VOS5-12 Full Episode – Designing Future Coastal Communities
VOS5-12 Full Episode – Designing Future Coastal Communities


In this episode we are at the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Architecture One of the premier architectural schools in the nation We talked to students researchers and Faculty about their focus on sustainability and community resilience Right now we’re in the you H school of architecture Environmental research and design lab this is a space in the school where both students and faculty Work we do research on energy efficiency in Hawaii’s tropical climate and the kind of big picture goal is to wean our state off of dependence on fossil fuels and be able to design better buildings that work with our climate to create really comfortable efficient spaces before I thought the architecture was much more about form making I thought the architecture was much more about the object of the building through my education and professional experience and now teaching I think that I see that it’s It’s much more important to understand how buildings weave into the fabric of a community to understand how they impact a person’s well-being and health or to understand how they impact the larger environment So the greenhouse gas emissions that they produce for example Linking not just thinking of the building as its own small little isolated object, but linking it to the larger world Has been the sort of path of maturing those thoughts We are really focused on getting the students simulation computer simulation experience. And so they’re using Building Performance simulation tools so that could be in whole building energy modeling or daylight modeling or computational fluid dynamics so modeling how the air moves around or in a space and using those tools to be able to direct their designs to be able to evaluate different design options Then help inform their most energy-efficient and comfortable building Can you talk a little bit about how you’ve worked with the students on the link Simulation and what some of the goals are for the projects that we’re working on? If first of all we go down to the basics and say here. What do you actually have in energy? And we always come down to a box, you know The building is actually a box and energy goes in is consumes or what the energy Software does that it actually helps us in adding things up in a conventional? You know energy simulation you have, you know the conditions in a room You know represented by one or maybe two points in the so-called computational fluid dynamics We dissect the room with a thousands sometimes millions of little little Cells and for each cells we are solving differential equation. Basically, we are solving what the conditions are there So we can in a much better way Just define the thermal condition the wind moving the air moving condition and all kinds of stuff We had like external you know CFD which means air movement around a Building so you can determine where it’s best to put windows and what the shape of the windows are and the other one was Internal if you want to move air through your buildings you have to open up certain Doors or internal openings, then we could identify What is the best and then the third part of our CFD study was thermal comfort and we were modeling You know how the body interacts with cooling surfaces and the ceiling fan was very exciting very high end because CFT in building is not that you know usually done it’s much more aerospace or Like, you know cars and so on. So CFT in buildings is you know, very specific application, so we made the proof of concept or the proof of application and So I think you know, it was very successful Landscape architecture is a very fascinating profession we deal with built environment issues ranging in scale from small guidance all the way up to Urban spaces we deal a lot with environmental issues social issues environmental justice and green infrastructure and so forth in skip architecture and urban design can address coastal resilience as a problem How can we design spaces that are more adaptive to? Coastal hazards such as sea level rise Storm surges and so forth when you look at a map of the island of Oahu, you can see that a lot of these low-lying areas that were Inhabited is located in Waikiki the drivers of the state economy. There are incredibly vulnerable to expected sea level changes for example in this simple visualization we’re looking at where the coastline is today at mean high higher water and then how that might look like when we expect a significant amount of sea level rise and you see that many of those installations and Neighborhoods. I just mentioned will be completely affected by amphibious ground conditions Let me show you one Project. This is another students project that that was produced under my supervision She produced this amazing set. I think of visuals that Begin to illustrate how some of these soft defense systems such as living shorelines Could be implemented for example here at the mouth of the Ala Wai canal. We’re currently we’re using this space To dock boats, it’s one of the most polluted water bodies in the country that drains into the ocean why don’t we think of this is an opportunity to create a Biodiverse resilient marsh that could both clean the water runoff from the Ala Wai and at the same time Be a buffer that defends were lies behind from the impact of you know sea level rise and storm surge or she also then looked at this Ala Moana neighborhood where a lot of surface area is currently dedicated to Parking in automobile. What if in the slow layer lying area we Retrofit the buildings that can’t be there with modifications in 50 years But think of the ground plane as a multi-faceted urban agriculture and water based transportation Hybrid space or this is my colleague Street Again, you see large impervious dike surfaces that collect water that connect heat That will be affected heavily by sino Verizon 50 years. Can we? really think big and perhaps Turn this into a more Performative The same time beautiful space for people where people and wildlife can co-exist And at the same time or increasing property value of what? remains What you see in the background, so so those are some of the thoughts that were speculating about with students. Could Ala Moana Boulevard That’s really in harm’s way Become a pedestrian promenade and then as sea levels rise maybe that promenade gets elevated and we allow the water back and where it used to be or the shoreline needs to be and it becomes the ecosystem in a wetland and winform The University of Hawaii Sea Grant college program Focused on Hawaii’s coasts