"Reimbursement uncertainty and ever-challenging regulatory requirements erode confidence to support significant capital investments," Lariscy says. "As a result, there are fewer large projects as the majority of projects are medium to small in size as investments are directed toward outpatient care."

RS&H's Debs is seeing a "marked increase in demand for engineering services" for public projects, and adds that for the region's private sector, "growth is strong across the board."

Adds Wayne Chalifoux, president and CEO with Orlando-based DRMP: "As long as there are no new outside impacts from the regulatory agencies or financial downturns, we believe the overall market will continue to grow [over] the next two years, especially in Florida and North Carolina."

The Numbers

The annual Top Design Firms ranking lists companies by their 2012 design revenue from projects located in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. The main chart also includes additional information about each firm, such as their top regional executives and biggest projects from the past year.

This year's top 10 companies reflect a Southeast market that is recovering from the recession in key sectors. Eight firms reported increased regional revenue. Of that group, Parsons Brinckerhoff experienced the sharpest improvement, with its 2012 Southeast revenue growing 17%, to $96.9 million, compared with last year.

AECOM again topped the ranking, this time with nearly $223.7 million in regional revenue. This year's Design Firm of the Year, Reynolds, Smith and Hills, reported $110.2 million in Southeast revenue, a 6% increase, that earned it fifth place overall.

Read on for more insights from ENR Southeast's Top Design Firms ranking.