What is happening / when?
SSOE Group, an international engineering, procurement, and construction management firm, is acquiring CRS Engineering & Design Consultants. CRS is a 50-person firm with offices in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama. They’ve been in operations for 36 years. They are a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering and design-consulting firm specializing in commercial, healthcare, and government/institutional buildings. CRS offers services in electrical engineering, plumbing engineering, fire protection engineering, mechanical and HVAC engineering, lighting design, telecommunication design, and security system design. CRS holds professional registration in 42 states.
Will CRS stay at the same office location(s)?
Yes. Both Birmingham and Huntsville offices will remain open.
Have SSOE and CRS worked together before?
- Yes. The firms have worked together, most often providing service to separate areas of projects requiring differing skills.
- SSOE is currently partnered with CRS on the National Security Campus (NSC) project is for the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) —a large U.S. federal government project located in Kansas City, MO. CRS is performing the MEP systems for one of the buildings on the NSC campus under contract to SSOE. The building is 260,000 sq. ft. in size consisting of manufacturing areas, project rooms, a data center, conference rooms, and engineering labs, etc. They have also worked together for ZF Transmission and Nissan.
What attracted SSOE to CRS, and similarly what was attractive about SSOE?
- While working together with such clients as NSC, ZF, and Nissan, both SSOE and CRS recognized a common culture in the other of delivering value, great client service on a personal basis, and a commitment to employees.
- From SSOE’s perspective:
- This acquisition will avail more resources to support our growth objectives and bring additional project experience, expertise, and relationships.
- CRS’s depth of experience will complement SSOE’s presence in these markets and add an additional local presence in the Healthcare market in this growing region.
- SSOE has identified Healthcare and data centers as key markets and has expanded organically to support recent successes nationally, and locally.
- A larger presence in SE US, specifically Alabama, positions SSOE well to better serve existing clients in that region.
- From the perspective of CRS
- CRS recognized an opportunity to further leverage their current success through exposure to national and international markets.
- CRS saw the opportunity to benefit from expanding the range of services offered to their existing clients through SSOE’s full service capabilities.
What is the benefit to existing CRS clients?
- CRS clients will continue to be served by the same team of professionals led by those who know and understand the operation of their facilities.
- Our goal is for this change to be as transparent to our clients as possible.
- The benefits include:
- The additional technical resources improve the ability to meet accelerated schedules. It also permits us to provide better solutions to our clients assuring consistent predictable outcomes.
- Broader range of technical services allows us to work on more expansive projects
- Provides clients full engineering, procurement, and construction management delivery
- Extends project management systems and tools to better manage project delivery.
- Enhances CRS’s initiative in 3D BIM technology and Lean design
- Geographic reach and comprehensive licensing allows us to provide great client service anywhere in the world
What is the benefit to existing SSOE clients?
- Deeper expertise in:
- Extensive data center experience
- Thermal modeling CFD services
- Lighting design specialty – award winning
- Infrastructure hardening and facilities assessment
- Grant writing
- Architectural room acoustics and mechanical noise control
- South / Gulf Coast footprint.
What services will we provide to clients at closing? Full EPCM? Design only?
Full range of engineering, procurement, and construction management services.
Who is the main point of contact?
For details on the acquisition: SSOE: Chris O’Connor
, for CRS: Andrew York
How many employees does CRS have?
CRS has 44 full time employees on staff.
Will current ownership remain involved in our new operations?
All current CRS owners will remain integrally involved in ongoing operations.
Does SSOE have its own experience in the Southeastern region?
- Yes. We currently have 110 active projects in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
- SSOE has designed many of the automotive assembly plants in the Southeastern region including Nissan Mississippi and Toyota Mississippi. Most recently SSOE performed full EPCM services for Volkswagen’s $1 billion assembly plant in Chattanooga.
- We currently have a Master Engineering services agreement in place with Honda, Alabama.
- SSOE has had an office in Nashville, Tennessee for nearly 25 years, and has served many of our Southeast US clients from this office.
What are the backgrounds of the leaders coming from CRS?
- Ken Cater, PE, LEED AP
Current Position: President, CRS
Ken Cater is President of CRS as well as a Senior Electrical Engineer in the Birmingham office. Ken’s career at CRS began in 1992, since that time he has served as project manager, production manager, and department head – leading up to his current position as company president.
Ken is a graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and is now a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in 34 states and has earned his LEED® accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). He is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), the USGBC, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), and serves on City of Birmingham’s Construction Board of Appeals and Adjustments.
During his 19 year tenure at CRS, Ken has been involved in the design of a variety of projects including hospitals, institutional facilities, student housing, corporate offices, and data centers. Project experience to note includes clients such as HealthSouth Mesa Rehabilitation Hospital, UAB Campus Steam Heating Study, Protective life Insurance Company, Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Alabama, UVA Long Term Acute Care Hospital, Dallas Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital, Regions Bank Processing Center, Clarion University Student Housing, EBSCO Data Center, VA Medical Center Birmingham, and Entrepreneurial Center – Innovation Depot.
