Eric Hopkins, PE, Senior Chemical Process Engineer and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, recently authored an article in Plant Engineering where he explains how better energy assessments improve a plant’s overall optimization and provides better data insights. He provides an in-depth analysis of three energy assessment strategies that should be considered to unlock value to improve your organization’s next energy assessment. Read more
Michael Vetter, PE, PMP, Senior Project Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, was recently featured in a Q&A session with Area Development where he was asked about what companies are doing to keep their operations up and running and their employees safe during the COVID-19 crisis. During this session, he focuses on how the pandemic has affected SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products business and what those manufacturers are experiencing during these unprecedented times. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 29, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today the appointment of new Principals and organization promotions for their planning year (PY) 2020. Read more
Sam Thurber, PMP, and Ed Gerken, PMP, LEED AP, both senior project managers at SSOE Group, were recently featured in an article in Food Engineering Magazine. In the article Sam and Ed, as well as other industry professionals, discuss how most architects, engineers, system integrators (SIs), and machine / equipment builders can assist pet food manufacturers in FSMA compliance from their past human food processing experiences. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, July 12, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce their annual Engineering News Record (ENR) rankings, including the firm’s first #1 spot as the Top Semiconductor Design Firm. The rankings were published in the 2019 Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 500 Design Firms Sourcebook. ENR serves as one of the leading engineering and construction news publications. This list provides market analysis and rankings of the largest U.S.-based AEC firms according to revenue for design services performed in 2018. Read more
Ken Gruenhagen, PE, PMP, Division Manager in SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products Division, is featured in a recent issue of Food Engineering. The article explains the importance of food processors evaluating what they need, both now and in the future, to ensure each part of their line will enable them to meet current and future sustainability goals.
Within, Ken discusses the importance of making a proper investment in training to support newer technology. If the company fails to do this, the time required to diagnose and address issues can quickly negate the improved efficiencies that the more complex equipment provides. Additionally, he emphasizes the significance of ease of changeover between products—as a result of a discontinued product or modification, shorter production runs, or a change in packaging—must be considered as it has a large impact on line availability. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, December 21, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today the selection of John Pemberton and Nate Czerniejewski as new directors to its board as well as Jim Lewis who was selected by the board to fill a vacant seat. All three individuals were selected by SSOE’s stockholders for their unique industry perspective and diverse background that align with the company’s core markets and future growth objectives. Read more
CHICAGO, Illinois October 09, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce it has been named one of Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 2018 MEP Giants. The MEP Giants program ranks the top 100 mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), and fire protection engineering firms in the United States based on total MEP design revenue. SSOE ranked 45th this year, holding steady at the same spot as their 2017 ranking. In 2016, SSOE jumped 37 spots. Read more
Vince DiPofi, PE, Chief Operating Officer at SSOE, was featured in ENR’s May 2018 cover story, “The Top 500 Design Firms: Worry Despite Strong Markets”. From construction tariffs to talent acquisition, the article highlights some of the concerns surrounding the industry, despite its predicted continual growth. Vince’s commentary focuses on the impact of generative design and its ability to help architects and engineers deliver better solutions to clients. Read more
Eric Hopkins, PE, Senior Chemical Process Engineer and Senior Associate at SSOE, continues his examination of the advantages of energy assessments in this Chem.Info Magazine article. In Part I of the article, he discusses the importance of planning and how to manage documentation and data disparities. In Part II, he focuses on strategy and involving key stakeholders to optimize the assessment process and qualify your data to achieve better results. Ultimately, a thoughtful, pragmatic approach to energy assessments will allow for continuous global competitive benefits long after the assessment is complete. Read more
Eric Hopkins, PE, Senior Chemical Process Engineer and Senior Associate at SSOE, guides readers through the value of performing energy assessments to stay competitive despite the ever-changing market demands in this Chem.Info Magazine article. Although conducting an effective energy assessment can have its challenges and constraints, the in-depth data it provides often points plant owners to exactly where spending will be most lucrative for their specific operations. Eric shares his recommendations for navigating gaps in documentation and data and how careful planning upfront can make all the difference. Read more
SHANGHAI, China, February 20, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce the opening of their new office in Chengdu, Sichuan province China.
