Comfort Station Conserves Water and Energy at Peak of Haleakala

As the numbers of visitors to Haleakala National Park on Maui grew to over a million a year, the 1953 comfort station and its septic system became too small to meet demands. Mason Architects worked with a team of engineers to design a new comfort station that serves the needs of visitors yet conserves energy and water at the arid summit of the 10,000-foot crater.

  • The existing comfort station was converted to the men's room and a new women's room/store room was created with lava rock walls and corrugated metal roofing to match the nearby 1935 Visitor Center.
  • The rooms are naturally lighted and ventilated by 4-inch slots above windows
  • The wastewater system, the first of its kind in Hawai‘i, recycles 85% of the water used, to a level pure enough to flush toilets
  • Now, only water for drinking and hand washing needs to be trucked to the site.
  • A water tank, a 3000-s.f. leach field, a filtration and chlorination system, and new utilities were installed underground
  • The comfort station is designed to have minimal effect on the nesting areas of endangered birds and the archaeological sites nearby.
  • The project won the 2004 Sustainability Design Award from the AIA, Honolulu Chapter, and the 2003 Grand Conceptor Award from the American Society of Engineers, Hawai‘i Chapter.

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Award: Sustainability Award of Excellence from the AIA, Hawaii Chapter, 2004, and the Grand Conceptor Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Hawaii Chapter.

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The lava rock walls and corrugated roofs match the nearby Visitor Center’s.