Hawaii Tackles Affordable Housing with HVAC Solution at Kapiolani Residence

Aug. 18, 2020

With affordable housing availability a problem in Hawaii, the state is incentivizing developers to tackle the issue.

Honolulu, Hawaii
Samkoo Pacific & Samkoo Hawaii

Hawaii’s cost of electricity for the residential sector is the highest in the nation—currently 2.5 times the national average—so it can be heavy burden on households that are already struggling.

When developer Timothy Yi, President of Samkoo Pacific & Samkoo Hawaii, set out to build the 45-story Kapiolani Residence in Honolulu, Hawaii, he wanted to provide an affordable housing option with enhanced functionality and modern design. And part of its affordability had to be keeping utility costs low for residents as well.


Samkoo turned to Samsung, who recommended a design that featured a variety of residential and commercial HVAC products. Each residence, depending on the size of the unit, was equipped with either a Smart Whisper mini split system or Free Joint Multi (FJM) with Whisper wall-mount indoor units. These systems feature a digital inverter compressor, which operated at variable speeds to allow the compressor to run at precisely the speed needed to maintain the set temperature without turning the system on and off, adding efficiency and cost savings.

The wall-mount units feature a reusable filter that can be washed or vacuumed for additional savings. And with the FJM system, tenants are able to control or turn off individual rooms/zones to avoid conditioning rooms that aren’t being used. Plus, the compact size and quiet operation of the Smart Whisper and FJM outdoor equipment allows them to be installed on lanais—or patios—without disrupting residents.

Similar to residential units, the building’s common areas have independent zone control and feature Samsung’s DVM S VRF system with ducted and cassette indoor units, including Samsung’s exclusive 360 Cassette. Its innovative circular design provides surround airflow evenly throughout the space with 0% airflow reduction and no cold drafts.


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