Hawaii State Federal Credit Union: Salt Lake Location

Waves lap at the sides of a massive ship powering through the currents of the Pacific. Nondescript, the containers stacked on the deck offer the viewer little in the way of their contents. However, one of these containers holds something unique, the pieces of the newly designed branch for Hawaii State Federal Credit Union all in one place, and ready for implementation.

Rendering of HSFCU Salt Lake Branch, Hawaii: Part 1

It was just over a year ago that this project took its first steps in Portsmouth, NH. Six members of Hawaii’s executive team traveled overseas to visit Element headquarters. They spent four days discussing the new strategy, work environment, as well as various ways to improve the member experience.

Out for Lobster in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, ME.

Strategy Session

In addition to the meetings and discussions, the team at Element took their visitors to Boston to see the sights and tour multiple “branch of the future” locations.

Touring the sites!

Inspiration Source: The Capitol One Cafe

Over the next several months, the team from Hawaii and the team from Element worked their way through concepts, schematic design, and design development documentation. Since then, a variety of specialists have come together to bring this project to fruition. All of the millwork and materials were manufactured in a Phoenix location, then carefully packaged, crated, and shipped to Honolulu.

With minimal room to space, the boxes containing the branch were ready for departure.

Meanwhile, a “vanilla box” was created on location. This meant prepping the outside of the branch as well as creating a clean slate on the inside. Just prior to shipping, the teams reconvened in Phoenix, Arizona to review the millwork and catch up on the digital touch experience. Then, the branch was shipped to location in one large 40’ container, separated by type in wooden units. This included the millwork, the ceiling tiles, flooring, lights, doors, digital, computers, and hardware.

Inspecting the millwork

Ultimately, this type of shipment allowed for a faster delivery, as all the moving parts are delivered together, a faster installation, and an immediate start to construction. It is a more sustainable, organized, and efficient option to the normal (and slow) process normally reserved in putting together a new branch.

Lunch in Phoenix

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union is the first credit union to make use of this unique service. Shipped out of Phoenix on May 6th, the transporters sent a complete photo gallery detailing the process and ensuring that instructions were followed to a T.

Renderings of HSFCU Salt Lake Branch, Hawaii: Part 2

What ended up being 28 packages and 24,125 pounds of weight, arrived safely in Honolulu approximately two months ago. The implementation team has been busy constructing the branch in preparation for the soft opening on July 29th, 2019.

To see more photos detailing the process, check out this gallery.

To see the finished product, head on over to Instagram where there will be photos of the completed branch, as well as of the opening itself!


Written by Bryn Baldasaro for The Element Group.

Intern Week: Matt Nguyen

Where do you go to school and what subject do you major in?

Wentworth Institute of Technology, Architecture

How did you first become interested in your field of study?

Since as far as I can remember. I was always interested in space/form. I love making spaces people use.

What’s your favorite food and why?

Favorite food, would have to say Korean BBQ.

Tell me about your favorite hobby.

Favorite hobby would have to be collecting things from figures to an assortment of weird pieces. 

How did you hear about Element and what was one thing that stood out to you about the company?

I first learned about Element through my school’s Career Fair. I remembering meeting Greg and Caleigh as they handed out free swag.

Lewis Clark Credit Union

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go, why, and who would you take with you?

I would travel to Spain because the weather is very nice and it’s rich with history/architecture. I would probably take my architecture friends.

Who are you interning under, what do they have you do, and out of all your responsibilities, which is your favorite/most interesting?

I was interning under Caleigh, but now it’s anyone who needs help. Mainly Jeff/Brian/Laura/Alina, on the architecture/interior side but I also help out with some graphics/renderings of spaces. Out of all my responsibility, I would have to say jumping back and forth between 3D modeling and 2D drafting.

Early phase exterior rendering

What is your favorite app and why?

I don’t have a favorite app unfortunately, but I do use snapchat/youtube a lot!


Special thank you to Matt!

Organized by Bryn Baldasaro for The Element Group.