Editor’s note: It has always been the mission of EC&M to eventually showcase the top players in the electrical design field in this article series. To that end, this year’s list includes only the firms that could break out total revenue by electrical design services. As such, we have narrowed the list from 40 firms to the Top 30. Although we are disappointed to lose the participation of certain firms, we are proud to offer a list that is more in line with our position as an authority on the electrical industry. EC&M congratulates all the firms that made it onto the 2012 Top 30 Design Firms list.
As the recovery in the general U.S. economy took hold in 2011, the construction industry began to see the slow return of new large and complex projects. Although those dependent on public funding remained in financing limbo, projects financed by the private sector or through alternative means, such as public-private partnerships, gained momentum. Not surprisingly, the markets showing the first signs of reawakening came from much-needed but recently neglected infrastructure categories, such as power and water/wastewater, and include elements with a return on investment in energy savings and sustainability.
As a result, in answer to a proprietary survey, the companies on EC&M’s 2012 Top 30 Electrical Design Firms list earned $1.1 billion in revenue related to electrical design services in 2011 (click here to see the Top 30 Electrical Design Firms List). By comparison, last year, 27 design firms reported $553.9 million in revenue related to electrical design services for 2010. In addition, the 17 design firms on this year’s list that also reported revenue related to electrical design services in last year’s survey averaged a year-over-year increase of 6.1%.
Of these 17 firms, 10 experienced year-over-year increases in revenue related to electrical design services. Furthermore, of those 10, half experienced an annual increase of more than 20% in revenue related to electrical design services — Albuquerque, N.M.–based Bridgers & Paxton Consulting Engineers, Inc., (No. 21) with 48.4%; Edmonton, Canada–based Stantec, Inc. (No. 3) with 24.2%; Englewood, Colo.–based CH2M Hill (No. 2) with 21.1%; Portland, Ore.–based Interface Engineering for Architecture (No. 17) with 20.4%; and Jackson, Mich.–based Commonwealth Associates (No. 8) with 20.2%. Only two firms — Spark, Md.-based KCI Technologies, Inc. (No. 26) with -36.4% and Seattle-based Sparling (No. 14) with -10.3% — disclosed a drop in revenue related to electrical design services in the double digits.
“We are seeing increased activity in our electrical engineering services across the United States and internationally,” says David Bloxom, P.E., VP of electrical and control systems practice, Western Region, Tetra Tech, Inc. “One key area of expansion for Tetra Tech is in natural resources projects. Mining and oil shale projects require a great deal of our engineering expertise, and not just for the regular extraction operations, but also for the related environmental projects, such as water treatment plants. We are also seeing increased activity in municipal control systems (SCADA) projects in the United States, primarily in Southern California.”