Building Management Hawaii - August 2020

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AUGUST 2020 | $5.00


Davie Felipe, Ron Komine and Duane Komine created a collegial association of condo managers 15 years ago that has elevated the profession

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Hawaii’s Next Hit TV Show

Mailed and Distributed on the 10th of Every Month PUBLISHER Amanda Canada

With the “Hawaii Five-0” reboot ending a fun 10-year run, there’s room on the Islands’ cinematic landscape for a new show. And I’ve got just the concept. It features real life in Hawaii, with strong personalities, drama at every turn, lots of legal ramifications, disaster never far away. I’m calling it “Bella’s Building.” It stars a smart, savvy but sensitive female condominium manager. She’s surrounded by a strong ensemble cast, including the operations guy who can MacGyver anything but gets a bit short with people not as mechanically inclined. The head of security is a big local ex-cop, always relaxed and joking until things get serious, and then don’t mess with him. There’s a grumpy retired guy who thinks he’s in charge of security and is always reporting neighbors for breaking house rules. There’s a nosy woman who knows far too much about people who don’t even live on her floor. There’s a family that thinks house rules are for everybody else, especially when it comes to guest parking during the holidays. See TV Show on page 37

EDITOR Don Chapman ASSOCIATE EDITORS Brett Alexander-Estes Priscilla Pérez Billig SENIOR ADVERTISING DIRECTORS Barry Redmayne Charlene Gray SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Jennifer Dorman David Kanyuck ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Lorraine Cabanero LEAD ART DIRECTOR Ursula A. Silva ART DIRECTOR Jonathan Tanji














Cover photo Simone Komine Photography


AWAIIAN PROPERTIES, LTD. Building Relationships That Last


AWAIIAN PROPERTIES IS THE LARGEST LOCALLY OWNED ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT COMPANY IN HAWAII. We deliver the highest level of service to our 250 clients on Oahu and the Big Island. Hawaiian Properties provides the following: Strong team of 50 property managers supported by 72 administrative and accounting personnel

Full time cash management specialist

Accurate and timely financial reports (accrual or cash basis)

Strong internal accounting practices and controls

Association operating funds deposited with one of the highest rated banks - Bank of Hawaii Aggressive follow up on collection of delinquent accounts

Premier board member training Property management services tailored to your association’s needs

NEWEST COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY FOR ASSOCIATIONS COMING SOON. To learn how we can help you, contact Kristi Hirota-Schmidt, CMCA®, AMS®, CPM® Vice President of Business Development Telephone: (808) 539-9502 Email: kr istih@hawaiianpr

Azure Ala Moana

Keauhou Place


Check us out on social media. Hawaiian Properties has set up an Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account.

Instagram @hawaiianpropertiesltd

Facebook: HawaiianPropertiesLtd

Honolulu Office: 1165 Bethel Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 Kailua-Kona Office: 75-240 Nani Kailua Drive, Suite 9, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

Twitter @HawaiianLtd

contents August 2020 | Volume 36 | No. 8

FEATURED 4 — Editor’s Desk Hawaii’s next hit TV show 8 — BMH Asks COVID-related late fees 10 — Meet a Manager: Ralph Shumway For 20 years, he’s been helping to make Waipuna one of Hawaii’s top condos while working to elevate building management 14 — The SuperBlock Revolution Founded 15 years ago, the casual association of condo managers has had a positive effect on building managers and their profession 22 — Taking Advantage of Shutdown at Trump With visitor traffic slowed, management makes a quick decision on a project planned for 2021 34 — Legal Matters: Jane Sugimura City’s new appointment system for bulky item pickup is having an adverse effect on condo associations

22 35 — All Things Condo: Carole Richelieu Why boards, owners need to understand exactly who covers what when damage occurs 37 — Community Corner Vertical school on hold, CAI looks at varied pool re-openings

RESERVE STUDIES 24 — Gary Porter ICBI establishes new standards, procedures and software to create primarily a financial report

WINDOWS/DOORS 28 — Pam Barrett Premium vinyl-framed windows are the perfect fit for high-rise buildings and condominiums 30 — Kim Piercy Modern windows provide sound reduction, heat reduction and protection against hurricane wind loads 32 — Peter Eldridge Gate safety is boring until it’s not

8 Copyright 2020 with all rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. Building Management Hawaii is published on the eighth day of each month by Trade Publishing Company, with offices at 287 Mokauea, Honolulu HI 96819. Unsolicited materials must be accompanied by self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Publisher reserves the right to edit or otherwise modify all materials and assumes no responsibility for items lost or misplaced during production. Content within this publications is not to be construed

as professional advice; Trade Publishing disclaims any and all responsibility or liability for health or financial damages that may arise from its content. Statement of fact and opinion in articles, columns or letters of contributors are the responsibility of authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Trade Publishing Co. Single copy rate is $5, with subscriptions available at $35 per year. For information, call (808) 848-0711.


287 Mokauea Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819 (808) 848-0711 |

Hawaiiana: We Are “Here” for Our Clients, Through Every Circumstance While the current times are unprecedented, challenging and for many heartbreaking, taking some time to see the good can help balance the pressures of the difficult. We are learning to be thankful for what we have, to empathize with others, and just how many things we can do from home! Many have had the delight of catching up with old friends, and learning how to use technology in ways we never dreamed possible. Some are learning how to cook, to sew, and how to relax rather than to rush. And hopefully, we are all learning to cherish our friends and loved ones, and to care for strangers in need. In addition, we are learning that kindness is an inherent trait in so many. Below are a few “silver lining stories” collected from our clients and those working for Hawaiiana:

“One of Hawaiiana’s employees did some research and found a company that would deliver free meals to residents in need at one of our buildings. Those who wished to participate are now having meals delivered to their door by building staff wearing gloves and face masks. It feels great to be able to do things like this in such difficult times!” Bev F.

“In one of the buildings I manage, board members, their spouses, and a few other residents made over 120 fabric face masks for the Institute of Human Services staff.” Keola K. “Recently we asked residents at Kaimana Lanais to donate a dollar per unit to help the Foodbank. We were hoping for $114, but ended up with over $700!” Ruth T., Board President, Kaimana Lanais

“One of our ‘snowbird’ residents, Linda Selbert of Keala o Wailea, purchased a sewing machine on island and ordered a bolt of filter fabric, just so she could sew masks. I am sure she has made hundreds by now, and is sharing them with people on Maui as well as in her home state of Michigan.” Carol G.

Able to find the fun in everything, Hawaiiana employees have made their masks into a fashion statement, carefully color-coordinating with their day’s outfit. Shown are Mele Heresa (left) and Michelline Balisbisana (right).

employees are taken care of. I am so proud to work for a company like this!” Naina O. Deemed an “essential business,” Hawaiiana has maintained its daily hours of operation from 8AM – 5PM, Monday through Friday in its offices on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big

“One condo board voted to give owners a break on one full month of their maintenance fees, just to provide them with economic relief. There are good people out there doing good things!”

Hawaiiana’s website is a great resource which allows clients to conveniently access our services from the comfort and safety of home. Owners can contact their property management team, ask questions about their bill, pay online, change their contact address, access news and educational information and more.

Lourdes D.

“Our company has made a sizeable donation to Hawaii Foodbank, and plans to do more for the community after making sure all of our

Residents at the 114-unit Kaimana Lanais on Oahu were asked to consider donating $1 per unit to the Hawaii Foodbank. Donations exceeded $700!

Linda Selbert, resident of Keala o Wailea (above) made hundreds of masks to share with people on Maui and in her native Michigan.

Island. Most employees are on a rotating schedule which includes some work-from-home days, but when in the office, all are required to wear face masks and practice “social distancing.” As a safety precaution, our offices have limited in-person visitors, but will cautiously reopen as deemed safe. Hawaiiana employees are always available by phone or email.

For more information on Hawaiiana’s award-winning services, contact Mele Heresa, CCIM®, CPM® at meleh@ or (808) 5936827. We also invite you to visit our website at hmcmgt. com. We are “here” for you now, and hope to see you in person in the days to come!

