Architect/Engineers

August 11, 2010

Heery's shift to public work pays off in slow market

Directly relating to the economic downturn of the last few years, work for many A/E firms has gone from mostly private sector jobs to a majority of public projects, observes James Moynihan, president and CEO of Heery International, Atlanta.

Heery's shift to more public work, especially state and local government projects, has paid off for the 1,100-person firm. Revenue was up 27% last year, catapulting the company to third place on our annual ranking of A/E firms.

"Our work has changed in the last several years from 45% to 50% private to 60% public," Moynihan says. "We saw [the market downturn] coming in the early '90s and purposely structured our plan and strategy to respond to what our clients needed; to make sure that we had a mix of clients by market, geographic location and types."

According to Moynihan, the attacks of Sept. 11 haven't allowed the private industry to recover from the economic downturn, while many buildings in the public sector are in dire need of renovation or replacement, creating an influx of projects.

Moynihan projects that the economy will stabilize in the third and fourth quarters this year and that the company's 2002 revenue will reach last year's level — the highest in its 50-year history.

The firm regularly conducts research on its markets, where they are headed and how the firm can best respond to rapid changes.

"We pride ourselves on being ahead of the market," Moynihan says. "If you want to be successful in any marketplace, you've got to be there before everyone else."

Heery, which also provides program management, construction management at risk and facility scheduling services, is currently involved in approximately 780 projects worldwide. A sample of its current public work includes the National Archives, Washington, D.C., five schools for the Houston Independent School District and Oak Ridge Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

