Hawaii Home & Remodeling Dream Team by Brian Kossen

Members of the BIA-Hawaii Remodelers (BHR), the remodeling and restoration arm of the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Hawaii, will be offering helpful information on remodeling, landscaping, and design over the next several weeks in this column. We know you will find these columns loaded with helpful information.

Article by Merideth Kimble, Photos by David Croxford, Hawaii Home + Remodeling Sept 2008

Matt Goyke, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Principal Designer, President and Founder

Principal Designer, President and Founder

Green Sand Inc. is one of Hawaii’s premier green architect and design firms, thanks to its core team of LEED Accredited Professionals, who share a passion for sustainable design. “We are a great team that believes strongly in team work. We often find that the most challenging projects can become our most treasured designs because they encourage all of us to think outside of the box,” says company president Matt Goyke.

Goyke leads the team with 18 years of experience in planning, architecture and interior design, plus five years of experience as a construction manager. He is joined by Rhonda Goyke, Green Sand Inc.’s vice president and environmental specialist. Other team members include senior project manager Steven Gangwes and designers Morris Onishi, Ethan Levine, Katie Coffman and executive assistant Chiara McGowan. This year, the company celebrated its two-year anniversary.

My specialty: 
Green Sand Inc. specializes in providing green and creative design solutions and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consultations. For each design, the company strives to optimize the natural environment to maximize and improve the quality of life for individuals and communities.

My inspiration:
“Lately, I have been really influenced and inspired by the natural resources that are available to all of us here in Hawaii,” says Goyke. “The sun, the wind, the rain—these are all resources to be harvested and optimized. These are not problems to be solved and disposed of. Even waste water and solid waste should be viewed as resources to be treated and recycled and reused.”

What I like about building in Hawaii:
“The environment, the history, the culture, the climate, the wind, the land, the ocean and the natural beauty. There are few places on Earth with qualities like Hawaii. There are so many influences and opportunities from a design point of view. By incorporating the history and its essence with innovative design, we can come up with something unique and truly beautiful.”

The current home building trends:
“A lot of people are trying to be as green as possible when building. Specifically, we see a lot of interest in indoor environmental quality. We spend a lot of time indoors, even in Hawaii. We have even seen some interest in residential-scaled wind turbines.

Green Sand is awarded the Grand Award at the BIA-Hawaii 25th Annual BIA Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards 2010 by Brian Kossen

J3 is a tenant improvement of a commercial space in the newly revitalized Royal Hawaiian Center in the heart of Waikiki. The project included selective demolition, new interior construction, exterior storefront and fixture design.

J3 represents a new line of jewelry inspired by and shaped by a broad range of influences from Hawaiian culture, gothic and modern jewelry. It is this mix of ideas which lead to the J3 retail concept - a modern yet mysteriously sacred lounge. these seemingly divergent ideas or aesthetics come together to form a beautiful expression of the J3 jewelry.

The overall ambience of the space is dark subdued and softly lit with the exception of the display cases which line either wall. The display cases are glowing with light in high contrast to the muted coloring of the store, drawing you towards the focus of J3 - the jewelry. A tension exists between the clean modern feel of a dance club and ornate details of gothic design.

Designer/Architect: Green Sand
Furniture Designer: Green Sand
Contractor: Mel's Construction
Photographer: Hal Lum, Photography

See more info and photos > 

Green Sand Inc. wins Grand Award at the BIA-Hawaii 23rd Annual BIA by Brian Kossen

Green Sand Inc. wins Grand Award at the BIA-Hawaii 23rd Annual BIA Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards 2008

Great Spaces: The conversion of a ground floor office space into a contemporary showroom, with maximum street visibility for furniture system displays and corporate offices, faced many challenges. Not a single wall was perpendicular to another and a large flexible open floor plate was created to showcase the versatility and mobility of the furniture. Existing entry doors and walls were replaced with a frameless glass entry and a single large pivoting frameless door to increase views into the space from the street. A combination of high output ultra efficient fluorescent tube lighting fixtures and warm high intensity discharge spot lights on a modern track system cast a museum quality lighting level on the furniture. This light and modern design is a visual surprise along the downtown streetscape and yet comfortably exists within the heavy Romanesque stonework of the historic McCandless Building.

Designer/Architect: Green Sand Inc.
Contractor: Arita Poulson
Photographer: Hal Lum
BIA Division/Category: Commercial Remodeling Projects under 5,000 sq ft

See more info and photos >

Hawaii Architects Should Design with Human Element in Mind by Brian Kossen

As a featured commentator in the March 18, 2007 edition of The Honolulu Star Bulletin, Matthew Goyke discusses being able to look to the past for direction as to how we proceed in the future, and suggests that we need to give up some ego to embrace what the community needs.


Matthew Goyke

MUCH has been written about what the late George Kanahele called "a Hawaiian sense of place." I hesitate to venture where others wiser than me about the ways of Hawaii have tread so carefully and with such respect. But I am prompted to join the discussion by recent reports citing comments by some of my colleagues in the architecture profession about whether the phrase has lost its meaning -- or morphed into 21 flavors.

