Heery International, Inc.
Heery International, Inc.
Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Balfour Beatty pic
Incorporated: 1958 as Heery & Heery
Sales: $250 million (2002)
NAIC: 233320 Commercial and Institutional Building Construction; 541310 Architectural Services
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2002, Heery International, Inc., is an architectural and engineering firm offering a full range of architecture, interior design, engineering, construction management, and program management services through more than 30 offices in the United States and Europe. The company is active in the public, private, and international sectors. Its principal markets include airports, colleges and schools, and government (federal, state, and local), corporate, healthcare, industrial, sports, and mass-transit facilities. Founded in 1952 by architect George Heery in Atlanta, Heery has been a subsidiary of British construction giant Balfour Beatty plc since 1986. Revenues for 2002 reached $250 million.
Origins and Expansion: 1952–86
Heery & Heery, the predecessor to Heery International, Inc., was established in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1952, by George Heery. C. Wilmer Heery, George’s father, had an architectural practice in Athens, Georgia. His son George opened an office in Atlanta in association with his father’s practice. Early projects included residential, light commercial, governmental, and industrial facilities. In 1958, Heery & Heery was incorporated.
In the early 1960s, the firm worked on two manufacturing plants as well as a food sciences laboratory for the University of Georgia. The firm also established a long-term banking relationship with SunTrust, giving it a measure of financial stability. In the mid-1960s, Heery & Heery designed and managed the construction of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The project gained national attention when it was completed within one year in 1965. It was the firm’s first sports facility design.
Around this time, Heery & Heery expanded its services by adding interior design and graphic design. In 1966, program management was formed into a business unit, and the firm entered ENR’s list of Top 500 Design Firms at 225. Other activities in the 1960s included gaining Lockheed Georgia as a client in 1965 and designing Riverfront Stadium in 1966. In 1968, the firm was commissioned by New York City to develop six recreation centers with swimming pools. In 1969, Heery designed its first school, the Martin Luther King, Jr., middle school in Atlanta.
The 1970s were a period of geographic expansion for Heery, with the firm opening offices in new regions of the United States and one in London, England. In the early 1970s, the firm added offices in Baltimore (1974), California, and the Northwest. It acquired engineering specialists J.W. Austin Jr. & Associates and began providing engineering services. In 1970, the firm landed its first K-12 project management contract, from the Portland Public Schools. In 1971, Heery began developing systems housing construction for the U.S. Air Force. In 1974, the firm opened an office in Baltimore and began consulting for the Baltimore City Schools. The following year, the book, Time, Cost and Architecture, which was largely written by Heery staff members, was published.
Heery entered the global market in the mid-1970s when it opened an office in London in 1976. By this time, the firm had grown to about 200 employees. Over the next five years, Heery gained recognition when the Georgia Power Co. headquarters building, which the firm had designed, appeared in Time magazine. The firm also won an assignment from the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and opened an office in Cleveland in 1978. Around this time, Heery purchased its first computer for scheduling, and in 1979 the firm began an energy consulting specialty practice.
In the early 1980s, Heery began using CADD (computer-assisted design). The firm secured a highly prized design contract for London Citibank and opened new offices in Philadelphia, Seattle, Houston, and Boston. It was honored with a silver medal from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Atlanta chapter for consistently high quality design work. In 1984, Heery designed The Coca-Cola Central Reception Building. The firm’s workforce exceeded 500 employees.
In the mid-1980s, Heery expanded its services to offer facilities planning and management. This service had its roots in a 1979 project for a major utility company. CEO George Heery developed a plan whereby Heery could determine what the utility needed in a new facility without conducting employee interviews and risking premature disclosure of the project. Once the project was announced, Heery conducted the traditional interviews and found that its initial estimates were remarkably accurate. This service evolved into Strategic Facilities Planning, which the company began to offer in the mid-1980s.