Contact: Mele Heresa, CCIM®, CPM® PH: 593-6827 • Visit us at:

BMH Asks

Michael Ramirez/Flickr


BMH ASKS: Property Managers

COVID-Related Late Fees W

ith many workers impacted negatively by the state’s economic shutdown being condo dwellers—and with the tourism shutdown set to last until at least Sept. 1—boards across the Islands are concerned about payment of fees and what that could mean for their association’s finances. BMH polled the leaders of top management companies for their best advice.

Mike Hartley President, Hawaiiana Management How much of a problem have Mike Hartley late/delinquent fee payments been for your properties? It has varied. Overall, it doesn’t appear that

people saw a huge short-term increase in new delinquencies, although associations are continuing to monitor. Some anticipate that there may be more long-term issues depending on how re-opening goes. Association responses included the following: • A number of associations waived late and/or interest fees in the short term. • A number of associations considered payment plan requests. • One association sent letters to owners who had not been delinquent before they became delinquent during the shutdown to see if they needed to set up a payment plan. • Associations followed rules/regulations regarding foreclosure moratoriums. While there were exceptions due to the situation with COVID-19, associations continued to follow collection procedures.

As the economic shutdown/


slowdown drags on, is the problem increasing? Or have recovery funds from the government helped? It is difficult to gauge. There were some people who thought it did and others who were not sure. Again, this could become more of an issue depending on how re-opening goes.

Neil Ross Senior Vice PresidentOperations, Associa Hawaii How much of a problem have Neil Ross late/delinquent fee payments been for your properties? For the most part, our association clients have not seen significant increases See Late Fees on page 13


Melisa Ciglar

Deedee Takushi

Ethel Pascua

Alina Eisenbach

Harumi Jerome

Just a few of the 139 5-star reviews posted since March! Owner at large Waikiki high-rise which recently switched to Associa: “My age is 93 and I live in Texas. I wish Associa all the best as our new management company. I am most pleased with the friendly cooperation and expertise.” Registered Nurse: “Such great help today! Associa’s Customer Service Associate was calm where I was not. It was exactly what a person needs to get things done!” Mortgage Broker: “I call Associa several times a day. Associa is very quick to respond! Keep up the good work!”


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ASSOCIA HAWAI’I’S AWARD-WINNING SERVICES, CONTACT Phyllis Okada Kacher, CPM®, R® | Chief Business Development Officer | 808.837.5273




Waipuna Legend For 20 years, Ralph Shumway has been helping to make Waipuna one of Hawaii’s top condos while working to elevate building management BY DON CHAPMAN


Ralph Shumway TITLE: General Manager-ARM, Waipuna

Ralph Shumway got his first experience looking after a diverse group of creatures at a young age. And while that experience doesn’t relate exactly to managing a condominium, there seems some sort of parallel with the menagerie he cared for at an exotic animal farm. “There were wallabies, pygmy goats, exotic birds, a breed of cattle called Dexter—a lot of miniature breeds—and 12 dogs,” Shumway says of the farm in rural Northern California. And if he ever needs to “ride herd” at a board meeting to keep things moving along, well, he has experience in that, too: “My grandfather had a cattle ranch where I worked during summers. Real cowboy stuff. I had my own horse.” Zoological analogies, of course, go only so far. As Shumway has learned in

When did Waipuna open? Christmas of 1971.

Number of units: 407 units, almost all two- and three-bedroom apartment homes, with around 900 residents. We’re 70% owner-occupants. About 15% are snowbirds.

Amenities: Very large library, community bathrooms/showers/dry saunas, fitness room, putting green and driving net, squash court, heated swimming pool, paddle tennis court, gas barbecues, pavilion with tables/chairs/ complete kitchen facilities, huge private pond with a Japanese-style tea house. Management company affiliation: Hawaiiana Management Co. Advantages of living on property: I am a residing manager. The best thing is the commute to work—a five-second elevator ride.

29 years as a building manager—the last 20 at Waipuna—it’s all about “the human factor, and there’s lots of human factors.” Speaking of human factors, Shumway also got an early look into politics: “My father James was a lawyer who ran for the U.S. House of Representatives and served as Gov. Ronald Reagan’s assistant director of the California Department of Health and Human Services. “I got to see how things work behind the scenes.” Kind of like managing a condominium. On a personal level, Shumway is something of a Renaissance man who writes songs and even recorded some of them, in a closet in his unit: “I play for fun, a very amateur musician, but I am pretty decent on blues harp (harmonica). I write songs that I like but nobody else does.”

How many board members and how often do you meet? We have a nine-member board that meets once a month.

Staff: Eleven full-time employees plus six contracted security guards every day. When did you start at Waipuna? I began in April of 2000—just had my 20-year anniversary.

That’s a long tenure in this town. Surely you must have had offers to move. I believe in loyalty. When I first came to Waipuna, it was pretty settled. Quite a few older residents and retired military. Over the years the makeup changed and became more diverse. I’m 20 years older, and so is the building. That presents greater challenges, which I enjoy. And you form relationships. 11

Previous building management experience? I started this career with a mid-rise in Makiki. I also opened new properties in Seattle and Kailua-Kona.

How did you begin in the industry? My wife and I answered an ad in The Advertiser, met with the property manager (who remains a close friend of the family), and the rest is history.

Schooling? I hold a bachelor of arts degree in humanities from the University of the Pacific. What do you like about property management? There is never a dull moment. When you think you’ve seen it all, something comes along and you say, “I never saw that coming!”

Most important qualities for a building manager: This profession

Ralph Shumway playing his blues harp (harmonica)

requires brain power and the ability to solve unsolvable problems. Patience is a must. One must have an ego-less response to unjustified verbal attacks by unreasonable residents. And, most importantly, one must have the drive

to continually expand what you do for your community. Sometimes you have to deal with deaths, even suicides, and you have to be the captain of the ship for everyone else and then deal with your own grief later.

How has the coronavirus changed your operations? This epidemic has choked normal operations. Since the beginning, our staff has continually disinfected main door knobs, elevator buttons, etc. Keeping social distancing between employees has been particularly challenging. Dealing with residents, some paranoid of contracting the disease and some who ignore all mandates, have made scheduling difficult. Plus, some of our planned major projects have been delayed or put on hold.

You’ve been a leader in changing the perception and performance of condo managers. Why? There are very few more frustrating jobs than being a resident manager. You get hit from all sides. I’ve tried to elevate the building manager profession. We’re not just janitors. ❖

Raising the Management Bar Ralph Shumway has been quite involved over the years in elevating the building management community. Here is a sampling of those activities: • Frequent guest speaker at HCCA seminars, public forums and property management company education seminars. Subjects included establishing emergency operating procedures, documentation fundamentals, cutting operation costs, establishing standard operating procedures, safety and risk management protocols. • Produced many of the IREM RES 201 classes (ARM accreditation qualification class). These multi-day classes were primarily instructed by Brian Thomas. • Produced monthly educational seminars for the Hawaii ARM Committee of IREM for two years as chairperson. • Frequent contributor to Building Management Hawaii


(many articles were written anonymously), including the “Dear RM” column. • Developed, produced and taught “RM Boot Camp” educational seminars. The first “camp” was presented in conjunction with Hawaiiana Management. Later, half-day seminars were produced and conducted completely by Shumway without management or company support. • Wrote “The Fundamentals of Residential Management: a Primer.” It’s a simple introduction to site management and reference source that covers such topics as preservation of property values, physical maintenance, rule enforcement and establishing standard operating procedures. • Heavily involved in the fire sprinkler retrofitting law evolution following the Marco Polo fire (including public speaking, testimony and advising public officials).

Late Fees Continued from page 8

in delinquencies, so far. There are a small number of communities that have experienced a larger impact, but overall maintenance fee receipts have remained strong.

As the economic shutdown/ slowdown drags on, is the problem increasing? Or have recovery funds from the government helped? The funds have very likely helped. However, we are concerned that as the individual relief provided by the Economic Impact Payments and the $600 federal unemployment compensation boost expires, we will begin to see an increased impact to our association clients. We continue to work with our association clients closely to monitor delinquency rates and look for other financial pressures on their budget. It is critical at all times, and especially now, to know the financial health of your association. As we move into the budget season for most of our association clients, we are encouraging a thoughtful approach to financial planning and what that means for the coming year. We need to think carefully about how budget changes will affect owners, especially when it comes to discretionary expenditures that may not be core to the operation of the association.