The suggestion that "we need to expand the palette of what is acceptable in the definition of a Hawaii sense of place" (Pacific Business News, March 2) also made me think that perhaps the community of users and the architects who respond to their needs should take a step back in order to take a few steps forward.

IN STEPPING BACK, we are better able to look to the past for direction as to how we proceed in the future -- a lesson we learn from the Hawaiian perspective on time. In stepping back, I also suggest that we need to give up some ego to embrace what the community needs -- and respond to those needs. Architecture has often been seen in terms of the style-setting statements of its creators, rather than how well buildings serve their users. We cannot say the names of Frank Lloyd Wright or Frank Gehry or I.M. Pei without immediately conjuring up images of the imprint these architects left of their vision on the buildings they designed.

LIKE SO MANY others, I have learned much from the work of these great men and the example they set of bold, new standards in design. But the ongoing discussion about "a Hawaiian sense of place" and the pursuit of a "look" or "style" that generates this sense of place should make us ask if architecture should be less about this pursuit of a style and more about the people who visit, live, use or work in these spaces. It should be more about responding to the opportunities that the unique qualities of this place afford us as individuals and as a community. The longer I practice my profession and the more I learn from Hawaii, the more I am inclined to believe that architecture should perhaps be more about the users than the designers.

Putting the user first drives us, as architects, to ask better questions and provide more thoughtful answers. Great design emerges from being more attentive to what people do and how they do it in the buildings we design for them. It should be part of our mission as architects in this time, and in this wonderful place, to help people uncover and articulate their needs so that we can respond to them in ways that do not overpower the environment but rather optimize it for the benefit of all.

Matthew Goyke is the president and founder of Green Sand Inc., an architecture and design firm that focuses on creative design solutions and the environment. Goyke has been practicing architecture in Hawaii for 17 years.

Green Planning Advice from Hawaii Home + Remodeling Magazine by Brian Kossen

In the January issue of Hawaii Home + Remodeling, Matt and Rhonda Goyke are asked important questions about sustainable planning and give straight answers.

Green Life: Getting Started

Article by Merideth Kimble, in partnership with Kokua Hawaii Foundation Photos by David Croxford, Hawaii Home + Remodeling January 2008

Planning a Green Build or Remodel

January is a time for new beginnings. This year, I’m making a commitment to live a little greener. I’ve started by making friends with the folks at Kokua Hawaii Foundation. They’ve offered to share their expertise and advice with Hawaii Home and our readers. Check out this feature monthly for updates and ideas about living a little greener here in Hawaii.

Think green from the very beginning—plan for it. Team up with an architect, builder or contractor who specializes in sustainable construction. At least 90 in Hawaii can be found at www.usgbc.org, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Web site.

Once you find a builder who fits your style, talk to him about your green goals. Consider what environmentally-friendly elements are most important to you, says Rhonda Goyke, environmental specialist at Green Sand Inc. These include energy efficiency, water savings, good indoor air quality or a combination of many. Shoot to maximize those natural resources, such as land, sun, air and water, adds Matt Goyke, architect, of Green Sand Inc, and also Rhonda’s husband.

Bring your designers and contractors together for, what Green Sand calls, a holistic, or integrated, design approach. Discuss costs and feasibility of your goals, and how everyone can work together to achieve them. “A house is a complex organism,” says Matt. “A clear understanding of the project’s goals is critical.”

Then, plan to build with recycled or renewable materials. A new company, ReUse Hawaii, deconstructs houses, then resells the good material—reducing waste, production and transportation demands in the process. If ReUse doesn’t have it, local materials are the next best bet. Just ask for it, Rhonda says. “More demand could bring [sustainable material] manufacturing to Hawaii.”

When I asked why homeowners should go green with a remodel or new build, Matt’s answer was quick and simple. “Why not?” he says. Building green means constructing efficient homes that save resources and homeowners’ bank accounts in the long run. Plus, green homes aren’t just hay bale houses in the wilderness anymore. Rhonda says your green home can look any way you want it to, as long as that’s part of your plan.

5 Ideas for a Greening Up and Older Home:

• Add insulation to reduce energy needs.
• Install a solar water heater. (Cut electricity costs by 40 percent and get those tax credits!)
• Get a brighter roof. High albido, or reflectivity, reduces energy needs.
• Ditch old carpets. They are often made with glues that have urea formaldehyde. Newer ones have better adhesives that don’t emit toxins. Better yet, go with hard floors. Carpets can hold mold, which aggravates allergies.
• Purchase and install a rain water harvesting system. Use the harvested rain to water landscaping and to wash your car.

5 Ideas for Planning a Greener New Home

• Bring your team together from the beginning.
• Where you build counts! Choose a location near work and school. Commutes affect your quality of life.
• How you position your home on the lot is also a factor in being green. Orient the house to maximize natural ventilation and reduce heat from the sun, using a method called passive design.
• Build with recycled or sustainable materials.
• Build to control storm-water runoff, with catchments that feed water back into the ground, instead of onto the street.

• U.S. Green Building Council
• ReUse Hawaii
• “Your Green Home: A Guide to Planning a Healthy, Environmentally Friendly New Home,” by Alex Wilson.
• “Green Remodeling : Changing the World One Room at a Time,” by David Johnston.