Heery Gains an Investor and Parent Company: 1986–90
In 1986, Heery gained a new parent company when British construction firm BICC (British Insulated Callender’s Cables), later known as Balfour Beatty plc, acquired a 50 percent interest the firm. George Heery remained with the company until 1988, when he was replaced as CEO by James Moynihan. Moynihan had extensive project management experience as former acting director for the Capitol Development Board of Illinois, where he managed some of the state’s building projects during the 1970s. More recently, he was senior vice-president at Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum in St. Louis.
Following his departure from Heery & Heery, George Heery helped set up new construction-related businesses that were owned by his four children, including Yale-educated architect Laura Heery and Heery’s son Sheperd, also an architect. While George Heery was prevented from practicing architecture in Georgia for five years under a non-compete agreement, he served as president of Brookwood Group Inc., a design and planning practice where Laura Heery served as chairman; Satulah Properties Inc., a real estate advisory service; and American Construction Investigations Inc., which helped investigate building failures and provided related services. Shepherd Heery served as chairman of the latter two companies.
Following BICC’s investment in Heery & Heery, George Heery was instrumental in Balfour Beatty becoming involved in building an office complex, Hartsfield Centre, near Atlanta’s busy Hartsfield International Airport. He set up meetings between Balfour Beatty’s president John Aiton and the Atlanta Economic Development Corporation, which resulted in the new office project and plans for 700,000 square feet of office space in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Global Expansion: 1990 and Beyond
Under Moynihan’s leadership, Heery planned for growth. In 1990, the firm was reorganized geographically and changed its name to Heery International, Inc. Moynihan planned to expand Heery’s program management operations, which accounted for about 50 percent of the firm’s business. Heery began a major transition to become a “one-stop shop” for facilities and infrastructure planning as well as design and management services. New offices were opened in Portland, Oregon, and Mandover, Maryland, in 1990. In 1991, the firm opened offices in Denver and Nashville, and in 1992 it opened another international office, in Berlin, Germany.
Following Atlanta’s winning bid for the 1996 Olympics, Heery became involved in selecting Olympic venues as early as 1990. In 1992, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games selected the design team for the new Olympic Stadium. The team consisted of four firms, including the Atlanta firms of Heery International, Rosser Fabrap International, Inc., and Williams, Russell & Johnson, Inc. The fourth firm was the Kansas City office of Ellerbe Becket, Inc. Heery’s Scott Braley served as the project director for the stadium.
Other major projects in the early 1990s for which Heery International provided architectural and engineering services included a thermal pool complex in Hot Springs, Arkansas. This indoor-outdoor facility covered 15,000 square feet and consisted of ten pools of varying size and water temperature. Heery was the architect and engineer of a 56,800-square-foot training center for British pharmaceutical maker Glaxo, Inc., in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The facility incorporated a pod planning design that allowed for future expansion without changing the building’s operations. Heery served as the program manager and prepared the engineering performance specifications for the State of Washington’s new Natural Resources Building, a 344,000-square-foot structure that included offices, laboratories, and three levels of parking. Heery also won the competition among full-service design firms for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.’s new facility in Rennsselaer County, New York. The facility included two non-aligned buildings that composed a fan-shaped, 210,000-square-foot Information Systems Center. Other projects of this period included some of Georgia’s largest buildings, including The Georgia Dome, renovating Grady Hospital, MCI’s interior office design, First Union Plaza, and the Museum of Atlanta History.
At Heery, we believe that a company can succeed only by balancing and using its primary resources—its people—in ways that maximize client satisfaction and individual talent. Heery stands alone in providing the right people at the right time with the right level of service. At Heery, diversity is our advantage. We pride ourselves in providing local resources backed by global strength and strategic vision. Heery can manage complex, multi-site projects, partner with third-party consultants or handle single-objective jobs.
In 1993, Heery completed its first design/build project, the parking deck for the Atlanta History Center, which was completed in 100 days. Design/build projects combined the roles of project designer and builder into one. That same year, Heery opened an office in Madrid, Spain, and by 1994 the firm had nearly 800 employees. Major contracts of the time included the State of Tennessee, where Heery’s Nashville office was involved in the construction of hospitals, office buildings, state park facilities, higher-education facilities, armories, and prisons. Other major clients included Dallas Public Schools, Am-trak, The Home Depot, and the GSA.
