Ecmweb 8877 Opinion 14

The Big Just Get Bigger

June 20, 2016
Total revenue reported by this year’s Top 40 Electrical Design Firms was at an all-time record high — $1.808 billion.

Total revenue reported by this year’s Top 40 Electrical Design Firms was at an all-time record high — $1.808 billion. Given the wild swings that have taken place in a variety of market segments in recent years, this is an amazing accomplishment. But the good news doesn’t stop here. If these heavy hitter’s 2016 projections ring true, then next year’s revenue billings total will be even higher.

Burns & McDonnell easily holds on to its No. 1 position on the list by posting an electrical design revenue total of $715.2 million — a 15.8% increase from the prior year and more than 3.5 times greater than the total posted by the No. 2 ranked firm on the list. Several other firms in the top 10 grouping also rose to the occasion, including: Stanley Consultants (+9.5%), Mesa Associates (+8.6%), Henderson Engineers (+11.8%), IMEG/KJWW/TTG (+108.8%), and Affiliated Engineers (+11.0%).

Rapid Recovery: EC&M's 2015 Top 40 Electrical Design Firms

Turning Point: EC&M's 2014 Top 40 Electrical Design Firms

2013 Top 40 Electrical Design Firms

So what’s fueling most of this growth? For firms like Burns & McDonnell and Stanley Consultants, infrastructure work in the utility sector like transmission and distribution line upgrades, substation projects, and power plant conversion projects are taking place all across the country. Renewable energy mandates are also driving a lot of new wind and solar project designs. In the commercial building sector, new energy codes are ramping up work on the lighting design, mechanical systems, and building automation fronts. As building systems grow more complex, the need for highly skilled electrical designers will become even more important. This is one reason why the vast majority of firms on this year’s Top 40 list expect revenues to rise again this year.

In recognizing the accomplishments of the 2016 Top 40 Electrical Design Firms, I can’t stop myself from looking ahead a few months and projecting how the Top 50 Electrical Contractors sales totals will shake out. If their reports fall in line with these Top 40 results (which I anticipate they will), then I’ll be reporting another all-time revenue record on the construction front in September. So until then, let the good times roll on.

About the Author

MIKE EBY | Senior Director of Content - Buildings

Mike received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1986 and an M.S. degree in engineering management in 1994 from the University of South Florida. He is currently a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), and American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE).

Prior to joining EC&M as Editor-in-Chief in September 1999, Mike served as the Executive Editor of Transmission & Distribution World magazine for five years. Before joining Penton Media, Mike held various engineering titles within the Substation and Transmission Engineering Groups at Florida Power & Light Co., Juno Beach, FL.

Mike was awarded the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE) Excellence in Engineering Award in 1993 and has received numerous regional and national editorial awards for his reporting and writing work in the electrical market.

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