EDWOSB Certification by Brian Kossen

Green Sand is proud to announce that we have been formally certified by an independent 3rd party as an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). This will enable us to pursue specific federal set-asides for small business.

Green Sand is alway looking for opportunities to join forces with other companies for government projects and would like to add our expertise and EDWOSB credentials to teams when it is a great fit.

Project Review by Al Lynch, Inc. by Brian Kossen

Hale Koloa

The term “Mid-Century Modern” aside, the look of these forward-thinking architectural designs can appear dated, especially if enough time has passed. The task of renovating such structures has its challenges: the innocent details of technology, hardware and even the width of the family tub can give it away, but modernizing these are not too difficult to handle. The sophisticated design details, such as sightlines, movement, and accessibility take more thought and even more time “lost in thought” for the designer.

The team at Green Sand focused on a simple task. Renovate this structure and maintain familiarity, yet infuse it with fresh modern styling. The fenestrations were customized to create a unique feel to each room, but chosen carefully to maintain design consistency that wires through the entire home, but doesn’t overwhelm it.

All the doors were produced from the same Fleetwood Windows & Doors product series using clear glazing or translucent panels. The sills for the doors vary to suit the use or performance. All products were finished in Class I Clear Anodize. Upper tracks for non-pocketed doors were covered with custom-built valances to provide design continuity and structural support and stability.

Carol Lau
al lynch, inc.
ph (808) 330-2308
fx(808) 356-1653

Hale Koa project >

Leather Soul Downtown Photos by Brian Kossen

So many great photos for Leather Soul, we decided to share a couple candid shots here that did not get used in the Projects section of the website. The project has so many interesting areas and features.

See all project photos >

Project Featured in Al Lynch Newsletter by Brian Kossen

This month Al Lynch Inc. featured Hale Koloa, one of our award winning project, in their Architect Newsletter. Caption is "Details. Less is More. More is More."

All of the sliding doors for the project were Fleetwood. Exterior applications utilized clear glazing, but to maintain the sightlines, the same sereis was utilized for most of hte interior doors (i.e. closets, bathrooms, bedroom, kitchen pass-through). Using a lighter weight panel for the inteiros allowed for differnet textures (i.e. linen, bamboo reed, obscure matte). Door sills varied depending on the performance needed.

Thank you, Carol Lau for the nice write up!

Five-0 Bar Wins BIA Renaissance Award by Brian Kossen

We are proud to announce that the Five-0 Bar won the 2013 BIA Renaissance Award for the Commerical Projects Category.

The following is part of the project statement that captured the judges along with the outstanding design and creative use of materials:

The Five-0 Bar is an interior tenant improvement project located at the second floor of Building B of the Royal Hawaiian Center. The project site anchors the Diamond Head side of the Pa’ina Lanai food court. The goal of the project was to create a relaxed comfortable lounge and bar that would attract tourist and locals alike. Historically the food court area had been underutilized, the goal of the Center was to increase the use of the food court area during evening hours and to increase the length of stay by providing a comfortable lounge and bar area. The program included a full service bar, lounge seating, dance floor, stage for live performances, TVs to broadcast sports and other events, and storage.  

One of the challenges of the project was the need for the bar to have its own identity while retaining its connection to the overall Pa’ina Lanai  food court. The bar needed to allow physical and visual access to the lanai seating which overlooks the Grove.  

The aesthetics of the project is based on a simple palette of material to represent three natural elements that are strongly Hawaiian:

· The Aina or land: that which feeds, Hawaii’s natural environment.

· Flowing lava whose image brings to mind bright color or fun as well as heat or passion and movement.

·  The Ocean, which inspires tranquility, awe and reflection. Through the materials selected and carefully used, the Five-0 Bar embodies the spirit of these natural materials.  The material palette was selected very carefully with the inspiration of land, lava, and the ocean always in mind. Some of the materials selected took a more literal and direct approach while others were more suggestive and representative.

· The land is represented by ohia branches with bark removed and a clear matte finish. The ohia is complimented by the koa bar top and the western red cedar used at the bar and the lounge seating areas.

· The lava is represented by red translucent panels called “Red Crush” by 3form. The red tone of the translucent panels is echoed in the wall color, the pendant lights at the bar and the fabric on the furniture.

· The ocean is represented by the wave super graphic across the back bar and the wave pendant lights at each lounge cluster.

