December 15, 2023 | Source: Hawaii Business Magazine

HBM Industry Outlook: G70

Many of your customers and clients are facing huge challenges this year. What are those challenges and how can you help them?

High construction costs and permit delays continue to be two of the most pressing challenges facing the construction industry.

One strategy to reduce construction costs is to pursue the Adaptive Reuse of existing buildings. Rather than building new, Adaptive Reuse retains the existing foundation, structure, and main infrastructure systems. G70 has a multitude of Adaptive Reuse projects for private and public clients throughout the state. A key to making these projects work is doing an early due diligence study of the potential project. This evaluation studies the structure and infrastructure to learn whether a renovation is viable and what the potential cost might be.   

Permit delays continue to be a challenge for all projects. While there are no magic formulas for getting permit approvals, we have developed strategies to reduce the time involved. Early involvement of your design team is vital to making these strategies work. Addressing Historic/Cultural Preservation is key to expediting the permit process, if your building is over 50 years old, an evaluation of the historic character of the building may be required. The archaeological characteristics of the land must also be evaluated whether you have an existing building on the land or not. G70’s Planning division is extremely well versed in this area of practice with several individuals who specialize in historic/cultural preservation. Our team meets regularly with the State Historic Preservation Division to review projects in the pipeline.

We also work with our clients on building permit strategies, by dividing permit applications into smaller packages (demo, site, foundation, building), we have been able to get construction started sooner. For O‘ahu Projects, we also utilize the Special Assignment Inspections (SAI) when possible, to get construction started.

What is the most important change or trend impacting your industry in 2024?

Resiliency is top of mind for everyone especially after the Maui Wildfires. How do we avoid future wildfires in other communities in our state? How do we provide temporary and permanent housing? What do we rebuild and how can we create a more sustainable/resilient future? These are huge questions before all of us. G70 is involved on multiple fronts on Maui but the answers to these vital questions must come from leadership, and ultimately from the community. 

Beyond wildfires, sea level rise and storms should not be forgotten. These are and will have major impacts on our island home for our generation and beyond. In 2022, G70 launched a new service to plan for SEA LEVEL RISE (SLR). The team comprised of architects, planners, civil engineers and sea engineering experts to offer collaborative solutions to this problem.  

What are some of your company’s most important (or interesting) projects and plans for 2024?

As noted in our last Industry Outlook, on April 1st, we launched our inaugural G70 Hope Grant, an initiative inspired by our mission to “create hope for future generations”. We are pleased to announce that a total of $200,000 will be donated to the following organizations through the Hawai‘i Community Foundation:

  • Ho‘ōla Nā Pua (New Life for Our Children) provides health and healing services to children who have been exploited by sex trafficking. The G70 Hope Gran66t will provide $100,000 to support its integrated programming, which serves thousands of youth, community members, stakeholders and government throughout the state of Hawai‘i.
  • Ma‘o Organic Farms connects youth and land through the daily practice of aloha ʻāina, empowering success in sustainable careers and nurturing communal vitality by growing organic produce. The organization will receive $50,000 from G70’s Hope Grant.
  • Common Grace has provided mentorship to over 3,000 children in Hawaiʻi since 2002. G70 will provide $30,000 to support its partnerships between public schools, business, civic and faith-based communities to help highly vulnerable children.
  • The Pantry is the largest food distribution pantry in Hawaiʻi. It will receive $10,000 from G70’s Hope Grant in support of its mission to address Oahu’s hunger crisis by providing consistent and reliable access to nutritional food.
  • Family Promise of Hawaiʻi utilizes family-centered strategies and mobilizes community support to increase equitable access to housing for vulnerable families. It will receive a $10,000 Hope Grant from G70.

Along with an additional $2,000 honorarium will be donated to the Kaua‘i Planning & Action Alliance to support collaboration with diverse organizations for creative planning and action to achieve targeted community goals.  Throughout 2024, the G70 Hope Grant recipients will continue to provide status reports, budgetary updates timelines, and photos throughout the duration of their proposed projects.