Steve noted GH2 is in a unique position in that we are busier now than before the start of the pandemic. Several of our clients have received government funding to make modifications for health and wellness concerns. This federal money comes with a deadline — use it now or it is forfeited. As a result, GH2 design professionals are working hand-in-hand with our industry partners to meet tight construction deadlines.
Another trend GH2 sees is office space moving away from the open-floor concept. Many current renovation projects are looking at how to correctly distance employees now and in a future post-COVID era. As a result, developers can anticipate an increase in the square footage of office space per person.
COVID has had a significant negative impact on the oil and gas and aerospace industries in Northeast Oklahoma. While those markets struggle, COVID is having the opposite effect within the online retail sector. Companies like Amazon need increased space for shipping and handling facilities and housing large quantities of retail goods. Volatility in the industrial market will decrease when the aerospace and the energy sectors see a more robust recovery. Their stability is critical to continued growth.
When asked what 2021 looks like from a design firm's perspective, Steve talked about how the Midwest is typically slower to feel impacts that initially hit coastal cities. Overall, the industry still has some concerns that 2021 will mean a slowdown as the design and construction markets are always hit last in a downturn economy. He commented GH2 has a very diverse portfolio and is grateful the company shows an extremely healthy project forecast.