Stantec signs agreement to acquire Chicago engineering firm

The move boosts the Alberta-based firm’s presence in the U.S.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stantec will acquire Environmental Systems Design (ESD) which specializes in mission critical facilities and data centre design.
  • Stantec, which already maintains three offices in Chicago, will now have a total of five in the state of Illinois.
  • The acquisition is expected to conclude at the end of June.

The Whole Story:

Alberta-based engineering firm Stantec has announced its agreement to acquire Environmental Systems Design, Inc. (ESD), an engineering firm based in Chicago.

This acquisition marks a significant milestone for Stantec, as it strengthens the company’s expertise in the field of mission critical facilities and data center design. The firm noted that mission critical facilities have emerged as a rapidly growing sector, involving purpose-built infrastructure that demands heightened levels of reliability. 

These facilities, which span across various major industries, are specifically designed to ensure the continuity of essential functions such as building infrastructure maintenance, emergency dispatch, data storage, and more, even in the face of adverse weather conditions and utility outages. The design of data centers, including hyperscale facilities, requires specialized considerations to guarantee resilience, necessitating teams with unique qualifications and regular exposure to the evolving needs of large-scale companies.

Stantec officials explained that the acquisition of ESD presents a significant expansion of its mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) and structural engineering practice in the U.S., bolstering it by 40 percent. The firm stated that the addition of these resources enhances its smart building engineering capabilities, aligning it with the future trends of decarbonization, building repositioning, and adaptive reuse.

“Merging talent with ESD positions Stantec as one of the top integrated design firms in the US market,” said Leonard Castro, the executive vice president and business operating unit leader for Buildings at Stantec. “Our expanded services in data center, smart building design, and high-performance buildings will offer our clients the flexible and stable facilities that meet their operational needs into the future.”

Raj Gupta, the executive chairman at ESD, echoed Castro’s comments.

“Stantec is a top-tier firm that shares our vision to improve society through the built environment,” he said. “ESD has increased the depth and breadth of its services in recent years. Joining Stantec expands our offering globally and creates exceptional career growth opportunities for our employees.”

ESD’s project portfolio includes data center design services for various leading technology clients. Notably, ESD was recently entrusted by a confidential client to provide peer review and hyperscale data center design services, leading to engagements in multiple hyperscale data centers across the U.S. 

Additionally, ESD has been involved in MEP and mission critical engineering for the United Airlines Network Operations Center in Chicago. 

The firm also contributed its MEP and fire protection engineering expertise to the massive 1.4-million-square-foot expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center, one of the largest convention centers globally. 

ESD’s work extended to the field of healthcare with its MEP and fire protection engineering and energy modeling contributions to Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital in Illinois. Designed to meet future demands, the 201-bed hospital was modeled to achieve LEED Silver Certification. 

Stantec, which already maintains three offices in Chicago, will now have a total of five in the state of Illinois. ESD, with a significant employee presence in Chicago, operates additional offices in New York City, San Francisco, and Phoenix. This acquisition will expand Stantec’s influence in Chicago, bringing its employee count in the city to nearly 600 and in the broader U.S. North Central region to over 2,050, covering a total of 12 states.

The acquisition is anticipated to conclude on June 30, 2023.


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