GCA celebrates 90 years!

Hawaii and the CNMI To Train in Residential Construction Safety

July 03, 2022

The Building Industry Association of Hawaii received an award of $158,468 to conduct residential construction safety training in Hawaii, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program.

The four-hour training includes residential construction safety and injury prevention training for youth, newly employed and other hard-to-reach workers. Topics include fall protection, electrical, tool safety, respiratory protection, PPE, struck-by, caught-in/between and drywall dust hazards. “BIA is committed to providing educational and training opportunities to support safe working conditions at job sites throughout Hawaii and the Pacific,” says Jessica Leorna, CEO of BIA Hawaii.  Sessions run from June to August and comprise Maui, Hawaii Island, Kauai, Oahu, Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Rota. Enrollment is free for up to 335 workers and employers in these regions.

To register, call (808) 629-7505 or visit

High-Priced Honolulu Tops Home Repairs

July 03, 2022

Home-improvement prices are skyrocketing across the nation, and Honolulu is in the top 10. That’s according to “2022’s Most Expensive Cities for Home Improvement,” a report by Mainland group Lawn Love. The report ranked 200 cities and used 16 key indicators, including labor and supplies access, average home prices and hourly wages for professionals. The median price of home improvement spending increased by 50 percent over the past three years, according to the report.

Home Show Site Wins Award

July 03, 2022

BIA-Hawaii won an award for its website from the Executive Officers Council of the National Association of Homebuilders.

In 2021, the website drew more than 3,000 attendees to the BIG Home Building and Remodeling Show, held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, to allow exhibitors and vendors to meet online and engage via direct messaging. Traditionally, the home show takes place every year in the Neal S. Blaisdell Center with in-person workshops and exhibits.

“Our event website provided additional marketing exposure for exhibitors at a time when meeting with consumers in-person was simply unattainable,” says Jess Leorna, CEO of BIA-Hawaii. In addition to the 2021 home show, the website featured a “Sneak Peak” marketing campaign for the 2022 show held this past April and May.

Alaska-based developed the website. NAHB’s annual awards program recognizes the accomplishments of state and local home builders’ associations, including NAHB-affiliated groups representing more than 140,000 home builders across the nation.

BWS Says No Mandatory Water Restrictions Ahead

July 03, 2022

In a May 23 interview with Building Industry Hawaii, Ernest Y.W. Lau, Honolulu Board of Water Supply  manager and chief engineer, says latest evaluations of BWS’ water system indicate that Honolulu will be able to stay in voluntary conservation this summer.

BWS recently cut water supplied by Honolulu’s primary sources—Halawa Shaft and two nearby wells—as a precaution following last year’s jet fuel leak from the Navy’s Red Hill facility. This, combined with 2022’s very dry weather, have raised concerns that mandatory restrictions are ahead.

Lau says BWS is redirecting water from a nearby well and other systems and is using other strategies that are providing a cushion “to keep us in voluntary conservation only.”

NAVFAC Completes 
Thai Training Facility

April 1, 2022

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC) Thailand held an unveiling ceremony in January marking completed construction of a new Border Patrol Police (BPP) Training Facility in Mae Taeng, Thailand.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s (INDOPACOM) Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West) funded the $600,000 facility, which includes ranges, a mock village, a three-story tactical training building and equipment.

“U.S. support for this facility, which will enhance the BPP’s ability to counter illicit transborder activity, demonstrates our commitment to our partner and ally Thailand,” says INDOPACOM JIATF West Director Rear Adm. Charles Fosse.

ROICC Thailand is supported by the NAVFAC Pacific Contingency Engineering Business Line. NAVFAC Pacific CEBL, headquartered at Pearl Harbor, has offices and operating capacities in Southeast Asia and Australia.

HAPI Inducts ‘Mr. Smooth’

April 1, 2022

The Hawaii Asphalt Paving Industry (HAPI) inducted Garret Okada into its 2022 HAPI Hall of Fame in February at a luncheon at the Pearl Country Club.

Okada served as the Bituminous Materials Engineer for the Hawaii Department of Transportation for 22 years. He raised the bar for the paving industry by performing pilot projects designed to introduce new technologies and methods for paving and by developing a smoothness specification.

Upon his retirement, HAPI awarded Okada the title of “Mr. Smooth.”

NAVFAC Awards $44M for Guam Water Project

April 1, 2022

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific in January awarded a $44 million firm-fixed price contract to Environmental Chemical Corp. of Burlingame, Calif., for the construction of a water well field at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.

The work, to performed in Yigo with an expected completion date of March 2024, provides for the construction of a water well system that will provide continuous domestic, industrial and fire protection water supply to Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz.

“This contract is the fourth of 13 Defense Policy Review Initiative military construction projects planned to be awarded by NAVFAC Pacific in fiscal year 2022,” says Will Boudra, NAVFAC Pacific Guam program management office director. “The completion of this water development and water supply infrastructure is critical to the operations of the new marine corps base.”

$17M Earmarked for Hawaii EV Infrastructure

April 1, 2022

The new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program from the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy provides more than $17 million for infrastructure supporting Hawaii electric vehicle charging stations over the next five years.

Hawaii is slated to receive approximately $2.62 million in fiscal year 2022 per the government’s funding formula and pending submittal of Hawaii’s EV infrastructure deployment plan.

“Hawaii has some of the most aggressive clean energy and carbon reduction goals in the nation,” says Scott Glenn, Hawaii chief energy officer. “We appreciate the federal government’s recognition that we need to move swiftly to build the infrastructure needed to support the adoption of clean transportation in Hawaii which will help us achieve our carbon net-negative goal as soon as practicable and no later than 2045.”

Included in the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, NEVI provides nearly $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of electric vehicle charging stations along designated alternative fuel corridors.

“Just as our national partners are working together to make these funds available,” says Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation deputy director for highways, “HDOT and the Hawaii State Energy Office will be working together with our state and county partners to submit an EV infrastructure deployment plan which is required to access these funds.”

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