Michael J. Gordon Vice President/ Senior Property Manager, Hawaiian Properties Michael J. Gordon How much of a problem have late/delinquent fee payments been for your properties? Some board members, sympathetic to the circumstances of owners directly impacted by the economic crisis, advocated for waiving maintenance fees. We have advised against this. Despite the crisis, common expenses have not reduced and the

association’s obligation to pay them remains unchanged. Some owners argue that because boards have closed the use of pools and other amenities, in order to comply with city and state orders, they should not be required to pay their maintenance fees, due to the loss of their use of said amenities. The fact is, utilities remain on. Trash is still being removed. The staff is still on the job. For the most part, the contractual maintenance of property components, to include those amenities despite being closed for use, are still being serviced. Waiving,

forgiving the owner’s obligation to pay their contribution to these common expenses will only create a detriment to the financial health of an association. To provide some relief, without sacrificing diligence, we have assisted boards with creating provisions for payment plans (that conform to statutory requirements) and criteria for other relief measures, such as forgiving late charges and lightening collection measures, ensuring that any recommended measure does not compromise the welfare and obligations of the association. ❖

Pandemic Impacting Tenants Honolulu Realtors survey reveals hardships in paying rent

Almost 40% of Oahu realtors report having tenants unable to pay their rent in June, according to a survey from the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Similarly, 44% of respondents said they have tenants who asked for a payment plan, and 46% had tenants who asked for a discount or rent reduction. “While the state’s protections for renters and assistance for homeowners has worked well, we know many people will continue to face financial hardship as a result of the pandemic,” said Suzanne Young, CEO of the Honolulu Board of Realtors. “The situation is especially difficult for renters, and we must start finding solutions to ensure people don’t need to worry about having a place to call home.” The Honolulu Board of Realtors’ latest rentals and property management flash survey—conducted June 17-22—asked members about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the rental market on Oahu. Among the results: • 14% of respondents cited having rental property owners who asked lenders for forbearance or deferral. • 16% said tenants expressed difficulty in seeking out rental assistance programs. • 45% anticipated July will be about the same in terms of tenants’ ability to pay rent. “Communication between tenants and landlords is critical,” said Tricia Nekota, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors. “Having candid conversations, being compassionate and exploring all options will help us all get through this challenging time together.” Resources for rental assistance for tenants, landlords and homeowners are available online at 13

The SuperBlock


Founded 15 years ago, the casual association of condo managers has had a positive effect on building managers and their profession BY DUANE KOMINE, RON KOMINE and DAVIE FELIPE

Editor’s note: Prompted by questions from BMH, the three founders of the condominium managers association, known as the SuperBlock, tell the story of how the revolutionary organization came to be, and how in just 15 years it has had such a positive effect on building management in Hawaii. Duane Komine is general manager at Hokua, brother Ron Komine is GM at 1350 Ala Moana and Davie Felipe is GM at Anaha.

Simone Komine Photography 14 BUILDING MANAGEMENT HAWAII | AUGUST 2020

How did Duane, Ron and Davie manner. In fact, many managers were competitive with each other. Sharing first meet, where were you of information was not the norm. working at that time, and do you recall your first impression What was the relationship of the other guy? between hospitality and condos Duane, who was working at Nauru, at that time? and Ron, who was managing Banyan Tree Plaza, were delighted to meet Davie, who was the safety and security director at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider and Princess Kaiulani hotels. Davie had been with Sheraton for over 17 years and was the newly appointed president of the Hawaii Hotel Security Association. We met at an HHSA meeting in 2005. Davie recalls his first impression of the Komines was that “these guys could not be brothers! They were polar opposites, but they were in the same industry and shared the same message.” A few months later, after encouragement from Duane and Ron, Davie accepted a position at Oahu’s first five-star full-service luxury resort condominium, Nauru, as operations manager. Duane was impressed with Davie’s wealth of hotel industry experience, his hospitality demeanor and his infectious integrity.

How has your friendship grown? Beyond our challenging goals to provide a unique environment and community, as friends and ironically drummers, Duane and Davie both understood one thing together, which was God is in control.

How would you describe the relationship between different condominiums and managers then? While industry organizations such as IREM, CAI and MRMA are great resources for education and personal development, their structures were not necessarily set up to allow managers the opportunity to sit down and hold a roundtable where each manager could discuss their current building projects, ask for recommendations and share information in a timely

In 2005, there were few condominiums that provided full-service resort-style hospitality services to residents. Most condominiums focused on the basics of registering residents, maintaining the building structure and providing security. Hokua aimed to bridge that gap by creating the position of Residential Specialists and providing services such as valet, party setup, parcel delivery, bell assists and much more to our residents. The address “1288 Ala Moana” (Hokua) became the benchmark that would change our industry henceforth.

What prompted you to bring all these managers together? We felt there was a need in the industry to have a forum in place to share information and create camaraderie among managers. Davie, Ron, Duane and Robert Allman brainstormed and decided to form an informal group consisting of veteran managers of comparable buildings where we could bring in speakers and hold a roundtable discussion. It was also a way to bring in community leaders to speak about new project developments and emerging trends such as EV charging stations and emergency management procedures.

What was your initial goal for the group? The initial goal was to foster more cooperation among managers by holding a monthly brown bag meeting at which managers would discuss current events and issues affecting their buildings. Managers would also be able to invite highly sought-after vendors such as SageWater, National Heat Exchange, Aloha Charge EV, MD Restoration and more to the group to discuss their products and services.

The Advantages of Membership SuperBlock participants reveal what the group has meant for their buildings and their careers

Mike Baker

General Manager, The Collection I’ve been part of the SuperBlock network for nine years. It’s been invaluable for networking with Mike Baker the most successful and experienced managers, support teams, vendors in Hawaii. One time I called Roy Bumgarner, manager of The Watermark, and asked for correspondence about their PPA-PV system agreement and house rules items. More recently, I inquired with Duane Komine about drone flights for exterior elevation building investigations. In both cases, the material, advice and contact information given worked out very well from a cost perspective and made sense from an efficiency standpoint. I’ve been contacted by SuperBlock managers to view a PV system I spearheaded, as well as common area décor, security access systems and mechanical equipment. The SuperBlock has had an impact on my career. Knowing you can send an inquiry via email network to the most experienced managers and get professional advice you can count on, direction and answers to your questions is absolutely magnificent. With the SuperBlock, there is always a manager out there who has dealt with any problem, procedure, mechanical failure, exterior issues, house rules, financial planning and other time-consuming aspects of condo management. The networking aspect of the group is simply priceless. See Advantage on page 17 15

Was there any resistance? At first there was some resistance about sharing building policies and information considered proprietary, but we found that sharing information was overall more beneficial.

Where was the first meeting and how many people showed up?

How many members do you have now? How often do you meet? The SuperBlock is currently comprised of 27 comparable condominiums: 1350 Ala Moana, Ae‘o, Allure Waikiki, Anaha, Beach Villas at Ko‘olina, Capitol Place, Discovery Bay, Hawaii Kai Peninsula, Hokua, Imperial Plaza, Kalele Kai, Ke Kilohana, Keauhou Place, Keola Lai, Ko‘olani, Marco Polo, Nauru Tower, One Ala Moana, Pacifica Honolulu, Park Lane Ala Moana, Symphony, The Collection Honolulu, Trump Waikiki, Uraku Tower, Waiea, Waihonua and the Waikele Community Association. The SuperBlock generally meets in person for a lunch meeting every other month, but is on hold until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Maintenance Matters

Nathalie Walker

The first SuperBlock meeting was held on Feb. 24, 2010, at Hokua by invitation and attended by 10 managers. It was so refreshing and well-received.

Front: Duane Komine, Back: (L-R) Ron Komine and Davie Felipe

How has the group evolved, and how is the industry changed because of SuperBlock? Over the past 10 years, the SuperBlock has grown to incorporate more managers and their teams as new buildings open. With more participants the knowledge base grows. We have also focused on continuing education, career opportunities and ensuring competitive salaries.

