Tony Sabat, BIM / CAD Technical Specialist and one of several licensed drone pilots at SSOE, discusses the shift in reality capture as a result of drone / unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology in this AEC Next article—spoiler: reality capture is now easier than ever. Using this non-destructive technology to generate a 3D model can be a game changer, allowing you to turn assets into detailed, accurate deliverables. With the drone’s speed, mobility, and safety, it has become the most efficient method for capturing the existing conditions of many facilities and sites, with added benefits downstream. 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
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 2, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that Lauren Collier, VDC Department Manager, and Mark LaBell Jr., Senior VDC Technical Leader, have been selected to present at the annual Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Conference. This year’s event takes place over the course of four different dates in locations around the state of Ohio: August 15th in Columbus, August 23rd in Cincinnati, August 30th in Cleveland, and September 12th in Columbus. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 1, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, recently welcomed back Paul Spinazze as Division Manager and Senior Associate for their Asia-Pacific Operations. He previously worked for SSOE from 1987 to 1994 as an electrical engineer / project manager. Read more
Processors realize that existing facilities must be updated and expanded to meet food safety regulations and increasing and challenging customer demands.
Sam Thurber, Senior Project Manager at SSOE Group, was recently featured in this Food Engineering Magazine article that explores the results of the publication’s annual Food Plant Construction Survey. Sam and other experts discuss the numbers, including the amount of expansions and renovations as compared to new construction, and growing consumer demands, such as non-GMO, gluten-free, and clean label products, that continue to drive projects and a focus on food safety. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, June 26, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, has been ranked as a “Hot Firm” by management consulting and research firm Zweig Group. This ranking signifies that SSOE is one of the fastest-growing architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firms in the United States. Read more
Robert “Scott” Goodwin, COSS, Corporate Safety Manager at SSOE Group, was recently named a “Safety Hero” by iReport Source and was featured in a Q&A session on his role, responsibilities, and background. An active volunteer firefighter since 1984, Scott has over 30 years of experience in safety. In addition to supporting SSOE’s 1200+ employees in 20+ offices in 6 countries in his role as Corporate Safety Manager, he also serves as Lieutenant Firefighter for Ballville Township, Ohio. He is passionate about safety—one of SSOE’s core values—and is committed to supporting our global safety initiatives and safety-always culture. 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
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 9, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is excited to announce the achievement of a significant safety milestone, three million hours worked with no recordable incidents as of March 30, 2017. A recordable injury is an injury that results in any of the following: death, days away from work, restricted work or transferred to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or a loss of consciousness. Read more
New Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) for steel technology seamlessly integrates steel design, fabrication, and erection with reduced cost and a faster schedule.
Josh Zimmerman, VDC Steel Section Manager at SSOE, is featured in the November issue of Area Development Magazine. Within, Josh describes how Virtual Design and Construction methodology can be applied to the steel detailing process and result in significant schedule reduction. This is accomplished by creating fabrication-ready models quicker and earlier in the construction workflow—moving the timing of steel detailing to occur congruently with structural design on the project. Two examples are explored in the article, one saving 2.5 months on the construction schedule through early coordination of design and detailing associated with VDC Steel. Read more
Jim Lewis, Electrical Controls Department Manager and Principal at SSOE, recently authored this informative article in Area Development Magazine advising readers to take a business-driven approach to utility projects. Whether your project is driven by production capacity, energy efficiency, regulatory requirements, or environmental sustainability, the ultimate objective is to add value to the business. Jim shares examples showing how a utility challenge can be turned into a business advantage. Read more
LAS VEGAS, Nevada, October 26, 2016 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that Senior VDC Technical Leader, Mark LaBell Jr. and VDC / BIM Section Manager Tony Paupert have been selected to present at this year’s Autodesk University. The event will be held November 15 – 17, 2016 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Read more
ATLANTA, Georgia, October 11, 2016 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management announced today that Project VDC / BIM Coordinator, Douglas Furia will speak at the Fall BIMForum, to be held October 17-19, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, March 8, 2016 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm welcomes Robert “Scott” Goodwin, COSS as Corporate Safety Manager. Scott comes to SSOE from Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Northwest Ohio where he served as the Director of Safety and Training.
In this role, Goodwin is responsible for providing safety leadership, training, and guidance. This includes conducting safety audits and inspections for SSOE’s corporate facilities and construction work sites as well as developing contractor qualification standards, reporting safety metrics, and authoring weekly safety tips for staff as well as the company’s safety blog. 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
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
Cultural and commercial variances between the U.S. and Mexico can sometimes result in construction delays or expensive component substitutions. When strategic plans rely on heavily maintaining schedules, the following insights, which are often grouped under the head of tropicalization, should add confidence to the planning and executing of projects here in Mexico. 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
Joe Badalamenti, PE, PMP, Business Development Executive at SSOE Group, was recently featured in this article in Food Engineering Magazine. Based on the publication’s annual survey, food and beverage projects were on the uptick in 2014, and Badalamenti and other AEC experts weigh in on what’s trending and why. From renovations to greenfield projects, processors are loosening their money belt, but spending sensibly — making purchases that improve efficiency, with a focus on food safety and increased automation. These improvements are a win-win for processors, helping them differentiate themselves among the pack of competitors while getting product to market for less. 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.”
