U.S. Treasury Allocates $115M for Improved
Broadband Infrastructure in Hawaiʻi

UH’s ʻApakau ka lāʼ Initiative is part of $10B Capital Projects Fund

July 13, 2023

The University of Hawai‘i is working with the United States Treasury to allocate approximately $115 million for the enhancement and extension of high-speed broadband in Hawai‘i.

UH’s ‘Apakau ka lā’ Initiative (“Spreading of the Sun’s Rays”) is working to raise $400 million in federal grants and matching funds to ensure long-term connectivity across the state as part of a $10 billion national Capital Projects Fund.

The $115 million follows a $5.7 million allocation in 2022 to begin project planning. The initiative’s primary goal is to bolster capacity and reliability of broadband pipelines across the state, as well as extending access to areas currently without broadband.

The majority of the funds will support a new undersea cable system to link the Hawaiian Islands, with nearly $8 million earmarked for enhancing connectivity and digital literacy at Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority locations.

UH President David Lassner noted the institution’s history of leading broadband connectivity in Hawai‘i, from initiating the state’s first internet connections to pioneering fiber optic connectivity across public schools, libraries and higher education sites.

“UH has led in bringing broadband connectivity in Hawai‘i for decades,” Lassner said in a release. “From bringing the very first internet connections to Hawai‘i, to making Hawai‘i the first in the nation with fiber optic connectivity to every one of our public schools, public libraries and public higher education sites … we are incredibly proud to now be the only institution of higher education to lead these vital next steps of developing the broadband infrastructure so critical today to work, education, healthcare and economic vitality for our entire state.”

The funding will fortify Hawai‘i aging broadband infrastructure, meeting rising demand for internet access, according to UH Vice President of Information Technology and CIO, Garret Yoshimi.

Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke emphasized the necessity of high-quality, reliable internet service, pointing out its critical role in multiple areas.

“From telehealth to distance learning, remote work and e-commerce, so many of us are reliant upon high-quality, reliable internet service,” Luke said. “Connectivity is no longer a modern-day convenience but instrumental in our daily lives, and we must secure internet access for all.”

The planned subsea cable system is set to include landing sites for additional broadband fiber connections on Hawai‘i island, Maui, Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i.

— Jason Genegabus

HPM Acquires 87ZERO, Expands Product Lineup

New partnership will benefit both large-scale projects and smaller contractors

July 13, 2023

87ZERObyHPM, a new division at HPM Building Supply, offers high-end cabinetry, architectural elements and appliances for Hawaii builders, commercial clients and homeowners.     PHOTO COURTESY HPM BUILDING SUPPLY

HPM Building Supply announced in April its acquisition of 87ZERO, a Honolulu-based supplier.

The company, which provides global sourcing and manufacturing of interior products, is now known as 87ZERO by HPM and will supply large-scale projects by Hawai‘i developers, hoteliers and contractors.

“87ZERO and HPM first connected through our shared passion for helping to build more attainable housing for Hawai‘i families,” said Jason Fujimoto, HPM president and CEO, in a release. “We saw the potential to combine our strengths, create new, innovative solutions for our community, and provide an even more seamless, one-stop shop for customers at every price point.”

Two showrooms in the Na Lama Kuku‘i Lifestyle and Design Center on Oahu now feature 87ZERO by HPM’s product lines, including Italian-crafted SmartCucina cabinetry and global kitchen brand Ernestomeda, as well as premium appliances from Bosch, Gaggenau, Miele and Thermador.

87ZERO’s 15 staff members are now part of HPM’s more than 500 owner-employees located in Hawai‘i.

— Brett Alexander-Estes

HISHE Healthcare Expo Charts Building Trends

Queen’s Health System COO delivers keynote speech

July 13, 2023

Jason Chang

The 4th Annual Hawai‘i Healthcare Technology & Facilities Engineering Expo, presented by the Hawaii Society for Healthcare Engineering (HISHE), took place May 11 at the Prince Waikiki.

Keynote speaker Jason Chang, Queen’s Health System executive vice president and COO (pictured at left), delivered an assessment of the healthcare industry in Hawai‘i. Will Braxton, Cynerio account executive, then presented strategies aimed at deterring cyber attacks in the healthcare sector.

Breakout sessions included presentations by Kiyana Turner, Scott Parham and Amanda Scott, three Amazon-affiliated healthcare and technology specialists; Dr. Simi Ranajee of Johnson Controls Inc.; and Christopher Kobus of the University of Washington Medicine healthcare system.

“The HISHE Expo is a valuable event for healthcare construction here in Hawai‘i, as the event connects various trades and organizations here in our local market,” said Summer Vaimaona, business development representative at Swinerton Builders.

Along with HISHE, an association of healthcare building and management professionals, other presenting sponsors included Cynerio, Johnson Controls Inc. and Koa Restoration & Maintenance. Visit to learn more.

— Brett Alexander-Estes

CCIM Hosts ‘Construction Industry Outlook’ Panel

Hawai‘i continues to grapple with COVID-19 recovery, labor shortages

July 13, 2023

Glen Kaneshige

Michael Young

Erin Mori

A lively discussion at the Hawai‘i CCIM Chapter’s May general membership meeting had a roomful of commercial realtors, business owners and general contractors thinking hard about the local building industry.

“Hawai‘i Construction Industry Outlook 2023: Pursuing Growth in the Face of Economic Headwinds” featured panelists were Nordic PCL President Glen Kaneshige; Albert C. Kobayashi (ACK) President and CEO Michael Young; and Swinerton’s Erin Mori, director of preconstruction and estimating. Moderating the May 19 panel at Cafe Julia was Erin Kirihara, executive vice president at Rider Levett Bucknall.

Nordic PCL’s Kaneshige said the audience had to look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic with fluid planning, adjusting timelines and the unpredictability of “crazy construction costs.”

While most blame COVID-19 for the recent global economic slowdown, Kaneshige asked the audience to consider “the big freeze in Texas … [which caused] all of their chemical plants and factories [to] shut down.”

According to Texas Comptroller Glenn Heggar, the Texas Freeze of 2021 caused supply chains already burdened by the pandemic to suffer a bigger blow, thanks to Winter Storm Uri.

“This setback included Texas chemical plants, which make up nearly 75 percent of U.S. chemical production and contribute to the manufacture of ingredients necessary for disinfectants, plastic bottles, fertilizer, pesticides and packaging,” Heggar said in an online report. “The freezing temperatures and blackouts damaged equipment in those plants, further slowing supply lines.”

That explains why supplies took between 50 and 80 weeks to get to Hawai‘i, according to Young of ACK. The rowboat-slow arrival of machinery parts, fan coils, insulation, wood, cleaners and paints made it difficult to nail down prices for clients, sometimes resulting in contracts being shelved indefinitely.

“We now want to sign a contract earlier, pay money earlier to mitigate risk, and prepare and plan lead times for materials,” Young explained.

Swinerton’s Mori said one thing that kept her company steadily working “was focusing on renovations in the hospitality and health sectors and doing more with less.”

That could mean not using the first choice in decorative tiles because they take forever to ship, deep cleaning furnishings instead of reupholstering, or driving a company truck a year or two longer.

Labor shortages, a constant in Hawai‘i’s economy for more than 50 years, were also discussed. Local unions continue to lose membership and aren’t gaining enough traction when it comes to recruiting new, younger workers to fill journeymen positions, such as masons, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, roofers and painters.

It’s a delicate dance between general contractors and unions when it comes to new contracts, of which a big one is coming up in 2024. Who will blink first?

— Paula Bender

Masonry Institute Picks Kūlanihākoʻi High as ‘Project of the Year’

June 01, 2023

Hawai‘i-based contractors working on the second phase of construction at Kūlanihāko‘i High School on Maui were honored in March by the Masonry Institute of Hawaii.

The new school in Kihei was named “Project of the Year,” highlighting the efforts by general contractor Nordic PCL Construction Inc. and the project’s positive impact on the masonry construction industry, as well as the community at large.

The award recognizes a construction project in Hawaii that uses local contractors and workers and considers masonry and concrete projects of all types and sizes that are substantially complete and placed into service within two calendar years prior to being nominated.

The Masonry Institute hosted an awards luncheon on March 8 at Honolulu Country Club. Among those in attendance were Nordic PCL general superintendent Kirk Bailey and project manager McClyde Gaborno, along with architects Ryan Sullivan and Craig Uemura from Honolulu-based G70 International and structural engineers Craig Sakanashi and Marvin Mestanza from Coffman Engineers.

— Jason Genegabus

Lilia Waikīkī Wins CoStar
Impact Award

June 01, 2023

Photo courtesy: Oliver Buchanan Group

The 28-story tower is the neighborhood’s first for-rent apartment development in decades and features studio apartments along with one-, two- and three-bedroom units and penthouses, plus 38,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

The project also preserves a large banyan tree on the premises.

