Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Board of Trustees Meeting – Honolulu, Hawaii
22-24 March 2018

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The CTBUH Board of Trustees, from left to right: Vincent Tse, Managing Director, Building MEP, China Region, WSP; CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood; Dennis Poon, Vice-Chairman, Thornton Tomasetti; Abrar Sheriff, President & CEO, Turner International; CTBUH Chairman & Treasurer Steve Watts, Partner, alinea Consulting; Charu Thapar, Managing Director – Property & Asset Management Services, JLL; CTBUH Vice-Chairman David Malott, CEO & Creative Director, AI. Not pictured: CTBUH Trustee Mounib Hammoud, CEO, Jeddah Economic Company; CTBUH Trustee Tim Johnson, Design Partner, NBBJ; CTBUH Secretary Tim Neal, President & CEO, CallisonRTKL.
HONOLULU – From Thursday 22 March to Saturday 24 March, the CTBUH Trustees from Chicago, New York, London, Mumbai, and Hong Kong gathered to attend the main annual Trustees meeting, which this year took place in Honolulu, Hawaii, in support of the formation of a new CTBUH Hawaii Chapter.

CTBUH Trustees started off by attending a breakfast event co-hosted by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) with CTBUH at the Pacific Club in Honolulu. There was a full house, with CTBUH Chairman Steve Watts, Partner, alinea Consulting presenting his work on tall buildings, including The Shard and 22 Bishopsgate in London. Through his presentation, Watts showed the audience that buildings represent something much more than just a structure – they can redefine history, heritage, and culture. 

From the breakfast event, Trustees went on to undertake two building tours in Ward Village. The tours were led by Doug Johnstone, Director of Development, The Howard Hughes Corporation, who is tasked with managing the development of Ward Village, a 60-acre (24-hectare) community between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.

Steve Watts presents on the significance of tall buildings throughout history at a NAIOP Hawaii event at the Pacific Club.

The undulating Anaha is one of Howard Hughes Corporation's residential buildings located in Ward Village, completed in 2017.

CTBUH Trustees admire the views from atop Anaha, located in Ward Village. From left to right: Steve Watts, Dennis Poon, and Vincent Tse.

Trustees toured Anaha and AE’O. Anaha is a residential building completed in 2017, and includes 244 tower residences and penthouses, and 73 townhomes and flats. The name “Anaha” means “reflection of light” in Hawaiian.

Trustees also toured AE’O, a currently-under-construction mixed-use tower that is set to be completed later in 2018. The building was named after the native “Hawaiian Still Bird,” or “AE’O”. This naming represents the developer’s commitment to the importance of incorporating natural landscape and history into Ward Village, and to creating buildings that respond to, and draw from, their natural contexts.

Trustees then attended the inaugural event of CTBUH Hawaii, co-organized by the
Structural Engineers Association of Hawaii (SEAOH): Addressing Honolulu's Housing Challenges with Urban Habitat.


AE’O, currently under construction in Ward Village, will be
a mixed-use residential and retail tower when completed later this year.

CTBUH Trustees and Steve Baldridge, President, BASE Engineering (far right), gather atop AE’O, which currently
rises to 30 stories, on the way to 40 when complete.

Following an introduction by Steve Baldridge, President, BASE Engineering, the opening presentation came from
CTBUH Vice-Chairman David Malott, CEO & Creative Director, AI., who presented an architectural case study on “High-Rise Housing: New Models for Vertical Living.” The presentation included information on two residential projects in Singapore: The Pinnacle@Duxton and The Interlace. The Pinnacle@Duxton is a 50-story affordable housing project, whereas The Interlace is a luxury residential complex. But both offered appealing prototypes for future development in Honolulu, which shares a similarly warm and wet climate with Singapore – as well as severe space constraints and high living costs.

The next presentation was a structural case study from
CTBUH Trustee Dennis Poon, Vice-Chairman, Thornton Tomasetti. Poon’s presentation was on the topic “Meeting the Challenges of Design and Construction in Dense Urban Cores,” and focused on the Hudson Yards project in New York. This project consists of high-end office and residential towers, public areas, retail and cultural centers, and an iconic sculpture tower structure called the Vessel. Most of these structures are above existing train tracks and yards. This project is a good example of how to fit various towers into a dense area, Poon testified.

These presentations were followed by a Q&A Session, moderated by Steve Watts, and a coffee break.

David Malott presents an architectural case study – "High-Rise Housing: New Models for Vertical Living” (left) and Dennis Poon presents a structural case study – "Meeting the Challenges of Design and Construction in Dense Urban Cores" (right) at a joint CTBUH Hawaii/Structural Engineers Association of Hawaii (SEAOH) event at the Plaza Club.

The last presentation, "What's More Sustainable: High-Rise or Low-Rise Living?" was given by CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood, who explored the results of the CTBUH Research Project “A Study of the Sustainability Implications of Differing Urban + Suburban Locations in Chicago.” The project undertook a groundbreaking, quantitative investigation that compared the sustainability of people’s lifestyles in both urban and suburban areas, from both the environmental and social perspectives, using detailed information directly collected from households and best available data from public resources. The results of the study have been published in the CTBUH Research Report Downtown High-Rise vs. Suburban Low-Rise Living: A Pilot Study on Urban Sustainability.

The event ended with a panel discussion on the topic of housing and urban density. The panel was comprised of local and international experts, including Stanford Carr, Founder & President, Stanford Carr Development; Kathryn Inouye, Partner & Chief Operating Officer, Kobayashi Group; Race Randle, Senior Vice President, The Howard Hughes Corporation; CTBUH Trustee Charu Thapar, Managing Director – Property & Asset Management Services, JLL; and Brent Tokita, Vice President, RMA Architects. The discussion was moderated by Newton Chung, President, PR Heavy Division LLC.

The panel discussed the issue that many current developments in Honolulu are being built as luxury vacation homes. This is leaving much of the local population without any affordable housing options. The panel sought to address these issues, and discussed solutions to housing shortage. One solution that has been deployed in Mumbai, called “reserve housing,” provides affordable housing options for local populations displaced by luxury developments. One potential solution that came out of the panel was a resolution to push for height limit increases to help with the urban housing shortage.


Antony Wood presents "What's More Sustainable:
High-Rise or Low-Rise Living?" at a joint CTBUH Hawaii/SEAOH event at the Plaza Club.

On Friday 23 March, CTBUH Trustees gathered for the biannual board meeting. Agenda items included financial reporting for 2017, the 2018 budget, staffing and membership analysis, as well as an update of individual Trustees’ activities.

Saturday 24 March was reserved as a day for Trustees and families to tour Oahu island and relax. On the tour, they visited points of interest including Diamond Head, Byodo-In Temple, North Shore Surfing Beaches and the Dole Plantation.

The next physical Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled to take place in Dubai on the first day of the 2018 Conference, Saturday 20 October.


Panelists discuss solutions to housing challenges in Honolulu. From left to right: Race Randle, Senior Vice President, The Howard Hughes Corporation; Brent Tokita, Vice President, RMA Architects; Stanford Carr, Founder & President, Stanford Carr Development; Kathryn Inouye, Partner & Chief Operating Officer, Kobayashi Group; and CTBUH Trustee Charu Thapar, Managing Director – Property & Asset Management Services, JLL.