In 2005, SSOE opened its first international office in Shanghai to support a variety of automotive and manufacturing plant-development projects for multinational corporations in and around China. Today it has grown to be one of the firm’s largest offices and experienced its best year on record in the past 5 years in 2017. SSOE’s new Chengdu office will be staffed with local resources and will enhance SSOE’s presence within the Asia-Pacific region. Read more
Corey Zachel, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Section Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, recently discussed the topic of design-build expansion projects in this Plant Engineering Magazine article. Tight project deadlines combined with competitive, rapidly changing manufacturing environments can result in a myriad of challenges—most of which are avoidable with thoughtful planning. Choosing a plan-oriented approach that brings in all parties to participate early in the design phase can eliminate issues downstream, making costly schedule delays, unnecessary rework, and production shut downs a thing of the past. Read more
Jason Christen, PMP, Senior Account Executive at SSOE, and Mark LaBell, Senior VDC Technical Leader, were both featured in a BD+C Magazine article that examines the rise of 3D laser scanners, which have recently evolved into handhelds. 3D laser scanning is the fastest, most efficient method to capture existing conditions. In addition to allowing us to scan harder-to-reach places, handheld scanners provide the ability to show clients results immediately after taking a scan with a workable model showing an accurate representation of the facility—a major benefit of the technology that often translates into cost savings for our clients. Read more
Gavin Kaleta, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Mechanical Department Manager at SSOE, recently authored an article published in Area Development Magazine discussing the advantages of preliminary project planning, concise scheduling, and front-end loading (FEL) when renovating an existing manufacturing facility. Even experienced teams benefit from deliberate, phased steps early on in a project, which alleviate productivity issues and inefficiency later on. Gavin’s advice for creating significant savings: spend early. By creating room in the budget for early FEL, you’re investing in up-front engineering that consistently delivers long-term cost benefits, while avoiding unplanned downtime and the dreaded shut down. Read more
Vince DiPofi, PE, Chief Strategy Officer at SSOE Group, was featured in ENR’s May 2017 cover story, “The Top 500 Design Firms: Market Poised for Takeoff”. From healthcare reform and regulation changes to the race to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, the article highlights some of the questions and concerns surrounding the industry following the recent election. Although preliminary indicators point to a strong, healthy market and we’ve already seen an increase in private sector jobs, a theme of caution continues to persist.
Vince, who has experienced nine presidential elections during the course of his career, comments on the buzz surrounding the election and its effect on the industry. He also discusses how potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have already impacted the automotive market, as seen in postponed spending. Read more
Alan Liddy, AIA, NCARB, Senior Project Manager at SSOE, was recently published in Product Design and Development Magazine on the topic of cleanrooms. Alan explains that keeping cleanrooms clean can come at a lower cost, depending on the cleanroom’s classification, while offering strategies to cut costs without cutting corners. Clean standards continue to climb, but with a few operational enhancements, you can avoid contamination economically. Read more
Jens Ebert, PE, PMP, Senior Project Manager at SSOE, recently authored this article, which examines the phased approach to project execution referred to as front-end loading (FEL) and its many advantages. Also known as pre-project planning (PPP) and front-end engineering and design (FEED), the FEL approach to project delivery involves early project planning and engineering, so that design changes are easier and cheaper to accommodate, comparatively. FEL is very structured and can require more cost upfront, but projects are less likely to have issues or costly changes, and gives stakeholders an opportunity to make more informed decisions along the way. Read more
SSOE Group is a leader in leveraging the latest technology to enable integrated and collaborative project delivery. SSOE Group was featured in BOSS Magazine, in an article highlighting the company’s technology strategy and culture — both of which are helping provide better solutions to clients. Driven by collaboration, SSOE is using innovative tools and customized applications to deliver high quality projects more efficiently, while working to maintain employee engagement along the way. Read more
Gavin Kaleta, PE, LEED AP, Mechanical and Process Department Manager at SSOE Group, co-authored an article published in HPAC Engineering Magazine that focuses on high-performance fan systems, which are critical to industrial processes. From air flow to duct leaks, the article digs deep into ANSI/AMCA Standard 210/ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 51, sharing real-world applications to optimize fan performance. Read more
Firms being asked to play a bigger role in providing expertise
Dave Sipes, Chief Operating Officer at SSOE Group, was featured in this article recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR). The article highlights manufacturing, a particularly robust market currently, and the need within this market to improve processes — with an emphasis on output. Popular among manufacturers is integrated project delivery, a concept that focuses on collaboration and commitment among all parties, which is successfully executed with the help of highly evolved technologies like 3D modeling and laser scanning. Read more