Lilia Waikīkī was praised by CoStar Impact Award judges, including Mark D. Bratton, senior vice president at Colliers International, who described the property as “exactly what the community and resort [needs],” and Wendell Brooks, senior vice president at JLL, who hailed Lilia’s uniqueness, describing it as “the first of its kind in Waikiki” and a “well-built project.”

Jay Elicker, senior vice president at Commercial Asset Advisors, lauded Lilia´s aesthetics and locale, describing the project as having a “home-run location” and “beautiful.”

For Grant E. Howe, managing partner of Commercial Properties in Maui, it was Lilia’s affordable component that stood out—a sentiment many Waikīkī-area renters likely share.

Lilia Waikīkī was backed by Brookfield Properties executives Kris Hui, senior vice president of development; Blair Suzuki, director of development; Kaeo Kane, development manager; and Jeremy Shorenstein, senior development manager; as well as Benjamin Woo Architects President Masato Tochika.

— Andy Beth Miller

3D Printing: Framing the Future

June 01, 2023

Could three-dimensional (3D) printing be the technology of the future for Hawai‘i’s building industry?

Black Buffalo 3D, which produces large-scale 3D construction printers using a ready-mix cement “ink” to print buildings while on a job site, recently launched a project described as “the world’s biggest and most ambitious 3D home construction undertaking to date.”

Virginia-based client, Alquist 3D, kicked off construction on the first of what is expected to be 200 homes built using the technology in April 2022, following completion of the “first owner-occupied 3D printed home” by the company last year.

Projects like Alquist’s are spurring developers, contractors, higher education professionals and government agencies worldwide to explore the potential of the technology. Black Buffalo was also invited to exhibit 3D-printed housing walls and its modular NEXCON 3D construction printer at a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development event in Washington, D.C. last June.

“There is so much demand right now, [as] the cost of lumber, nails, supplies, finishing for siding and different materials shot up like crazy over the past couple of years,” says Peter Cooperman, Black Buffalo head of marketing and strategy. “Our printer replaces framing and walls, inner and outer. Now you can basically just bring a 3D printer and ready-mix on-site.”

While 3D-printing construction reduces expenses and jobsite labor, its sustainability adds more value. 

Tim Murphy, Black Buffalo’s head of business development, says: “Our printers naturally use less product. We only print what we need. We use one to two full garbage cans of wasted concrete, maximum, per build, whereas a stick-built structure creates one to two tons of waste.”

The ink’s various fibers and polymers reduce the concrete’s footprint, and will soon be improved with hempcrete and other biomass particles, Murphy says.

“The compression strength in our concrete doesn’t just account for how hard it is, but also for how long it’s going to last,” says Murphy. “We are at a point where a massive amount of construction is going to happen and as we make the economics of it work, we are going to drive a massive change in the total sustainability factor of the entire industry.”

Black Buffalo 3D products are manufactured in South Korea, but the company plans to bring operations to the U.S. in the near future.

— Andy Beth Miller

Gentry Reports Strong West Side Sales

April 03, 2023

Rick Hobson, Gentry Homes vice president of sales and marketing, says sales in the developer’s three new West Oahu neighborhoods are brisk.

“We project to have our last 16 homes at NorthPark close escrow by the end of the first quarter,” Hobson says. “This includes model homes which are now sold and no longer available to visit.”

Gentry’s Makamae community continues to sell four to six homes per month and “we expect 16 closings in the first quarter of 2023,” he says. Makamae homes are priced at just over $1 million.

Hobson says Ka‘ulu by Gentry, its newest neighborhood located behind Costco Kapolei in Kalaeloa, will open this summer for sales. Ka‘ulu will offer two- and three-bedroom stacked flats with single car-attached garages (HCDA reserved housing guidelines apply as required). Ka‘ulu will also offer three-bedroom, 2.5-bath single-family condominium homes similar to Gentry’s ParkSide, SeaBridge and NorthPark communities.

PBX23 Opens Sept. 27

April 03, 2023

Reservations are now available for PBX23 booth space, like this one showcasing a lift during PBX22.

PBX23, the annual trade show for Hawaii’s building industries sponsored by the Construction Specifications Institute Honolulu (CSI), opens Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Hawaii Convention Center.

“This is an exceptional opportunity for companies to showcase their products and services and meet hundreds of architects, contractors, engineers, specifiers, developers, interior designers, and military and government officials face-to-face,” says Richard Myers, PBX23 co-chair and G70 associate/senior project architect. Myers notes the show’s more than 200 booth spaces are expected to sell out.

Booth spaces will be assigned in the order that exhibitors’ reservations are received, with early bird rates available through May 31. Discounted booth space is available to CSI members, and optional exhibitor upgrades and sponsorships are available for added promotional value before and during the event. For exhibitor packets, contact Barbie Rosario, [email protected].


Down and Dirty With CISEC Training

March 03, 2023

Want to be a Certified Inspector of Sediment and Erosion Control (CISEC)? Contact the non-profit 501(c)6 organization CISEC Inc. for its on-line inspection training programs. While it is not necessary to attend the training sessions to take the exam, it is recommended. Those with less than two years work experience can apply to become a CISEC in Training (CISEC-IT). To become a certified registrant, an applicant must pass the written examination with a grade of 75% or higher. All CISEC registrants are expected to pay an annual fee, submit 12 professional development hours, and sign an annual contract. To register:

Solar Energy, Savio-Style

March 03, 2023

WPeter Savio

After proposing a condominium-style, fee-simple solar farm to Hawaiian Electric (HECO) in late 2022 and making it through the first round of bidders, developer Peter Savio plans to put his yet-to-be-located development out to bid to Hawaii solar companies and contractors if selected by HECO in early Q1 2023 for its Community-Based Renewable Energy program.

About one hundred solar farms are needed for Hawaii’s communities, Savio says. “We want to find a way through community solar to give everyone a chance to have clean affordable energy that supports both the environment and our local economy through this project.” Savio will sell shares of a project to people who do not have solar or access to solar for their homes, condos and businesses. Energy generated will be sold to HECO by Savio Solar Farms. HECO will provide the solar condo shareholder with a credit in the same amount on their electric bill. If shareholders move to another location within the state, they can take the share with them to their new property. Also, since the project is fee-simple, shareholders can sell their share of the solar panels and the land beneath it. “…Many companies providing solar here are sending proceeds to the Mainland and not supporting our local economy,” says Savio.

What HECO Wants in its REZ Zones

March 03, 2023

March 03, 2023

Where is this renewable energy coming from? Gigawatt-hours produced by utility and independent power producers for Hawaiian Electric customers in 2021     GRAPHIC COURTESY: HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC

Hawaiian Electric (HECO) is requesting public input to locate sites for new projects that will power Island grids with 100% renewable energy by the state’s 2045 deadline.

Along with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, HECO has created maps of Maui, Oahu and Hawaii Island containing Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) areas—places where future clean energy projects could be located. HECO is looking for input regarding solar and wind energy and other resources and technologies—including geothermal, biomass and hydro-energy—as it plans for a resilient and reliable grid powered by diverse energy sources.

To seamlessly blend these sources with agriculture, housing, natural resources and culturally significant spaces, ideas about renewable energy projects that might work well in REZs close to local neighborhoods or community view planes can be submitted via HECO’s interactive map:

Hensel Phelps Launches ConTech Company

March 03, 2023

Hensel Phelps (HP), a leading U.S. general contractor with a strong presence in Hawaii and the Pacific, in January announced the launch of Diverge, a new HP company that fosters the development and deployment of new construction technology by start-up enterprises and innovation partners.

“Over the past decade, we have seen continual advancement in prefabrication, robotics, drones and many other technology platforms that are having a profound impact on how we deliver projects. Diverge provides Hensel Phelps a structured approach to evaluate and implement innovation in our business,” says Brad Jeanneret, executive vice president of the Greeley, Colorado-based company. “We are investing in the future of our industry.”

According to HP’s website, Diverge and its partners are focused on identifying and evaluating solutions with the potential to revolutionize construction planning and practices. HP encourages construction innovators to pitch their industry-changing ideas to Diverge, which is currently accepting new submissions for evaluation.

New luxury tower Alia is slated to break ground in a few months.     RENDERING COURTESY: KOBAYASHI GROUP

ACK to Break Ground Soon
on Alia

February 8, 2023

Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. (ACK) is general contractor on Alia, a new 39-floor luxury residential mixed-use tower at 888 Ala Moana Boulevard. ACK expects the project to support more than 500 jobs during construction, which is slated to start in mid-2023 and to end in early 2026.

Developed by Kobayashi Group and BlackSand Capital, the tower will offer 457 residences. Owner-occupant unit pricing ranges from $879,000 to $2,339,000.

