News Beat: Honolulu affordable tower Hale Kalele nominated for national engineering award

Honolulu affordable housing project Hale Kalele was named a finalist for the American Society of Civil Engineers’ prestigious Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.

This award, first presented in 1960, recognizes the year’s most significant examples of civil engineering, showcasing advances in the field and their impact on society.

Located at the intersection of Pi‘ikoi and Elm streets, Hale Kalele is a successful example of innovative public-private collaboration developed jointly by the Kobayashi Group LLC, Hawai‘i State Judiciary and Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation.

Among 11 finalists, Hale Kalele is the only building project nominated this year. The previously underutilized state-owned parcel was transformed into a vibrant community space, offering affordable housing while also modernizing the onsite Hale Hilinai Juvenile Service Center.

Key to Hale Kalele’s recognition was its commitment to sustainability. Workers employed a dual approach to minimize environmental impacts, optimizing material use through structural analysis and integrating CarbonCure technology, which injects carbon dioxide into concrete, reducing cement content in the mix and sequestering carbon.

“[Baldridge & Associates] has designed many of Hawai‘i’s most iconic structures but finds working on affordable housing the most rewarding and important work,” said Steve Baldridge, president of Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering, a project partner, in a news release.

Alana Kobayashi Pakkala, manager and executive vice president of the Kobayashi Group, also expressed pride in Hale Kalele’s innovative structural design and sustainability efforts.

“Hale Kalele not only delivers much-needed homes to our hard-working kama‘aina residents living at the 30 to 60 percent area median income, it also established and implemented energy savings and carbon reduction goals,” Pakkala said in the release.

The OCEA jury will announce its grand award winner during an awards gala in Tampa, Fla., on Oct. 8.

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