We’ve heard multiple members say that they can call any other member any time for help/advice. Do you have any experience with that? The SuperBlock community acts as an instant resource for managers seeking recommendations or advice in several ways. Managers contact our SuperBlock coordinator, who disperses it to the group. Responses are immediate and the information can benefit all managers. Examples have included polling managers to find out their preferred temperatures for pools and Jacuzzis, requesting building policies concerning drones and cigarettes, and sharing vendor recommendations.

Looking back, what are you most proud of?

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Proud isn’t the word we would use, but we were able to play an integral part in establishing an open and free network of sharing best practices in the true sense of aloha. The SuperBlock has strengthened the profession of general managers and residential managers in the industry in Hawaii. As a result, members of other formal industry organizations like IREM, CAI and MRMA have become better informed and have more resources, and in turn become more valuable to their buildings. Condominium hospitality culture has evolved into a “work, live, play” environment while enhancing the community at large.

Plans/hopes for SuperBlock’s future? Our plans for SuperBlock are to continue sharing information and creating an environment where managers can use each other as resources. We also want to be able to pass this legacy on to the younger generations coming through the ranks. One team, one goal!! ❖

Advantage Continued from page 15

Fernando Bastos

General Manager, Keola La’i I’ve been part of the SuperBlock since 2010. Managing a luxury skyrise condominium is a position Fernando Bastos that requires great responsibility. Some of these associations are worth more than half a billion dollars. In a sense, we are financial asset managers. However, even more important are the residents’ expectations of safety, comfort and overall well-being of the place they live. The greatest advantage to the membership is the networking with other buildings with a similar high profile. The collaborative experience of these managers is extremely valuable to enhance the overall value of the association and the well-being of the residents. I call another SuperBlock member to ask about an issue on a monthly basis.

For example, I had a question regarding power-conditioning. Dennis Maher from Trump Waikiki was able to provide the guidance I was seeking. His building was the first to adopt this technology, so I was able to learn from his experience. At the same time, I became known to have expertise on emergency preparedness, sustainability and smart buildings, and had the pleasure of providing guidance on these topics to several other managers. The nature of our work requires constant improvement and learning. The SuperBlock is a perfect venue for helping members to be better professionals. As a result they are in high demand.

Leland Nye General Manager, Allure Waikiki I joined in the summer of 2014, when I

Leland Nye

became a building manager in Kaakako. There are two huge advantages of SuperBlock membership. First, learning about new companies. Duane always has guest speakers at each meeting to share information about a service or product. I have built great relationships with those vendors and learned so much from them. Second, sharing information between building managers. I have learned so much from fellow managers in the SuperBlock. There have been so many times, but the most helpful was the recommendation of a good wood re-finishing company. The company does not advertise and only does “word-of-mouth” referrals. I have used that same wood refinishing company on three different projects and each has exceeded my expectations. I would have never known about the company if not for the SuperBlock, I also get calls, the most recent questions were regarding the pandemic. The SuperBlock opened my eyes to Allure Waikiki over four years ago. I applied and


Service Integrity Commitment *the standard by which all others are measured Serving Hawaii’s Condominum Associations Since 1990 Locally Owned & Operated 680 Iwilei Road Suite 777 • Honolulu Hawaii 96817 (808) 566-4100 • 17

was hired. Allure Waikiki is an amazing building and I am very grateful to be here. I would not have known about the opening if not for the SuperBlock. It has changed my life for the better.

Valorie Lambert General Manager, Nauru Tower I’ve been a part of the SuperBlock for almost a year, and quickly learned that the greatest advantage of membership Valorie Lambert is the brain trust that is the SuperBlock. Managing a luxury high-rise has many situations and issues not shared by other properties, so even with almost 20 years in the AOAO management field it is nice to be able to brainstorm with another general manager. I have reached out for referrals when looking for the best

contractor or to find out how other properties are handling the COVID-19 virus and any common area shutdowns, as well as what others are paying employees, sharing info on preparing for a big event like a marathon or a protest march that is happening in the vicinity of our tower. Most of all, you have an immediate friend/peer who understands the uniqueness of managing a tower in the SuperBlock who is just a call, email, visit or lunch away. And I’ve gotten calls, too, related to vendor questions and COVID-19 shutdowns. This has been a positive, and definitely is a resume enhancer.

Michael Ako General Manager, Beach Villas at Ko Olina I’d heard about the SuperBlock and was

Michael Ako

happy when Duane Komine invited me to join two years ago. I appreciate networking with other condo managers and vendors and having a great exchange of information. I’ve called Duane to discuss the range in maintenance fees per square foot in luxury condos, Davie Felipe at Anaha to discuss COVID-19 protocols and the opening/closing of common area facilities, Bryan Liu at Waiea to discuss staffing levels and pay scale ranges. I have also toured the above condos and many more like Park Lane, One Ala Moana, Koolani, Waihonua, Nauru, Hawaiiki, A‘eo and Kalele Kai in order to get first-hand knowledge of their facilities, amenities, layout, building equipment, services and staffing. In 2019, Bill Richardson, who was then GM at One Ala Moana, brought over eight key staff members to the Beach Villas to tour our site and spend half a day with our department managers to see how we manage our areas of responsibility. Other GMs will email or call to discuss ideas, challenges, staffing and reference checks, proven and tested contractors, etc. Beach Villas at Ko Olina is my first and only condo. SuperBlock meetings and networking has been beneficial to me as a resource and to hear other luxury condo GMs speak about their projects and challenges that are occurring in town. The meetings have brought further meaning and pride to my eight-year career as a condo GM after having been a hotel GM for eight years and private club manager for 10 years.

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I’ve been part of the SuperBlock for three years. The best aspect of membership is the camaraderie. Also, the group Al Neyland provides a wealth of knowledge from years of experience in the industry and each member is willing to share. There is no competition between members; success is measured by the accomplishments of the group.

Over the years, I have discussed multiple issues with many different members. From personnel-related issues to high-end building components, you can always rely on the members to provide sound advice. With the current fluid COVID-19 environment, we often share best practices on keeping our residents and building as safe as possible. When surrounded by well-informed, industry-experienced, educated individuals who are superb leaders, it drives you to “deliver every day” in a professional way.

Benjamin Oates Jr. General Manager, Ke Kilohana I’ve been part of the SuperBlock since October 2014, thanks to Benjamin Oates Robert Allman. I really appreciate networking with fellow building managers who have a lot of different experiences in the building management industry. Kawika Keala (personnel matters) and Ron Komine (City & County matters and building code requirements ) had been my regular go-to building managers for years even prior to my joining the SuperBlock. After being hired to open Ke Kilohana, I reached out to many managers concerning amenities, trash compactors, employee starting wages and their previous openings. Some of them allowed me to even tour their buildings. Managers contacted include Davie Felipe, Ray DeSmet, Kathy Lau Best, Jose Dominquez, Ron Komine, Fernando Bastos, Jacob Roller, Al Neyland and Gerald Nakashima. Recently, I’ve been happy to take calls regarding COVID-19 shutdown procedures, temporary rules related to COVID-19 and re-openings of amenities. ❖

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Taking Advantage of

Shutdown at TRUMP

With visitor traffic slowed, management makes a quick decision on a project planned for 2021 BY DON CHAPMAN


ll buildings, even those associated with the President of the United States, need maintenance. That recently included Trump International Waikiki, a combination condominium and hotel. BMH spoke with Trump Director of Facilities Dennis Maher and Sean Dunham of Kawika’s Painting about how they executed the complex project.

Dennis Maher, Director of Facilities Trump International Waikiki Dennis Maher

Project: Spall-

ing prevention.

When did the building open? 2009.

Number of rooms: 462.

What caused this project to be undertaken? This project was bud-

When did actual work on the project begin and end? May 25 to

geted under capital reserves. This is a necessary maintenance item to prevent spalling of the parking deck, which is an open-air environment and exposed to the elements.

early July.

How did you initially respond? The project was put out to bid with specifications created by the company that provided the coating.

Did you bring in an outside consultant? No. How did you decide on a contractor to do the repairs? Each contractor selected to bid were chosen by reputation and ability to complete the project. Each contractor submitted bids based on the specifications set forth. Once submitted, each was evaluated by certain criteria: scope, timeline for completion and cost. The winning bid was submitted by Kawika’s Painting.


