Platinum-rated building in Hawaii. It is the first building in the world to use seawater for 100 percent cooling without the need of motorized fans; and
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA ) Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center, a 350,000-square-foot facility housing 12 NOAA offices completed in 2013.
Honolulu, U.S. buildings, building national energy laboratory of Hawaii authority gateway center, leed

©PHOTO COURTESY OF FERRARO CHOI & ASSOCIATES

The National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority Gateway Center was the first LEED Platinum-rated building in Hawaii.

“These projects included MEP, built ecology and BTS services, with assistance from various global offices within the WSP buildings group,” Albano said.

He said some of the current projects in the region include work for the Honolulu Authority Rapid Transit, various Queen’s Medical Center projects, hospitality projects in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and the Ko Olina resort area on the island of Oahu.

“Our sustainability regimen has produced the first LEED-certified school building in Hawaii, the first LEED Platinum commercial interiors project, the first Hawaii CHPS-certified [Collaborative for High-performance Schools] project, and the first projects to utilize chilled-beam and a passive down draft cooling systems,” Albano said.

Honolulu U.S. buildings, University of Hawaii Cancer Center

©ANDREA BRIZZI

The University of Hawaii Cancer Center features two wings: the wet laboratory and the office tower. The wet laboratory houses two biosafety level 2 laboratories and one biosafety level 3 laboratory suite, including laboratory support.

Projects recently recognized with awards include:

  • University of Hawaii Culinary Institute of the Pacific – 2016 American Institute of Architects Hawaii Unbuilt Category, Honorable Mention;
  • NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center – 2015 AIA Hawaii Mayor’s Choice Award;
  • University of Hawaii IT Center – 2015 National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) Kukulu Hale, Green Category Award;
  • West Hawaii Explorations Academy – 2015 Kukulu New Construction, Category Award; and
  • Kolo Place Apartments – 2015 NAIOP Kukulu Overall Grand Award and Commercial Award (less than 40,000 square feet).

‘Tremendous Opportunity’

Honolulu staff members are excited about the opportunities they will have by joining the U.S. region of WSP.

“It’s been a tremendous opportunity to be part of a forward-thinking company that has been at the forefront of progressive designs,” Albano said. “I was raised in Hawaii and it’s been a great experience to be part of the positive changes made in the local buildings industry because of WSP.”


National Oceanic and Atmospheric administrations Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center Pearl Harbor Hawaii, email

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Topics: Buildings