August 1, 2015 | Source:

Allied Builders System – PBS Hawaii Headquarters

PBS Hawaii’s new headquarters will be more than just a broadcast relay point for episodes of “Sesame Street” or “Downton Abbey.” The office center and broadcast facility, projected to open April 2016, will help the multimedia organization better serve the island community with cultural, educational and other programs.

“This will be a very multifaceted facility,” says Brendan Inglis, a project manager for Allied Builders System (ABS), the general contractor for the facility located in Honolulu. “This facility is meant to be welcoming for the public and will feature community and learning activities.”

The two-story, 36,000-square-foot facility – which will be called The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus – will include educational spaces, a media center, main television studio, emergency broadcast center and offices. The campus will also include a student media innovation center “Learning Zone” for young journalists and teachers involved in the station’s statewide student news initiative, HIKI NŌ. ABS broke ground on the $30 million project in November 2014. Group 70 International is the project architect and Cummings Corp. is the construction manager.

“This will be a 21st-century building for a 21st-century Hawaii,” Leslie Wilcox, president and CEO of PBS Hawaii, said in a statement. “Our team has spent a great deal of time on the technology design, which will further help us create, communicate and collaborate.”

PBS Hawaii is also looking to the community for help in funding and promoting the construction project. “Thanks to the generosity of Hawaii’s individuals, foundations and businesses, and with support from the Hawaii state legislature and state administration, PBS Hawaii has reached nearly 90 percent of its $30 million campaign goal,” PBS Hawaii adds.

Putting it Together

The bulk of ABS’s work on the project involves adding a second story to an existing building that formerly housed two television stations. The company is also completely renovating the first story of the building.

The new second story is supported by structural steel and will feature exterior glazing. The building’s exterior will also include a decorative aluminum sunscreen featuring artwork depicting Hawaiian culture and landscapes, Inglis says.

The majority of the materials being used on the project are being shipped to the island from the continental United States. ABS is working closely with material suppliers on the mainland to ensure materials arrive in a timely manner. “Hawaii has very limited manufacturing here on the island,” he adds. “Material procurement is one of the biggest challenges for projects in Hawaii in general.”

Coordinating the transfer of the broadcast signal from PBS’s current leased facility at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to the new facility without downtime or a drop in quality is also a challenge. “The build in and of itself is not overly complicated, but getting materials on time, coordinating the schedule and then, at the end, flipping the switch and making it a TV station is,” Inglis says.

Allied is working with Atlanta-based media integration firm TI Broadcast Solutions Group on the project’s technical aspects.

Partnership Builders

PBS Hawaii awarded ABS the contract from a field of 13 general contractors. “We are so pleased to be working with a great company,” Robbie Alm, chairman of the PBS Hawaii board of directors, said in a statement. “They have a proud record of outstanding work in this community and we really wanted to do this project with a company who will be a true partner in the building of our new home.”

Founded in 1970, ABS is an employee-owned and operated general contractor that provides a wide range of planning and construction services including commercial remodeling, hospitality and medical construction, new mid-rise buildings and industrial facilities. “The exceptional craftsmanship that defines ABS is readily recognized in many structures, from residences to high-profile commercial buildings throughout the state,” the company says.

The company specializes in projects such as design/assist and design/build that require a high degree of teamwork. “We are familiar with the community and how construction works in Hawaii,” Inglis says. “We have good relationships with subcontractors, which allows us to better serve our clients.”

The company is regularly recognized as one of Hawaii’s top-250 companies and as a top-20 contractor in the state. “One of our strengths is our ability to build successful partnerships with clients, architects, designers and sub-contractors,” ABS adds. “The ABS team philosophy is extended to each project partnership. Mutual trust and respect is paramount to our success, and ABS offers a professional, hands-on approach to every client and project.”


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