Cost: $482,000. Any lessons learned that other properties could benefit from? While this project was actually budgeted for 2021, we checked reserve cash balance and decided it was prudent to move the project up to 2020. This was decided as cash was available, and due to the current pandemic our building, which also has a hotel component to it, had very low occupancy which created an ideal situation to expedite the project with minimal operational interruption, thereby also reducing project costs.

Sean Dunham Kawika’s Painting Sean Dunham

Please describe the project scope and why it was necessary. The project scope consists of removal of existing vehicular traffic coating at drive lanes and ramps, installation of new heavy-duty vehicular traffic coating system at drive lanes and ramps and recoating of existing system in parking stalls. The coating was near the end of its service life, and particularly in the turning areas had already worn down to the concrete. On the upper floors the coating helps protect the most susceptible areas from water and chloride intrusion, which can lead to spalls and costly repairs in the future. While on the second floor there is occupied space below such as the hotel lobby and some retail space. Keeping those areas dry and protected to prevent damages and shutdowns is always a priority.

How did Kawika’s become involved in the project? We had already bid the scope previously for budget and it was originally on the schedule for 2021, but the management team saw this opportunity where for a short time there would be almost no cars in the parking structure and pushed it forward. With a tight timeline, and to make sure all bidders provided the same scope, they had the manufacturer’s local rep for Sika come out and write a specification and report. This made sure that once they had numbers from the contractors, they didn’t need to spend too much time asking for clarifications and having to wait for contractors to amend their pricing to get everyone apples to apples.

How many crew worked on the project? The crew size fluctuated, 5-10, depending on what step in the process the project was in, and often the crew worked six days a week.

specialists who do that work day-in and day-out helps keep the project on schedule.

What did the client do right to begin a successful project, and are there any lessons learned that other properties could benefit from? The client was well-prepared with their long-term planning and has projects in their budget scheduled so they know what they have

coming up and have budget numbers for those projects. This allowed them to act when they saw an opportunity that they could have never predicted— an empty parking garage—to quickly get the ball moving. It turned into a win-win, since it gave us work that was away from condos and townhouses that were filled with people stuck at home during working hours these last few months, and the hotel didn’t have to deal with construction inconveniences when they are occupied with guests. ❖

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A New Light on Reserve Studies


ICBI establishes new standards, procedures and software to create primarily a financial report


Reserve Studies Faciliies Advisors Hawaii Gary A. Porter, RS, FMP, CPA is a past president of CAI naaonal. We have skills in all three of the disciplines that comprise the reserve study process - no-one else does. Preparing reserve studies since 1982, with Faciliies Advisors, you get: • Experience • Quality service • Compeeeve fee structure • Easy-to-read reports • Internet-Based Sooware We wrote the book on reserve studies “Reserve Studies – The Complete Guide”

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he reserve study industry was effectively born about 40 years ago and has undergone few changes since then. Most associations give little thought to the reserve study, often treating it as a statutory obligation or just trusting that the reserve preparer knows the job and will get it right. But there have always been a number of reserve preparers who said, “We can do better than this.” Failing to gain traction inside the change-resistant mainstream, this group formed the International Capital Budgeting Institute (ICBI) in 2014 to critically examine the reserve study process and to develop standards that would provide better results. They characterized the reserve study report as a financial report, challenging the concepts of most mainstream reserve preparers that it is an engineering study, a maintenance plan, a project condition assessment or an appraisal. The reserve study is a financial projection, a budget. They also identified the three characteristics of financial documents that cause the public to have confidence in those documents: clarity, consistency and comparability, then developed standards to produce those characteristics in reserve studies. ICBI gathered 16 people from six countries, representing every stakeholder group in the community association industry to form the ICBI Standards Committee. The committee challenged the status quo by examining the reserve study process itself and the resulting reserve study report. The committee identified three skill sets representing three separate disciplines that comprise the reserve study process: component skills, valuation skills and financial skills. These skills do not overlap and it is rare that any individual will

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have high-level knowledge in all three of these disciplines. The component-centric reserve preparers that make up the majority of reserve preparers generally have high components skills but lower skills in the other two disciplines. The ICBI standards were carefully developed to build the calcu-

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lation and financial reporting requirements into the standards themselves, substantially reducing the requirement for reserve preparers to independently possess those skills. They just have to follow the standards. The ICBI standards differ from traditional standards used by many reserve preparers by giving comprehensive, professional guidance to reserve preparers. ICBI identified and adopted the principles that underlie the reserve study process and developed performance standards that preparers must follow to result in reports that provide clarity, consistency and comparability. The primary differences are: • ICBI standards have an expanded definition of activities (not just components) that should be included in the reserve study. ICBI rejected the arbitrary limitations of “predictable life” and “predictable remaining life” used by others and replaced those with “maintenance related activity” and “non-annual expenditures.” This results in removing the confusion many reserve preparers have over such items as landscape replacement, which does not have a predictable life—always allowed under ICBI standards, questionable under other standards. • ICBI standards require that all replaceable components either be included in the funding plan or disclosed as to why they are not being included in the funding plan. The biggest issue is infrastructure components such as inwall, under-slab and underground utilities (plumbing, gas, electric). Other standards specifically tell you not to include such components unless they show signs of failure—in other words, about 50 years too late. Most associations choose to

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disclose rather than fund such items, but at least members are informed of the existence of components not being funded. • ICBI standards require specific calculations including the most contentious of those, the percent-funded calculation. Given that we can document 64 variations of this calculation, there must be consistency in how reserve preparers apply the only defensible version of that calculation. • ICBI standards for reporting differs with the requirement for specific financial exhibits, specific reporting elements in those exhibits, a narrative preparer’s report, narrative disclosures that explain the assumptions used in the financial exhibits, and a supplemental exhibit meeting the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) disclosure requirements for community associations. These are all standard protocols in the accounting world that never previously made it to the reserve study world. • ICBI standards require the use of software that has been certified under objective testing protocols to meet the ICBI software calculation and reporting requirements. This is the most controversial of the ICBI requirements, but is a requirement that is inflexible. If software has not been tested for consistency and integrity, it cannot be relied upon for accurate reporting. All ICBI members must follow the same basic reporting format but are allowed to add any additional financial exhibits they deem helpful to understand the reserve study. The basic reporting format is limited to six financial exhibits produced on a summary level, generally category or location, such that most of these exhibits are limited to one or two pages only. The goal of the reserve study report is to communicate actionable information, not bury the reader of the report in hundreds of pages of detail. Supplemental schedules issued separately from the primary report are encouraged to provide component-level detail information. The result for the community association industry is that reserve study reports issued by ICBI members will all be very similar while meeting the reporting goals of clarity, consistency and comparability. You can only get that from ICBI members. Will their reports differ? Certainly, as different professional judgments are applied to component maintenance activities, pricing of components and modeling the financial plan. The future of reserve studies started with the formation of ICBI in 2014 and the issuance of ICBI’s Generally Accepted Reserve Study Principles and Generally Accepted Reserve Study Standards in 2015. A growing number of reserve study companies are continuing to join ICBI. ❖ Gary Porter is the president of ICBI. He is also CEO of Facilities Advisors International, which has offices nationwide, including in Hawaii. He has been published or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Money, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, CAI’s Common Ground and Ledger Quarterly. He is the coauthor of Reserve Studies: The Complete Guide, CPA’s Guide to Homeowners Associations, Homeowners Association Tax Library and more than 400 articles. Porter is a past national president of CAI and is a member of 12 CAI chapters, including Hawaii. Reach him at

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Vinyl Windows and Doors Rise to the Occasion


Premium vinyl-framed windows are the perfect fit for high-rise buildings and condominiums


hen we started manufacturing vinyl windows in Hawaii in 1990, we were not all that surprised that there was a need to educate people about the benefits of these “new” vinyl-framed windows and doors that we were bringing to the industry. Even though they had already been a proven building material throughout Europe and the Mainland for decades, we knew that vinyl-framed windows were still an underutilized building material in Hawaii. What does surprise us today, however, is that after 30 years of education, manufacturing and installing windows, we still run into building industry professionals who believe the outdated myth that vinyl windows and doors cannot be installed in high-rise buildings. While that may be true of lower-end, mass-produced products, there are many grades of vinyl windows available. Premium vinyl windows and doors that are custom manufactured to your exact specifications are not only acceptable, they are a significantly better building material.

