Adams, Rehmann & Heggan Associates Inc.
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Joe Atwood
- Estimated reading time: 6 mins
Adams, Rehmann & Heggan Associates Inc. (ARH Associates) is an industry leader in civil and environmental engineering, planning, surveying and mapping. The award-winning consulting and design firm – which is based in Hammonton, N.J., and operates additional branches in Hammonton and Newark – was founded in the mid-1930s, and brings eight decades of experience and a clear communication-focused philosophy to every project. Operating with a team of 70 employees strategically located amongst the Northeast’s major metropolitan centers, ARH Associates coordinates multiple disciplines to assist in the design and development of growing communities throughout its own state (completing work in 20 out of 21 counties), as well as neighboring ones (Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland).
Serving both the public and private sector, ARH Associates is able to understand and meet the needs of both municipalities and private developers. George Scott, director of government marketing at ARH Associates, has been with the company for seven years and shares that the mission of ARH Associates is to provide unsurpassed service as engineers, surveyors, planners and partners. At the core of ARH Associates’ operations is a commitment to executing projects that are technically sound, economical and expedited by a professional team with unequalled quality control.
A Broad Spectrum of Expertise and Experience
“We specialize in everything,” says Scott, only half-joking, when asked about ARH Associates’ niche. ARH Associates has broadened its abilities continually over 80 years in business, and in the process of diversifying has become an expert in tens of areas, including civil engineering, municipal engineering, land surveying, global positioning systems and geographic information systems, to name but a few. ARH Associates invests heavily in ongoing research and industry advances in order to utilize the most accurate, efficient technology when developing unique surveys and designs, and only minimally subcontracts out work (e.g., mechanical engineering).
Today, there are five departments at ARH Associates: private engineering/land development, public engineering, municipal representation, surveying services and planning/environmental permitting. The company’s list of expertise runs long and includes feasibility studies, property analysis, subdivision/site plan design, roadway and school design/construction, storm water management and flood control, dam design, wastewater plant design, city and municipal engineering and planning, construction inspection, surveying, utility mapping, coastal wetlands permitting, and environmental studies.
Much of ARH Associates’ work 10 years ago was in the private sector, says Scott. “During the early part of the last decade, as one of the preeminent engineers for residential builders in New Jersey, we were doing a couple thousand residential units per year, up and down the state,” he explains. “But as the market has dictated, and as the private side has slowed down, we’ve retooled and we’re now competing in the public side of the arena.” For example, the company worked on the site engineering for the Gloucester County Courthouse; this high-profile justice complex was the largest capital-funded project in New Jersey in 2005.
Furthermore, ARH Associates continues to diversify “… with a concentration in water and wastewater management.” Recently, ARH Associates has been working to remove the low levels of radium found in Jersey’s drinking water. One specialty at ARH Associates, says Scott, is “building and designing radium treatment plants. We’ve done that in about eight communities in the last four years in southern New Jersey.” After reviewing the limited options available for treatment of this contaminant, ARH Associates has incorporated state-of-the-art remedial technologies, such as absorption filtration, in existing treatment facilities to remove this naturally occurring element.
An Integrated Team
ARH Associates employs an integrated team approach, which assures strong communication between departments from project conception through delivery; in addition, owners consult with architects, construction managers and design professionals. Much of the ARH Associates staff retains professional licenses, and more than 30 percent of the ARH Associates team holds advanced degrees in their individual areas of expertise. This wealth of in-house talent allows the company to retain ultimate control of quality and schedule.
ARH Associates is particularly skilled in geospatial analysis and has a division full of geographic information systems (GIS) specialists called “Civil Solutions.” As an example of their diverse applied expertise, the specialists of Civil Solutions are working with Gloucester County to manage all aspects of property tax assessment (this is the New Jersey first county to do it in this way); the New Jersey State Police to enhance their operations using geospatial technologies; and the Township of Cedar Grove to support their water system asset management and operations.
Surveying accounts for a large chunk of ARH Associates’ business and projects range from small rural boundary surveys to large title surveys covering multiple tracts and owners. Technology is crucial to ARH Associates’ success, and the company uses cutting-edge technology to support its surveying operations, including the use of semi- or fully robotic instrumentation, global positioning systems (GPS), and laser scanning.
Currently, one of ARH Associates’ biggest clients is electric service provider Pepco Holdings, Inc., which has the company completing civil site work for their substations in New Jersey with “a landscape architect who is one of the best planners in the business,” says Scott.
Unparalleled project management, which allows for value-added solutions, forms a cornerstone of ARH Associates. Scott says that ARH Associates’ permitting specialist, John Helbig, PP, is one of the best – having earned 1,500 permits from all of New Jersey’s different regulatory agencies in the last 10 years – and his work enables ARH Associates to obtain permits and approvals in an expeditious and efficient manner, saving the client valuable time and money.
As an example of the firm’s permit expertise, ARH Associates works as a regional land use and implementation agency for the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) for the Pinelands town of Hammonton, and ARH Associates has extensive experience providing land survey, civil design and environmental planning support to public and private sector projects within the Pinelands jurisdiction.
“The Pinelands is one of the toughest regulatory agencies in the country, as the Pinelands National Reserve was established in 1978 and was the first of its kind in the nation,” explains Scott. “We managed to get permitted the first-ever golf course [Blue Heron Pines Golf Club/Residential Development] and the first-ever wastewater treatment facility.” Other projects in the Pinelands for ARH Associates include several residential complexes: Mays Landing Country Club, Woods Lands, and Blue Heron Pines East.
Other public-sector projects, such as the Lake Lenape western lakeshore development project in the Pinelands, which is under control of the County of Atlantic agency, required the services of ARH Associates for land survey base mapping, wetlands delineation, civil engineering design and project coordination.
The Right Formula for Continued Success
ARH Associates stands apart from its competitors in that it brings its experience representing the private sector to its work in the public sector. The company understands developers’ frustration with bureaucracy and the cost of professional review fees. Working efficiently and minimizing costs, ARH Associates can assure municipalities that its residents will not suffer unfairly from excessively pricey services billed to the city.
Also of note to the community are ARH Associates’ green building techniques; the company works closely with owners and architects to maximize the USGBC’s LEED green building rating and point system. Innovative approaches, such as establishing a system that safely irrigates an athletic field with treated sewer water, protect the environment while providing kids with play areas. Additionally, ARH Associates’ environmental preservation work is something that the company is “extremely proud of,” says Scott.
ARH Associates is proud of being a small firm, free from the bureaucracy of larger companies, yet it retains the ability to handle large, complex projects thanks to its integrated team of expert professionals. Another way to describe ARH Associates’ size and capabilities will be familiar to fans of NCAA basketball. “We like to refer to ourselves as the ‘Gonzaga of engineering firms,'” says Scott. Gonzaga is consistently one of the best teams in college basketball, and routinely makes it into the “Sweet 16” (finals) of the NCAA playoffs despite its size; it’s a smaller college in Eastern Washington State, yet, able to compete with Michigan, Syracuse, Duke – big colleges with big athletic programs. “We are the same,” says Scott. “We have that same depth and ability [to compete with larger competitors].” ARH Associates is concentrated enough that even high-level executives are “hands on and involved in the day-to-day aspects of a project,” continues Scott.
By keeping true to its founding day promise – of ethical and honest business practices that reduce costs, limit risks and increase success – Adams, Rehmann & Heggan Associates Inc. continues to provide unsurpassed engineering, surveying, mapping and planning services eight decades later, and treats each project as if it’s the owner, fully invested in its success.
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