Architecture Outlook feat. G70
G70 recently launched a new service that helps its clients plan for sea level rise (SLR) in Waikīkī and shoreline resort properties.
Q&A with Charles Kaneshiro, AIA, LEED AP
President & COO, G70
1. What are some of your company’s most important (or interesting) projects and plans for 2023?
There are always a multitude of interesting design projects on the boards or in construction at G70. The challenge would be to pick only a few to highlight in this short preview into 2023. As such, I prefer to share about two programs which we are excited about. Both will have an impact throughout the community in tangible ways and reflect our value of Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi or the “love of community and humanity”.
Launched in 2021, the G70 Foundation Scholarship + Mentorship program selects a Hawai‘i high school student who is economically and socially disadvantaged. Through the program, G70 is committed to supporting them until the completion of their undergraduate college degree. A unique aspect of this program is that we pair each student with a mentor from our firm. Within our firm, we wholeheartedly believe that this mentorship is as vital as financial help. It is our hope and belief that by helping a single student to obtain a college degree, we are also helping their family and entire community.
The other program we are excited about is the G70 Hope Challenge Grant. In response to the vast needs in our community, G70 has set aside $200,000 for a competitive grant challenge. Scheduled to launch in Q2, we will be issuing an invitation to nonprofits across our state to make a proposal which will have a sustaining impact on improving lives and creating hope for Hawai‘i’s future generations. In partnership with the Hawaii Community Foundation, we have provided 6 months for prospective organizations or teams to develop their proposals with a goal of distributing check(s) on November 28 “Giving Tuesday”.
The challenges that face our industry are no different than the issues facing our entire nation:
2. Many of your customers and clients are facing huge challenges this year. What are those challenges and how can you help them?
Sharp rise in the cost of materials and goods
We have had projects come to a halt due to the increase in construction costs. For example, one of our clients received a construction bid of $6.7M, secured financing over 6 months based on this bid, but when the contractor attempted to lock in their pricing the total cost had risen to $7.9M.
One strategy G70 has consistently relied on to control costs has been to partner with our clients very early on in projects. In our experience, collaboration with our clients from the point of conception has provided optimal conditions to engineer solutions which reduce cost, phase projects to meet budgets, and discover innovative ideas which save time and dollars.
4. What is your company’s biggest challenge in the coming year?
Attracting qualified candidates and staff retention
Staff recruitment and retention is on everyone’s minds and as we transition through the pandemic, the entire workplace atmosphere has been forever transformed. The absence of qualified staff within the AEC (Architectural Engineering and Construction) industry is impacting the quality of work, causing firms to be more selective in the jobs they are accepting. This has been compounded by the growing momentum of new projects as we transition through the pandemic. The challenge – to compete for the best talent, remain competitive and relevant within the market.
G70 has always tried its best to look for ways to better its operations, office culture, uphold core values, and provide competitive compensation and benefits packages. Reviewing and refreshing these continually. One of the most popular benefits we were able to re-establish was our annual Christmas Party with paid overnight stay at Aulani!
We have fully adopted the hybrid work philosophy with the supporting technology to allow our staff the flexibility to work from home 2-3 days a week. We have also allowed our staff to live and work from neighbor islands and are currently exploring opportunities for staff to live and work from the continental US.
5. What is the most exciting product or service you will be providing customers in 2023?
G70 recently launched a new service that helps our clients plan for sea level rise (SLR) in Waikīkī and shoreline resort properties. SLR projections for Waikīkī indicate a 1 ft rise in sea level by 2050 and 3 ft by 2080. The rising sea level threatens to impact both our natural and physical environments along the coastline. As a primary economic engineer for the state, Waikīkī i is a vital resource that must be protected.
Extensive modification of the original Waikīkī Beach shoreline has occurred to create the oceanfront features that exist today. As sea levels rise now and into the future, coastal natural hazard exposure, such as passive flooding, wave inundation, coastal erosion, and storm surge, is predicted to increase for properties close to the shoreline.
For this new service, G70 has partnered with Sea Engineering to provide a comprehensive analysis of SLR impacts to resort properties and potential disruption of future operations. The SLR assessment will provide a path forward that will lead to safer, stronger and more resilient properties. This service highlights the unique G70 multi-disciplinary approach by utilizing our planning, architectural and civil engineering disciplines. The team recently completed a study of a large resort campus and presented some of their findings at a recent Waikīkī Improvement Association meeting. Learn more about SLR Services.
111 S. King Street, Suite 170
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813
(808) 523-5866 | https://g70.design