Group 70 International
Based in Honolulu, Group 70 International (G70), a multidisciplinary architectural design and engineering firm, believes in doing what’s best for Hawaii. “We have a history and legacy in community-based projects,” shares Charles Kaneshiro, president and chief operating officer of G70. “We’re interested in projects that are good for Hawaii and benefit the community. If someone came in and said they want to build a new hotel that would result in the loss of cultural artifacts or environmental resources, we’re not the ones to agree to that. That’s just not our cup of tea.”
Planning conducive to cultural context
What G70 is interested in is community planning, sustainable building and delivering value to clients throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the western Pacific Rim. The award- winning firm of architects, planners, interior designers, civil engineers and asset managers is one of the largest in Hawaii.
“We have focused on offering diverse service,” explains Kaneshiro. “G70 covers nearly all sectors with architecture, civil engineering, planning and entitlements and interior design as the firm’s four main disciplines.”
The firm’s staff is just as diverse as its services, with 83 full-time professionals, including 43 architects, 10 planners, five civil engineers, four interior designers, 10 information technology specialists, two cultural specialists and various support personnel. G70 is also at the forefront of sustainable design practices with 33 LEED APs and accredited professionals.
“We have more LEED-certified staff than any other firm in Hawaii and we are very focused on sustainable design,” notes Sheryl Seaman, vice chair of G70.
“G70 has a fantastic team of highly skilled people,” adds Kaneshiro. “We value our employees because they are our greatest resource.”
G70’s expertise covers master planning for major urban land holdings, conceptual design and development of resort communities and housing developments locally and abroad. “We do a great deal of community planning and master plans for existing or new communities,” details Kaneshiro. “We have Hawaiian cultural resource experts in-house to look at a piece of land, research it and find out the history behind it and what it was used for 200 years ago or more.”
Since 1971, G70 has been adding value to the island through community planning and conscientious development. “While we perform a great deal of community planning, on the other hand we work for major hotels, resorts, commercial buildings, developers and government entities,” says Kaneshiro “80 percent of our projects are in Hawaii and 20 percent range throughout Japan, Tahiti, Indonesia and throughout the Pacific Rim.”
A model for 21st century learning
On the resort development side, G70 has been working with the Hilton Hotels brand for a solid decade and just finished a new tower location in Waikiki Beach for the prestigious chain. But where G70 has really shined lately is in the educational sector.
“G70 recently completed the 43,000-square-foot, LEED-Gold Iolani School Sullivan Center [Sullivan Center] in Honolulu,” reveals Kaneshiro. “The premier private K-12 school has received a lot of attention in Hawaii for its dedication to creative learning and innovation. It has a machine shop that rivals any college, a robotics lab and a university-level wet lab. The school encourages students to form teams to using the facility to their advantage to go after business and invention competitions.”
The four-story Sullivan Center hit LEED Gold certification and is aiming to be the first building in Hawaii to receive certification by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), a nonprofit green building rating system specifically targeting K-12 institutions.
G70 is also setting the sustainable standard in higher education at the University of Hawaii’s (UH) Center for Microbial Oceanography Research and Education (C-MORE). The 30,000-square-foot, energy-efficient laboratory and educational facility is LEED-Platinum certified. The two-story building, comprised of research labs, support offices and a conference center incorporates natural day lighting, passive sun shading and other energy efficient systems.
“C-MORE is the first LEED-Platinum project for UH,” notes Kaneshiro. The facility has won numerous awards since construction.”
Outside of the its home range in Hawaii, G70 is also working on Department of Defense projects at five K-12 schools in Japan. “We’re delivering schools that are for 21st century learning on military bases,” details Kaneshiro. “The schools are quite unlike anything else on the base.”
“We’re also doing a lot of work right now in Tahiti and Indonesia in an international competition to redevelop the waterfront,” adds Kaneshiro. “G70 is one of three firms working on the project and we’re doing everything from five star resorts to major shopping complexes in the development.”
G70 continues to gain clients in Hawaii and beyond through a 43-year-old, respected reputation and relationship-driven business. “We really value our relationships with our clients and they’ve come to value our performance because we’re able to serve them and deliver on time in today’s fast paced world,” says Kaneshiro.
Group 70 International remains committed to conscientious development that betters communities and the island way of life, be it in Hawaii or any array of Pacific archipelagos.
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