Last week the principals of Denver’s ABS Consultants announced that the 26-year-old consulting engineering firm would close its doors by the end of the summer. Principals say the firm will close because of the current economic situation and the bleak prospects for commercial construction in the near future.

The company currently employs 15 people but will retain six principals and one staff member through the summer to finish ongoing projects, said Marc Able, a firm principal. Currently, ABS is working on the Ritz-Carton Hotel in Vail, student housing at Boise State University and several projects through the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development.

“We’re there to support every project we’ve committed to,” Able said. “No project is being affected in a negative way.”

Construction on all the firm’s current projects should finish by the end of 2011, and the company will provide liability coverage through 2014. Able said the firm communicated with clients before announcing its closing.

“We had conversations with each client, and I think our offer of liability insurance helped to reassure them,” he said.

Founded in 1984, ABS provides designs for plumbing, HVAC, alarm and building-safety systems, among other services. The company has worked on hundreds of projects, including the construction of office buildings, corporate headquarters, libraries, hotels and other structures. ABS has worked in the Denver area and throughout Colorado, and designed residential projects in Arizona, California and Idaho.