News Release: November 16, 2020


Keahumoa Place In East Kapolei Is First Affordable Housing Development To Receive Leed Platinum Certification On Oahu

Honolulu, Hawaii - On Nov. 4, 2020, Keahumoa Place, a 320-unit affordable housing development in East Kapolei by The Michaels Organization, was officially presented with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for the final and fourth phase of the project. The first three phases earned Platinum in early 2019. This is the first affordable housing project on Oahu to be designated as LEED Platinum.

The Michaels Organization worked in partnership with Hawaii Energy who provided rebates for energy efficient lighting, solar water heating, and in-unit appliances that were installed throughout the project, which was completed in four phases. Hawaii Energy rebates for the completed installation totaled $235,000 and is estimated to save 1,412,000 kWh in the first year, which will be passed on as direct savings to residents.

“Keahumoa Place is a stellar example of a development that is focused on keeping residents in their homes by keeping utility bills affordable. By building energy efficient, sustainable and affordable homes they are helping ensure families not only can purchase affordable housing, but remain in their homes for years to come” said Brian Kealoha, executive director of Hawaii Energy. “We are proud to have assisted on this project and look forward to what developers like The Michaels Organization continue to contribute to our clean energy future.”

The 320 affordable rentals include rooftop thermal hot-water systems, water-efficient fixtures, drought-tolerant landscapes, ceiling fans and large windows to enhance flow-through ventilation, and LED lighting – features that help reduce ongoing utility bills for residents.

“Designing Keahumoa Place as LEED Platinum certified, allowed us to create affordable housing that also helps residents keep utility costs in check,” said Karen Seddon, Hawaii regional vice president of The Michaels Organization that oversees seven affordable communities on Oahu and Hawaii Island. “Keahumoa Place demonstrates that quality housing can be both affordable and sustainable.”

“We remain committed to removing barriers and burdens for attaining LEED for Homes Certification which was why the partnership with Hawaii Energy for efficiency rebates on the project was so important,” said Robyn Vettraino, president of Verde, the LEED Accredited Professional on the project. “We hope this can serve as another great example of a low-energy, healthy living option for those households who are typically energy insecure and forced to live in high pollutant areas.”

There are four tiers of LEED: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (70-79) and Platinum (80+). Points are earned for various green building strategies across several categories including Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere and more. Keahumoa Place received a total of 83 points earning it Platinum.

About The Michaels Organization:
The Michaels Organization is a national leader in residential real estate, creating award-winning affordable, mixed-income, military, and student housing that enhance the lives of our residents and enriches communities. Serving more than 146,000 residents in 422 communities across 35 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Michaels Organization offers full service capabilities in development, property management, finance, construction, and tax credit syndication. More information on The Michaels Organization is available at:


About Hawaii Energy

Hawaii Energy helps island families and businesses make smart energy choices. We encourage and reward energy decisions that will allow our state to reach 100% clean energy faster and cheaper. To date, we have saved the people of Hawai‘i more than a billion dollars off their energy bills. Let Hawai‘i Energy be your trusted energy advisor to help save you money and protect what makes Hawaii so special. For more information, please visit


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