One significant challenge presented by the Center’s requirements for the space was to create a space, which was clearly distinct from the larger food court while still connected to the food court space. How do you create a space that is at the same time separate and integrated with the larger food court? This was achieved by the use of Ohio posts set vertically from floor to ceiling and the red translucent panels which created smaller lounge seating alcoves and delineate the overall bar area. The ohia posts and translucent panels allow the perfect amount of transparency which provides some privacy for the bar customers while at the same time allowing views from the food court into the bar. To reinforce this idea of space within a space the ceiling material/color and flooring material of the food court was left unchanged in the bar area.  Natural or ecologically sensitive materials were used to the fullest extent possible.

· The ohia branches were sourced locally.

· Koa was locally sourced.

· Western red cedar.

·  3form products contain a high level of recycled content, are GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality certified, never contain PVC and can be recycled and/or reclaimed at the end of use.

· Low VOC paints and coatings were used.

· Glass pendant lights.

· LED task lights.

View photos of Five-O Bar >

Green Sand Wins 2nd BIA Award!! by Brian Kossen

Green Sand wins a BIA Award in two very different categories showcasing their expertise across project platforms.

Hale Kalawahine won in the Sustainable Energy Residential category as an example of doing renovations right.

Project Narrative:

The Hale Kalawahine project submitted is a renovation of an existing circa 1939 home. The primary project goal was to improve the indoor environment quality of the home, specifically thermal quality. The home became very hot in the early afternoon and by mid afternoon the second floor was unusable until well after sunset. The owner’s primary goal for the renovation was to cool the house so that it was comfortable year round, all day long and most importantly, without the addition of air conditioning. The owner’s established the following secondary goals to be done simultaneously during construction: modernize the kitchen, replace the roof and expand the lanai. The final goal was a net zero energy home.

The 1939 home was built with single wall construction and had an un-insulated poorly ventilated attic space. Although the original cedar shingle roof on skip sheathing may have allowed the attic to breath when it was installed, this ventilation had been blocked when the original roof was covered with metal shingles sometime during the 1970’s in a poorly executed reroofing effort. The interior of the home was also dark requiring light fixtures to be used during the day, adding even more heat into an already hot environment. The southwest facing façade was unprotected and unshaded with the afternoon sun beating into the family room through a large fixed picture window.

The first strategy was to improve the thermal comfort of the home by addressing the roof and attic condition. This was done through insulation and ventilation. The existing roofing was removed down to the skip sheathing and replaced with cedar shingle roofing installed over Techshield, a radiant barrier. The attic space was insulated with R30 batt insulation installed at the attic floor. The number and area of eave vents were doubled and roof vents were added near the ridge of the roof. The final strategy was the installation of a whole house fan that pulls cooler air from the lower parts of the home and pushed out hot air from the attic.

The second strategy was to increase the ventilation through the upper level of the home. A dormer facing the trade winds was installed to catch the wind and direct it through the home. Additional windows and a sliding door were added at the kitchen. The whole house fan also aided in pulling cooler air through the home.

The third strategy was to mitigate the heat gain through the southwest facing façade of the home both for the upper and lower levels. This was accomplished through a covered lanai across the entire southwest façade. The lanai provided shade for the master bedroom below and the roof over the lanai provides shade for the family room and parlor.

Other strategies contributing to a comfortable indoor environment include:

· Solatubes and additional windows in the kitchen reduce the need for using lights during the day.

· Solatube in the powder room further reduce the need for using lights during the day.

· New double wall construction was insulated with R15 batt insulation.

· The lights in the ceiling/attic are all ICAT rated to reduce heat transfer from the attic to the interior space. · Natural materials were used when feasible.

· Low VOC materials such as paints, coatings, sealants, and adhesives were also utilized.

Lastly, energy is produced on-site by a photovoltaic system with a goal of providing 100% of the existing electrical load through net metering with HECO. The PV system was the last piece of the puzzle after appropriate strategies regarding natural ventilation and daylighting were implemented to avoid the need for an AC system and reduce the energy load. A right-sized PV system was purchased to offset the remainder of the electrical load of the home.

This project is a stellar example of a highly sustainable project meeting the very intent of the GreenBuilt standard:

1. Renovation of an existing home or “reuse of existing building” saves the embodied energy of the existing materials, labor, and transportation for the original building.