Alia will feature two pools, a bowling alley, a sauna, a spa, two fitness centers, a playground and many other upscale amenities. The project is 1,050,723 gross square feet, including a 3,600-square-foot interior retail area next to a large exterior retail patio.
Designed to be Hawaii’s most sustainable residential tower, Alia will contain a state-of-the-art greywater treatment system, extensive photovoltaic panels, cross-ventilation with passive cooling, a centralized chilled water system, EV-charging, and onsite water retention and reuse. ACK will use CarbonCure concrete, a carbon-offset mix it recently used on its Hale Kalele project.

The project also includes a new park, a pedestrian-friendly renovation of Auahi Street and demolition of an existing building.


Condo Farming à la Peter Savio

February 02, 2023


Savio Realty Ltd. is offering Ohana Farm Parcels at Paalaa Uka Pupukea Road in Wahiawa in a condominium format. Through a recent press release, Peter Savio says that, “So far, our local farmers’ strong response to this new agricultural condo [format] makes the land affordable for farmers, as the land is being offered at cost under my affordable condo program.” Savio has structured his program to ensure the land will remain affordable by tying the future value of available lots to local wages—in effect passing on the savings to future generations of farmers. “It’s a case of local people helping local people, and not relying on the government,” Savio says.

An additional 150 acres will be available at the new Orchard Plantation near Leong Highway in Waialua. Meetings began in January 2023 to help more local farmers purchase affordable farmland on Oahu as members of a condo association. “These owners will not only own the land they farm but will in perpetuity manage all of the farmlands with the newly formed condo association,” Savio says.


DHHL Hanapepe Lots Begin Phase 2 Prep

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc. (HDCC) with site and infrastructure development for 82 new residential lots and the extension of 47 existing lots on Kauai. The project is located at the corner of Moi Road and Alii Road to Ahi Road and Moi Road in Hanapepe. Deadline to wrap up Phase 2 is March 2024. HDCC will lay the roadway and install the water, sewer, drainage, electrical and telecommunications systems, engaging specialized subcontractors as needed.


$2B Dry Dock Project Gets ROD Go-ahead

February 02, 2023

The U.S. Navy in December signed a Record of Decision (ROD) supporting the construction of NAVFAC’s planned Dry Dock 3 Replacement project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH). The ROD also identifies NAVFAC’s design for the project, estimated at a total cost of approximately $2 billion to $4 billion and reportedly the largest in NAVFAC history.

According to a Dec. 16 JBPHH press release, Alternative 4 (the Navy’s “preferred alternative” design) was selected. This includes construction and operation of an uncovered graving dry dock, known as Dry Dock #5, as well as construction of a multiple support concept waterfront production facility located east of the new dry dock.

Also in December, President Joe Biden signed the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The Act reportedly authorizes $873 million for Hawaii military construction projects and acquisitions that includes $446 million for the new JBPHH dry dock project, as well as $40 million for the related shipyard waterfront production facility. –BAE

HART Kahauiki (Middle Street-Kalihi Transit Center) station under construction in June by general contractor Shimmick/Traylor/Granite    

$63M More for Rail

February 02, 2023

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) in December announced that U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz secured $63.8 million in new federal funding for Honolulu’s rail project. The grant is in addition to the remaining federal funds earmarked for HART by the Federal Transit Administration and is intended to cover inflationary cost increases if needed.

According to a December report by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, global inflation is steadily increasing and Hawaii inflation remains high, but “surging public sector construction will prevent a recession in the Islands.”

HART expects to receive the funds early this year. “These funds will be used to further enable HART to meet its obligations under the Recovery Plan and achieve our construction milestones,” says HART Executive Director and CEO Lori Kahikina.


New Website and Bot
Speed Up Permitting

January 02, 2023

The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning & Permitting (DPP) in November launched its new website aiming to expedite building permits and modernize the department.

The new website’s “Permitting Process Improvements” (PPI) tab links to DPP’s latest permitting process changes, checklists, references, forms and interpretations.

DPP in November also installed an automated computer bot to help review electronic building permit application plans. The bot reviews basic formatting in four of 11 checklist items in the prescreen phase prior to code review by examiners.

Permit applicants were scheduled to begin receiving email notices starting Nov. 28 that identify deficiencies in at least one of the four checklist items as well as a link to correction guidelines on the PPI tab. According to the DPP, by January, the bot should be fully functional, reviewing most, if not all, of the 11 checklist items and substantially cutting down DPP’s prescreen backlog of approximately 3,500 applications.

Permit applicants and the public can receive PPI updates by subscribing to a new email list located at the bottom of the PPI tab page: –BAE

High Honors Go To Pasha Hawaii

Last November, the Chamber of Shipping of America honored Pasha Hawaii with certificates of environmental achievement for excellence. Pasha’s vessels recognized in the honor were: The Horizon Pacific for 22 years of service; the Horizon Reliance for 21 years; Horizon Enterprise and Horizon Spirit for 11 years each; and the M/V Marjorie C for three. At the awards ceremony on Nov. 23 were (from left): RADM Ann Phillips, U.S. Maritime Administration; Capt. Gregory Johnson, Pasha Hawaii; and Jim Varley, chairman and CSA Board of Directors. -CCG

Green Project Wins $47M

January 02, 2023

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) in November was awarded $47.3 million in competitive grant funds for the Kapalama Container Terminal–Gaining Regenerative and Efficient Energy Needs (KCT-GREEN) project. KCT-GREEN is a joint project by Hawaii Stevedores Inc. (HSI) and The Pasha Group (TPG), HSI’s parent company.

The $139.3 million project will equip KCT with resilient zero-emission and electric technology to reduce emissions and the environmental impact of 

cargo-handling operations. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). The PIDP grant will be matched by $92 million in private funds from HSI and TPG.

Plans include electrified Ship-to-Shore cranes, regenerative energy storage, microgrid battery energy storage systems, a solar power system for the terminal building, a micro wind turbine (WindWall), electric vehicle supply equipment systems, state-of-the-art gate systems, weigh-in motion scales, an RFID inspection system and a Customs Radiation Portal Monitor system. HDOT previously reported that the project will likely break ground in Q1 2023 and employ approximately 300 construction workers.

Miyake–HPM Opens Home Design Center in Kihei

January 02, 2023

Miyake-HPM owner-employees in the Kihei branch’s new design center    

Miyake–HPM Building Supply in November opened its first full-service Home Design Center on Maui. Located on the newly renovated second floor of its Kihei branch, the 3,800-square-foot showroom offers kitchen and bath products, quality cabinets, countertops, flooring, plumbing and lighting fixtures, doors, windows and finish hardware. Manufacturers include Bellmont Cabinets, Cosentino, Daltile, Delta, Milgard Windows & Doors, Simpson Door Co., Amerock and others. The center’s team of owner-employees includes a new kitchen and bath designer to guide design, product selection and construction.

“We welcome both building industry professionals and the public to the Home Design Center, and together with our hardware products on the ground floor, we hope to provide a convenient one-stop shop for projects at every stage,” says Gary Danzl, Miyake–HPM Building Supply Maui regional manager.

Kihei’s new center is the fifth HPM-owned Home Design Center in Hawaii.


New Military Awards Target Guam

January 02, 2023


Upcoming projects in Guam and the NAVFAC Pacific area of operations (AO) include these latest awards to contractors based in Hawaii and elsewhere:

$26 Million: Black Construction-Tutor Perini JV (Harmon, Guam)
This $26,000,000 firm-fixed price contract was awarded Oct. 24 for the design and construction of a communications facility at Joint Region Marianas, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
Expected completion: February 2025
Work to be performed includes construction of the facility, new roadways, utilities, security features and incidental related work.     


$16.9 Million: MNDPI Pacific JV (Hawaii)
This $16,960,148 firm-fixed-price task order was awarded Oct. 27 for architect-engineering services in Piti, Guam.
Expected completion: September 2024
This task order provides for the construction of a new concrete fixed single-deck submarine repair pier at Polaris Point Submarine Base, Guam.


Risky Business for Contractors

January 02, 2023


To stay afloat financially in 2022, a growing number of construction business owners across the U.S. took risks on liquidity.

Nearly 50% borrowed from credit cards, up from 44% in 2021. And 19% used retirement savings, up 17 percentage points over the same period. 

However, fewer contractors in 2022 relied on their business savings (40% compared to 53%), while lines of credit fell 3 percentage points over the previous year to 41% 

As a result of floating payments, general contractors in 2022 incurred new charges, resulting in $208 billion in additional costs to the construction industry, up 53% over 2021.

These findings are based on construction finance software Rabbet, which surveyed contractors and subcontractors in the fourth quarter of 2022.  -CCG

Keeping Hawaiian Lands in Hawaiian Hands

January 02, 2023

In September 2022, the American Planning Association (APA) Hawaii Chapter recognized the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands with its Outstanding Planner award for DHHL’s Puu Opae Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan.

The winning plan, developed with partner G70, provides a roadmap for future homesteading in Waimea, Kauai. Included in the project team are Keala Pono Archaeological Consulting, Hui Ku Maoli Ola, Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, Sustain Hawaii and Resource Mapping Hawaii.