In the AEC industry, when a client asks for a project to be completed “faster, better, and cheaper,” chances are they will be told that two out of three is about as good as it gets. Thanks to technology, integrated delivery methods, and an exceptional team effort, SSOE raised the bar and delivered on all counts on a recent project for a global leader in the food industry.
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.
A roundup of tools and services that architects are using to break free from company servers and physical boundaries.
Lauren Collier, Assoc. AIA, design technology section manager at SSOE Group, is featured in this article recently published in ARCHITECT Magazine. The article reviews recent industry trends related to cloud-based system use, going beyond file sharing and backup. Companies are beginning to incorporate the cloud into schematic design, project management, energy performance analysis, renderings, and other outsourced tasks. The cloud offers adept speed that releases us from our dependency on less-efficient company servers, and generating productive collaboration.
Third party assessments can provide crucial insights.
Peter Wilmarth, RA, an architect at SSOE Group with over 35 years of experience, offers his thoughts as to how those of us in the chemical industry can gain insight from the West Fertilizer plant explosion in his recent Chemical Processing Magazine publication. The tragic blast occurred in 2013 in West, Texas — killing 15 people and injuring over 160 — and elevated the issue of safety in relation to hazardous industrial processes.
Joe Kunkle, AIA, PE, LEED AP, principal account executive at SSOE Group, recently authored an article in University Business Magazine, turning the spotlight on ways universities are now preparing their students for an economically sustainable future, while also shifting their perceptions and values in a greener direction.
PORTLAND, Oregon, October 02, 2014 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that Advanced Technology Division Manager Brett Susany from the company’s Portland, Oregon, office will present at the 16th annual Lean Construction Institute (LCI) Congress in San Francisco, October 7 – 10, 2014.
The article “Effective Manufacturing Construction Project Management: On Site, and On It” in Area Development Magazine’s 3rd Quarter issue discusses how an on site owner’s representative solves problems and adds value by assuring coordination of trades and maintaining project focus. In addition, John Hernandez, Section Manager at SSOE discusses how hiring the right person for the job, whether a current employee, member of a consulting engineering firm on the project, or a member of a firm with no other project contract will save the client time, trouble, and money while completing their project.
León, Mexico February 14, 2014 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), ranked 10th internationally among Manufacturing Design Firms (ENR, 2013), announced today that they have opened operations in León, Guanajuato, Mexico—their first office in the country. SSOE now has operations in eight countries. Over the next three years, SSOE plans to hire 25-30 individuals to support the León office. SSOE’s expansion into Mexico continues the company’s trajectory of international growth; the firm has added nine offices in new geographic markets in the last three years through both acquisition and organic expansion.
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.
Chattanooga, TN, February 7, 2012 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, along with Vertegy, announce their involvement in the success of first and only LEED® Platinum automotive manufacturing plant in the world. Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant was recently awarded a Platinum certification, the highest designation possible from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program. Read more
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.
SSOE’s Tony Geise, Safety Manager at SSOE, discusses the barriers to effective safety training and the training techniques that help bridge generation gaps. Read more
SSOE’s Dan Vining, a general manager at SSOE, discusses how tackling risk planning and management with intensity leads to positive project results. Read more
Shanghai, China, October 05, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, along with General Motors (GM), celebrated the outstanding safety record incurred during the construction of GM’s first Chinese Automotive Research and Development (R&D) facility, otherwise known as GM China’s Advanced Technical Center. The new facility, currently being constructed in Shanghai, reached the milestone of 500,000 hours worked without a recordable accident during construction of the Advanced Materials Laboratory Building, or Phase 1, which opened on September 21, 2011. Read more
Shanghai, China, September 29, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com) the EPCM firm of record, along with their client The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, announced today that they have successfully reached seven million hours worked with no recordable incidents at Goodyear’s newest tire plant in China. This plant, which currently produces passenger tires and soon will produce truck tires, is the largest manufacturing project under construction in China. Read more
Nashville, Tennessee, August 25, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that it along with leaders from Volkwagen Group of America’s Chattanooga Operations accepted the 2011 Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Building Green at the awards ceremony held in Nashville,Tennessee on August 12th. Read more
In this article, SSOE Group’s Dan Vining, PMP, discusses how risk and scheduling management interact to benefit a project. Read more
Findlay, Ohio, June 29, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that it was recently awarded the 2011 Contractor Safety & Environmental Excellence Award from Marathon Petroleum LP Marketing & Transportation Engineering. The award recognizes SSOE as a top safety performer for their facility located in Findlay, Ohio. Read more
Dan Vining, PMP, SSOE’s project management expert, discusses a proactive approach to project scheduling and risk management in this issue of Area Development. Read more
Clarksville, TN, May 13, 2010 – SSOE announced today the first phase of construction for American Snuff Company’s (formerly known as Conwood Company, LLC) manufacturing facilities in Clarksville, Tennessee has been completed. The manufacturing facilities are situated on a 193- acre brownfield site. The new facilities will allow American Snuff to increase capacity and achieve FDA compliance—a new requirement for its products. Read more
SSOE recently announced the first phase of construction for American Snuff Company’s (formerly known as Conwood Company, LLC) manufacturing facilities in Clarksville, Tennessee has been completed. The manufacturing facilities are situated on a 193- acre brownfield site. The new facilities will allow American Snuff to increase capacity and achieve FDA compliance—a new requirement for its products.