Why Vinyl? Windows and doors are one of the most complex—and most expensive— components of the building envelope. They are also one of the largest contributing factors when it comes to energy loss and, all too often, costly spall repair. Therefore, the quality of the products you choose, along with the materials that they are made of, determines how effectively the building is insulated against air, water, heat, light and noise transfer. The significant benefit of using vinyl windows in high-rise and commercial building applications


After is their unique blend of energy efficiency, insulating properties, durability, design flexibility, ease of maintenance and superior value. Changes in the International Building Codes (IBC) have resulted in an increasing demand for higher performance standards.

Mass Produced vs. Custom Manufactured As with most building materials, when choosing vinyl windows that will last, quality matters. Mass-production stock windows are created in large quantities of common window sizes, in


a short amount of time. It is important to keep in mind that stock windows will not necessarily fit into stock-sized openings due to fluctuations in the way walls are built and shifting that can occur as a building ages. In addition, many mass-produced vinyl windows are often made with lower-grade materials, adversely affecting their performance and longevity. This lower-grade vinyl can warp, bend or otherwise fail to perform in just a few years. As a result, they are usually only rated for low-rise residential use. Customized design and manufac-

turing allows for slow and steady production of products tailored to the specific space and needs of the building in which they will be installed. Custom vinyl windows are made-to-order to fit your window openings perfectly, providing greater energy efficiency and superior air and water seal. Because they are made one at a time, custom manufacturers have much greater control over quality. These premium vinyl windows and doors are capable of achieving a much higher, commercial rating. It also is important to be aware that installation costs may be higher with mass-produced windows than with custom, since modifications are likely needed in order for the window to accommodate the opening properly.

Vinyl vs. Aluminum Windows As stated previously, it is a myth that aluminum windows are required for high-rise buildings and condos in Hawaii. A premium vinyl window can provide the proven energy efficiency of vinyl with the structural integrity previously only associated with aluminum.

Energy Efficiency Premium vinyl windows on the market today are more energy-efficient and provide the cost savings you expect when investing in new windows. Vinyl is a natural thermal insulator, and does not transfer heat easily, like metal. Vinyl windows help regulate the internal temperature of the home, which allows the HVAC system to work less. Aluminum windows are not as energy-efficient. Aluminum is actually a heat conductor. It allows more heat to penetrate through the windows, which will heat a room and cause the HVAC system to work harder. In addition, if the interior of the home is substantially cooler than the outside, condensation can form on the windows and lead to other issues such as mold and rust. In closing, the benefits of vinyl windows are no longer limited to low-rise residential projects. ❖

Pam Barrett is the marketing director for Coastal Windows, a locally owned, second-generation family business manufacturing premium windows and doors in Hawaii since 1990. Coastal Windows is an insured and BC-licensed specialty contractor and installer. For more information: or 676-0529.




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A New Generation of Windows Modern windows provide sound reduction, heat reduction and protection against hurricane wind loads


y condo is so hot in the afternoon

sun.” “The trash truck is so loud in the mornings, even with the windows closed.” “My windows always leak when it rains.” Sound familiar? These common complaints are stressors we often hear about from owners who are in need of new windows. The good news is that today’s generation of windows provides vast improvements to sound reduction and protection against the elements, including heat reduction and hurricane wind loads. The Mount Terrace condominium in Hawaii Kai is one of the most recently upgraded buildings to enjoy the benefits of today’s generation of windows. Featuring dual-pane insulated glass, anodized aluminum frames, high-quality stainless steel fasteners and hardware, and high-quality commercial grade sealants, it is the prime example of what today’s new windows can do for owners and associations. Or as one original unit owner put it: “My apartment used to reach 96 degrees in the morning. Now it doesn’t get any warmer than 72 degrees!” It’s all thanks to dual-pane insulated glass. The most noticeable differences owners talk about after new windows are installed is how cool and quiet their unit is compared to before. New

dual-pane tempered glass with low-E coating not only meets Oahu’s energy code requirements, but assists in creating a quiet and energy-efficient unit by dramatically cutting down on street noise and thermal heat transmission. The glass also helps reduce solar transmission, thereby preventing ultraviolet rays from negatively affecting the temperature in a unit and destroying personal belongings, including flooring, furniture and drapery. With less energy required to cool down the unit on warm days, and greater protection provided to personal belongings, owners save money while enjoying the peace of their condo without the interference of blaring sirens and morning traffic. With Hawaii’s hurricane season in full swing, having peace of mind that



your windows can provide protection against those dangerous winds makes all the difference. New windows must go through wind-load testing, so owners who are equipped with that data no longer have to wonder how much their windows can withstand during severe weather. Make sure your contractor provides wind-load testing data before agreeing to any new window and door installations. Buildings with windows 25 years or older featured thin frames made of either steel or aluminum that are unable to withstand current wind-load testing standards. Modern heavy-profile aluminum frames meet Oahu’s current strict building codes and feature a high-grade commercial finish that requires minimal maintenance and has a proven long life in coastal areas. Anodized finishes provide the greatest color retention and resistance to corrosion. The high-quality stainless steel hardware and fasteners used to assemble the window frames ensure corrosion resistance and prevent rust from affecting the strength and operation of the window. Gone are the days when low-quality steel rollers are frozen and no longer slide. Deterioration of caulking and sealants are commonly the leading cause of leaks during heavy rains. The high-qual-

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Hawaii’s DuctCLEANING cleaning HAWAII’S DUCT Hawaii’s Duct cleaning Professionsals PROFESSIONALS Professionsals Professionsals ity commercial-grade sealants used to install new windows provide long warranties, giving owners peace of mind that they no longer have to worry about water leaking into their units. With all the benefits new commercial-grade windows can provide, associations and owners are encouraged to review the condition of their windows and determine if it is time for replacement. Not only are old windows a safety hazard, but upgraded windows can greatly help improve quality of life. ❖ Kim Piercy is a project manager at Elite Railings & Windows, a supplier and installer of aluminum railings and windows for condominium and commercial installations. She works alongside architects, engineers and consultants to help the company remain at the forefront of technology by utilizing state-of-the-art products, material and techniques. Reach her at Elite Railings & Windows at 842-7245 or

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Gate Safety Is Boring Until It’s Not


Two scenarios demonstrate the need to be compliant with new federal safety regulations


cenario A: A child is playing with a ball in your parking lot. As he follows the bouncing ball through your closing gate, what will happen? Is there risk of the child being crushed, trapped between the gate and the post? Perhaps suffering a broken limb or even dying? Did you as the building manager or owner know the risk existed? What could you have done to prevent it? Scenario B: A car attempts to “tailgate” through your secure opening as the door/grill is rolling down. What will happen? Will the car strike your grill, causing damage to both car and grill? Will your parking be unsecured for hours or even weeks as you wait for repair parts? Will you have to defend yourself from an improperly filed lawsuit


over property damages to the car? What could you have done to prevent it? As federal standards and expectations that property management will protect their guests continue to rise, there have been some significant changes to the requirements for safety stems on rolling, swinging and sliding gates. Not keeping up with these standards may open you up to lawsuits, but more importantly could cause severe injury or death. UL325 contains the latest safety requirements. Please see a professional to be sure you are up-to-date. This summary will allow you to take a quick look to see if you are safe or need help. Every commercial gate and door operator that is currently UL-listed comes with a current sensor to stop the operator and (possibly) reverse it if the motor experiences a current jump due to being obstructed. This is required on new motors, but not on older units installed before Aug. 1, 2018, which should be inspected to ensure they are safe for use. Since 8/1/18, gates have required protection at every entrapment point—anywhere a person could be wedged between a sliding or swinging gate and a solid object. This can be a safety edge (which provides protection only after contact is made) or safety eyes (that reverse the gate when an infrared beam is interrupted, mounted low enough to protect a fallen person, not the bumper of a car). On new installations this safety must be “fail-safe,” meaning if the safety breaks, the door/gate will not operate in a closing direction. • Each gate shall be built so a 4-inch disk cannot pass through the gate at any point, protecting people from being dragged by a moving gate they have their head through. • There cannot be pedestrian access through any moving gate. • No gate may move at more than one foot per second. The classification of the building (garage or parking area with four stalls or less, commercial use, industrial use or guarded industrial use) determines the appropriate type and number of safety requirements. What about old gates? If they were built to the code in force when installed, older units may be repaired without requiring replacement. But if, in a technician’s professional judgment, the gate is unsafe, a summary of the existing unsafe condition and a proposal for immediate repair should be provided. At the direction of

the property owner/manager, the gate or door should be left immobile until safe. Management should be informed and immediate modifications made to protect users. All of this makes sense as we seek to protect our residents and guests from any foreseeable harm. Now let’s play those scenarios again. Scenario A: A child’s ball rolls through the gate as it is closing and the child, running behind the ball, trips and falls into the path of the gate. The gate safety eyes are interrupted and the gate immediately stops and reverses to the fully open position, staying there until the child is safely gone.