“All were instrumental in creating this plan, which will ultimately result in Native Hawaiians settling on lands that have been in the Hawaiian Home Lands trust since the beginning,” says DHHL’s Tyler Iokepa Gomes, deputy to the agency’s chairman.

Planning began in 2011 when the DHHL’s West Kauai Regional Plan identified the Puu Opae area as a priority project and called for the development of an agricultural and water plan. Situated on the mauka Waimea lands of west Kauai, the area’s physical characteristics include suitable topography, drainage, accessibility, proximity to natural and cultural resources, management of wildfire risk, and beneficiary preferences for subsistence agricultural lot size and configuration.

DHHL’s Kuleana Homestead Program is designed to rehabilitate Native Hawaiians by providing opportunities for self-sufficiency and self-determination by offering raw land for beneficiaries to live on, grow food to sustain their family and for community economic purposes.

Says Kawika McKeague, principal at G70, “This award by the APA Hawaii chapter is a significant milestone that lends merit in recognizing community perseverance toward Maoli governance and self-determination.” –PB

Utilities Underground Before Rail Is Overhead

January 02, 2023

In November 2022, Nan Inc. began the Dillingham Utility Relocations project for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). Long identified as critical toward completion of the rail project, the nearly $500 million contract includes the relocation of utilities in the Kalihi-Palama area, from the corner of Kamehameha Highway and Laumaka Street to the corner of Dillingham Boulevard and Kaaahi Street. Slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022, it has an expected first-quarter 2026 completion date.

Lori Kahikina, HART chief executive officer and executive director, says that awarding the contract for the utility relocations was a huge accomplishment for HART “as it is the final large contract before we get to the actual guideway and station construction through this corridor.

“It is also worth noting that this bid was lower than our independent cost estimate by approximately 3%. We look forward to working with Nan Inc. on this important project and are committed to its success,” Kahikina says.

Multiple simultaneous construction sites will be engaged around the clock to relocate or replace infrastructure for water, sewer, electricity, fuel, communications and storm drainage, and certain roadway improvements. On the punch list are trenching, jet grouting, wet and dry utilities relocation, traffic signal installation, micro tunneling, drilled shafts, road widening, curb gutter sidewalk installation and pavement restoration.

Previous to the start of the Dillingham work, area businesses and residents were apprised of the utilities’ relocation phase. -PB

Depression at the Job Site

December 01, 2022

Be sure to check in on your construction and trades crews to see if they need any moral support or counseling for depression. You want to be sure your most valuable assets are happy, healthy and ready to work. Consider these facts: 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time.

• Uninsured construction workers are less likely to use prescribed opioid pain relievers and more inclined to use illicit drugs than their insured counterparts.

• Only 57% of employees who report moderate depression and 40% who report severe depression receive treatment to control depression symptoms.

• Employees at high risk of depression had the highest healthcare costs during the three years after an initial health risk assessment compared to those who smoke or are obese.  -PB

Source: The Center for Construction Research and Training Report 2022 


Navy May Approve $2B Pearl Harbor Project This Month

December 01, 2022

Proposed new dock and Waterfront Production Facility for Dry Dock 5     GRAPHIC COURTESY: U.S. DEPT. OF THE NAVY

The new Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility Dry Dock and Waterfront Production Facility project may get the go-ahead when the Navy issues its final Record of Decision in December. The decision follows a required waiting period of 30 days or more after publication of the project’s  Notification of Availability and final Environmental Impact Statement Oct. 14.

The project currently calls for construction and operation of a new dry dock and waterfront production facility at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Mainte-nance Facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The new dry dock, which will replace Dry Dock 3 and be named Dry Dock 5, is needed to accommodate the Navy’s larger vessels. A new waterfront production facility will also be constructed. The value of the dry dock portion of the project is expected to exceed $2 billion. The value of the entire project is not yet known.

Funding for the dry dock portion of the project is currently included in the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2023 military construction program and will be submitted to the president for inclusion in the FY23 military construction appropriations budget request to Congress.

If funding is granted, actual construction on the dry dock portion of the project is expected to start in 2023. The project is considered to be the largest in Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) history. -BAE

Fred Kim
Heather de la Garza

New Leaders Emerge From Pacific Resource Partnership

December 01, 2022

Pacific Resource Partnership’s Leadership Series—a training program for mid-career leaders in construction—recently graduated its third class, bringing the number of participants to nearly 60 since the program launched in 2019. The accelerated program runs for 10 months and covers the gamut from construction ethics and contracts, to leading high-performance teams. Applications for the 2023 class have been submitted, and their names will be announced by Dec. 23.-CCG

Q: What was the most valuable lesson learned in PRP’s Executive Leadership Series?

A: “How to be an effective leader with a better understanding of different people, personalities and different methods, and the various approaches that are available. [The program consisted of] group exercises that promoted teamwork and sharing ideas and case studies from the industry that are pertinent to our work/business.”
– Fred Kim, Cohort III, Alan Shintani Inc.

A: “My strongest takeaways from the course were those regarding how to more effectively manage the way I communicate, and understanding the delivery is sometimes more important than the message.”
– Heather de la Garza, Cohort II,  Albert C. Kobayashi Inc.

Coffman Engineers Acquires SLSH

December 01, 2022

From left: Howard Lau, PE, SLSH president; Wayne Higuchi, PE, SLSH vice president; Dave Ruff, PE, Coffman CEO/COB; Jami Hirota, PE, Coffman civil principal; John Thielst, Coffman senior vice president, managing principal, Pacific Region; and Craig Sakanashi, PE, SLSH vice president
From left: Howard Lau, PE, SLSH president; John Thielst, Coffman vice president, managing princi-pal, Pacific Region; Craig Sakanashi, PE, SLSH vice president; Wayne Higuchi, PE, SLSH vice president; Beverly Ishii-Nakayama, PE, SLSH vice president

Coffman Engineers Inc. has acquired Shigemura, Lau, Sakanashi, Higuchi and Associates Inc. (SLSH) in a friendly buyout that expands the consulting firm’s structural engineering presence in the Pacific Region.

The acquisition includes six employees of SLSH, plus four owners who joined Coffman as principal advisors. The owners of SLSH are: Howard Lau, PE; Craig Sakanashi, PE; Wayne Higuchi, PE; and Beverly Ishii-Nakayama, PE.

“The acquisition of SLSH also provides clients a consistent team to work with as the two firms share many clients and opens the door to more opportunities together,” says John Thielst, senior VP, managing principal, Pacific region, for Coffman Engineers.

At the time of the November buyout, Coffman had 71 employees in Hawaii and seven on Guam. “This transition allows the four principals of SLSH to ease into retirement over many years without going through a more complicated acquisition process,” says Howard Lau, president of SLSH. “SLSH wanted to be assured their clients and staff would be well taken care of and Coffman has a track record of being able to do this.”

The move also comes a year after Coffman acquired Honolulu-based mechanical engineering firm Miyashiro and Associates in March 2021, Moss Engineering Inc. (electrical) in 2014 and S.S. Dannaway and Associates (fire protection) in 2016.  -CCG

ACK Heads The Park Ward Village

December 01, 2022

From left: Cord Anderson, David O’Reilly, Doug Johnstone, Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Bonnie Wedemeyer, Paul Hayes and David Yamane at The Park’s groundbreaking in October    

Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. (ACK) is general contractor on The Park Ward Village, the eighth residential tower in The Howard Hughes Corp.’s 60-acre master-planned community. Construction on the 400-foot-high tower, located at the corner of Ward Avenue and Auahi Street, broke ground Oct. 20.

The tower’s 546 units were 90.6% pre-sold as of mid-2022, and offer three-, two- and one-bedroom residences as well as studios. An amenity deck will feature resort and lap pools, a spa, barbecue cabanas, lawns, walking paths, and pickleball and tennis courts. More than 30,000 square feet of retail space is planned for the tower’s base, which will also open on a newly expanded 3.5-acre Victoria Ward Park. Extensive upgrades are also planned for adjacent streets, including larger sidewalks, pedestrian pathways and bicycle connections.

The project’s designers include Solomon Cordwell Buenz, architect; Yabu Pushelberg, interior designer; and Vita Design Group, landscape architect.

The Park Ward Village groundbreaking “represents a great milestone for the heart of our neighborhood,” says Doug Johnstone, president, Hawaii, The Howard Hughes Corp. “The Park Ward Village pulls together the best of thoughtfully integrated and expanded parks, shops, restaurants and new homes.”  -BAE

Hawaiian Dredging installed a 42-inch gate valve and check valve at the P-169 waterline project.

FY19 MCON P-169 Water Transmission Line

December 01, 2022

Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc.’s P-169 project involves installation of a 42-inch potable water transmission main and extends from Waihona Street along Kamehameha Highway. “All construction and AC (asphalt concrete) paving work has been completed on the project,” says Len Dempsey, Hawaiian Dredging vice president, Heavy Division. “Hawaiian Dredging is working with Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command to connect the new 42-inch water transmission line to the Navy’s water system. Work is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023.” Construction started on Aug. 12, 2019.

