What’s Goin’ On With CRW

Project Case Study: 1450 Young Street

AOAO 1450 Young Street  |  What Goes Up Must Come Down

Watch the Videos:  Ground UP |   Rooftop DOWN

This condominium located in Makiki, is a 28 story high-rise located on a high traffic roadway in Honolulu.  With 28 floors and 247 units, the logistics of removing and installing a NEW roof on this building was a challenge in the least.  This was a cap sheet and insulation project that required a 3-4 day tear off and 1 day loading. The foreman on the job was Alan Nemoto running a 7-man crew.

CRW worked with the team at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. to develop the project specifications for this building.  ACL Group, LLC was the construction consultant on the project working on behalf of the owners to help ensure minimal impact to the owners.  Both  worked directly with the board to communicate the extensive set up, staging and logistics in a way that would have the least amount of impact on the residents and passerby’s. All stages of the project were addressed to ensure security, safety and efficiency for the best solution as far as staging, preparation and execution of the tear off and removal of the EXISTING roof as well as the transportation, installation and staging of the NEW roofing materials.

A scaffolding bridge was set up on the side of the property as it was the least frequented area in order to keep down the liability as well as being the least windy side of the building.  The scaffolding blended nicely into the foliage on property keeping the temporary set up as minimal of an eye-sore as possible for the local residents.  What made this scaffolding set up unique – was that the height of the scaffolding was perfect for the off-loading of existing roofing material that had to get torn off and the for LOADING of the NEW roofing materials from the delivery flatbed to the staging area to get hoisted up to the top of the roof.


positioning and staging of the scaffolding for loading and unloading of materials

Easy access to unloading the materials that get removed from the rooftop for disposal

scaffolding set up along the street side and building

scaffolding set up overhead for passerby's

RSI delivery to the job site, was easily loaded up to the scaffolding, then hoisted up to the rooftop

the FAR building in the background is AOAO 1450 Young Street

500 lb. pallets were individually hoisted up 28 stories on the exterior of the building...

A 4-man crew on the ground loaded and monitored each pallet

Each pallet had to be staged, positioned, and monitored all the way up

While the load stays constant, the winds can shift at any moment... that monitor is important!

Halfway up!

Almost there - but all eyes remain on the load being hoisted... winds create capillary action that can catch the pallet unexpectedly

wind blowing slightly left..

With loading scenarios like this - its so important that the Board communicates clearly to the owners, the importance of closing their windows so that the load doesn't accidentally catch a window corner in loading...

Made it!

The harness coming back down the hoist, is another process that requires watchful monitoring so that the wind doesn't catch and snap the cord and metal clamps against a window..

The lineup of materials to be loaded.

Fun fact: the little hoist at the top has an 1800 lb. counterweight to sustain the upcoming loads

Ground crew loading up the next pallet of materials to go up

New Load coming up!


Simultaneously, from the rooftop, another 3 man team was operating the hoist and staging the materials up on the rooftop. It was apparent that the winds could change at any given time and ensuring that the pallet was secured and managed from below was imperative. The communication between the two teams was seamless and the process of hoisting up the 500lb. pallets was teamwork in action. A total of 19 pallets had to be hoisted up safely and securely.

View from the top of the roof

One man operates the hoist, two men handles the loads that deliver to the rooftop

There she goes! On its way up..



Almost there... notice how close to the building and windows the pallets can lean into - even with one man monitoring the load

Almost to the top! Notice that open window at an angle...

500 lb pallet almost to the top

Hoisted all the way up to the top!

Almost there!

swing to the right and drop down for unharnessing and positioning

Watch the video!

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Building Industry Hawaii, February 2015 Cover Issue:

February 2015 Issue, Building Industry Hawaii Magazine

View the original online-article written by Brett Alexander-Estes here

An interview with Guy Akasaki, CRW President & CEO.
By Brett Alexander-Estes

Rocket Man—An Interview with Guy Akasaki How a roofing entrepreneur aims high and uses industry innovations to get there.

Building Industry_Feb 2015_Rocket Man (download PDF)

BIH: Tell us how you got started— the story is you started CRW from scratch.

Akasaki: From chicken scratch. I had not anticipated starting my own company. I was the president and chief operating officer for the largest roofing company at the time (1993). When Iniki hit, the economy was kind of tanking, so we needed to make some adjustments. The owner wanted to make an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Then at the eleventh hour, decided he didn’t want to sell. I had to make a decision because aside from the overhead, there was a difference of intent and direction. I tendered my resignation. I was going to open up a Subway franchise. I let the owner know that, because I’d been in the industry so long, I would commit to him for one year. I had no ‘noncompete’ (written agreement)—‘I will verbally commit to you that I will not compete for one year.’

BIH: Did you keep your word?

