Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole US Courthouse and Federal Building

Honolulu, HI, USA

As part of the General Service Administration (GSA) Design Excellence program, the Prince Johan Kuhio Kalanianaole US Courthouse and its adjoining federal building were renovated and transformed into a high performance green working environments.

Originally constructed in 1978, the upgrades to the buildings serve as a model for future federal building rejuvenation schemes. Buro Happold worked as part of the design team on the modernisation and renovation of the five story courthouse and nine story federal building into an energy efficient establishment.


A key challenge for the team was keeping the modern design aesthetic while also working to achieve ambitious energy conservation efforts. We also needed to achieve the client’s goal of obtaining a LEED accreditation. Further challenges included the need to complete the work while the building remained occupied and used for proceedings.


Our team provided energy efficient measures for the facility, including improving all internal spaces, upgrading the building glazing system and mitigating air infiltration issues.

We also introduced a nine floor central atrium that draws daylight deep into the building using high-level louvres that direct sunlight into the spaces below. New heat recovery and VAV systems reduce energy usage across the campus by 30% and water consumption was reduced by 20%. Additional energy conservation efforts include the installation of 75kW photovoltaic solar panels.

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole US Courthouse and Federal Building
The renovated court building now offers facilities that provide a benchmark for future developments. Image: Jasper Sanidad


By carefully considering both the limitations and the opportunities offered to us by the existing buildings, we were able to devise engineering solutions that would complement and enhance their performance, resulting in a facility that achieved LEED Silver accreditation.



ENR California’s Best Projects: Government and Public Building Categories


AIA Honolulu Design Awards


NAIOP Kukulu Hale Award


General Contractors Association Of Hawaii: GCA Build Award of Merit



Talk to us

Our policies and terms outline the information we collect about you, and how we process your personal information, please read them to be fully informed. We also use cookies on our website to provide you with a better experience. By continuing to use this site, without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Continue Close