Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa has a strong focus on their island culture, which includes a responsibility to preserve and respect their `aina (land). That’s why Disney is proud to announce that Aulani recently became the first resort in Hawai‘i to obtain LEED Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for implementing environmentally friendly construction practices and building systems.
According to the USGBC website, LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. To obtain LEED certification, buildings must pass a rigorous checklist of sustainability points that include water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and awareness and education. LEED certification is also about being stewards of the environment with sensitivity to the impacts on our natural world.
Some of the environmental initiatives in place that allowed Aulani to receive this honor include the use of waste heat for hot water needs. For instance, many people don’t realize that Aulani harvests the heat emitted from the resort’s large chillers – which are used to keep the buildings cool – and diverts it to heat the whirlpool spas and swimming pools. Aulani also provide 34 electric car charging stations for plug-in vehicles within its parking structure.
Even the location of the resort was taken into consideration for LEED certification. Building on an already developed master planned resort location meant that no trees needed to be cleared and no undeveloped lands were disturbed for Aulani.
As Aulani looks toward the future, and looks forward to completing their enhancements in September, Aulani will always keep the environment in mind and look for ways to be even more respectful of the land. It is Aulani’s kuleana (responsibility and privilege).