classroom building
Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute research classroom at Ilima Intermediate School (photo by Priscilla Thompson, HNEI)

Students at ʻIlima Intermediate School will have the opportunity to learn in a classroom that is itself a learning platform. The Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute will test the effectiveness of an innovative energy efficient building powered by renewable energy.

A 1,200-square-foot, state-of-the-art structure has been installed at Ilima Intermediate School, the first of three sites selected for the project. HNEI, of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, is leading the research study to analyze the performance of these energy systems for potential future Navy applications in the Pacific region.

Energy efficient classroom

The test platform, created by California-based Project Frog, Inc., incorporates passive design elements to decrease energy demand, thus increasing the effectiveness of its photovoltaic systems. The structure will be outfitted with high tech energy monitoring instruments providing valuable research data on the performance of design and material components.

Project Frog’s design provides air quality management through the use of natural convection and air displacement to reduce the requirements for mechanized systems. Optimized daylight and glare reduction provides high quality illumination for over 95 percent of daylight hours, keeping the electrical lights off during most of the school year. The design reduces energy consumption, construction waste and operating expense.

HNEI will also compare the performance of two different photovoltaic systems, one using a high efficiency crystalline technology, and the other using a newer thin film technology.

Read the news release for more about the program.