- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
While other companies have come and gone over the years, EHRA Inc. (EHRA) has remained. “They say you don’t need an excuse to live in Houston, only a desire to work and a good attitude,” says Brandon Ring, media and marketing director for EHRA. “However, should you go looking for an excuse, how would you feel about diversity? According to the 2012 Census Report from Rice University, the Houston region is now the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the nation, surpassing even New York City.”
According to Ring, diversity isn’t just limited to the ethnicity of residents; it’s a reoccurring theme in Houston – even within some of the businesses. EHRA is one engineering firm in particular that has grown its diversity of provided services over the past 77 years in order to serve the residents of Houston with the highest quality of land development.
Ring goes on to explain that in the decade after World War I, the state of Texas boomed with industrial development. “The city of Houston focused primarily on its port, the expansion of railroads and coordination of the state highway systems,” he details. “The flood of job opportunities enriched Houston with a surplus of hard working families and cultures from all over the globe, and for many years the city struggled to keep up with the growing numbers.”
In 1936 longtime-resident T.C. Edminster Sr. recognized the city’s need and officially opened Edminster Engineering. “It was his goal to build quality-engineered residential subdivisions for his fellow Houstonians,” Ring explains. Still thriving today – with a recently abbreviated name – EHRA is the second oldest continuously operated engineering firm in Houston. “We like to say, if you live around here, we probably had something to do with it.”
“EHRA offers 18 land development-related engineering services underneath one roof,” boasts Ring. “Developer clients come to us with raw land and we can do everything from surveying, land-planning, hydrology, construction phase services and all types of land development engineering.”
EHRA is comprised of many divisions, including public infrastructure, traffic and transportation, hydraulics and hydrology, land planning, land development engineering, surveying, construction phase services, as well as landscape architecture. “All are complementary services designed to serve the city, the county and the state, along with single-family, retail and commercial clients,” Ring explains.
He goes on to note that Towne Lake is a perfect example of EHRA’s success in utilizing several engineering disciplines for one project. “Civil engineering, surveying, planning and platting, wastewater, hydrology and structural engineering services have helped shape Towne Lake into an amazing community,” he says. The Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) agreed, awarding Towne Lake the 2012 Master Planned Community of the Year.
Leaders in LID
According to Ring, a quick evaluation of EHRA’s tenured history would also confirm that sustainability has been another guiding principle throughout the years. “It is none more so evident than our desire to bring low-impact development [LID] to Houston,” he says proudly.
“LID handles on-site stormwater runoff directly where it falls, through native grass rain gardens and bio-retention cells,” he elaborates. “In addition, LID filters the water, increases the amount of landscape architecture in a development and puts a considerable amount of land back in the hands of the developers.”
Experts Justin R. Ring, P.E. and Jerry Preston, P.E., CFM have been a large part of EHRA’s success with establishing LID practice in Houston. According to Ring, Preston says that while the east and west coasts have begun utilizing LID more extensively, it is still a relatively new green concept in Houston. “This might be why few engineering firms in Houston have been able to execute LID as effectively as EHRA,” Ring elaborates. “They typically don’t have all the necessary services underneath one roof like we do.”
Ring goes on to note that while EHRA’s one-stop approach is unique, he sincerely believes EHRA’s family mentality and lineage is just as impressive. “This approach exemplifies who we are as a company and has served us well,” he details.
Although Ring has only been a part of EHRA for seven years, he is proud to say that the family atmosphere is easily recognizable as something special. “Other companies say they are family-oriented, but EHRA truly demonstrates it through every definition of the word,” he says.
By remaining grounded in family ownership and values, EHRA has steadily risen to the top of Houston’s engineering market. Truman C. Edminster III, P.E. and Jim Russ, third and fourth generation owners of EHRA, have continued the legacy of first and second generation principals Truman Edminster Sr., P.E. and Truman Edminster Jr., P.E.
“Our projects are in our own backyard,” says Edminster III. “It is an honor and a responsibility to deliver the highest quality product that our residents deserve. I don’t think our company would have lasted as long as we have without the bonds we have sustained with our community and our dedicated passion to growing the city of Houston.”
Certainly, with a tenured family history of sustainability and diversity of services, EHRA Inc. and its one-stop shop mentality has quietly grown with the city of Houston for over 75 years.
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