2. Eliminate the need for mechanical air conditioning systems saves the resources required to manufacture, transport, and install and AC system. In addition, on-going energy and carbon footprint savings resulting the use of natural ventilation vs. mechanical ventilation.

3. Reduce the need for using lights during the day, saves energy use and the resulting carbon footprint.

4. Produce a significant amount of the electricity needed on-site contributing to the States achievement for the 2030 goal regarding energy independence.

5. Day lighting and views have been demonstrated to support a productive and healthy lifestyle.

6. Natural ventilation helps contribute to a healthy indoor environmental quality.

7. Right sized PV system after reducing the electrical load through proper design.

Design Aesthetics

The design aesthetic sought to honor the character and feeling of the original 1936 home. A simple shaker style detailing was used through out. New doors and windows matched the horizontal mullion pattern of the original window system. White Carrera stone was selected for the countertops and backsplashes. Stained oak flooring was selected throughout. The entire interior and exterior was repainted with a subtle soft palette of colors. It is worth noting that ever effort was made to keep the original wood flooring throughout, however, the wood floor had been worn and previously sanded and resurfaced to such an extent that the original wood floor had to be replaced with a similar solid wood flooring. It was an unfortunate but necessary decision but also indicates that a life span of 77 years for solid wood flooring makes solid wood flooring a good durable choice.

View photos > 

Survey Reports "Green Life Wanted" by Brian Kossen

According to the latest annual survey by Green Builder Staff 4/30/2013, most people care about living sustainably, and that they understand that updating their home to include more green features increases its value.

Below is one chart from the survey showing that there has been a shift, green credentials and 3rd party certifications are carrying weight with consumers. Apparently, third-party certification such as LEED makes them feel better about a home purchase.

Green Sand Architecture + Design specializes in green design and certified projects such as LEED.

Earth Day 2013 by Brian Kossen

Earth Day to me is a lot like New Years Day is to a lot of people. A chance to celebrate, reflect, take stock and set goals for the upcoming year. For Earth Day it is much the same: a chance to enjoy nature to its fullest and celebrate spring,  reflect on all the positive decisions and choices we have made to run a business focused on sustainability and lifestyle and then set goals for the next year. Here are a few of my personal favorites to live and work more sustainably:

  • Eat more vegetarian meals. Honolulu now has some really great all vegan restaurants, try one out if you haven’t already. The food is really good and is no sacrifice. I suggest trying at least one new vegetarian meal each week.
  • Make a commitment to use less toxins in the environment. This includes everything from dry cleaning to air fresheners to building materials.
  • Buy more local organic produce.
  • Actually bring the reusable shopping bags into the store and stop leaving them at home or in the car. How often does this happen…
  • Have you notices all the single use shopping bags at the malls? People are getting pretty good at bringing their own bags for groceries by why notfor mall shopping as well. Do we really need all that tissue and logo bags that just gets thrown away? Bring your own bag instead.
  • Use more natural cleaners, you will also save money.
  • Use your own water bottle and stop buying bottled water.
  • Reduce packaging by buying more bulk food.
  • Most importantly get outside and enjoy nature. Go to the beach, go for a hike. Remember what it is like to be in nature, your body and soul with thank you.

I know a lot of these are the classics but most of us still have room for improvement. Some of the choices we make are simply habits and we need to concentrate on making new earth friendly choices.


Latest Technical Residential Renovation by Brian Kossen

Our latest residential renovation project is underway. This project came to us due to the complexities of the existing home and the severe constraints imposed by the allowable building envelope. The existing home was chopped up into small unusable rooms while the configuration did not allow easy access to the yard or take advantage of the spectacular views available. The home suffered a slight case of the Winchester House Syndrome (WHS).

After a detailed site analysis and working with the owners, solutions were found that met the owners goals while transforming this home into the showpiece it has the potential to become. It takes a trained eye and skill to bring out the potential in these types of homes and projects.

Before photo

Excellence in Complex Residential Renovations by Brian Kossen

When we were first contacted by a professional couple to renovate their 1939 house we did not know where the project would lead. Renovations of older homes are complex and this renovation had a specific technical twist that brought the project to us. The house was unbearably hot in the afternoons and the heat remained into the evening. The request from the owners was to fix the heat problem and cool the house, without the addition of air conditioning.  We were able to accomplish this goal plus a lot more.  

Before Photo


See more photos and information >

This was a rewarding and sustainable project.