Tag Archives: C-MORE Hale

David Franzen, copyright 2011

Pleased to be platinum

UH Foundation, copyright 2011
C-MORE Director and Oceanography Professor Dave Karl. Photo courtesy of UH Foundation.
In 2006, planning began for a brand-new building at UH Mānoa that would house the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE), whose operations were dispersed across campus in four separate locations.  Back then, Oceanography Professor and C-MORE Director Dave Karl was familiar with LEED building certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a prestigious rating system for sustainability in construction and design established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.  

Ratings ranged from the lowest, certified, to silver, gold, and at the very top, platinum—an honor that was extremely rare and difficult to achieve.  “I would have been very pleased with LEED Gold certification, but Vassilis Syrmos (Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education) and the team at Group 70 Architects thought that LEED Platinum might be within reach,” remembers Karl. 

The more Karl thought about it, the more excited he became.  Why not strive for the highest level of certification, since UH Mānoa has been locally and nationally recognized for cutting its energy usage and leading the charge to lessen its dependence on fossil fuel consumption?  Says Karl, “After all, C-MORE scientists are committed to learning more about the natural world, and sustainability of life in the sea.  So when the opportunity arose to help design a new laboratory to support their work, they were also committed to a sustainable building design.”

Fast-forward to 2012.  Today, in the lobby of C-MORE Hale, located next to the Biomedical Sciences building at the end of East-West Road, is a proud display of welcome that announces exciting news.  Visitors are impressed to learn that they are standing in the very first research laboratory building in Hawai‘i, and one of the few in the country, to receive the highest level of LEED certification.   

The Platinum rating is based on C-MORE’s green design and construction features that positively impacted the project itself and the broader community.  These attributes include:

  • The use of 48% less potable water, compared to a conventional building of similar size and use, through incorporation of ultra low-flow toilets, automated faucets and waterless urinals.
  • Diversion of 25,000 gallons of water from city storm drains through the implementation of an underground storm water chamber detention system. 
  • Establishment of a 2,400 square foot green roof that helps to reduce storm water runoff, reduce building temperature, increase carbon dioxide removal and provide a beautiful eco-habitat for insects and birds.  The green roof contains a variety of native and adapted plants, including Aloe, ‘Akulikuli, Sedum and Portulaca.
  • The reduction of irrigation demand by 65% in comparison to typical turf (grass) landscape typically found on campus.  The landscape design incorporated dry stream beds with river rocks in lieu of turf grass, drought-tolerant planting and native landscaping like ‘Aki‘aki and Naupaka, and a drip irrigation with rain-sensing irrigation controls to reduce water demand significantly.
  • Utilization of solar hot water heat recovery, which contributes to reduction of the building’s energy consumption by 52.2% over a standard laboratory of similar size and usage, translating into a 31.4% savings in energy costs a year.  In addition, 78% of spaces in the building are considered day-lit, which saves an immense amount of energy.  The primary building lighting is equipped with smart controls, in which occupancy sensors shut off lights when rooms are unoccupied and light sensors reduce the light levels according to the amount of daylight detected.

 

C-MORE Hale is also the winner of a 2011 Kukulu Hale Award from the Hawai‘i Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties in the category New Project-Commercial/Other, 40,000 square feet or less.

“We all worked as a coherent team in bringing the building to the standards that we envisioned,” says Karl.  “So here we are today celebrating this great achievement.”

C-MORE is one of only 17 National Science Foundation-sponsored Science and Technology Centers.  The building provides 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research laboratory and support spaces focused on the study of ocean microbes.  Completed in 2010, C-MORE exemplifies a new direction in research facility—one that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration, transparent connectivity and representation of its research mission.

For more information on C-MORE, see http://cmore.soest.hawaii.edu.

Top photo: An exterior shot of C-MORE Hale. Photo by David Franzen, copyright 2011

Lab space in C-MORE Hale.  Photo by David Franzen, copyright 2011
Lab space in C-MORE Hale. Photo by David Franzen, copyright 2011
C-MORE Hale

Linking genomes to biomes

New technologies such as the autonomous underwater sea glider collect data on microbial activities. Photo courtesy of Mālamalama.

It may be one of the “newer kids on the block,” but the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) in UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology has already established itself as a leader in designing and conducting novel research. C-MORE is one of only 17 National Science Foundation-sponsored Science and Technology Centers across the nation, and the first to focus on microbes.

Established in 2006, C-MORE facilitates additional comprehensive understanding of the biological and ecological diversity of marine microorganisms, ranging from the genetic basis of marine microbial biogeochemistry including the metabolic regulation and environmental controls of gene expression, to the processes that underpin the fluxes of carbon, related bioelements and energy in the marine environment.

C-MORE Hale, the newest research facility to join C-MORE, was dedicated in 2010 and houses 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art scientific equipment that will be used in conjunction with an existing modern fleet of research vessels to study the vital role that marine microbes play in sustaining planetary habitability.  The merger of the new land-based laboratory with world-class sea-going support vessels will help position UH Mānoa on the world map as a leader in oceanographic research.

As a global research information center working across disciplines, C-MORE brings together teams of experts—scientists, educators and community members—who usually have little opportunity to interact, facilitating the creation and dissemination of a new understanding of the critically important role of marine microbes in global habitability. Research at C-MORE is organized around four interconnected themes: (Theme I) microbial biodiversity, (Theme II) metabolism and C-N-P-energy flow, (Theme III) remote and continuous sensing and links to climate variability, and (Theme IV) ecosystem modeling, simulation and prediction, with the primary mission of linking genomes to biomes.

Another integral component of C-MORE is its implementation of educational and outreach programs. Educational programs focus on pre-college curriculum enhancements, in service teacher training and formal undergraduate/graduate and post-doctoral programs to prepare the next generation of microbial oceanographers. C-MORE also has plans to maintain creative outreach programs to help diffuse the new knowledge gained into society at large including policymakers. All of C-MORE’s activities will be dispersed among five partner institutions: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, University of California at Santa Cruz and Oregon State University.

For more information on C-MORE, visit: http://cmore.soest.hawaii.edu/.

Top photo: Exterior shot of C-MORE Hale