Len Dempsey

New Military Awards Top $290M

November 01, 2022

Aerial of family housing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam PHOTO COURTESY: OICC MARINE CORPS MARIANAS

Upcoming Hawaii projects by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii include these latest awards to contractors based in Hawaii and elsewhere:

$27 Million: Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. (Hawaii) This $27,465,700 firm-fixed-price task order under a previously awarded contract was awarded Sept. 14 to repair roads and erosion control at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Expected completion: June 2025 Work includes repairing roads along the north face of the storage facility and installing an erosion control rockfall protection system near the entry control point along Lower Access Road. 

$24 Million: D7 LLC (Hawaii) This $24,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract was awarded Aug. 22 for construction support services at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) and other locations on Oahu. Expected completion: August 2027 The contract provides for new work, additions, alteration, maintenance and repair. Task orders will include category III/IV work only and no professional architecture or engineering services. 

$21 Million: Nan Inc. (Hawaii) This $21,831,871 firm-fixed-price task order under a previously awarded contract was awarded Aug. 30 to repair Ammunition Wharf W2 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH). Expected completion: November 2023 Work includes wharf replacement with a reinforced concrete wharf on concrete piles built to current standards. Also included are reconstruction of wastewater and portable water utility systems, phone lines and grounding system for lightning protection. 

The project will be divided into two phases: Phase 1 will consist of the portion of Wharf 2 closest to Wharf 1; Phase 2 will consist of the portion of Wharf 2 closest to Wharf 3. 

$17 Million: Insight Pacific LLC (Brea, California) This $17,362,000 firm-fixed-price task order under a previously awarded contract was awarded Sept. 22 for replacement of Station K10, Facility S643 and modification of Building 641 electrical service at JBPHH. Expected completion: March 2025 Work includes construction of a concrete masonry unit electrical substation K10 facility and extension of electrical feeders via the new facility. Work also includes site work, trenching/backfill, asphalt concrete paving and installation of an automatic transfer switch between the existing generator and Building 641 service main.

$15 Million: Shimabukuro, Endo and Yoshizaki Inc. (Hawaii) This $15,000,000 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineering (A-E) contract was awarded Sept. 1 for various civil engineering and related projects at various locations under the NAVFAC Hawaii area of operations (AO). Expected completion: September 2027 Work includes replacement of a 12-inch waterline near O’Malley Gate, JBPHH. Also included are A-E services for new construction and alteration and repair of roadways/parking pavements, airfields, water treatment and other utilities and infrastructure.


$10 Million: Jacobs/B&V JV (Hawaii) This $10,161,593 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded task order was awarded Sept. 12 for the water reclamation facility at MCBH. Expected completion: December 2025 A-E services include a design-bid-build construction package containing full plans, specifications, cost estimate and other services for a parallel redundant R-1 water reclamation treatment system. Work includes new tanks, equipment, low-rise process buildings and utility infrastructure, as well as tsunami mitigation measures, and cybersecurity and antiterrorism features.

Upcoming projects conducted in the NAVFAC Pacific AO and/or Hawaii include these latest awards to contractors based in Hawaii and elsewhere:

$120 Million: Cape Environmental Management Inc. (Norcross, Georgia); EA Engineering Science and Technology Inc. PBC (Hunt Valley, Maryland); Environmental Chemical Corp. (Burlingame, California); Engineering/Remediation Resources Group Inc. (Honolulu, Hawaii); Insight-ESI LLC (Brea, California); Noreas Dawson Environmental Remediation JV (Irvine, California). This $120,000,000 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity, multiple award contract (MAC) was awarded Sept. 15 for environmental services. Expected completion: September 2030 AO locations include California (71%), Hawaii (15%), Guam (13%) and Nevada (1%). Work may be performed outside the AO and for other Department of Defense or federal agencies as required.

$49 Million: Design Partners Inc. (Hawaii)
This $49,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity A-E contract was awarded Sept. 13 for housing and other similar projects. Expected completion: September 2027 A-E services include execution and delivery of military construction project documentation, functional analysis concept development/design charrettes and final design construction documents. Also included are related investigations, surveys, analyses, cost estimates, comprehensive interior design, collateral equipment buy packages and post-construction award services. AO locations include, but are not limited to, Guam/Marianas (70%), Hawaii (20%) and Australia (10%).

$7.5 Million: AECOM Technical Services Inc. (Los Angeles, California) This $7,520,610 cost-plus-award-fee-modification to a previously awarded task order was awarded Sept. 29 for work on the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility at JBPHH. Expected completion: 2024 Work to be performed provides for additional groundwater modeling in support of environmental technical services to address petroleum contamination at the facility.

New Clinic Breaks Ground in Mililani

November 01, 2022

Hawaii Pacific Health and Town Center of Mililani leaders broke ground Sept. 27 on a new, 24,000-square-foot medical facility located across from Straub’s existing clinic at the Town Center. Constructors Hawaii Inc. is the general contractor for the project set to open in 2024. 

From left: Denis Dyson, Metlife director; Mike Daniszewski, Metlife director; John Wiechart, M&J Wilkow senior vice president; Dr. Leslie Chun, CEO Hawaii Pacific Health Medical Group; Shelley Morisaki, Town Center of Mililani general manager; and David Thom, Constructors Hawaii executive vice president

Savio Launches Koa Waena

November 01, 2022

Koa Waena in Kihei, Maui, is a Savio Group affordable housing project breaking ground later in 2022. The large, new rural subdivision of approximately 500 single-family homes on 5,000-square-foot lots for approximately $200,000 will be available to current Maui residents and not outside investors. Realtor and developer Peter Savio is working with Maui County to finalize the price per 5,000-square-foot lot. 

“We are not building homes, so the price … includes only a 5% profit to the developer, which reduces the overall price to the buyer,” Savio says. 

Only Maui contractors will be hired for this project to create jobs and keep the profits in the community. Savio is working with the Carpenters Union to see this project come to fruition in the fairest way possible for buyers and workers. Plans involve the buyers meeting with developers to build a home on their own lot.

Apartment Wins
Best Practice Award

November 01, 2022

The American Planners Association (APA) Hawaii Chapter chose for its Best Practice Award the $91 million Hale Kalele project, developed by The Kobayashi Group with low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt revenue bonds and a low-interest loan and support from the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. The project was delivered ahead of schedule and within budget—despite the pandemic, supply-chain shortages and inflation. 

APA Hawaii’s Best Practice Award recognizes a specific planning tool, practice, program, project or process. It emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the art planning methods and practices help to create communities of lasting value. 

The new tower replaces the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Lower Makiki property that housed a juvenile detention and services center. It features 30,000 square feet on the first two levels dedicated to the Hale Hilinai juvenile services center and shelter. The rest of the building houses Hale Kalele’s 200 rental units and a unit for a general manager. By law, residents cannot earn more than 60% of area median gross income to rent. 

“The jury was impressed by the project’s mix of affordable housing and civic uses, its timely completion despite the all-too-familiar implementation challenges that accompany such projects,” the APA cites as reasons for the award. 

 “The opportunity to participate in a novel cross-government agency partnership, address the needs of our juvenile justice system and provide affordable housing residences for the community was an honor,” says Matthew Pennaz, Kobayashi Group chief operating officer. 

The Hale Kalele/Hale Hilinai complex blends an environmentally conscious 200-unit, all-affordable rental tower with a juvenile services facility. PHOTO COURTESY: THE KOBAYASHI GROUP
A blessing by Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu at Koula condominium, a new 41-story tower at Ward Village PHOTOS COURTESY: Ward Village

New Luxury Condominium Opens at Ward Village

November 01, 2022

Koula, the sixth condominium at Ward Village, opened on Sept. 14 to new homeowners who settled into the 565-unit building overlooking Victoria Ward Park. The upscale building has amenities, including poolside cabanas, landscapes with native plants, a playground, swimming pool, and a spa with fitness center. 

Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc. was the general contractor for the $400 million project, and Studio Gang was the architect, which designed the building’s exterior columns to resemble red sugar cane (Hawaiian translation, “koula”).

“At the core of our neighborhood, Koula is deeply rooted in authentic placemaking,” says Doug Johnstone, president, Hawaii, at The Howard Hughes Corp., in an announcement. “Koula’s culturally infused architecture and dynamic, iconic designs        celebrate Hawaii.”

Koula is part of Ward Village’s 60-acre master-planned community by developer The Howard Hughes Corp. Once completed, the village will encompass a mix of retail, residential and entertainment venues. Waiea condominium was completed in 2016, followed by Anaha in 2017 and Aeo in 2018. The following year, Ke Kilohana welcomed residents, primarily working families. Aalii finished in 2021. More residences are planned for the neighborhood, including Kalae, The Park Ward Village, Victoria Place and Ulana.