John Gill, PE, PMP, LEED AP, SSOE’s Director of VDC, was recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR) discussing the topic of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). Gill has over 20 years of industry experience and was responsible for the implementation of SSOE’s VDC program. He writes on the many strengths the VDC framework has to offer our industry, and offers some tips for implementing a solid foundation on your next project. Read more
In our latest newsletter, we are highlighting the outstanding performance of Jonathan Bolbach and Mark LaBell, winners of SSOE’s Founder’s Award. Their accomplishment — developing the AutoNavis software application — met two of the award’s key criteria: delivering exceptional value to clients by saving them time, trouble, and money and implementing an innovation that leads to improved processes and quality. Read more
In moving a project from statement of work to completion of construction, regular collaboration between owners, designers, and contractors is no longer a luxury. It is the managerial insurance the project must have in order to stay on schedule and budget. Much of the unbudgeted time and expense incurred by change orders can be attributed to a lack of integration between the players. It’s often because these parties failed to include the resources and intentional effort for collaboration. Read more
A thorough process definition lays the foundation for a successful greenfield project
Dale Feldhaus, department manager in Industrial Process Controls at SSOE Group, was recently published in Chemical Processing Magazine. In his article, he discusses the importance of the preliminary phase of a greenfield project, which Feldhaus refers to as the “process definition phase.” Feldhaus has nearly 30 years of experience, specializing in the design, specification, and coordination of controls and instrumentation for projects within the industrial industry. Read more
ATLANTA, Georgia, May 05, 2015 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm ranked 4th among Automotive Plant Design Firms (Engineering News-Record, 2014), is proud to announce the opening of a new office in Atlanta, Georgia. The office will serve as the hub for the firm’s Southeast U.S. operations, currently anchored by four existing SSOE regional offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Huntsville, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
“SSOE’s expansion into the Southeast U.S.,” comments CEO Bob Howell, “dovetails with the area’s projected growth and will enhance the firm’s expansive portfolio in the region.”
James Yerke, PE, CEM, Section Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, was featured in this Food Engineering Magazine article that discusses inefficiency and loss/costs caused by physical leaks within a facility, namely air and water, and different tools available to find them and fix them. Leak problems will exacerbate further as time goes on, increasing costs if not corrected. When it comes to leaks, it’s in your best interest to dig into the issue before the issue digs into your bottom line.
Tom Fitzpatrick, Power Department Manager at SSOE Group, co-authored this content-rich article, published in Power Engineering Magazine, that explores the cost benefits of conducting a feasibility study during the planning phase of a project. The article highlights project examples where SSOE’s engineers were able to add even more value to a feasibility study with their ability to quickly and easily assess, and point decision-makers in the right direction.
Foreign companies are trending in the direction of the U.S. as they review global site selection options, with suppliers following.
Alexandra Segers, International Senior Account Executive / Program Manager at SSOE Group, shares her insight in this article published in Area Development Magazine. Within, Segers discusses some of the important items — including incentives and cost offsets, utility factors, and workforce availability — that are making the U.S. an advantageous area to consider development, with the Southeast U.S. leading the pack.
Food Engineering’s 36th Annual Plant Construction Survey reports that last year there was an increase in reportable projects over the previous year. This trend is expected to continue into 2013 and beyond. SSOE’s Ken Gruenhagen, Food and Consumer Products Division Manager, comments on the factors he believes to play a part in this increase, what projects are of upmost importance to plant and facility managers, and what he expects for the future as capital plans are made.
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 20, 2013 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announces its sponsorship of the first annual “Evolving Energy Landscape” seminar July 15-16, 2013 at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, Ohio. The one and a half day seminar will deliver expert information and insights about the energy industry’s complex and changing issues to arm energy users with useful knowledge to be better equipped to reach short-term energy goals and set a smart course for the future. Attendees will earn .7 continuing education hours for attending.
Ryan Beat, Electrical Engineer in SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products Division, is featured in Food Engineering Magazine’s May 2013 issue. The article focuses on the ongoing practice of reducing energy usage, Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, January 14, 2013 – SSOE Group, a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, and Evergreen EDC, a multidiscipline engineering, design, and construction management firm, today announced a merger of the firms. The merger will expand both firms’ geographic reach as well as provide their clients access to enhanced services and resources. The merged entity will operate under the SSOE Group name after a brief transition period.