Scenario B: A car attempts to “tailgate” through your secure opening as the door/grill is rolling down. The safety eyes pick up the tire breaking the beam and stops the gate in time for the car to miss hitting your door. A small investment in safety today will help prevent suffering—both human and financial—for years to come. Act now to see if your security gates and doors are up-to-date, then schedule a time for a professional to inspect and give you a report on the current condition. You’ll be glad you did, and the people you serve will thank you. ❖ Peter Eldridge has been in the gate and garage door business since high school days. His company, Raynor Hawaii has been here for over 30 years. A board member of both the Hawaii Building Industry Association and the Honolulu Executives Association, he enjoys helping people solve complex problems related to security and access. Reach him at 676-3667 or

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AU T H O R I Z E D D E A L E R 33




A Look at City’s Bulky Item Pick-up Program New appointment system is having an adverse effect on condo associations


ffective July 1, new rules for bulky item pick-ups under an appointment system went into effect. Those rules include the following: • Each address may have only one appointment per month, except in Waikiki where weekly pick-ups are allowed. • For multi-unit residential buildings, the default option is that each individual unit can make its own appointment for pick-up of up to five bulky items or two metal appliances per month. Buildings can opt out of the default by having a property or resident manager manage and schedule appointments for the entire building, limiting the total amount of items to 20 bulky items or eight metal appliances per appointment. Separate appointments must be made for bulky item and metal appliances because the trucks used to haul away those items differ. Buildings must select one of these options. They cannot use both. To opt out, a property or resident manager needs to contact the City’s Refuse Division at or call 768-3200 and press “0.” • When calling in an appointment or scheduling an appointment through your site or resident manager, you need to provide a description and quantity of the items to be picked up. Collection crews will only pick up items declared in the appointment call. • Leave items curbside no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before pick-up. • Items not declared in the appointment call will be left behind. Meaning that if someone dumps items on your frontage and you can identify them (not likely unless you have working cameras or 24/7 guard service), city refuse inspectors will take action

to have those items removed by the culprit. Practically speaking, unless you can identify the “culprit,” your association will be responsible for disposing of the items or to store them until the next monthly pick-up, or pay a fine of $250 per violation. • The city website for detailed information is • The city’s program emphasizes two concepts to minimize waste: “reduce” and “re-use.”

Reduce. Buy less and use less so there is less waste. Opt out of phonebooks, catalogs and junk mail. Go to and click on “waste prevention.” Re-use. Consider re-use options before disposal. has the names, contact information and dropoff locations for organizations that will accept used household items—and some will even pick-up. Many of these organization are charities, so you can get a tax deduction for the items you give away. One of the major concerns expressed by condo residents about the new program is that the city will only pick up items that are declared when an appointment is made. But what has been happening is that when items appear on the sidewalk for pick-up, neighboring residents will add their items to the pile without calling in for an appointment. And that will result in items being left on the sidewalk for the association to dispose of at a later time. For example, if a resident calls for an appointment to pick up a mattress and a dresser and then places the two items on the sidewalk for pick-up the evening before the appointment, another resident sees the items and, without calling in an appointment, leaves his mattress on the sidewalk. The next day when


the city truck arrives for the pick-up, it will only take one mattress (and leave the second mattress on the sidewalk) because only one mattress was called in when the appointment was made. This has resulted in residents placing Postits on the items called in to make sure they will be picked up. The city contends that its appointment system is more efficient because there is only a one- to two-day lag—under the old system, the City had four days to complete a bulky item pick-up. Those of us who live in condos, however, know that one or two days of items on the sidewalk is an open invitation to anyone who sees the “pile” to add their own items without calling for an appointment. This causes the association to become the “caretaker” of the items illegally disposed of on the sidewalk fronting their buildings, and in some cases the association becomes the entity responsible for policing any violations on their properties because the city will fine them for any violations. Another concern expressed by site managers who manage multiple properties is that they cannot use the same computer to do online appointments for different projects because the city’s software recognizes their computer and will not allow a second appointment to be made from that computer. This concern has been reported to the city and it is working to find a solution since there are many managers who manage multiple properties. To express your concern or to provide feedback on the new system, call the city at 768-3485. ❖ Jane Sugimura is a Honolulu attorney specializing in condo law. Reach her at




Differences Between AOAO and Unit Owner Policies Why boards, owners need to understand exactly who covers what when damage occurs Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series about condominium associations and insurance issues.


ost condominium association and individual unit policies designate the condominium association coverage as primary for building damage losses over individual unit owner policies. When damage loss occurs at a covered building, the condominium association insurance will take precedence for the loss over all other individual condominium unit owner policies covering the same type of loss and building property, subject to the association policy’s deductible, limits and exclusions. The condominium association policy usually covers common areas of the association and “as built” building damage of individual units. Some condominium association policies may cover improved building property of individual units, so unit owners need to verify the extent of the condominium association building coverage with their association representatives. Examples of “as built” building property may include the original carpet flooring or particle board cabinets of a unit when it was first constructed. Examples of improved or upgraded building property would be an individual unit owner changing the “as built” carpet flooring to ceramic tile or replacement of the original particle board cabinets with solid wood cabinets. The condominium association policy will likely only indemnify for the original building construction material and labor costs following a covered loss. The individual unit owner policy can provide coverage for both “as built” building damage and upgrad-

ed building material costs, including additional labor charges that may be required for the upgraded material installation above the costs to install the “as built” original building construction and design. Condominium association policies in Hawaii are often referred to as “master policies” by associations, property managers, insurers and insurance agents. Personal property of unit owners or occupants are not covered under the master policy. Most master policies will not cover building upgrades or improvements within a unit and likely will not cover additional living expenses, such as lodging or increased meal expenses, or loss of rents that may result from a covered building property loss. Coverage for personal property, additional living expenses or loss of rents of individual unit owners or occupants

may be covered under individual unit owner or renters’ policies.

Insurance deductible assessments Most master policies carry large deductibles applicable to building property claims. The individual unit owner policies will likely have building coverage provisions or separate lines of coverage that can cover the master policy deductible, where a portion or the full amount of the master policy deductible is assessed to an individual unit owner, all unit owners or unit owners receiving building damage insurance benefits for a covered loss. These deductible assessments are usually levied on condominium unit owners once master policy claims are filed and processed. Assessments are often made after the condominium association receives building damage in- 35



surance benefits under the master policy claim and disburses these benefits. It is important that individual unit owners subject to building damage loss or facing potential insurance assessments notify their carriers as soon as possible for processing of building property benefits that may not be covered under the master policy, and handling of pending deductible assessment claims. Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 514B-143, addresses insurance regulations applicable to condominium associations, and recourse the condominium associations have in procuring condominium unit insurance for non-complying owners, assessment of premiums and application of master policy deductibles following an insurance covered loss. Assuming that a condominium unit owner does not choose to self-insure or is required by the condominium governing documents to procure insurance covering his or her own unit, the unit owner should consider obtaining suf-

ficient amounts of insurance to cover the master policy deductible and the costs for replacement of the improved or upgraded building property, should the building property sustain a loss covered under insurance. The condominium association governing documents may specifically require that an individual unit owner obtain at least enough building coverage or specific loss assessment coverage to cover the full amount of the master policy deductible.