Keeaumoku Development LLC and industry members turn the dirt
on a new high-rise in Honolulu

Nan Inc.’s relocation contract will affect neighborhoods bordered by Laumaka Street and Kamehameha Highway, to the corner of Kaaahi Street and Dillingham.     PHOTO COURTESY HART

Residential and Rail Next for Nan Inc.

October 01, 2022

Twin High-Rises 

The Park on Keeaumoku, designed to be one of the largest residential condominiums in Hawaii, broke ground on Aug. 5 to great fanfare by general contractor Nan Inc. The $600 million condo will be the first high-rise for Nan, which specializes in military projects and major infrastructure developments. Construction is expected to employ more than 900 workers and be completed in 2025. 

Located at 825 Keeaumoku St., the 42-story condo comprises the Liona and Rycroft towers with commercial space on the ground floors. Unit sizes—more than 900 in total—range from studios to three bedrooms. Amenities will include co-working spaces, a sauna and infinity pool, theater, yoga and gym, and club rooms. A unique feature will be The Grove, a commercial and dining complex overlooking a half-acre plot featuring tropical landscaping, picnic sites and playgrounds for children.  

“Groundbreaking was a breaking into the realm of high-rise construction,” says Wyeth M. Matsubara, vice president of Nan Inc. “This project will be the foundation of Nan Inc.’s foothold in high-rise work in the future for generations to come.” 

The Park on Keeaumoku joins the ranks of major residential towers in Honolulu and would be the second largest in the state after 801 South Street, a Kakaako project with 1,045 units.

Rail Infrastructure 

A $496.3 million contract was awarded to Nan Inc. to relocate utilities along Dillingham Boulevard to prepare for a critical component of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s rail project along the Kalihi-Palama area. The project is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2023 through 2026. 

Construction crews will relocate utilities overhead and above the ground, where the rail is expected to run. This will include electricity, fuel, sewer, communications, storm drain and water systems. Daytime and nighttime work is scheduled, with periods of 24/7 construction in select areas on an as-needed basis. There also will be temporary closures of traffic lanes, sidewalks and on-street parking.   

Nan Inc. expects to employ up to 150 workers on the project.

“This bid was lower than our independent cost estimate by approximately 3%,” says HART Executive Director and CEO Lori Kahikina. “We look forward to working with Nan Inc. on this important project and are committed to its success.”

Caption 2:

Nan Inc.’s relocation contract will affect neighborhoods bordered by Laumaka Street and Kamehameha Highway, to the corner of Kaaahi Street and Dillingham.

photo COURTESY HART utilities

Pasha Hawaii Begins LNG Service

October 01, 2022

MV George III, Pasha Hawaii’s newest containership, arrived in Honolulu Aug. 24 after completing the first leg of its maiden voyage to Hawaii from Long Beach, California. The vessel homeports in Honolulu and provides bi-weekly service to Long Beach and Oakland.

The arrival of MV George III, the first fully liquified natural gas (LNG) -powered vessel to serve Hawaii and fuel on the West Coast, marks the beginning of LNG service in the Hawaii-Mainland trade lane. The new Jones Act containership surpasses the International Maritime Organization 2030 emission standards for ocean vessels, representing the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly vessel to serve Hawaii.

Pasha Hawaii in August was rated the No. 1 ocean carrier and recognized with the top Quest for Quality Award by Logistics Management magazine and Peerless Research Group, whose annual survey has been regarded in the transportation and logistics industry as the most important measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence. 

“We are truly honored to be chosen for this prestigious award and thankful to our customers for their partnership and for recognizing our team’s commitment to service excellence,” says George Pasha IV, Pasha Hawaii president and CEO.


MV George III, Pasha Hawaii’s first fully LNG-powered containership, on Aug. 24 arrives in Honolulu on its maiden voyage to Hawaii. 


Seeking Applicants:
2022 HAPI Scholarships

October 01, 2022

The deadline to apply for Hawaii Asphalt Paving Industry (HAPI) annual scholarships is Oct. 31. “The goal of this scholarship,” says HAPI Executive Director Jon M. Young, “is to assist college students pursuing a degree in civil engineering, construction management, construction engineering and other degrees related to the design and construction of infrastructure improvements.” 

Two $1,000 scholarships are offered to four-year university students, and two $500 scholarships are offered to community college students. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and Hawaii residents.

HAPI established its scholarship program in 2018 and has awarded 15 scholarships worth $12,500 to date. To apply:


Jon M. Young

Adam Bauer, HPM COO; Landon Kahalehau-Tonga; Haaheo Konohia; Kelly Scofield, A-O Raingutters & Supplies founder and new HPM custom metal roofing production supervisor; Tyrone Nakooka; Gary Danzl, Miyake-HPM Regional Manager–Maui; Jason Fujimoto, HPM president and CEO     PHOTO COURTESY HPM BUILDING SUPPLY

HPM Building Supply
Expands on Maui

October 01, 2022

A-O Raingutters & Supplies, a leading Maui vendor and installer established in 1997, was acquired on June 30 by HPM Building Supply.

“Providing quality raingutters and gutter installation is a natural complement to our custom metal roofing and gives our Maui customers an even smoother and more convenient one-stop shop,” says Adam Bauer, HPM chief operating officer. “We’ve partnered with A-O Raingutters & Supplies for more than a decade, and their knowledge, customer service and execution are outstanding. We’re excited to welcome the entire A-O team as part of our HPM Maui ohana.” 

HPM’s raingutter products and installation services are available for residential, commercial and warehouse projects on Maui, Molokai and Lanai and include stocked products, special orders and installation for continuous rain gutters made from copper and aluminum, gutter guard screens and downspouts.

All A-O Raingutters staff have stayed on as HPM owner-employees, including A-O founder Kelly Scofield, who is now HPM’s custom metal roofing production supervisor. 

The acquisition of A-O Raingutters expands HPM’s presence on Maui, which includes four Miyake-HPM Building Supply stores and one truss manufacturing plant.

Industry Experts to
Meet at PBX22

October 01, 2022

PBX22, the annual trade show in Honolulu for architects, engineers, contractors and owners, returns to the Hawaii Convention Center for one day on Friday, Nov. 18. 

On the schedule are two dozen seminars, networking opportunities and more than 200 vendor booths. This year’s program features local and national experts on the following topics: the 2018 International Building Code and local code amendment update; the New Orleans Hard Rock Café construction wreck; successful public-private partnership ventures; updates from the State Historic Preservation Office; cybersecurity and risk management; NAVFAC and Army Corps of Engineers construction opportunities; and product advancements and technology. Also planned is a housing development panel with the state’s three largest home developers. 

Virtual seminars, predicting the economic outlook for commercial and residential construction and contract management, feature panelists from Hawaii and the Mainland, and they are: Kenneth D. Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America; Robert Dietz, chief economist and senior VP for economics and housing policy at the National Association of Home Builders; and Hawaii economist Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics.

PBX’s all-inclusive $20 registration fee includes all-day validated parking at the Convention Center, a hosted industry luncheon, a dessert station and pau hana. 

Register at

Attendees at PBX 21 were (from left): Karen Sakamoto, principal of Next Design LLC; Larry Heim, president of HONBLUE; Cheryl Walthall, executive director of the General Contractors Association of Hawaii; Jaz Nijjar, strategic alliance manager of HONBLUE; and Fred White, business development manager of HONBLUE

New Vessel Runs On Natural Gas

September 03, 2022

Pasha Hawaii and Keppel AmFELS of Texas have delivered a liquified natural gas vessel, the MV George III, the first of its kind to serve Hawaii and fuel on the West Coast. 

The 774-foot-long MV George III is a Jones Act vessel and exceeds the International Maritime Organization 2030 emission standards for ocean vessels, featuring an optimized hull form, underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller, and a state-of-the-art engine. 

It began operating in August and is the first ohana-class vessel to join Pasha Hawaii’s fleet serving the Mainland-to-Hawaii trade lane. Its maiden voyage precedes the late 2022 delivery of the second ohana-class vessel, the MV Janet Marie, sometime in late 2022. 

Both vessels are named after George Pasha III and Janet Marie, the late parents of George Pasha IV, president and CEO of The Pasha Group, marking three generations of business in Hawaii. 

“As we welcome the new MV George III to Pasha Hawaii’s fleet, we stand incredibly proud of the perseverance and commitment of our partners at Keppel AmFELS, and the skilled men and women at the shipyard on this tremendous accomplishment,” Pasha IV says.


Grateful for Hawaii’s
Construction Crews

September 03, 2022

Building Industry Hawaii editor Paula Bender recently did a Google search and discovered that National Construction Appreciation Week is held the third week in September.
Who knew?

After more than two years of COVID-19 that practically stopped commerce in the Islands, who wouldn’t agree that seeing these hard-working men and women—easily recognized in hard hats and neon UV-rated cooling shirts—are an encouraging sight for the rest of us?

