Building Industry Magazine - July 2011 - (Page 102)

ConceptToCompletion Kukui Gardens Renovation Faced with losing its affordable housing status after almost 40 years of providing homes to Hawaii’s low-income families and fixed-income seniors, 20 of Kukui Gardens’ 45 buildings were acquired by EAH Housing in 2007 in an effort to preserve their affordable status. EAH Housing then embarked on a program to renovate the units, contracting Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc. (ACK) for the project. 2009, Yogi says they were able to turn over an average of six units a week, with 10 at the project’s peak. Kokua for Residents To both Kobayashi and EAH, accommodating the existing tenants was a high priority. Communication served as a primary challenge – many conversations with non-native English speakers required the services of an interpreter the owner had on site. Another challenge was that the complex has a significant older population, one that represented 41 percent of the units, who required special accommodations during the construction process. “Because the tenants were still on-site – many of them elderly – and the apartments still occupied, we were concerned,” says Yogi. “We had to make sure to take extra safety precautions, especially when were doing the sidewalks.” Ensuring the safety of all the residents of Kukui Gardens during the renovation process meant installing barricades and laying down plywood for accessible walkways during sidewalk demolition and other exterior work. Like others in the construction industry, Yogi says that any project that gives him work is a good project, though he didn’t expect to be working with tenants who cleaned up after his team. “When we were doing the units, 102 | BUILDING INDUSTRY | JULY 2011 the residents still had their keys,” Yogi says, adding that some of them would come in over the weekend. “We’d go home and … when we came back, we’d notice, ‘hey, somebody came in.’ I guess they were curious, so they’d come in and look around. Some of them would actually clean the place,” explains Yogi. While he understood their good intentions, Yogi still needed to explain the danger to the residents. Renovating Right Walter Yogi, ACK project manager, says the firm performed both exterior and interior work on all 389 units, including the replacement of appliances, cabinet doors, flooring, vinyl tile floors, interior and exterior paint, landscaping and irrigation, and converted 11 of the existing units to ADA-accessible ones. During the work, EAH Housing also decided to add environmentally friendly measures, including low-flow plumbing fixtures and energyefficient exterior and interior lighting. “We got a green grant to help us promote some of the features we’re installing so residents know how to use them and continue the effort,” says Marian Gushiken, director of real estate development at EAH Housing. As the construction crew of 60 to 70 workers, including the subcontractors, got in the groove of the renovation process after it began in September Finishing Touches Of course, Gushiken says, EAH continues to find things that need to be done. While the last unit renovation was finished in March, completing the original contract, additional work, such as the sealcoating for the parking lot, is scheduled for completion in August, and ACK just finished creating a concrete access lane and has begun asphalt repair work. Overall, Yogi says the tenants of Kukui Gardens have been thankful for their efforts. “When they started moving in, they started giving noodles and stuff, food, to the boys,” says Yogi. “They were really appreciative.” BI Building Industry magazine would like to thank Hawaiian Cement and Resort Management Group for supporting this special section. Mahalo!

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Industry Magazine - July 2011

Aqua Starts Work on Schofield Pipes
Target Teams up With dck
BIA Honors Renaissance Winners
Hawaii Prince Gets Makeover
COE Honors Firms in Mothballing Project
Renovations Begin at Kuhio Park Terrace
Best Practices
Contracts Awarded
Low Bids
Spotlight on Success: Franciscan Vistas Ewa
Company Showcase: Walker-Moody Construction Co., Ltd
Concept to Completion: Kukui Gardens
News Makers
New Products

Building Industry Magazine - July 2011