Iolani School, Sullivan Center for Innovation & Leadership

Project Overview

The Sullivan Center for Innovation & Leadership is the centerpiece of Iolani School's 150th anniversary. The four-floor, 42,000-square-foot sustainable building is located in the middle of the upper school and contains a library, robotics and media labs, a senior lounge, and extensive flex space.

In addition to achieving LEED Gold certification, the Sullivan Center received the first Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) certification in Hawaii. Sustainable features include a reverse-slope curtain wall with high-performance window glazing designed to provide continuous shade that will keep the building cool, modular photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, architectural light shelves, low-emission finishes, smart lighting, and water-efficient fixtures that save 18,000 gallons a year.

The team used building energy modeling and analysis to determine the facility’s envelope requirements to control the building’s heat loss without the need to add more insulation. As a result, the Sullivan Center uses approximately 40% less energy than the minimum base requirements for energy-efficient buildings set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Donating, recycling, and reusing construction materials diverted 85% of waste from landfills. The products used in the construction of this facility contain 23% recycled materials.

Design-assist preconstruction started in June 2011 and continued through the start of construction, in June 2012. Through the process, Nordic PCL determined that the original precast concrete design was too heavy for the site, and changed the structure quickly without affecting the start date.

The school community was actively involved with and included in this project: from kindergarteners creating their own construction memory books and art students painting the safety fence to the fourth-grade Boy Scout troop touring the site to earn their engineering badges, and a science teacher conducting experiments on the mass of auger cast concrete, the construction team included many more than the Nordic PCL crew.


Iolani School
Honolulu, HI
Honolulu – Buildings Construction
Nordic PCL Construction, Inc.
Education, Green - Sustainable Construction
General Contracting


2014 Kukulu Hale Award - Green Building Award - NAIOP Hawaii Chapter

2014 Build Hawaii Award of Excellence - Design-Build/Design-Assist Construction Less than $2 million - GCA of Hawaii

2014 People's Choice Award - AIA Hawaii Chapter

2014 Northern California Honor Awards - Serve Private Merit Award - IIDA Northern California Chapter