Akasaki: Making a commitment was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, because when my wife convinced me not to get into Subway sandwiches, I said, ‘OK, maybe I can do roof repairs.’ Starting up, a senior project manager calls: ‘We have this job. I want to give it to you.’ It was about $1.5 million. ‘We’ll cover the cost, you bring in the men, we’ll split the profit.’ I went, ‘OK, let me think about it.’ It’s one of those times, that small still voice going, ‘What about ‘no compete?’ Because as an agent (for the former company), I had negotiated the job. The manager called me back: ‘When we going to start?’ I told him, ‘I gotta step away. I made a vow.’ He hung up on me. A few weeks later, a developer called: ‘I got $30 million. I can give you working capital. Set it up however you want.’ I went, ‘Let me get back to you.’ That small still voice came again: ‘Guy, if you borrow that money, you’re in hock to his vision. How will you be able to fulfill your purpose and destiny?’ I remember going, ‘Aw, jeez, man!’ Because I could almost taste it, right? I remember telling him, ‘I got to step away.’ After those two things happened, I thought, ‘You’re doing the right thing—it’s going to be all right!’

BIH: So business picked up?

Akasaki: The next year was the most trying part of my life. We were into the third quarter, and we were down 35 percent. We had to hit $650,000 to break even. I was looking at my business plan, very upset. I helped two smaller roofers set up and they’re doing well. So how come—me!—it’s not working? I remember grabbing that book, four o’clock in the morning, and threw it against the wall. I was having a little conversation with the Man Upstairs. I said, ‘I do everything right, and it just hits me in the face!’ I fell asleep in a fetal position and woke up in the morning, all sore. But somehow there was a renewed purpose. I knew my relationship with the Guy Upstairs was set to retrench. In less than three months, we hit that 35 percent. The following year, we grew by 20 percent. That third year we won Pacific Business News’ “Fastest 50.“ And since then, it’s been a growth track of about 10 to 15 percent a year.

BIH: Did roofing alone propel your business, or did other services come into play?

Akasaki: If you have commercial roofing, you start in a roofing area with opportunities in sustainability and energy savings. I started to get into photovoltaic because I wanted to see how I could incorporate PV into the roofing element, what you call building an integral photovoltaic. That was before PV took off about eight and a half years ago.

BIH: CRW is in the top tier of Hawaii roofers—in annual revenue, in innovation and in market diversification. How did you take your original operation to this level?

Akasaki: The foundational mis•sion and core values that define CRW today were surfaced, tested CRW reroofed the Harbor Court tower with DensDeck Roof Board and a Sarnafil Décor Roof System. and refined in that first-year proving ground. The whole idea is to train a core team and the champions within the house, and opportunities begin to arise to allow them to step out, right? Like my early experiences setting up photovoltaic led into looking at other ventures—initiatives and partnerships in PV, tax credits and subsidies, financing of power purchase agreements, design patents and other research and development funding opportunities. Today, these initiatives are executed through various specialty entities and strategic partners—Honolulu Roofing, Greenpath Technologies Hawaii, Allied Pacific Builders HI, Allied Pacific Builders Guam, CRW Philippines Inc., Energy Solutions International and EnRG Hawaii.

BIH: What benefits does working with these companies as strategic partners offer from an operational and customer service standpoint?

Akasaki: If you look at these different companies, what we’re doing is basically to be a unified team of professionals, to apply our experi•ence and talents, to be on the cutting edge of construction or the technology of the field we’re in and to exceed our clients’ expectations. Like with Greenpath, they do PV, they needed “We saw the opportunity to exceed client expectations with both roof and PV included under one warranty. Because we know both sides well, we can create a total turnkey—one point of accountability.” Then, because they were doing the PV work, and we were doing the roofing—they know the PV, we know the roofing. We even did some of the PV. Whereas in the industry, everybody’s always pointing fingers. The PV guy says, ‘I’m not responsible for the roofing.’ The roofer says, ‘You know what, we didn’t put the PV on top, we’re not responsible.’ We saw the opportunity to exceed client expectations with both roof and PV included under one warranty. Because we know both sides well, we can create a total turnkey—one point of accountability.

BIH: CRW and its partners have a reputation for being in the vanguard of roofing and PV technology. What’s currently in the works?

Akasaki: Greenpath is doing research and development into non-glass folding PV modules. These are portable lightweight PV modules and are manufactured to military-grade resilience by Greenpath in Kakaako. Greenpath has a patent on the modules. The company also makes portable solar equipment that provides power in the field without generators or other fossil fuel-based sources. This equipment is targeted for Department of Defense military and emergency response markets.

BIH: What types of roofing installations do you think will become dominant in Hawaii in the next five years?

