Jacobs Again Takes Top Spot on ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms List

The market for large design firms might be the best it's ever been, according to Engineering News-Record. Jacobs is involved in massive projects in North Texas and elsewhere. Here are a few on the cutting edge.

Jacobs

For the second straight year, Dallas-based engineering and design company Jacobs has ranked at the top of Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms list.

The annual list is widely considered to be the benchmark ranking of public and privately held U.S. companies, based on revenue for design-specific services that were performed the previous year.

Los Angeles-based AECOM, which has major operations in Dallas, ranked second, followed by Irving-based Fluor Corp.

“The No. 1 recognition on ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms list speaks to Jacobs’ leadership addressing unprecedented, disruptive shifts involving digitization, urbanization, the environment and climate change,” Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou said in a statement. “These are tremendous growth engines for Jacobs because we bring innovative solutions that advance progress on these issues and create a more connected and sustainable world.”

“The No. 1 recognition on ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms list speaks to Jacobs’ leadership addressing unprecedented, disruptive shifts involving digitization, urbanization, the environment and climate change.”
Steve Demetriou

With $15 billion in fiscal 2018 revenue and a workforce of more than 80,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional, and construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government, and infrastructure sectors. 

ENR noted in its ranking that the market for large design firms might be the best it’s ever been, with the scope of the boom visible in the data collected from the companies in this year’s Top 500 Design Firms list.

As a whole, ENR said the firms had a record total design revenue of $101.16 billion in 2018, up from $93.90 billion in 2017. That’s a strong 7.7 percent increase. Domestic market growth was strongest, rising 8.9 percent to $80.55 billion in 2018 from $73.97 billion in 2017.

Jacobs said that by combining diverse talents with deep client-application experience and digital intelligence, it analyzes complex problems from multiple perspectives to deliver more complete, higher-value solutions for communities across the globe.

Construction Dive noted that Jacobs’ ranking has benefitted from its 2017 acquisition of CH2M for $2.8 billion, pushing the Dallas company to the top for two consecutive years.

Jacobs is involved in massive projects in North Texas and elsewhere

Jacobs noted several undertakings as examples of the type of cutting-edge projects it is involved in.

For example, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport partnered with Jacobs to find innovative solutions for Runway 17C/35C rehabilitation project. That’s the airport’s busiest runway, and was the first full runway refurbishment at DFW Airport since it opened in 1974. 

Jacobs developed a sustainable design strategy incorporating the airport’s goals to minimize overall time of runway closure, while keeping future maintenance costs low. 

Jacobs said by using high-tech, weather-resistant asphalt equipped with a new pavement sensor system to measure weather impacts, future runway maintenance will be simplified for the next 40 years. The project’s rehabilitation schedule, total cost, and environmental impact from operations were mitigated by keeping a substantial portion of the runway open during the upgrade.

The enhanced runway also includes long-lasting LED lighting to lower the airport’s utility consumption.

Jacobs

The Midtown Dallas redevelopment is back on track as work on the project has resumed. [Rendering: Omniplan]

Jacobs is part of team redeveloping Valley View Mall

Jacobs is also one of the lead design and engineering companies on the Dallas Midtown project back on track after years of delays and litigation.

The legal issues related to the $1 billion redevelopment of the old Valley View Mall in North Dallas have been settled, allowing work to resume on what will be one of the biggest mixed-use urban redevelopment projects in Dallas.

Demolition occurred last week on the old Sears department store and its surrounding parking lots. On the site, nearly 2 million square feet of offices, apartments, and retail and restaurant space are planned. The Park Heritage complex is being constructed by New York-based Seritage Growth Properties; Dallas-based developer KDC; and Toll Brothers, the home and apartment builder based in Pennsylvania.

That site is just 25 acres out of the planned redevelopment of the 173-acre Valley View mall site.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Beck Ventures, which owns the center part of the mall and other section, is tearing down the vacant J.C. Penney and Dillard’s department stores.

Jacobs

The TEXRail line opened in January and eventually will connect with DART’s Cotton Belt Line. [Photo Courtesy Jacobs]

Jacobs is working on the rail lines

Jacobs served as the program manager for the construction of the new TEXRail line that opened in January and is expected to serve more than 8,000 daily riders by the end of the year. Jacobs said estimate show that by 2035, almost 14,000 riders per day are expected to use the line that covers 27 miles with nine stops in three cities — from Fort Worth, North Richland Hills, and Grapevine to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Growth in traffic in the TEXRail corridor has soared in the past 20 years, with roadway improvements unable to keep pace with that growth. TEXRail and several transit improvements are aimed at addressing those issues.

Jacobs also is partnering with the North Texas Council of Governments to explore optons for an automated transportaion system to address that rapidly growing density in North Texas. Jacobs is serving as principal design consultant on Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s 26-mile Cotton Belt commuter line, which will connect with TEXRail once completed.

NEW Water—the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewer District in Wisconsin—replaced its solids handling facility to meet stricter environmental regulations, address increased capacity needs, and replace aging infrastructure in an effort to provide safe and reliable service, [Photo Courtesy Jacobs]

Jacobs consults on Wisconsin water project

In Wisconsin, NEW Water—the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewer District in Wisconsin—replaced its solids handling facility to meet stricter environmental regulations, address increased capacity needs, and replace aging infrastructure in an effort to provide safe and reliable service, Jacobs said.

Called the Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy generation system, or R2E2, Jacobs is providing consulting services for the project. It aims to harness resource recovery of nutrients and biogas, and generate electricity using advanced wastewater technologies for cost savings and environmental benefit.

In an effort to address climate threats near Seattle, the Jacobs-designed Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station project incorporated 3D models and virtual reality, green infrastructure, and renewable energy generation.

The WWTS integrates technical innovations and sustainable solutions to treat combined sewer overflows prior to discharge into local waterways. The Station design includes several sustainable elements, partly based on community input, to help proactively prepare the region to combat flooding from the projected sea level rise and future wet weather issues.

Once completed in 2022, Jacobs said the Station will treat up to 70 million gallons of combined stormwater runoff and wastewater per day.

Jacobs

The Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station in King County, Washington. [Courtesy Jacobs]

Washington project incorporates 3D models, VR with green infrastructure, renewable energy

In King County, Washington, sustainability served as a central theme throughout the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station project, Jacobs said.

The project incorporated 3D models and virtual reality with green infrastructure and renewable energy generation. 

Near Seattle, the Jacobs-designed Georgetown WWTS integrates technical innovation and sustainable solutions to treat combined sewer overflows prior to their discharge into area waterways. 

Based in part on community input, Jacobs said the station’s design includes several sustainable elements that will help proactively prepare the region to battle flooding from the projected sea level rise and future wet weather issues. 

The station will treat up to 70 million gallons of combined stormwater runoff and wastewater per day once it is completed in 2022.

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