- John W. Gill, PE, LC, LEED AP
Current Position: Principal, Architectural Engineer
John Gill is a Principal of CRS as well as a Senior Architectural Engineer in the Birmingham office. John’s career at CRS began in 1992, since that time he has held a variety of positions such as lighting consultant, production engineer and lighting consultant, director of lighting and department manager before becoming a principal of the firm.
John is a graduate of The University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Architecture and Architectural Engineering and is now a licensed Professional Engineer (PE), Lighting Certified (LC) by the National Council for Qualifications of Lighting Professions (NCQLP), and has earned his LEED® accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). He is a member of the, Illumination Engineering Society of North America (IES), the USGBC, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Construction Specification Institute (CSI), the Lean Construction institute, and the American Institute of Architects (AIA Associate). He is a previous chair of the IES Healthcare Facilities committee, and currently is serving on the ASHRAE/DOE Advanced Energy Design Guide for Hospitals project committee.
Through his 19 years with CRS Engineering, John has been involved in the design of a variety of projects including hospitals, universities, corporate office, convention and meeting facilities, civic & performing arts venues, churches, judicial & correctional facility projects.
- R. Scott Bruner, PE, LEED AP
Current Position: Vice President, Senior Mechanical Engineer
Scott Bruner is a Senior Mechanical Engineer in the Birmingham office of CRS Engineering. Since joining the CRS team in 1991, he has served as a department head, project manager, and most recently, vice president of the firm.
Scott is a graduate of The University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and is now a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in 36 states and has earned LEED® accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). He is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), USGBC, American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). In 2010 Bruner was recognized as “Engineer of the Year” by the Engineering Council of Birmingham, Alabama.
With 20 years at CRS, Bruner has been involved in the design of numerous projects, ranging from hospitals to performing arts venues and museums as well as multi-use and student housing projects.
- D. Andrew York, PE, CDT, LEED AP BD+C
Current Position: Principal, Architectural Engineer (Registered EE)
Andrew York currently heads CRS’s Huntsville office operations – managing all business functions such as marketing, proposals and contracts, design, budgets, billing, and collections. York is in charge of assigning and supervising all project managers and projects for this location. In addition to his leadership and design responsibilities, Andrew is also responsible for specialty consulting services in lighting design, power, and architectural acoustics.
Andrew is a graduate of The University of Kansas and holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). He and has earned LEED® accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is accredited as a Construction Documents Technologist (CDT). Currently, York holds a variety of positions in the professional organizations he is involved with – USGBC Alabama Chapter Chair, Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Huntsville Chapter Director (FY 2009-10, 2010-11), and is a member of the Illuminating Engineers Society (IES), Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
In the past 16 years with CRS, Andrew has worked on a number of projects, including but not limited to, The University of Alabama Huntsville, Research Park, Von Braun Center, Summit Building, Redstone Arsenal, and the Huntsville Museum of Art.
Where are SSOE’s existing offices?
At closing SSOE will have 26 offices. The addition of CRS’s Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama offices brings our U.S. total to 20 offices. In addition SSOE has an office in Brazil, one in Canada, three in China, and one in India. Our headquarters are in Toledo, OH, USA. Find the specifics on http://www.ssoe.com/ssoe-locations/
Is there a transition plan in place?
- Yes. The immediate transition is designed to be transparent to clients. We are sensitive to maintaining schedules and minimizing disruption.
- Given the current schedule, All March 2012 billing would go to the same CRS address. All billings for April 2012 will be setup per SSOE processes. More details and instructions will follow.
Will my point of contact change?
How will my existing projects be managed?
- Your projects will still be managed by the same team that you’ve come to know. We understand that consistency with the team you are familiar with is key to successful delivery.
- SSOE is merging with CRS, in part, because of their success in building long-term relationships through the delivery of successful projects. Rather than seeking to change that model, SSOE’s goal is to enhance it. CRS as a part of SSOE will be able to offer you a much deeper pool of resources and additional services. Currently these additional resources exist in offices outside of CRS’s existing offices, however our goal is to supplement, not dramatically change your experience in working with us.
Will our existing contract be recognized?
Yes, although transferred to a new entity.
Will our bill rates stay the same?
Yes on all existing contracts.
Will this delay any of my projects?
No. Our success depends on our ability to seamlessly deliver projects to our clients. We are sensitive to maintaining schedules and minimizing disruption. Ideally, in the short term this transition may give us the horsepower to accelerate schedules in some circumstances. In the long term, our full service delivery model and ability to execute a broader range of the construction process will offer many opportunities to compress both design and construction schedules through the efficiencies gained.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.