Originally designed by SSOE in the 1970s, Union Carbide operated the existing facility for nearly thirty years, producing large carbon electrodes for the steel industry. In 2009, American Snuff purchased the site, with the plan of converting it into new processing facilities.
The facility will accommodate immediate and future manufacturing needs while transforming an idle general manufacturing environment to one that satisfies new FDA regulations for the industry.
Any time a catastrophic event occurs that is related to an industrial or manufacturing process, there is speculation as to how it could have been prevented. Was it human error? Were the safety standards followed? Did the company know there was a potential hazard?
Many companies equate assuring worker safety with following OSHA mandates. Although OSHA’s regulations apply to a long list of situations, not all environments where hazardous materials are handled are covered. Despite the fact that OSHA has been in force since the early 70’s, there are many vulnerable areas in terms of safety they have yet to address. Then too, with new technologies and products come new hazards.
That leaves the onus to fully protect workers on the companies themselves. To make this easier, SSOE advises its clients to apply “ready-to-use” OSHA procedures voluntarily even to areas or industries that are exempted or are not yet covered. One method for identifying potential safety hazards is a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) that OSHA requires of companies engaged in the processing or handling of hazardous chemicals.
The Three Ws of a Process Hazard Analysis
PHAs take place in a single meeting, or series of them, and have a prescribed format.
TOLEDO, Ohio, November 05, 2009 – SSOE Group CEO Tony Damon announced today that SSOE’s name will officially become SSOE Group. “The name change, as well as the EPCM designation allows the company a greater opportunity to represent its full range of design, construction, and program management services to the markets we serve,” said Damon.
For manufacturing companies, worker safety issues are a constant. Avoiding hazards and accidents is complicated since it involves controlling machinery, human behavior, and power in various forms—factors that are continually subject to change. This article focuses on four critical areas where proper procedures and equipment are central to the health and safety of workers in industrial environments. It references experiences of SSOE’s engineers in helping clients avoid common hazards in and around plants.
Due to recent catastrophic loss of life in explosions occurring in the refining industry, refiners and other chemical manufacturers are developing and implementing procedures to protect employees and contractors who work close to hazardous processes. Currently, revisions to existing governmental regulations for employee protection in blast zones are under development but not yet complete. Faced with no precise legislative standard in place for compliance, a major oil company called in an SSOE team of engineers and architects to develop a Protective Facilities Siting Plan for its refinery.
Herndon, Va. (August 5, 2008) — Volkswagen Group of America announced today that engineering and architecture firm SSOE has been hired to oversee the architecture, engineering and construction management for the company’s new production facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. The company will partner with Environmental Resources Management (ERM) for the environmental permitting process and Alberici Constructors, Inc. for the construction management of the facility. SSOE and ERM have offices in Nashville. Read more
Retail developers, owners and architects could spend hours topping each others’ stories of the serious snafus they survived on the way to getting a Certificate of Occupancy.
The common theme is this: Just when their project was moving in the right direction, something totally unexpected brought it to a halt.
Retail projects involve a maze of permits, studies, approvals, and documentation as part of pre-construction. If you don’t navigate through this phase safely and conscientiously, it’s easy for the project to get pulled off course.
Here in brief, is how the site selection process is intended to go. Owners work with commercial realtors, developers, or architects to find and qualify suitable sites for their retail stores. This involves performing thorough due diligence to determine if the zoning, utilities, soil and environmental conditions, traffic plans and more are favorable, or if not, can be corrected fairly easily. Owners also need to know about any fees and assessments associated with developing the site and have in hand preliminary planning documents.
Reviewing specifications, preparing and analyzing bid packages, negotiating contracts, handling purchase orders and more. This is the “science” of procurement. It demands a broad skill set and stringent attention to detail. The “art” of procurement is acquired mostly through experience. It is the knowledge of what to watch for in every step of the process to consistently get the best value on the right equipment and avoid costly mistakes. It is knowing how to make the most of relationships with suppliers. Seasoned procurement professionals more than pay for themselves whether they are part of an in-house department or hired on a per-project basis. Read more
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