Heery established an office in Tampa, Florida, with the acquisition of Reefe Yamada, a local architectural firm involved in projects such as the Marine Science Laboratory Joint Use Facility and the Department of Environmental Protection Marine Research Institute. Heery expanded the office from a design firm to one offering interior design, construction management, program management, and architecture to public and private clients.
Heery entered the second half of the 1990s by launching its web site, www.heery.com. During this period the firm became more involved in school building projects. It secured major school management assignments for Seattle and Portland Public Schools. In 1999, the Houston Independent School District awarded Heery a school management contract. Heery also expanded its international practice in the late 1990s, opening an office in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1997, and offices in London’s city center and Frankfurt, Germany, in 1999. Its international portfolio grew in prestige and included assignments such as The Gilbert Collection at Somerset House in England. The firm began work on the Bank of England in 1998. Other offices were opened in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1997, and in Dallas in 1998. At the end of the decade, Heery had more than 1,000 employees.
By 2000, Heery managed school construction programs in New York City and more than 100 communities across the United States. The firm claimed to have designed and constructed more than 42,000 classrooms. Its Millennium School 2000 survey, based on two statewide surveys in Oregon and Massachusetts and nine cities, reported on how school facilities affected teacher retention and the ability of students to learn. School Planning and Management ranked Heery fourth among the top ten design firms in education, based on the dollar value of their educational projects. In 2000, Heery won a $1.4 million consulting contract with New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority for the state’s plan to build $12 billion worth of classrooms over the next ten years. Heery also won a similar statewide school building management contract in Arizona. In 2001, Heery was selected for the second phase of the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence Program.
Heery opened several new offices in 2000, including Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona; Newark and Trenton, New Jersey; and Tacoma, Washington. The same year, the firm won two design-build awards from the Design-Build Institute of America for its work on McCoy Stadium, a minor league baseball park, and the Superior Consultants Microsoft Solutions Center. Revenue for the year reached $200 million for the first time.
As of mid-2002, Heery was involved in some 780 active projects worldwide. Over the past several years, the firm’s mix of projects shifted from 45 to 50 percent private work to 60 percent public projects. The shift to public work was not uncommon among architectural and engineering firms and helped them weather the economic downturn of the period. Heery’s major public projects of the time included the National Archives in Washington, D.C.; five schools for the Houston Independent School District; Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee; and the Southeast Regional Archives.
For 2003, Heery continued to gain new contracts in the public and private sectors as well as internationally. Its most active markets included schools and colleges, sports facilities, prisons, public buildings, and public transportation. New school contracts awarded in 2003 included the Kenston Local School District near Cleveland to provide construction management for a new $35 million high school and related projects; a full architecture and engineering contract from the Polk County (Florida) School District for a new $28 million high school; Fulton County (Georgia) Schools for a three-year program worth up to $15 million; Lawrence, Massachusetts, for construction management of its new $110 million high school; Arlington (Virginia) Public Schools for project management of three school renovations worth about $19 million; the Evergreen School District of Vancouver, Washington, for construction program management contract services for $110 million of its construction program; and Tacoma (Washington) Public Schools to provide construction management for the renovation and addition of Lincoln High School, originally built in 1913. Among the universities awarding Heery contracts in 2003 were the University of Baltimore, Prince George’s Community College, Winston Salem State University, and the University of Washington.
- Heery & Heery is established when C. Wilmer Heery’s son, George, opens an office in Atlanta in association with his father’s architectural practice in Athens, Georgia.
- Heery & Heery is incorporated.
- The firm designs and manages the construction of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in less than one year.
- Heery designs its first school, the Martin Luther King, Jr., middle school in Atlanta.
- The company opens an office in London.