What to do if you have a loss that may be covered by condominium insurance? The condominium association has statutory and fiduciary duties to association members to procure insurance

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to address building property damage that may result from covered losses and certain perils. Following a loss, the condominium association should take steps to mitigate further damage to covered building property and notify the condominium association insurer immediately of the loss and administer the insurance claim as required under the condominium statutes, association governing documents and provisions of the master policy. It is often assumed that a loss must originate from a common element or operations of the association, and that there must be damage to common elements in order to invoke coverage under the master policy. Master policies, however, will cover building damage as defined under the policies due to direct physical loss or named perils regardless of the loss origin, subject to applicable exclusions. Establishing liability on the condominium association or individual unit owners is not necessary to invoke building damage coverage under the master policy. The cause of loss and resulting damage need only to meet the insuring agreements of the master policy in order to extend the master policy building coverage. Individual owners of condominium units subject to a building property loss should take immediate steps to mitigate damages to their own unit, contact and inform the appropriate representatives of the condominium association of the loss as soon as possible, and immediately notify their own condominium unit insurance carrier of the loss for claim processing. Condominium unit owner insurers are expected to coordinate handling of their claims with the condoSee AOAO on page 38



CORNER Condo News May, and the project’s bank declined to authorize further payment for construction.

Virus Slows Condo Project There’s nothing the clever coronavirus can’t infect, it appears, including the Kakaako skyline. Complications of COVID-19 are listed as a major reason for the delay in construction of a planned 42-story condominium at the corner of Halekauwila and Keawe streets, to be called Ililani. So says project developer Ken Chang, who broke ground last October. Following a public lottery in which 564 applicants sought to buy 165 “moderate-priced” one- and two-bedroom condos, with 163 more two-bedroom units priced at “market,” Chang began signing up new owners in February. Enter the virus, and with an uncertain future, many would-be buyers grew wary of signing purchase contracts. Less than a third of the building had been sold by

Chang, a local architect, told local media he has hopes of bringing the project to fruition with a combination of measures that include increasing the number of moderately-priced units, adding an extra floor of parking and seeking waivers for paying state general excise tax on construction and city water and wastewater connection fees, totaling about $6.5 million. That would not offset costs of about $7.5 million incurred by reducing market-priced units and construction delays, but would allow the project to move forward, with construction beginning in early 2021.

Vertical School Still on Hold Another Kakaako project is also on hold—the long-anticipated vertical schoolhouse at 609 Pohukaina, site of the current Fisher Hawaii store. Tentatively known as Pohukaina School, it would be Hawaii’s first tower-based public school. Planned for a decade, the 10-story school was to be part of a project involving a condo tower of moderate-priced units and was originally supposed to begin construction in 2014, and then again last year. Talks are ongoing between Alaka‘i Development, the state Department of Education, the Hawaii Community

Development Authority and the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., with funding dependent on the Legislature, which recently pulled $20 million because the project is not ready for construction.

Condo Sales Fall Statewide For the second month in a row, sales of Oahu condominiums took a hit from the coronavirus in June, though not as bad as some industry observers had feared. Compared to June 2019, this year’s sales were down 34%, dropping from 473 to 312. The median price fell 2.5%, from $432,500 last year to $421,500. Sales on Neighbor Islands also were down. On Kauai, condo sales plummeted 59% from a year ago, from 41 to 17. The median price fell 11%, from $528,000 to $470,000. Big Island sales fell 48%, from 75 to 39. The median was down 5%, from $385,000 to $365,000. On Maui, condo sales were also down, 46%, from 123 to 67. The median was down 9%, from $554,000 to $503,000. The median is the price point at which half of condos sold for more and half for less. Sources include the Honolulu Board of Realtors, Kauai Board of Realtors, Realtors Association of Maui and Hawaii Island Realtors. ❖

TV Show Continued from page 4

There’s an elderly woman resident who hoards old newspapers and needs to be checked on. There’s a board member who grumbles about “fake news” and doesn’t want to spend a dime on anything. And there are hurricanes, blackouts, homeless people wandering through, elevators that get people stuck between floors, a protest march in the adjacent park, broken pipes that cause multi-floor floods, spalling falling in the barbecue area, an attempt by Ugandan hackers to get into the association’s reserve account, an unattended death on the 12th floor and somebody’s kid pooped in the pool. All the while, Bella promotes “aloha culture” with staff

and residents. As the pilot episode is winding to a close, with the sound of an ambulance siren coming closer, Bella, a former Army combat nurse, helps a resident give birth in the lobby, and just as she is handing the cooing baby to mama and the staff is cheering, Bella calmly says: “I smell smoke. Security, sound the alarm.” Fade to black. All yours, CBS. ❖ 37



AOAO Continued from page 36

CAI: Pool Policies Vary Greatly Due to Virus


dimarshall/Wikimedia Commons

significant portion of community association pools—41%—have not reopened because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 30% of communities have opened pools following a delay, according to a new report released by the Community Associations Institute (CAI). CAI, an authority in community association education, governance and management, conducted a survey of volunteer board members, community managers and other industry stakeholders from late June to early July to understand how and why community associations made decisions regarding their pools. “The question to open a community association pool has been one of the most controversial and complicated topics facing condominiums and homeowners’ associations,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAI’s chief executive officer. “Unfortunately, it’s not a one-size-fits-all model, and the decisions to open or not open are tailored to each community and specific to their unique circumstances.” According to the survey, several factors influenced the communities that did not open their pools, including fear of exposure to legal liability (58%), fear of spreading COVID-19 (50%) and attorney recommendation (48%). Communities that opened their pools reported instituting new procedures, including prohibiting guests (60%), requiring residents to sign a liability waiver (40%) and requiring residents to bring their own chairs (37%). Pool expenses related to COVID-19 are higher than budgeted in roughly 35% of communities. “Communities have to consider guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local requirements, the association’s ability to set and enforce rules, liability, resident sentiment, safety and expenses,” says Skiba. “CAI is encouraging state and federal legislators to provide limited liability protections to community associations that, after careful consideration and compliance with the appropriate government guidelines, have decided to open pools for their residents.” Some additional findings could reflect the different approaches taken by government in each state to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and the differing philosophies on reopening. For example: • More than 80% of respondents in New Jersey, 56% in Maryland and 55% in Pennsylvania reported their pools are closed. These states had some of the more prolonged and restrictive stay-at-home orders. • By contrast, fewer than 10% of respondents in Florida, 24% in Texas, and 29% in North Carolina reported their pools closed. These states had some of the shorter and least restrictive stay-at-home orders. • In New Jersey in particular, fear of exposure to legal liability (84%), lack of insurance coverage (74%) and attorney recommendation (74%) kept pools closed. • For communities that opened pools, those in Texas (71%), Nevada (71%), Arizona (70%) and California (66%) lead the way in prohibiting guests. • In Texas, 65% of communities require residents to sign a liability waiver, and 44% require residents to bring their own chairs. For more information about the impact of COVID-19 and community associations, go to ❖ 38 BUILDING MANAGEMENT HAWAII | AUGUST 2020

minium associations and their insurers, to include evaluation of duplicating building coverage, the process of improved building property claims, and reserving for and handling of any pending master policy deductible assessments. Renters of condominiums should notify their renters insurance provider of the loss for processing of any personal property damage that they may have sustained, and handling of any displacement-related claims, such as increased meal expenses or lodging that may result from a covered loss. It is important to note that provisions of insurance policies require that insureds take steps to mitigate damages following a loss and to promptly notify carriers of a loss that may be covered by insurance. Failure to mitigate damages or timely notify insurers of a loss may prejudice coverage and result in a denial of claims. As you can see, there are many types of policies and coverages that apply to a condominium building loss, with some coverages overlapping depending on the extent of damages. Understanding how the different policies mesh and duties that must be met by all beneficiaries are key to having claims run smoothly and expedite a return of the damaged building property to pre-loss conditions. Smooth, expedited and coordinated handling of condominium building damage claims provide the added benefits of reducing overall claim expenses for all policies that may be involved in a loss, and may reduce or eliminate risks of protracted and expensive disputes related to building damage liability claims. This information is for educational and informational purposes only. Associations and owners should always check with insurance professionals regarding insurance and coverage. ❖ Carole R. Richelieu is senior condominium specialist in the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Real Estate Branch. Contact her office at 586-2643 or go to


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