A multi-disciplinary A&E Firm: Krahn Group’s diversified consulting process

Krahn Group provides a multi-disciplinary approach to architectural and engineering services for the development and construction industry.

Pacific Corporate Centre is a tier-1 industrial project in Surrey, B.C. – Photo courtesy of Orion Construction, captured by Fyfe Media Corp

When you’re trying to navigate the municipal requirements, zoning, setbacks and consultant requirements, the nuances can be overwhelming.

You can get tied up in bureaucracy and red tape. It seems to get more complicated every year, and things don’t seem to be getting any easier.

“It used to be a lot simpler when I started, but the times have changed and we have to adapt to the new environment,” explained Dave Krahn, president and CEO of Krahn Group. “The number of consultants that are required for development permits and building permit applications—and the number of applications and submissions that need to be made, for something as simple as an industrial warehouse—have increased significantly. This is a combination of more governing bodies, increased regulations and the complexity of the sites and projects that we now work on.”   

Vast experience 

Dave knows this better than most. After founding Krahn engineering in 1984, he spent decades working as a structural engineer and saw how his projects would be held up by permit wait times and all the upfront consulting and coordination work that needed to be done.  

“If we started to provide these other consulting services and have more of them in-house we could at least make this consulting work be as fast and efficient as possible, making the process simple for our clients, while also helping build our relationships with the cities and governing bodies,” said Krahn.

Over the years, Krahn started to add different disciplines to form the Krahn Group, which now encompasses Architecture (with KP Architecture Ltd), Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Landscape and Building Performance. They are a multi-disciplinary consulting company providing services to the development and construction industry across Canada. They have decades of experience in industrial, self-storage, commercial, multifamily and institutional projects.

Dave Krahn, president and CEO of Krahn Group

“I wanted to provide a truly simple process for developers and contractors,” said Krahn. “They already have such a demanding and difficult job, we wanted to make the design, engineering and consulting process as easy and simple for them as possible, give them solutions and not headaches.”

Currently, Krahn has offices in B.C., Alberta, Ontario for Canada and an office in Arizona for the U.S. Why expand across Canada and now into the States? Their clients operate in different regions and countries and want to leverage Krahn’s experience and services.

“We are able to service the entire west coast and the prairies out of our B.C. and Alberta offices, with the east coast being handled out of Ontario. We also opened our Phoenix, Arizona office to expand and service the clients there. We simply went where our clients were going and doing work and continued to pick up new ones in the different markets we entered,” Krahn noted.

Understanding the industry

“We also understand that although we can provide fully integrated services, we don’t always need to, nor do our clients always want us to,” said Krahn.

Many contractors and developers might already have their preferred team of consultants or individuals that they work with on certain projects. They may have worked with these groups for many years and have strong relationships with them. 

“That is why I set up our disciplines to be their own individual companies.,” said Krahn. “For example, a client may have an architect already and now needs us just to do the structural, electrical and mechanical engineering. We can do this no problem and allows us to work with all different types of consultants, instead of just our own internal team, which helps our teams better understand the construction market and different techniques for design and engineering.”

This openness and collaboration within the industry has allowed Krahn to work with other great architects and engineers on a varying array of projects, building their knowledge and relationships along the way.

“I sometimes think that since we do this, our clients don’t even know the full scope of services and value that we provide,” Krahn explained. “They will have worked with our engineering department on many projects and will be telling us that they love working with us but are now doing a project that their current architect does not have the expertise in, we say, we can do the architectural work. really, they say. you guys do that as well?”

Krahn Group focuses on providing these services for small to medium-sized projects. There are extremely large engineering firms with tens of thousands of employees, but these are focused on extremely large institutional and infrastructure projects.

“There was no real multi-disciplinary firm that was doing this for small to mid-sized projects, say for a townhouse, six storey apartment or warehouse project,” Said Krahn.” I wanted our clients to have this simplicity, but also have the services of a smaller firm, where they were dealing directly with the engineer of the project and there weren’t layers of bureaucracy. I always said that if we ever started to act like a ‘big’ organization, I would quit, and we could shut everything down.” 

Service, Service, Service

This attitude emanates through the Krahn group and can be seen in their company culture and how they approach their work and clients. 

“I have always said to our team, the three most important things that you can provide as a consultant are ‘Service, Service, Service,’” Krahn noted. “Even if  it’s texting your client on the weekend with an update, our team wants to go above and beyond to ensure that we are providing real value and service to our clients.”

This attitude also leads into their collaborative solutions they provide on their projects. 

“We understand that the contractor/developer usually knows the best way to build things and the cost implications, so asking them what they would want to do and what the implications of this are. We are just here to verify and make sure we can design/engineer what they want,” clarified Krahn.

This has led the Krahn Group to become a trusted client partner in the projects they work on.

“We want to be the ones the clients know that they can turn to” Krahn explained. “They know we have the experience and expertise to deliver on their projects. We let our people, projects and work for itself. It’s worked for me for 40 years and is why we have such great relationships in the industry.”

If you’re looking for design and engineering consultants for your next project, explore all the services  Krahn Group offers today. They’re your partner in navigating the architecture and engineering sector.


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