Akasaki: High performance coatings will take the lead in the future. Many coatings claim that, ‘we answer all of your problems.’ But sometimes coatings are not the answer. Elastomeric coatings will take a predominant role because of their sustainability and ease of application as long as roofers understand how performance and formulations work together. Higher performance coatings, like clothing, must hit a certain baseline formulation in order to be ‘quality.’ Above and beyond that baseline, certain features can be added—for elasticity, quick-drying and so forth. Quality formulations and performance addi•tives deliver some of the best values and reliability for the long term.

BIH: It’s been reported that your back•ground is in architecture. What Hawaii building do you find most interesting from a design standpoint?

Akasaki: My favorite building? The one I think is cool is Harbor Court. But when you get up on the roof, you’re up 40-something stories. There’s no protection, there’s no railing. You have to be pretty much on your guard because you have safety issues. At that height, you have wind, uplift, you have capillary action, negative pressure—there’s so many things that you have to incorporate. The curvature for the nice bay windows are a nightmare to waterproof, too. So those we modified into what they call a modified Sarnafil membrane of PVC material. It looks like metal, but it doesn’t have the inherent characteristics of being able to corrode, or anchors and joints. Because this is PVC, it’s a weatherproof material. But because it has ribs that can be welded on, it looks like metal. It’s pretty cool.

BIH: In taking your original operation to its current level, what was the biggest hurdle you and your company had to overcome?

Akasaki: The biggest hurdle wasn’t so much the money side, it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t touch the customers. The biggest hurdle was really me. And when I say it was me, it was more the struggle with commitment, integrity and honesty. Because at the end of the day, it would have been so easy for me to have accepted those jobs. And I would have been off and running. And would I still be here today? I probably would be. But the difference would be, I would just be a roofer.

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Hawaii Buildings, Facilities & Property Management Expo 2015

Guy Akasaki, Al Sevillino, Joshua Akaka, Dr. Philipp Herzog, Richelle Thomason, Brandee Orozco, Paul Flores, Lori DeLima, Daniel Im, Charles Chacko, Dana Akasaki, Keith Kaneshiro

And this year definitely marked an exciting time for the entire team at CRW and GPT as we were able to launch out some exciting NEWS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS as well as NEW PRODUCTS... its not every year that you get to have some of the things nearest to your heart as a company brought to forefront… the foundational values that established us to where we can even have the opportunity to be at today… we’re extremely thankful for the two recognitions on a local and national level for the company – its been quite a ride and its definitely not been smooth sailing all along but to stay the course and see!  Read more about the Roofing Contractor of The Year feature as well as our very own Building Industry Hawaii Cover “Rocket Man” feature this past february on Guy and the founding of CRW..21 years ago! It’s been a crazy ride and we are incredibly thankful for those who have vested in us.. given us a chance…that has blossomed into relationships we deeply value to today!

BOOTH #547 – SPIN TO WIN! Pictures from the booth…

Thank you to everyone who made the time to come and say HI – we really do love seeing everyone here!  If you had any questions or concerns that we weren’t able to get into the details about… please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  You can give us a call at 841-RAIN or you can send us an email online as well thru our portal.



We had a great turnout for both of our seminars that we are incredibly thankful to our speakers and panelists who made the time to be a part.  On Wednesday, Guy Akasaki hosted a seminar entitled “Solar Today: Where’s the Disconnect.”  On Thursday, Larry Young hosted a seminar entitled “Roof Warranties EXPOSED.”

Much mahalo to everyone who came out to one or both of our seminars.  We always enjoy being able to bring together a panel of experts that can contribute from multiple perspectives.  If you have any questions from that seminar please feel free to reach out to us.  We’d be happy to connect with you and/or connect you with any of our speakers.  Please email us at info@commercialroofinginc.com.

Colin Murphy, Trinity ERD; Mark Alexander, Quest; Tim Lyons, RCAH; Larry Young, CRW

Roof Warranties EXPOSED

Larry Young, VP Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing HI, Inc.


Tim Lyons, Executive Director RCAH (Roofing Contractors Assn. Hawaii)

Mark Alexander, Hydrostop/Quest

Colin Murphy, Principal Trinity | ERD


This was an excellent discussion that covered the following topics:

  • Current State of Solar Industry
  • Solar Trends becoming a part of our quality of life
  • Tax Credits & strategies beyond 2016
  • What Can we do today with renewables to increase quality of life?

Solar Today: Where's the Disconnect? Guy Akasaki, CEO & President Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii, Inc.

Briand Achong, President Greenpath Technologies, Inc.

Howard Wiig, Energy Analyst Hawaii State Energy Office

Dr. Philipp Herzog, CEO Sunforce Solutions International


We were excited to see the new products launched that we mentioned in our seminar.  Energy efficient, renewable hybrid products such as the CLIMATEKNOLOGIES Solar A/C’s brought into the islands by Greenpath Technologies, Inc.  Their booth 423 was busy as ever with a FREE Solar A/C install to be won… not to mention the cool fans that were being given away.. #coolforless!