1 (1) $216.39 Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc. St. Louis, MO (314) 421-2000, www.hok.com HOK reported that 20% of 2001 revenue was derived from projects outside the U.S. The firm expects revenue in 2002 to decline by 8%. Current projects include the Cochin International Airport Terminal in Cochin, Kerala, India, and the IBM Campus in Austin, Texas.
2 (2) $149.94 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP New York, NY (212) 298-9300, www.som.com SOM named new Chairman Marilyn Jordan Taylor and President H. Guy Leibler last year. Current projects include the Arcs de Seine, a series of office buildings along the Seine River in Paris, and the $500 million General Motors Renaissance Center in Detroit.
3 (8) $113.00 Heery International Inc. Atlanta, GA (404) 881-9880, www.heery.com Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Heery rose to number three on this list thanks to a 27% increase in revenue last year. More than half of the firm's 2001 revenue was derived from state and local government work. It employs 1,100 in 30 locations. (See profile above.)
4 (3) $108.00 RTKL Associates Inc. Baltimore, MD (410) 528-8600, www.rtkl.com RTKL's largest project sector last year was health care, which increased by 5% and accounted for 24% of the firm's 2001 billings. Its retail/entertainment work was most affected by the recession, experiencing a 15% decline last year. Total revenue is expected to rise 9% in 2002.
5 (17) $100.00 SmithGroup Detroit, MI (313) 983-3600, www.smithgroup.com The firm experienced rapid growth in 2001 followed by a sharp drop in early 2002, which resulted in the naming of a new leadership team, headed by Chairman David R.H. King and President and CEO Carl Roehling. Current projects include the Detroit Lions' Ford Field.
6 (7) $91.54 A. Epstein and Sons International Inc. Chicago, IL (312) 454-9100, www.epstein-isi.com Formed a joint venture with Nicor Gas, creating an Energy Engineering division to manage natural gas pipeline projects. Current building projects include the $744 million reconstruction of Chicago's Midway Airport and a sports center for Northern Illinois University, DeKalb.
7 (10) $88.11 Leo A. Daly Omaha, NE (402) 391-8111, www.leoadaly.com Together with subsidiary Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Leo A. Daly has 14 offices and 850 staffers worldwide. Current projects include the $130 million mixed-use NOMA Technology District, Washington, D.C., and the North Terminal at Miami International Airport.
8 (15) $87.80 Kling Lindquist Philadelphia, PA (215) 569-2900, www.klinglindquist.com About 40% of the firm's 2001 revenue stems from renovation projects, including a 1.3 million-sq.-ft., multiple-building job for Buccini Pollin Group, Wilmington, Del. Industrial work, especially the high-tech R&D sector, accounted for 45% of billings last year.
9 (4) $85.56 Ellerbe Becket Minneapolis, MN (612) 376-2000, www.ellerbebecket.com More than 65% of 2001 revenue came from institutional work, such as the 1.6 million-sq.-ft. Mayo Clinic Gonda Building, Rochester, Minn. The firm opened an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in part to oversee the design of two chilled water plants in Abu Dhabi.
10 (11) $80.80 HDR Inc. Omaha, NE (402) 399-1000, www.hdrinc.com Reconstruction work, including the 4 million-sq.-ft. Pentagon renovation, accounted for 65% of 2001 billings. Nearly half of the firm's work last year was in the institutional sector, highlighted by the $545 million replacement of Cook County Hospital, Chicago.
11 (5) $80.55 HNTB Kansas City, MO (816) 472-1201, www.hntb.com
12 (16) $74.69 HLM Design Charlotte, NC (704) 358-0779, www.hlmdesign.com
13 (9) $72.27 HKS Inc. Dallas, TX (214) 969-5599, www.hksinc.com
14 (12) $67.40 Carlson Framingham, MA (508) 370-0100, www.carlsonsolutions.com
15 (18) $64.00 Hammel Green and Abrahamson Inc. Minneapolis, MN (612) 758-4000, www.hga.com
16 (13) $63.30 DLR Group Omaha, NE (402) 393-4100, www.dlrgroup.com
17 (19) $59.19 Cannon Design Grand Island, NY (716) 773-6800, www.cannondesign.com
18 (24) $55.00 CUH2A Inc. Princeton, NJ (609) 452-1212, www.cuh2a.com
19 (21) $52.00 Flad & Associates Madison, WI (608) 238-2661, www.flad.com
20 (25) $50.62 Gresham, Smith and Partners Nashville, TN (615) 770-8100, www.gspnet.com
21 (31) $50.23 HarleyEllis Southfield, MI (248) 262-1500, www.harleyellis.com
22 (22) $48.51 HLW International LLP New York, NY (212) 353-4600, www.hlw.com
23 (33) $43.40 Ewing Cole Cherry Brott Philadelphia, PA (215) 923-2020, www.ewingcole.com
24 (29) $43.20 Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates Butler, PA (724) 285-4761, www.burthill.com
25 (6) $42.00 Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering Albany, NY (518) 431-3300, www.eypae.com
26 (20) $40.48 Little & Associates Architects Charlotte, NC (704) 525-6350, www.littlearch.com
27 (39) $38.60 SHW Group Inc. Dallas, TX (972) 701-0700, www.shwgroup.com
28 (26) $38.30 Fanning/Howey Associates Inc. Celina, OH (419) 586-2292, www.fhai.com
28 (28) $38.30 OWP&P Architects Inc. Chicago, IL (312) 332-9600, www.owpp.com
30 (42) $37.33 The Durrant Group Inc. Phoenix, AZ (602) 275-0065, www.durrant.com
31 (36) $35.11 Reynolds, Smith and Hills Inc. Jacksonsville, FL (904) 296-2000, www.rsandh.com
32 (27) $30.15 PageSoutherlandPage Houston, TX (713) 871-8484, www.psp.com
33 (14) $27.83 McClier Chicago, IL (312) 373-7700, www.mcclier.com
34 (35) $27.40 Thomas Associates Architects + Engineers PC Ithaca, NY (607) 277-7100, www.thethomasgrp.com
35 (40) $26.41 BSA Design Indianapolis, IN (317) 819-7878, www.bsadesign.com
36 (37) $26.10 Sasaki Associates Inc. Watertown, MA (617) 926-3300, www.sasaki.com
37 (45) $26.00 FreemanWhite Inc. Charlotte, NC (704) 523-2230, www.freemanwhite.com
38 (43) $25.12 TRO/The Ritchie Organization Newton, MA (617) 969-9400, www.troarch.com
39 (30) $25.10 CASCO St. Louis, MO (314) 821-1100, www.cascocorp.com
40 (50) $23.81 Odell Associates Inc. Charlotte, NC (704) 414-1000, www.odell.com
41 (46) $21.42 Rosser International Inc. Atlanta, GA (404) 876-3800, www.rosser.com
42 (56) $20.46 PGAL Houston, TX (713) 622-1444, www.pgal.com
43 (58) $20.25 WD Partners Columbus, OH (614) 221-0840, www.wdpartners.com
44 (—) $20.00 Lionakis Beaumont Design Group Inc. Sacramento, CA (916) 558-1900, www.lbdg.com
45 (38) $19.87 SMMA/Symmes Maini & McKee Associates Cambridge, MA (617) 547-5400, www.smma.com
46 (41) $19.80 Ballinger Philadelphia, PA (215) 665-0900, www.ballinger-ae.com
47 (51) $19.72 Phillips Swager Associates Peoria, IL (309) 282-8000, www.psa-ae.com
48 (32) $19.59 Vitetta Philadelphia, PA (215) 218-4747, www.vitetta.com
49 (34) $18.71 RNL Design Denver, CO (303) 295-1717, www.rnldesign.com
50 (53) $16.70 The S/L/A/M Collaborative Glastonbury, CT (860) 657-8077, www.slamcoll.com