Building Industry Hawaii put in a request to Gov. David Ige for a state proclamation to make Construction Appreciation Week official. Our message to Hawaii’s construction workers? Work safely and prosper!

Smile at a construction worker today!

Long Lead Times
(2nd Quarter 2022)

September 03, 2022

Construction materials continued to experience delayed deliveries in the second quarter of this year. The reasons? Low inventory of raw materials, limited production, worker shortages and severe weather, to name a few. Below is a list of construction supplies and their delayed lead times, according to the Gilbane Market Conditions Report, 2nd Quarter.   

NAVFAC Pacific Increases 2019 MACC Award

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific in July awarded contract modifications to existing Multiple Award Construction Contracts (MACCs) to increase the maximum capacity from a combined total of $990,000,000 to $1,088,500,000 for work on projects located within the Pacific area of operation. 

The MACC contractors are Black Construction – Tutor Perini JV of Harmon, Guam; Caddell-Nan JV of Montgomery, Alabama; Core Tech-HDCC-Kajima LLC of Tamuning, Guam; Gilbane SMCC ECC LLC of Concord, California; and Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Honolulu, Hawaii. 

The term of the contracts is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of September 2024. The MACC was first awarded on Sept. 12, 2019.

Scope of work under the MACC remains unchanged and includes: new construction, renovation and minor construction to barracks/dormitories; administrative, communication and educational facilities; medical, dental and hospital facilities; dining facilities; industrial and warehouse facilities; operational and training facilities; ranges, roads, streets, bridges, site utilities/infrastructure, dredging, aviation facilities (including hangars and aprons) and other base development facilities.

On July 26, OICC MCM team members conduct a site visit of the enlisted dining facility at Guam’s Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz.     PHOTO COURTESY U.S. NAVY/ JOANNA DELFIN

Guam Construction Officer Wins Secretary of the Navy Safety Award

September 03, 2022

The Officer in Charge of Construction, Marine Corps Marianas (OICC MCM) ), recently won the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Safety Award in the ashore category for Fiscal Year 2021. The annual award recognizes Navy and Marine Corps units for unparalleled safety achievements and occupational program performance. 

“The SECNAV Safety Excellence Award is the biggest annual award for safety in the Department of the Navy, recognizing great strides in continuous process improvement in our Safety Management System, protecting our teammates and resources, while working to fulfill the Department’s readiness missions,” says Rear Adm. John Korka, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC). “To be recognized as the top among all shore and expeditionary commands is a tremendous honor.” 

OICC MCM is the construction manager for Defense Policy Review Initiative projects on Guam as part of the Marine Corps relocation to the island. In Fiscal Year 2021, more than 80 command personnel executed 26 military construction projects with no safety mishaps. 


Lt. Mark Bush and a contractor discuss construction progress on the Low-Observable, Corrosion Control, Repair Shop at Andersen Air Force Base.     PHOTO COURTESY NAVFAC MARIANAS

New Military Awards

August 02, 2022


Upcoming Hawaii projects by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii include these latest awards to contractors based in Hawaii and elsewhere:

$11 Million: Opportunities and Resources Inc. (Hawaii)

This $11,982,549 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification to a previous contract was awarded June 17 and provides for custodial services at various locations in the NAVFAC Hawaii area of operations (AO) on Oahu. After award of this option, the total cumulative contract value will be $21,313,061.

Expected completion: June 30, 2023.

Services begin July 1, 2022, and include emptying waste containers, low-area cleaning, high-area cleaning, interior and exterior window cleaning, window blinds cleaning, entrance cleaning, drinking fountains cleaning, floor care, restroom cleaning services and building perimeter services for approximately 585 buildings.

$9 Million: Belt Collins Hawaii LLC (Hawaii)

Awarded June 21, this $9,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded contract provides for increasing the maximum dollar value of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineer contract for various civil engineering and related projects at various locations within the NAVFAC Hawaii AO. This award brings the total cumulative contract value to $24,000,000.

Expected completion: March 2023.

The contract calls for design and engineering services for multi-disciplined, primarily civil projects including new construction or repair/alteration of roadway/parking pavement, airfields, water treatment and distribution systems, sewage collection and treatment systems, and drainage systems including erosion control and slope stabilization in Hawaii and similar tropical environments. Some special work may also be required in areas outside of Hawaii.


Upcoming NAVFAC Pacific projects conducted in the Pacific AO and/or Hawaii include these latest awards to contractors based in Hawaii and elsewhere:

$20.9 Million: Nan Inc. (Hawaii)

This firm-fixed price contract was awarded June 7 for construction of a new veterinary treatment facility for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Expected completion: February 2024.

Construction includes a new facility providing full-service preventive, diagnostic, surgical and dental care to government-owned animals; preventive and diagnostic services to privately-owned animals of service members; and spaces for military veterinarians’ public health services and food inspection responsibilities.


Upcoming Guam projects by NAVFAC Pacific include these latest awards to offshore and Hawaii contractors:

$9 Million: Granite-Obayashi JV (Watsonville, California)

This $9,993,423 firm-fixed price contract was awarded May 26 for the design and construction of Hayman munitions storage igloos at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Expected completion: January 2024.

Hiilawe Lands $2.6B Paving Contract

August 02, 2022

The Hawaii Department of Transportation on June 22 announced the award of a $2,645,511,801 contract to Hiilawe Construction LLC for a federal aid asphalt pavement preservation, resurfacing and reconstruction project at various locations on the Island of Hawaii.

The initial contract term is for 12 months commencing from the start work date. As of publication, the state’s notice to proceed has not yet been issued.

Four areas on Hawaii Island are included in the contract. Work furnished will be on an “as-needed” basis as called for in the specifications at the applicable unit price bid and in such numbers as may be required by the state.

HART Relocates Downtown Utilities

August 02, 2022

Utility relocation work is underway in downtown Honolulu for The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). Frank V. Coluccio Construction Co. Inc. was awarded a $217.8 million contract to relocate utilities along Nimitz Highway from Kaaahi Street in Iwilei to Cooke Street in Kakaako.

The scope of work includes utility relocations for sanitary sewer, storm drainage, water main, electrical and communications infrastructure, gas, fuel and roadway improvements. Also involved are traffic signals and street lighting reconnections. Temporary traffic-lane closures, sidewalks and on-street parking will be affected, as simultaneous construction crews work both day and night, with periods of 24/7 construction when necessary.

“Thanks to strong relationships and strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, City administration and third-party utilities, we were able to finalize the designs and obtain permits for this utility relocation work within six months,” says HART Executive Director and CEO Lori Kahikina, P.E. She adds that the relocation of downtown utilities is a major step in HART’s goal of a functioning rail system.

5 Ways to Make Trenches Safer

August 02, 2022

From June 20-24, construction companies in Hawaii participated in the sixth annual Trench Safety Stand Down Week (TSSD), a nationwide program to curb the number of fatalities and serious injuries in trenches and excavation sites. The local program was led by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Utility Contractors Association of Hawaii. More than 21,000 people participated on 2,100 jobsites, six years after TSSD first was introduced.

As of June 21 this year, a total of 13 people died in trench collapses in the United States, according to OSHA. In Hawaii, Trevor Alvarado, 23, died in the hospital on Jan. 29 after becoming trapped in a sewer project trench on Sand Island. It was the first trench-related death in Hawaii in a decade.

Trench Safety Tips

• Provide safe entries and exits 

• Ensure trenches have cave-in protection 

• Keep materials away from the edges of the trench

• Look for standing water or other hazards 

• Never enter a trench unless it’s been inspected 

To report dangerous open trench or excavation sites, call the HIOSH Safety Complaint Line at 808-586-9092. Or email  [email protected].

For safety tips visit: and

SOURCE: Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Utility Contractors Association of Hawaii

GCA hosts Blangiardi and DPP Chief Uchida at July luncheon

At the General Contractors Association (GCA) July lunch meeting at the Ala Moana Hotel by Mana, Mayor Rick Blangiardi took the liberty to go off-script to lay the groundwork about City & County of Honolulu issues that are on a lot of minds. His fellow panelist was Dean Ushida, director of the City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP). Moderating the program was Ken Kaneshige, president of Nordic PCL Construction Inc.

“First of all, fixing DPP is our priority,” Blangiardi says. “It’s key to economic recovery for us. We are now in fiscal year 2023, and now we can work with our own budget, which has received unanimous approval from the City Council.”

After at least 20 years of mismanagement, an audit of the DPP discovered red flags amid an in-house white-crime cartel to dismantle—resulting in the loss of jobs and benefits—and jail time. “Which, by the way, is an ongoing process,” says Blangiardi, indicating the investigations continue. 

“The DPP is undergoing a transformation. It controls the economy, and people want to be part of the change,” Uchida says. “The system should be customer-service based. [Artificial Intelligence] AI and bots could pre-screen applications.” Uchida added that he wanted a system out of the box, one that doesn’t get personalized by people within a department, creating roadblocks and silos of domain.

