In keeping with tradition here at ENR Mountain States, we’re offering an early preview of content for our upcoming June issue of the magazine, which will feature the largest design firms in the five-state Rocky Mountain region, based on total revenues earned last year. The rankings include architects, engineers and multidisciplinary design consulting firms that maintain a permanent office in one of our five coverage states: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Without giving away any of the specific rankings for individual firms, the list features some perennial leaders, including CH2M Hill, HDR and Jacobs but also some surprises in the form of regional firms that have found ways to thrive in the down economy. As always, it’s a good barometer of what design firms have accomplished in the past year. Watch for the full list in the June 27 print edition of the magazine.

Also featured in that issue will be our regional Design Firm of the Year, chosen based on industry research and consensus among ENR editors. We’re pleased to announce here that the 2011 Top Design Firm for Mountain States is HDR Inc. The Omaha-based design firm has several offices in both Colorado and Utah and at least one office in each of the region’s other states as well. HDR, perhaps best known for its highway, transit and water projects, offers a full slate of design services, including architecture.

HDR has played a big role in some of our region’s largest projects of late, including early design on the Eagle P3 light rail for Denver’s FasTracks program and the I-15 CORE project in Utah—the region’s largest highway project in quite some time. On I-15 CORE, HDR is the lead engineer for design-builder Provo River Constructors (Fluor, Ames, Wadsworth Brothers and Ralph L Wadsworth), for the $1.1-billion highway expansion near Salt Lake City. HDR is providing overall design management and designing three of the six segments on the project, as well as undertaking a number of corridor-wide design functions.

In Denver, HDR engineered the Indiana Street light rail bridge on RTD’s FasTracks West Corridor project, a 1,531-ft structure with 11 spans crossing over the Sixth Avenue freeway, and the longest bridge structure in the West Corridor. HDR also performed the architecture for the NIST building expansion in Boulder and design work on many other regional projects.

Finally, the June issue of the magazine will also feature at least two stellar green projects in the region, including construction of Denver’s first IKEA retail store, which features a sizable photovoltaic array on its roof, and a tricky water storage and transfer project in Utah, the Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure, which will save approximately 800-acre-ft of water per year through canal improvements and sustainable features.

Watch for these stories and more in the upcoming issue of ENR Mountain States, and as always, thanks for reading.