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April 17, 2018

Woodard & Curran launches new 'design-build' division

Photo / Tim Greenway
Photo / Tim Greenway
Doug McKeown, CEO of Woodard & Curran in his office in Portland, is shown in this 2015 file photo. The Portland-based engineering firm has launched Woodard & Curran Constructors, a new business unit focused on delivering successful projects through design-build contracting.

Woodard & Curran, a Portland-based engineering firm specializing in water and environmental projects, has launched a new business unit focused on delivering successful projects through design-build contracting.

The Woodard & Curran Constructors division will be led by John Kitchin, who sits on the board of directors of the Southeast Region of the Design-Build Institute of America and is an instructor in the School of Building Construction at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Its staff of design-build and construction experts has experience in taking an integrated design-build approach to deliver infrastructure and environmental projects for clients in all sectors of the economy.

Woodard & Curran, an integrated engineering, science, and operations company serving public and private clients locally and nationwide, ranked 74th in Engineering News-Records 2017 list of the Top 500 design firms nationally, moving up from 80th in 2016.

It's seen significant growth since 2015, when it reported revenues of $167 million, 850 employees in 16 offices and over 45 plant locations nationwide, due in part to the 2016 acquisition of California-based environmental engineering company RMC Water & Environment.

Current revenue stands at $200 million and the company now has 1,000 employees, 29 offices and more than 45 plant locations.

CEO Doug McKeown, who was Mainebiz's 2015 Business Leader of the Year in the large company category, said the new division is a natural extension of what he described as the firm's "core value proposition."

"We have helped clients address infrastructure needs and environmental challenges for more than 35 years, and in that time it has become clear that design-build contracting models offer significant benefits in many situations," he said. "It has also become clear that we offer a set of bundled skills from planning through design, construction and operations that can magnify those benefits for our clients."

Benefits of 'design-build'

Courtesy / Woodard & Curran
Courtesy / Woodard & Curran
John Kitchin will lead the new Woodard & Curran Constructors division.

Kitchin said Woodard & Curran Constructors' focused design-build capability and expertise will create synergies for Woodard & Curran's clients.

"One of the major benefits of design-build project delivery is that it creates a unified team of design and construction professionals," he said. "This is even more true at Woodard & Curran, where the designers work alongside the construction professionals in the same offices, which fosters a truly seamless integration. Collaboration and integration aren't goals for us, they are central to the way we work. Our construction experts have input into every phase of design, which leads to better designs and cost savings throughout construction."

He said the company's fully integrated approach is particularly beneficial for water infrastructure projects.

"Because we also have hundreds of certified treatment system operators on staff, we integrate long-term operability and maintenance concerns into every one of our designs," he said. "These systems are hugely important investments for the communities and organizations building them, so we make sure that they will not only get the most cost-efficient construction possible, but that the ongoing operation and maintenance is as efficient as possible too."

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