SSOE’s Mike Murphy, Principal Division Manager is featured in Food Engineering magazine’s June 2012 issue. This issue includes the Annual Plant Construction Survey in which Murphy shares his thoughts on the growing trends he has observed toward efficiency improvements, plant consolidations, and attempts to standardize production across facilities. He attributes these changes to ever increasing costs of raw materials, ingredients, energy, and shipping which presents a challenge for food manufacturers to maintain or increase profit margins.
TOLEDO, Ohio, April 2, 2012 – SSOE Group, an international EPCM firm, announces the acquisition of CRS Engineering & Design Consultants, a 50-person mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering firm with offices in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama. The acquisition will expand SSOE’s Southeastern U.S. presence, broaden CRS’s reach to international markets, and provide both firms’ clients access to enhanced services and resources.
CRS has been in business for over 36 years and is a multi-discipline engineering and design-consulting firm specializing in healthcare, government, higher education, and other institutional facilities. CRS offers services in electrical engineering, plumbing engineering, fire protection engineering, mechanical and HVAC engineering, lighting design, telecommunication design, and security system design.
Toledo, Ohio, January 23, 2012 – As economists debate the state of the economy and where it’s headed— SSOE Group, a U.S. – based engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm is thriving. In recent years, in the heart of what some are calling a mild depression, SSOE maintained profitability and earned its highest revenue numbers ever. In fact, in its 2011 fiscal year, it posted its largest revenue in the company’s 64-year history. This is proof that SSOE is demonstrating some of the growth strategies and simple shifts in mindset that other businesses will likely embrace in order to succeed in today’s economy. For SSOE, a priority in recent years is a shift in international growth, as indicated by the recent acquisition of NKS Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (also known as d-Tech) in Mumbai, India.
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 10, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, has been recognized in several sustainable design rankings recently released from Engineering News Record (ENR). SSOE ranked 1st nationally among the Top Green Design Firms in Industrial Manufacturing. In addition, ENR also named SSOE 10th among the Top Solar Power Design Firms. Rankings are based on project revenue.
SSOE Group’s Louise Schlatter, NCARB, LEED AP, and IET’s Tim Stansfield, PE, Ph.D, discuss how strategic master planning can yield capital investment decisions that optimize facilities and process. Read more
Choosing the wrong consultant and especially the wrong property could be detrimental to your project budget and schedule. SSOE provides an overview touching on the important aspects of site selection and the details that will help you make an informed choice on a firm to partner with. In our site selection presentation, we explain our step-by-step process of securing solid ground for your facility, and how our way of working helps save you time, trouble, and money on your project. Read more
Set Up an Effective Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Plan
In this month’s issue of Chemical Processing, SSOE Group’s Anna Koperczak, Senior Environmental Specialist, discusses the upcoming deadline mandated by the U.S. EPA. In this article Koperczak also breaks down the components of a successful monitoring plan necessary to fulfill this federal regulation. Click the link below to read Anna’s article in Chemical Processing magazine. “Set Up An Effective Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Plan”
Our Senior Environmental Specialist, Anna Koperczak, gives expert advice on how to set up a GHG monitoring plan. Anna has more than 20 years experience preparing environmental permits and helping clients comply with environmental regulations for their facilities and processes. She has utilized her extensive knowledge of reporting and permitting requirements for a variety of clients, including those in the automotive, energy, food, chemical, steel, and refining industries.
View the Q&A below
Federal Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule
|Download the complete chart
|What is it?||In May 2010, the EPA issued a final ruling to increase the major source thresholds for GHGs from
100/250 TPY to 25,000 TPY, effectively “tailoring” the PSD and Title V permit programs to target only “major” GHG sources and major modifications. GHG’s include CO2, N2O, CH4, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6.