- British Insulated Callender’s Cables, later known as Balfour Beatty plc, acquires a 50 percent interest in Heery.
- High-profile commissions include designing The Georgia Dome and managing multiple projects for the U.S. General Services Administration.
- Heery reorganizes into geographic regions under the umbrella of Heery International, Inc.
- Heery wins the design contract for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Stadium, subsequently converted into the Turner Field professional baseball park.
- Revenues exceed $200 million.
Other new public sector contracts in 2003 came from agencies of the federal government, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP), the GSA, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and from municipalities such as Atlanta, Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), and Greenville, South Carolina. The National Aquarium in Baltimore retained Heery to provide management consulting services to implement its new internal project management system. Further public sector contracts involved public transportation facilities in Mount Vernon, New York, and oversight of the Federal Transit Administration’s capital development projects.
Having completed more than 150 sports projects, including Atlanta’s Olympic Stadium, several minor league baseball parks, and university football stadiums, Heery was chosen by Gary, North Carolina, to develop a new multi-field baseball complex that would become the official training facility of USA Baseball. Other new sports facility planning and design contracts won in 2003 included the University of Georgia’s new softball stadium, the University of Texas at Austin’s swim facility, and Western Kentucky University’s new team facilities building for its football team.
Heery continued to expand internationally in 2003, opening an office in Glasgow, Scotland, to take advantage of a vibrant construction market in western Scotland. The office complemented Heery’s main United Kingdom office located near Heathrow Airport outside of London. In addition, Heery had U.K. offices in London’s city center, Edinburgh, and Newcastle. The firm gained several new contracts in England and Scotland during the year.
This sampling of new projects contracted to Heery International indicates the diversity of this leading full-service architectural and engineering firm in the United States and Europe. Its broad mix of markets continue to enable it to weather downturns in any particular sector, while its expertise in offering a range of services allows it to bid on a wide range of projects.
AECOM Technology Corporation; Bechtel Group, Inc.; Fanning/Howey Associates, Inc.; HOK Group, Inc. (Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum); HMC Group; Jacobs Engineering, Inc.; SHW Group, Inc.; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; URS Corporation.
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Bueno, Jacqueline, “George Heery Builds New Family Business,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, December 3, 1990, p. 7B.
——, “Top Manager Has Heery in Growth Mode,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, December 3, 1990, p. 6B.
DeMarco, Edward, “Preparing for the Future, Heery International Realigns Management,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, October 2, 1992, p. 15B.
Friedman, Alan, “Heery Captures Two National Design-Build Awards,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, December 1, 2000, p. 27C.
Geran, Monica, “Heery,” Interior Design, September 1994, p. 180.
Hoover, Kent, “British Developers Fly in, Try Airport Office Market,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, March 5, 1990, p. 7B.
King, Leslie T., “Strategic Facilities Planning Lets Companies Manage Their Facilities as Corporate Assets,” Industrial Engineering, June 1989, p. 25.
LeBlanc, Larry J., et. A1., “Heery International’s Spreadsheet Optimization Model for Assigning Managers to Construction Projects,” Interfaces, November-December 2000, p. 95.
McNichol, Dunstan, “New Jersey Begins $12 Billion School Upgrade,” Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, October 12, 2000.
Siegel, James J., “In Our Aging Schools, Basic Hvac Is More Important Than New Technology,” Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, December 4, 2000, p. 1.
Sturgeon, Julie, “This Space Occupied,” School Planning and Management, August 2000, p. 37.
Taylor, Tim, “In Hot Water: Hot Springs Considers Construction of Thermal Pool Complex,” Arkansas Business, August 3, 1992, p. 23.
Umlauf, Elyse, “Pod Planning Concept Enables an Expansion,” Building Design & Construction, November 1992, p. 53.
——, “Preventive Action Purges IAQ Problem,” Building Design & Construction, March 1993, p. 38.
Zissman, Mindi, “Heery’s Shift to Public Work Pays off in Slow Market,” Building Design & Construction, July 2002, p. 61.
—David P. Bianco