a triangular building sits in the distance with palm trees in front

Kailua-Kona, HI – After a massive renovation of an iconic resort that prioritized resource conservation, sustainable operations, and care for local culture, Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort, has received LEED Gold certification.

Global real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson (NYSE: KW) partnered with design firm Walker Warner Architects and Architect of Record Delawie following a devastating 2011 tsunami to transform the property’s 81 acres into a premier Hawaiian resort.

The renovation was completed while staying true to original features, including a 150 guest hale spread across several village-like crescents, the Shipwreck Bar, and a petroglyph field, respecting archeologically significant sites or “kapu” while embracing an environmentally friendly design.

Sustainability consulting firm VCA Green is shepherding several of the resort’s amenity spaces, including the Spa, Moana (the resort’s main restaurant), and Employee Village, through the LEED v4 Building Design & Construction process and has secured Gold Certification for Moana (pictured above). LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world that promotes healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.

“LEED continues to provide a meaningful, global framework for advancing sustainability within real estate and helped to guide our sustainability strategy throughout our innovative redevelopment project,” said Alex Spilger, Head of Global ESG at Kennedy Wilson. “We are very proud to celebrate our LEED Gold accomplishment at Kona Village.”

A group of people stands outside near palm trees holding a LEED plaque in the middle

VCA Green Principal Robyn Vettraino (middle) holds LEED plaque awarded to Moana restaurant at Kona Village.

Kona Village is a water-neutral site that utilizes native plants, ponds that help the island’s natural biodiversity thrive, and a reverse-osmosis non-potable water irrigation system. Solar panels and battery storage are designed to subsidize 100% of the site’s energy use, while the all-LED lighting design reduces light pollution.

Bike facilities and on-site amenities promote employee and guest wellness as well as reduce reliance on fossil-fuel-burning cars to move from place to place. The intense attention to each detail of the site’s materials, layout, and operations awarded each section of the property full points in several LEED categories.

To commemorate Kona Village’s outstanding dedication to sustainability, U.S. Green Building Council President and CEO Peter Templeton held a plaque dedication ceremony at the resort on July 25, 2023.

“Kona Village’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership. All over the world, the hospitality industry is recognizing that green building works and enhances a company’s triple bottom line—people, planet, and profit.” Templeton said. “By incorporating green building practices, hotels are raising the bar for the global market, positively impacting the quality of our built space by providing everyone with access to healthy, green, and high performing buildings. Kona Village is a prime example of how the innovative work of project teams can create local solutions that contribute to making a global difference.”


Robyn Vettraino