and its communities through sustainable development safe seafood supply Sustainable coastal tourism hazard resilience and healthy coastal ecosystems Why is secret Welcome back. We’re at the School of Architecture Looking at projects designed to help coastal Oahu communities adapt to rising sea levels Building models is one of our primary ways that we’re able to communicate the design ideas that we have They are three-dimensional ideas and rather than trying to represent them and 2d drawings it’s much easier to have a physical model and People can very easily grasp the concepts that we’re trying to convey. We have a high wave energy representation here similar to Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu so we’ve we’ve built the symmetry and Topography to represent one section North Shore at Sunset Beach here. We have a low wave energy environment This is representing Kaneohe Bay where we have a fish pond So this is a sort of sheltered environment and here we have a medium wave energy environment with a very densely built inland infrastructure similar to Waikiki everything on the models are moveable and the idea is that we can Have a visual with which people can interact and move and talk about different living shoreline techniques or different Retreat techniques or different adaptation techniques and not just describe it in words, but actually be able to see it And interact with it maybe There are ways to use vegetation on the shore so that during for example when we saw the King tide events recently Some of that wave energy came up and was even coming right up to the building. So maybe there are ways that we can use vegetation to slow down that wave energy and and At least reduce the force as it gets to the buildings and maybe even reduce the run-up distance Maybe using something like a tea head growing off of the shore to try to encourage the sand to build back up here and We question. Is there any way that we might be able to design? The the structure of that groin so that it’s it makes a good habitat for fish or other marine organisms right near the shore so we talked about are there ways that you can actually make that ground floor floodable and maybe give permission to add Square footage in another location on top or somewhere else and this is the sort of temporary Adaptation method that might make the area habitable for a longer amount of time My focus area is Caleb going mostly focus on the flooding issue. The addition of this residential component is is new to the area Yes, it’s definitely new especially since I’m overtaking a big portion of the record of keiki lagoon Beach park what I did for my buildings is that I put it like on stilts or like there’s no walls the footing will overtake these buildings, but then There’s no walls on the bottom floor so that the water can flow. I can see the building but not permanently Damage the bottom floor. So then the bottom floor for each building is about 15 feet high we also had to think about the Transportation or the commute for the people what I did is that I love you these pathways 25 feet off the ground the future rail station will be coming from this area people would have the chance to live in the area and also have a place to Farm people would have their chance to vote in the area or even I included water taxis For this project we focused on the south shore of Honolulu So that’s focusing on the airport area all the way to Kakaako in town We kind of analyzed the whole area and just kind of to show what can be done to improve the place I decided to choose my focus area in keehi Lagoon by the airport and Just because it’s such an industrial place and there’s really awesome water activities over there but there’s not a lot of access to it and not a lot of people get to that area and that coastal area itself is very polluted and you know not a lot of people would want to go swimming there either so I kind of wanted to focus on How we can bring life back? Into this area when transforming this project I wanted to take all that industrial area over here and transform into like this actual place that people can go to select a shopping center a recreation center and actually Focusing on like the past history of this place which used to be a fish pond area So I wanted to actually bring that back and actually restore the ecology that used to be here I think bring back this important feature of What used to be there will really help connect the people back to the waterfront and also, you know I even took back to like their designs where the walls were like sloped a little so that I could resist the break of the water Yeah, yeah but a lot of it is have it heavily researched like I didn’t start designing until Halfway through the semester and how do you do that research? The library internet Also interviews too with people that know about these things right I didn’t want to just assume Hawaiian culture without actually talking to someone who knew about it. We even did like our own observations, too Like we don’t just look at this site in cheese that we have to go over there and we have to look what’s going on Over there talk to the community Figure out what’s going on really? Because it’s just hard to do a design if you know anything about the place in the first place It’s interesting how we’ve treated our land over the years or how our shoreline has evolved from the very beginnings weekly document things like the Lovely 1800s to know what wound up was surely was very different compared to today’s it was interesting like how much? Economies can actually drive and change our urban landscape without us really knowing it. The problem in mapunapuna is that flooding is reoccurring a lot especially in the Street intersection the most difficult part about this proposal is having business owners and landowners Accepting that they have to relocate it kind of brings an incentive like if you want to remain in the area, you’ll have a form of protection in the future one of the reasons why I’m here is because I really love home and I really want to figure out ways To make sure holding kids daily the way it is This project is basically about how to Connect the communities around Aloha Stadium better because currently it’s kind of a vacant land and then the communities around are isolated sea and then it’s not much of a pedestrian or non automobile connectivity So I looked at these two current proposals that are existing one is done by the City and County and the other ones read by the state and then looked at like what is missing to Make it a better proposal and then the two main ones were how to accommodate sea level rise and