The Southwest may have recently received a pardon from summer heat, but our keyboards and mainframes are heating up as we are sharpening the next issue of ENR Southwest. The spring issue will once again present the results of our Top Design Firms survey — a yearly snapshot of the financial performance of regional firms including the niches in which they perform their work.
This year’s honoree as the design firm of the year is Stantec. The regional editors selected Stantec for a variety of reasons, but the historical strength of the firm in the region was critical.
The firm, which does work across the globe has Southwest offices in: Elko, Nev.; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Reno; Tempe, Ariz.; and Tucson, Ariz. A recently completed signature project was the Mariposa Land Port of Entry which won a ENR Southwest Best Project Award in 2015.
The firm is responsible for much of the design of the light-rail system in the Phoenix metro area. They designed the starter extension and several subsequent extensions. They are also slated to continue that work for upcoming extensions.
The firm is also working with Salt River Project to rehabilitate the river outlet works at the 144 ft tall, 1,500 ft long Horseshoe Dam. The design allows a new control valve building to be constructed at the outlet of the discharge tunnel without diverting the river at a cost savings of $11 million.
Beyond the jobsite or drawing boards is the firm’s impact in the community. One percent of the firm’s annual pre-tax profits is donated through cash contributions or services in kind. Stantec also organizes corporate volunteer opportunities and encourages employees to give. Stantec in the Community Day was started in 2013 and provides team-based volunteer activities. This year, in Reno, 32 volunteers removed invasive species and debris from a local creek bed to enhance its capabilities as a flood control channel. Teams in Tempe and Tucson took up similar projects to support the LoPIano Bosque Habitat and the Food Bank of Southern Arizona, respectively.
We’ll have much more on Stantec and a perspective from other design firms on their viewpoint on current business conditions. If you would like to contribute, please email me at