Honolulu Update: Kaka’ako District Waihonua Tower

The Waihonua Tower is a new 43-story high rise located in the rapidly developing Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, adjacent to the Ala Moana shopping center. The 400’ tower consists of 341 residential units spread between floors 6-43 and is surrounded by six levels of podium which contains a lobby, storage units, parking, and a recreation deck at the sixth floor that features a pool, spa, barbeque area, pavilions, and community room. Both the tower and podium use a flat-plate post-tensioned concrete floor system and the entire structure is supported laterally by a reinforced concrete shear wall core spanning the height of the building with wall thicknesses varying from 12” to 36”. The foundation design for this project proved to be challenging due to poor soil conditions combined with the high wind pressures typically experienced along the Hawaii coastlines—to resist the gravity and lateral loads of the tower, seventy 42” diameter reinforced concrete caissons were used. These caissons were drilled up to 120’ deep and were tied together at ground level using an 8’ thick mat foundation on which the tower currently stands.

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