For contractors in Hawaii, the planning and permitting process has for years been the murky repository for documents that may never surface again, Uchida says, adding that forms with missing information would be tossed into a bin, and no contractor would have any indication that something was amiss. Third-party contractors working on behalf of busy construction contractors often failed to submit forms that met department requirements, unbeknownst to the contractors they represented.

With what the mayor describes as such an archaic system, a corrupt culture and an attitude of, “We be here before you. We be here after you,” the Blangiardi administration is giving the DPP an overdue overhaul. “Young hires don’t have that sentiment,” Blangiardi says. “They are excited to affect changes.”

Other issues Blangiardi addressed at the luncheon included the Red Hill petroleum leak into the groundwater table, private activity bonds, B-1 and B2 zoning, affordable housing, short-term rentals, Aloha Stadium and working for the City.

“It’s hard to get a job with the city,” Blangiardi says. “There are more than 3,000 vacancies across five departments. As a result, we are overhauling the City’s HR department. We are thinking pay-scale adjustments.” He also mentioned that job descriptions should reflect the actual jobs and not contain requirements that stop job seekers from even trying.

From left: Moderator Glen Kaneshige, president, Nordic PCL Construction Inc.; Dean Uchida, director, Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting; Cheryl Walthall, executive director, GCA; and Rick Blangiardi, mayor, City & County of Honolulu     PHOTO BY PAULA BENDER

GCA celebrates 90 years!

Hawaiian Cement warns contractors of 2023 price jumps

August 02, 2022

Lt. Darren Orr

Hawaiian Cement and HC&D have alerted customers to prepare for a potential price increase in 2023 of anywhere from 20% to 35% per cubic yard for ready-mix concrete. Talk about supply chain challenges!

“This will adversely impact everyone in the construction industry, particularly those contractors who have already bid on projects starting in 2023 using the current pricing of concrete,” says Cheryl Walthall, executive director at General Contractors Association (GCA) of Hawaii.

Darren Orr, cement sales manager at Hawaiian Cement, says that the brokers in the Asia cement industry attribute it to the price and availability of coal. “About 95% of cement produced in Asia are from kilns fueled by coal,” Orr says. “In the U.S., the cement industry mostly uses natural gas or other fuels for production. Asia doesn’t have that luxury.”

Orr says Hawaiian Cement purchases its cement from Taiwan. “We are looking for other sources with independent coal resources, and we are looking at alternatives for purchasing cement. Everyone is feeling the pain down there.”

Taiwan imports its coal from Australia. In 2016, Australia supplied 64 percent of thermal coal and 75% coking coal to Taiwan. Of Taiwan’s energy import portfolio, coal leads at 45%, compared to 31% for liquid natural gas, 14% for nuclear energy, 5% for oil, 4% for renewals and 1% for pumped hydro energy. That’s according to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.

The five biggest exporters of coal are Australia, Indonesia, Russia, United States and South Africa. Combined, those five countries shipped 84.5% of the total value of coal sold on international markets during 2021.

In 2021, coal exported from Oceania (mostly Australia but also from New Zealand) amounted to $32.7 billion, or 39.7% of worldwide coal sales. Asian exporters generated 22%, trailed by European suppliers at 17% and North American suppliers at 11%, according to World Stop Exports.

“Hawaii is a really interesting market,” Orr says. “Fortunately, or unfortunately, we are the only suppliers of cement to a wide range of concrete producers here, who all have to produce concrete that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.” In other words, concrete for buildings and infrastructure needs to be safe and sturdy for a long time. On the GCA of Hawaii website, Walthall posted, “GCA committees that involve government agencies will be having discussions with our agency partners to try to navigate these unanticipated price escalations. You are welcome and encouraged to get involved and share your concerns at any of our committee meetings.” Please contact Gladys Hagemann if you’re interested. “In the meantime, we encourage you to start having discussions with clients on projects that will be affected,” Walthall says.

Military Awards

July 03, 2022

CAPTION: Bachelor enlisted quarters by Caddell-Nan JV at Guam’s Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz PHOTO COURTESY OICC MARINE CORPS MARIANAS


Upcoming Hawaii projects by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii include these latest awards to contractors based in Hawaii and elsewhere:

$995 Million: Hawaii Harbors Constructors JV (Hawaii); Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. (Hawaii); Manson Construction Co. (Seattle, Washington); Nan Inc. (Hawaii); Nova Group Inc. (Napa, California); and The Dutra Group (San Rafael, California) This combined $995,000,000 indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity design- build/design-bid-build multiple award construction contract (MACC) was awarded June 2 to six businesses for construction within the state of Hawaii and Wake Island. The work to be performed provides for, but is not limited to, labor, supervision, tools, materials and equipment necessary to perform new construction, repair, alteration and related demolition of existing infrastructure. The projects include work on piers/wharves/caissons and waterfront facilities, such as warehouses and drydocks, bridges, site improvements, utilities, and maintenance and construction dredging. Ninety-five percent of the work will be performed in Hawaii with the remaining 5 percent in Wake Island. Expected completion: June 2027.

$98 Million: DSQ-API JV LLP (Hawaii); Hawk-Niking LLC (Hawaii); Tokunaga-Elite JV LLC (Hawaii); AN41-AAK JV LLC (Visalia, California); Warfeather-GM JV LLC (Coweta, Oklahoma) This $98,000,000 combined indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award design-build/design-bid-build construction contract was awarded June 1 to five Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses for work at various U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and miscellaneous federal and other facilities within the NAVFAC Hawaii area of operations (AO). Work includes labor, supervision, tools, materials and equipment necessary to perform new construction, repair, alteration and related demolition of existing infrastructure. Expected completion: May 2027.

$8 Million: Jas. W. Glover Ltd. (Hawaii) This $8,257,700 firm-fixed-price task order was awarded May 6 to repair the airfield pavement for helicopter landings at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Work includes removal of deteriorated airfield pavement, tie-downs, grounding points, pavement striping and construction of new pavement. Expected completion: February 2023.

$8 Million: Insight Pacific LLC (Brea, California) This $8,858,111 contract, procured under a previously awarded MACC, was awarded May 4 to improve the safety of Dry Docks 1 through 4 at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, including pump well facilities. Expected completion: February 2024.


Upcoming NAVFAC Pacific projects conducted in the Pacific area of operation (AO) and/or Hawaii include these latest awards to contractors based in Hawaii and elsewhere:

$98 Million: AECOM Technical Services Inc. (Los Angeles, California) This $98,000,000 cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification contract was awarded May 16 for environmental services primarily within the Pacific AO, including Hawaii. Expected completion: February 2023.

$50 Million: InSynergy and Robert JV LLC (Hawaii) This $50,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, architect-engineer contract was awarded May 16 for various petroleum, oil and lubricants, and mechanical engineering projects and related services at various locations within the Pacific AO, including Hawaii. Expected completion: May 2027.

$12 Million: CAPE Environmental Management Inc. (Hawaii) This $12,000,000 task order was awarded May 16 for site preparation in support of construction for tactical mobile over-the-horizon radar receive site within the Pacific AO. Expected completion: May 2023.


Upcoming Guam projects by NAVFAC Pacific include these latest awards to offshore and Hawaii contractors:

$83 Million: Black Construction Corp. (Harmon, Guam) Firm-fixed price contract awarded May 13 for the design and construction of wharf improvements at Naval Base Guam. Expected completion: September 2024.

$75 Million: Gilbane SMCC ECC LLC (Concord, California) Firm-fixed price task order under a MACC awarded May 4 for construction of various facilities at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz (MCBCB). Expected completion: September 2024.

$62 Million: Gilbane SMCC ECC LLC (Concord, California) Firm-fixed price task order under a MACC awarded April 28 for the Expeditionary Brigade Enablers facility at MCBCB. Expected completion: September 2024.

$48 Million: Black Construction-Tutor Perini JV (Harmon, Guam) Firm-fixed price task order under a MACC awarded May 4 for the construction of an aviation building at Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB), Guam. Expected completion: August 2024.

$43 Million: Reliable Builders Inc. (Tamuning, Guam) Firm-fixed price contract awarded May 4 for the construction of munitions storage igloos at AAFB, Guam. Expected completion: July 2025.

$40 Million: Gilbane SMCC ECC LLC (Concord, California) Firm-fixed price task order under a MACC awarded April 27 for construction of a two-story infantry battalion company headquarters at Naval Support Activity, MCBCB. Expected completion: August 2024.

$35 Million: Granite Construction Company Guam (Watsonville, California)  Firm-fixed price contract awarded April 21 for construction of roof structures at Joint Region Marianas, Guam. Expected completion: July 2024.

$27 Million: Caddell-Nan A Joint Venture (Montgomery, Alabama) Firm-fixed price contract awarded May 12 for the construction of an airfield damage repair storage facility at AAFB, Guam. Provides for a new one-story warehouse facility required to preposition airfield repair equipment. Expected completion: November 2023.

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.”