flooding and The other one was how to reuse the current stadium What is ecological design mean in this case is like because there’s very few green surfaces It’s like mostly paved in the current stadium site so adding more green spaces adding garden spaces Maybe renewable energy on some of the buildings just adding more sustainable design within the site We are looking for a few heroes mentors trailblazers innovators a passion to change lives Spark curiosity open hearts and awakened minds help students answer the question Who am I? This could be our calling but this is no job. It’s the journey of a lifetime Be a hero be a teacher Welcome back. We’re at the School of Architecture talking with faculty students and researchers We have these we call them frogs and listening back the Architecture firm and they’re built on the college of education campus I am helping monitor the buildings and see what their performance is like and also to try to help educate the Occupants that are using the buildings to be more aware of their energy use This is just a duplicate that’s in our lab. But we have one of these in each of the Frog buildings down there so people can see what’s going on in the building and they can see what their energy use is like – so we’ve got energy and environment so you can see if they’re gonna reach Net Zero and they can also see like what their temperature and humidity and Carbon dioxide levels are and stuff like that. Can you explain to me? What Net Zero is I think it’s a term we hear all the time, but I’d like to hear from an expert Yeah, so that means over the course of a year. You won’t use more energy than you produce so there’s a photovoltaic panels on the roof and They will produce at least as much energy as the occupants use in the building This is the school of architecture Building and specifically we’re in the studio space that a lot of students use to build a lot of their projects to work a lot of their homework where we spend majority of our time here on campus and then your projects actually About this room that were standing in. Yeah, it’s creepy So in our project we’re assigned to pick a space in which we would analyze the daylight This is the the studio room the room that we’re standing on right now and I chose to pick this half of the room because that’s where my My desk is and that’s where standing a couple of benchmarks that were given for us to kind of reach in terms of day lighting we’re 300 Lux which is a measurement of light and that 300 Lux had to reach 50% of the floor area at first I thought the building would perform a lot better just because we have Windows here on the North facade of the building which is ideal for for daylighting. My thought was okay Let’s open up. That window make it a lot bigger. Let us let the Sun come in And so that’s what I did on my second iteration. I opened them up. I doubled the size of the windows thinking, okay it’s gonna let a lot in but I ran the analysis proved that only 23% of the floor area was reaching our benchmarks It just made me realize that there’s not a lot of Sun in reaching the middle of those face And so I thought immediately. Okay, let’s penetrate the roof and I just put nine evenly spaced skylights throughout the entire space and When I ran the analysis and they came out Awesome, they came out reaching our benchmark 84% of the floor area just little things that we can do to a building can really improve The building’s quality and also our experience as users I’ve learned how we can improve on the Normal things that we see and now there’s so much gaps between what’s being done and what can be done to improve our experience in these buildings people in Hawaii We we have a connection to the aina to the mountains to the to the trees to the wind that is kind of Particular to our space and so I think here in Hawaii We have an opportunity to design buildings that maximize that connection between the inside and outdoors That allows the people to be indoors and be sheltered but still be connected to the surrounding environment if we can teach people that there’s a better way if we can make your work within those guys those rules and Financially if we can make it work. I think it’s gonna just improve society in general The way that work and life in Hawaii brings identity into the foreground of our Discussion in the formation of our communities is extraordinary It’s an extraordinary teaching context for architects Since buildings provide communities with identity. It’s one of their jobs embodying immeasurable qualities of place time and memory Not just utility, but the surplus value of architecture. It’s symbolic That’s symbolic Freight this symbolic work that it does we? inhabit an irresolvable post-colonial reality the attempt to continuously reconcile the needs of a complicated culture a pan-asian Cosmopolis that need to continuously reconcile capital and its requirements with indigenous values and its requirements is the wellspring of our Potential as a community that’s where our creative Insights will come from that’s where our innovation will come from. That’s where new solutions to governance to policy to equity that’s where those novelties Will come from and I see it as fundamental to our mission as a school We don’t copy the work of a great architect. We try to understand how that architect solved the problem We first ask ourselves. What kind of problem was that architect trying to solve and What can we learn from the way that they insulted? Likewise, what can we learn from the way that our hosts forbearers? solves the problem of the division of land and the distribution of its assets to different members of the community the word kuleana so far as I understand it derives from The allocation of land and the privilege of having the responsibility to determine how it’s used and to account for your Effective contributions to a larger need to a larger well-being to the health of the whole community to the whole Agua that is the the intersection, I’m most interested in not aping the Aqua or trying to adapt that in a modern concept, but understanding it as a wellspring of a deeper ethical sensibility that reminds us to Attend to the impact that the choices we make have on larger systems upstream and downstream of our particular site There is natural beauty and integrity everywhere We have to teach ourselves to see it. We have to teach ourselves to respect it and draw it out We have to celebrate it and I think if we persist in that optimistically Hawaii will Eventually establish new models for urbanization that the rest of the world will copy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *