A Face Changer of Island Real Estate
Bringing investments and renovation back to the seaside.
Those working in Hawaii’s construction and renovation industry are drawn to the islands’ incredible beauty too, but they know a somewhat hidden reality about Hawaii. The islands’ harsh environmental conditions present a serious challenge to property managers and resort owners when it comes to keeping buildings, especially those on the water that command the highest rates, in the top condition tourists and visitors expect.
Sky high real estate prices in Hawaii have also driven expectations among developers for exterior cladding options that will stand the test of time when up against the relentless impact of Hawaii’s sun, wind and tropical moisture.
Increasingly, Dryvit’s broad range of exterior cladding solutions have become the go to resource for many resort owners and commercial property developers looking to give an existing building a face lift or clad a new building with a durable and attractive exterior.
Jaime Shigeta, general manager of the Diamond Resorts’ Point at Poi Pu, located on the smaller Hawaiian island of Kauai, describes her facility’s struggle with the environment as a constant battle. “We sit on the ocean here, and we have the constant trade winds that come through the resort with so much salt in the air. It makes for a very harsh environment,” says Shigeta.
This harsh environment took a serious toll on the complex’s ten buildings containing individually owned condos that serve primarily as part time homes and rental units. It didn’t help that the complex’s original exterior provided minimal protection in such a challenging environment, eventually leading to water intrusion.
As Shigeta and her facilities team considered ways to provide a fresh look for the complex, they wanted a solution that would last longer and help boost energy efficiency at the same time. The third-party consultant and the contractor, Creative Partition Systems, called for an EIFS solution with continuous insulation and an air/water-resistive barrier. Dryvit’s Outsulation Plus MD with Sandpebble finish was specified for the 500,000 square foot job. With ten buildings, Creative Partition Systems renovated two buildings per year, starting in 2013, and completing the project in 2017.
Mario Moreno, senior chief of facilities for Diamond Resorts, decided to add one more product to help make battling the elements a bit easier. Each of the ten buildings is now being coated with HDP Water-Repellent coating, a hydrophobic coating that allows rain or wind-swept sea water to bead up on the wall surface and roll off the wall, resulting in a drier wall. This drier wall limits dirt, mold and mildew growth, which means a cleaner wall.
“Many of our guests, especially those who are returning back in the last five years, have commented on how beautiful the buildings look because of all the work that we have done,” says Shigeta. “Any time you can also save energy, that goes to the bottom line, and that makes the owners really happy. They like to see that their investment into the resort will be something that will last many, many years for their grandchildren and children to come and enjoy.”
In Hawaii’s highly competitive resort market, investments in exterior renovations that provide stunning face lifts, often trigger similar investments by other resorts. Dryvit and its team of contractors are benefiting from this reality as they are now in the midst of exterior renovations at the Hilton Ocean Tower in Waikoloa and the KOWA, Waikiki Beach Hotel in Oahu.
Providing fresh new exteriors for resort renovations isn’t the only source of work fueling the manufacturer’s growing portfolio of Hawaii projects. The recently completed Keauhou Lane project outside Honolulu afforded the company an opportunity to demonstrate the versatility and beauty of its stone finishes and metallic coatings.
The Keauhou Lane project is unique, a so-called Transit Oriented Development that creates vibrant livable communities which are compact and walkable, centered on high quality train systems. For a signature project of this type, the owners and project architects wanted a building that would reflect the unique character and colors of the neighboring salt beds that surround the parcel, resulting in the specification of granite and metal panels. Not surprisingly, the cost of these materials was prohibitive, putting the project on hold while the contractor searched for a solution.
Dryvit and the project contractor turned to “value engineering,” suggesting to the architect that the TerraNeo finish and Reflectit coating replace granite and metal as affordable alternatives that would match the look of stone and metal.
Don’t Sacrifice Finish
“’Value engineer’ is not a positive thing when it comes to an architect. No one wants to hear those words, but something has to go, and what’s the first thing to go? Finishes,” says Jennifer Camp, AIA, Principal at hi·arch·y llp for Keauhou Lane. “So the contractor, Group Builders, was gracious enough to give us a suggestion.”
Once she saw the samples, Camp was convinced that the EIFS manufacturer could give the project the look that she and the owner wanted. The TerraNeo finish provided the project’s stone look on its first floor and its Reflectit coating gave the look of orange metal panels on the upper floors.
“What I really liked about using Dryvit was the fact that at the end of the day we had one product, we had one warranty, one installer, and one person to point to if we needed to follow up on anything,” says Camp.
Paul Schwering of Hawaiian Dredging, the GC that built Keauhou Lane, amplified the role of cost when addressing the question about what’s important in construction today. “At the end of the day, it boils down to money. If you don’t have enough to build it, it’s just a set of drawings on a shelf somewhere collecting dust,” says Schwering.
From his perspective, Dryvit’s finishes and coatings helped the property owners get the best possible bang for their buck while delivering a solution that looks like the stone and metal the architect was looking for.
Whether it’s renovation or new construction, Dryvit continues to push for new opportunities to demonstrate the value of its products, both in Hawaii and across the U.S.