The BIA Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards, established in 1986, celebrates excellence in design and construction of new and remodeled projects in Hawaii. This showcase recognizes competing categories including Details, Kitchen & Bath, Landscape & Outdoor Living, New & Remodeled Commercial Building, New & Remodeled Residential Building, Public Works, Hawaii BuiltGreen™, Historical and Innovative Design & Construction. The 28th annual awards ceremony was held May 8 and 38 entrants from Maui, Molokai and Oahu represented an exciting year of statewide participation.

The entries were judged on creativity, use of materials, environmental and sustainability, functionality, design principles, value, interior space, overall quality and workmanship.


The highlight of the awards ceremony was the recognition of the top four Overall Grand Awards and the Carl Reppun Award. Today’s column will feature the winner of the Overall Grand Award in the New Commercial division. The winner is Architects Hawaii Ltd. for “WCC Library Learning Commons.”


The Windward Community College (WCC) Library Learning Commons serves as an academic center combining five previously separate campus buildings; including the library, learning center, instructional media service center, computing services and computer laboratory and the learning resource administration center. Exterior features that complement the Spanish Mission Revival campus architecture include decorative copper motifs, a red tiled roof and library placement in between the major existing trees. The interior of the center inspires interaction as a gathering space for the students while serving as an effective workspace for the staff.

The lower level is a more public and noisy active zone with the circulation desk, the upper level offers quiet private study zones and the computer lounge, while open common spaces offer group study flexibility and mobile furniture. Natural daylight flows throughout the library to 75 percent of occupied spaces, and the first green library in Hawaii, is in the process of receiving Silver LEED certification.


Karen Nakamura is CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii.