Three people wearing lei looking at drawing of new building
Group of people wearing lei holding o o, Hawaiian digging sticks
Performing the ceremonial ground breaking are, front row from left UH Regent James Lee, Governor Neil Abercrombie, former Computing Center Director Walter Yee, President M.R.C. Greenwood, Representative Calvin Say, Congressional Chief of Staff Jennifer Sabas; back row from left, UH Associate Vice President Brian Minaai, Chief Information Officer David Lassner, dck pacific construction executive Eric Tessem, UH Regents Eric Martinson and Carl Carlson, architect Joe Ferraro

A new six-story, 74,000-square-foot Information Technology Center on the Mānoa campus will be the first facility designed and constructed anywhere in the University of Hawaiʻi System to properly house the university’s enterprise information and communications technology systems.

Governor Neil Abercrombie, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and UH Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer David Lassner spoke at a ceremony held Friday at UH Mānoa to celebrate the groundbreaking for the center.

“This center will provide the foundation for our mission-focused efforts and move us a giant step forward in our quest to be a model 21st-century university with excellent facilities,” said Greenwood.

Building features

artist rendering of 6-story glass and metal building
Artist’s rendering of the new center

Located immediately east of Bilger Addition, the Information Technology Center will provide a centralized facility for the university’s systemwide Information Technology Services division. It will house a state-of-the-art and energy-efficient data center featuring an 8,000-square-foot machine room for enterprise servers, storage and communications.

It will also be the site for the university’s first emergency situation room, which will provide space with available power and communications suitable for UH administrators and emergency personnel to manage disasters and other crisis situations.

“The University of Hawaiʻi learned many lessons from the 2004 flood that caused extensive damage to the Mānoa campus and threatened our main data center, which provides Internet access for all UH campuses statewide and our state government offices, including Hawaiʻi State Civil Defense. It’s those lessons and our goal to provide a quality learning and research environment for our students, faculty and staff that have inspired this building,” said Greenwood.

The center will also include meeting and training rooms, the university’s information technology Help Desk, modern workspace for ITS staff, facilities for faculty to develop and produce engaging digital media content for education and research and advanced teleconferencing and collaboration environments for members of the UH community to work with colleagues and peers around the world.

Green design

artist drawing of people in hallway by reception desk
Artist's rendering of reception area

The building will be designed to support LEED certification, which is considered rare for a building with a data center. Sustainable green design strategies will include energy-efficient building orientation, daylighting strategies including horizontal light shelves, displacement ventilation to reduce energy consumption, a water catchment system, vegetated roofs and lanais to mitigate storm drainage, healthy indoor air quality, systems commissioning, conservations of resources and recycling.

“By consolidating our IT systems, which are currently scattered throughout various buildings on campus, into one facility specifically designed to support these systems in an efficient manner, we will achieve substantial gains in energy efficiency for IT,” said Lassner. “We’ve imagined a building like this for our university for many years and we’re excited to see it becoming a reality.”

Building partners on the project include Ferraro Choi and Associates as project architect, dck pacific construction as general contractor and Bowers + Kubota Consulting as construction manager.

View more photos and watch the Information Technology Center website for construction updates.