|Why does it exist?||To phase in permitting requirements and reduce the number of applications submitted at one time.|
|Who does it affect?||All facilities applying for, renewing, or revising an air quality permit; or facilities that increase their GHG emissions by 75,000 TPY.|
|What’s required?||Phase 1:Permits Issued Jan. 2, 2011 – June 30, 2011
Phase 2: Permits Issued July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2013
|How does SSOE help?||
|How does SSOE add value?||SSOE applies its broad knowledge of industrial processes and facilities and full range of services to identify emissions issues before permits are submitted for review.|
Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule
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|What is it?||In October 2009, the EPA issued the “Mandatory Reporting of GHGs Rule” that requires industrial facilities to report their GHG data and other relevant information. The Rule is referred to as 40 CFR 98 (or Part 98 Rule).The gases reported include CO2, N2O,and CH4.|
|Why does it exist?||To gain accurate and timely GHG data that will inform future decisions.|
|Who does it affect?||Facilities that emit 25,000 TPY of GHGs, and any of the following facility types:
|What’s required?||Facilities that exceed thresholds are required to submit annual reports to the EPA.|
|How does SSOE help?||
|How does SSOE add value?||
Boiler MACT Rule –Major Sources
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|What is it?||In February 2011, the EPA issued new regulations regarding the emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers.|
|Why does it exist?||To regulate the emissions of HAPs, such as HCl, particulate matter, CO, mercury, and dioxins/furans from major sources of HAPs.|
|Who does it affect?||Facilities with boilers that emit at least 10 TPY of any single HAP and/or at least emit 25 TPY of all HAPs. The rule covers new, reconstructed, and existing boilers.|
|How does SSOE help?||
|How does SSOE add value?||Experience with various industrial boilers and comprehensive services, qualifies SSOE to identify cause and effect of emissions throughout both facilities and processes and provide integrated solutions.|
Q: We need to develop a reliable monitoring plan to measure the level of greenhouse gas emissions in our facility. How do we get started?
A: To begin, you’ll need to identify the sources of GHG emissions in your facility. The obvious places to consider are any combustion sources, boilers and heaters for example, or the actual production of GHGs. Also look at any chemical reactions that emit GHGs.
Q: Once I know all the sources of emissions, how do I measure them? Are meters the best way?
A: Not necessarily. There are various ways to measure GHGs and you’ll want to determine the most efficient and accurate way for your circumstances. Meters are a common solution. Make sure you use the appropriate meter for the equipment. Consider too that you may already have some metering in place that can be used to measure GHGs. You can use a PLC to gather the information from the meters. Make sure to include the calibration of equipment in your step by step monitoring plan.
Measuring the amount of fuel a piece of equipment uses is another way to calculate the amount of GHGs it emits. Also, the throughput of a piece of equipment can also help you calculate the GHG level.
Another viable option for gathering information is to examine past utility bills and use the reports to determine emission levels over a period of time.
Q: How often do I need to gather information to satisfy the reporting and permitting regulations?
A: You will want to collect your data at a minimum monthly. That way you can see trends in emissions if there are issues.
Q: How long does it typically take to develop and implement a monitoring plan?
A: That depends somewhat on the size of the facility(s). I estimate three to four months for identifying the sources, establishing the best monitoring approach, calibrating equipment, and collecting data.
Q: What are my options for reducing GHG emission levels?
A: You have many options for reducing levels. Among them are converting from coal-fired to natural gas boilers, configuring your process to use fewer, larger boilers (or more small ones), updating older equipment, upgrading processes, recovering waste heat, and installing various types of equipment that reduce emission levels.
We help clients compare these solutions, taking into account the cost of equipment, labor, and maintenance, as well as the results they generate.
Q: When does it make sense to use an outside resource to handle these activities?
A: I think you first have to consider if you have the internal resources to keep abreast of the changing regulations as opposed to an outside resource whose job it is to do so. It is valuable to have the person filing reports know how the EPA wants the information structured and how to compile it efficiently. That comes with experience.
Since understanding current regulations, reporting, monitoring, and permitting require special skills, many companies prefer to use an outside expert rather than increase headcount. Another approach is to use an outside resource to train your staff to do some of the activities—calibrating the monitors and collecting data for example.
Q: What can we expect as next steps from the EPA in regards to reporting and controlling GHG levels?
A: There is little doubt that the EPA intends to eventually mandate that companies reduce their emissions to meet certain levels, regardless of whether they are seeking permits. As part of this, the emission levels of companies will become public knowledge.
Q: How would you advise companies to prepare for public disclosure of their GHG levels?
A: I’m advising our clients to consider how public knowledge of their emissions levels will impact all aspects of their business, the public’s perception of their environmental policies, their relationships with partners and vendors, and perhaps sales. Companies should start now to reduce their levels and see this as an opportunity to gain recognition as an environmental leader.
Nashville, TN, November 4, 2010 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm announces it has been named to the number one spot for Top Green Design Firms in the recently released, revenue-based South Central Construction’s 2010 Top Design Firms rankings. Read more