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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 6, 2006

Gateway's energy-efficient design recognized

Advertiser Staff

The Gateway Center at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai'i earned Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its energy-conserving architecture.

William Brooks

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The Gateway Center at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai'i recently earned accolades for its energy-efficient architecture.

Opened last year, the building is meant to be a showcase for energy efficiency and renewable energy. However, the $5 million facility remains empty because the center lacks money to pay for furnishings and salaries for staff.

Still, the facility has become only the eighth project worldwide to earn a LEED Platinum Certification, according to the project's Honolulu-based architectural firm Ferraro, Choi and Associates. That rating, which is given out by the U.S. Green Building Council, is based on factors such as water conservation, sustainability and energy efficiency.

Funding for the Gateway Distributed Energy Resources Center came from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Located near Kailua, Kona, NELHA was established in the 1970s as a research facility for ocean thermal energy conversion. It also serves as a center for aquaculture research and production.

More recently, cold, deep seawater pumped up from the depths of the ocean off NELHA feeds one of Hawai'i's newest and fastest-growing industries bottled deep sea drinking water.