Guy Akasaki, Briand Achong, Jennifer Reader, Daryl Suzuki, Keith Kaneshiro

Briand Achong, Jennifer Reader. Chris Williams

Chris Williams, Jennifer Reader, Dana Akasaki


That’s about it from the Expo! We have some winners for all of our giveaways.  We will be calling shortly.  If you were not a winner, we thank you anyways for participating!  Free Consultations for a Solar A/C are still available thru the end of the month.  Contact Greenpath Technologies at 748-8418 or online.

Until next year…. !



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CRW Hosts Palm Court Topping Off Party

raffle drawing winner!

View the full photo set here.

Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii hosted a topping off party last week thursday at the Palm Court Recreation Center as a celebratory roof completion acknowledgement for both the residents of Palm Court as well as the CRW crew that executed the entire re-roofing project.  CRW brought the food, fun and raffle-prize drawings poolside for the residents.

one of 4 raffle drawing winners!

Palm Court Recreation Area


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Top Tips From Our Roof Maintenance Division

Jeff Gowan, AKA Chief Joke Master! Heads up our Roof Management & Repair Division here at Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii.  He has seen some of the best to some of the worst when it comes to roof maintenance.  He often advises that many repair calls can actually be prevented with regular maintenance and precautions taken.

Example 1:  A flooded rooftop was seeping water down due to intended water exit points on the rooftop being closed off (perhaps by in-house facilities maintenance that was unawares of the purpose) that should have been left open.

Example 2: Water was not able to drain as normal due to a crumpled downspout at the exit point from a vehicle that must have smashed it.  Combined with foliage that got collected in the downspout in pouring rains and a closed exit point, excess water was building up on a roofing system that was not intended to hold the weight nor water mass and thus leaked down into various points in the building.

Jeff collected some of the TOP TIPS he identified as good reminders for regular maintenance to pass along to your facilities maintenance staff to keep them “aware” of small things that can be done on a regular basis or for emergency preparedness seasons of heavy rains etc.  As always, we welcome other suggestions or stories!

Download your own copy here.

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CRW Founders & Visionaries Segment on KHON2

SUMMARY: Founders & Visionaries Feature on CRW as aired on June 23 on KHON2. In collaboration with Hawaii Business and an interview with Kim Gennaula this short video segment captured the story behind the roofing company, the values that established roots, and the vision moving ahead.

Thank You! …for taking time to learn about our past and future initiatives! We look forward to progressing forward both in the many relationships that we’ve been privileged to build over the years as well as the new ones and new opportunities ahead. If there is anything that we can do to be a resource for you, please feel free to contact us!

The CRW Team

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Pictures from the 2012 Hawaii Buildings, Facilities & Property Management Expo

Mahalo to all who came out to see us at this year’s Hawaii Buildings, Facilities & Property Management Expo at the Blaisdell.  We had a great time meeting new folks and visiting with our existing clients.  Always a pleasure and a great reminder why we are here…to exceed our client expectations!

If you have any questions regarding the seminars or show specials please call us at 808.841.RAIN (7246) or email us at contact@commercialroofinginc.com and we’ll be able to connect you with an answer.

(click below to view slideshow…)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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Hawaii Buildings Facilities & Property Management Expo 2012

Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii Inc. is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 2012 Hawaii, Buildings, Facilities & Property Management Expo for the second year in a row.   As experts in our field for all types of roofing systems for all types of buildings and facilities, we’ll be there to discuss with you some possible strategies to help lower the overhead costs for your buildings or assess the current needs an goals for your facilities.  As the roof has evolved into a platform for hosting solar electric PV systems, so the integration of the roofing system and renewable energy system has become crucial with regards to watertight installations, systems warranties and contingent liabilities.  March 7 & 8th – mark your calendars!

Meet us at the booth or come check out our seminars.  Roofing technologies and the integration into the entire building envelope is key to upholding sustainable and energy efficient roofing systems.  We had a blast last year and we’re looking forward to seeing your familiar faces and also meeting new ones! We’ll be at the same place in the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall at Booth #547. You know we’re bringing the ever popular blackjack table back – bring your voucher to our booth for your chance to win!

Be sure to check our seminar schedule.  Print out your flyer here.  The first seminar “Solar Tax Credits End in 2016. What could happen next?” will be held on Wednesday march 7th, 9am – 10am.  The second seminar “The Pitfalls of Re-Roofing: Getting from Quote to Quality Successfully” will be held on Thursday March 8th at 10:30am – 11:30am.  Register for your seminars here.

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